UPDATE: A slight update to the previous post regarding solar power. We have now concluded that a source of solar power would boost combat capability by a factor of ten. Having a solar power source is not a “good to have” but is borderline essential.
Since the earliest of times, the night has given a cloak of invisibility to any fighting force. Indeed, during the Korean War, the Chinese forces moved by night exclusively. As a result, they were able to move tens of thousands of soldiers and hit UN forces at the Chosin Reservoir with absolute thunderclap surprise. The ability to operate at night can give your Zombie Combat Team an edge. But by how much? Zombies by their nature have the absolute advantage at night. Not dependent on vision, they hunt by smell and sound. Night is their natural friend. They own the night by default.
NIGHT OPERATIONS DURING COUNTER-ZOMBIE OPERATIONS
Unfortunately, for those who envision conducting night raids in Zombie infested environments, the truth is that in a Zombie infested environment, outside-the-wire operations are a no-go. Even with the best night vision equipment, the effectiveness of the individual Soldier and the team is greatly reduced. The ability to be encircled, trapped, and annihilated is simply too great to risk any offensive operations at night. The only time night operations are feasible are when Zombie threats are currently low to zero and the main source of danger is other groups.
For Civilian Zombie Combat Teams that have no prior experience with working with night vision equipment, it is important to know that they do not work like night vision goggles from video games. The best night vision gear the Zombie Combat Command has ever used (aside from FLIR that obviously cost the government a LOT of money) was in fact a Sony digital camcorder. It provided excellent picture quality and quite a powerful zoom as well. The fact that you can record and it costs only about 10% the price of a Generation III night vision goggle such as the PVS-7 or PVS-14 makes it a great choice for any Zombie Combat Team.
UTILIZING NIGHT VISION EQUIPMENT IN COUNTER-ZOMBIE OPERATIONS
As a result of the fact that facing a Zombie formation at night is practically suicide, a team leader might decide that his Civilian Zombie Combat Team should not invest in any night vision equipment. After all, they are expensive. However, this could not be further from the truth. Night vision equipment makes for situational awareness while on the firebase at night infinitely better than not having one.
A typical night for a team and its non-combat element (often family members and the like) may involve silence, but it will also involve some level of activity. Kicking back and being able to read a book, chatting, playing board games and the like help maintain morale in a time of great uncertainty. Having night vision equipment takes the guess work out of what is going outside the walls of your firebase at night, and allows for a quick transition from normal night activities to complete silence.
Night vision equipment also provides itself as a useful asset in the ability to study Zombie or human behavior at night. It is highly probable that Zombies become much more active at night. Being able to study their movements and tendencies can make the difference between losing the night entirely, and being able to exploit openings to make use of darkness should the need and opportunity arise.
The fact that your team is ready and equipped to survive and thrive during times of great uncertainty can also make you a target. If Zombie activity is low in your area, hostile civilians may launch raids against your position. If they choose to use the cover of night, your ability to see at night will turn their perceived advantage (using the cover of darkness) into a fatal weakness.