Category Archives: decision making

Updated version of Boyd’s Aerial Attack Study

The link for the updated version of the AAS changed slightly but is now correct.

Boyd’s Aerial Attack Study is the most useful of all his documents in terms of tactical theory. Hardly anyone has read it, though.

tacticalprofessor

Thanks to Rob Pincus, I have found a cleaner copy of Colonel John Boyd’s Aerial Attack Study (AAS). It was recreated by Mr. Mark Hart from the declassified 1964 version. The recreation is much easier on the eyes than the reproductions of the original mimeographed edition that are generally available.

Prior to Colonel Boyd’s AAS, fighter combat was viewed by the majority of fighter pilots as an intuitive skill rather than one that could be codified. Some conceptual principles had been developed along with elementary tactics such as the Thach Weave, but Boyd was the one who wrote the definitive book. Only Major General Frederick “Boots” Blesse had preceded Colonel Boyd in writing a book, No Guts No Glory, about jet fighter combat. Major General Blesse’s book wasn’t the exhaustive treatise on the subject that the AAS was.

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Factors relevant to church shootings

After my initial thoughts about the White Settlement church shooting, a list of other relevant factors came to mind. The conversation about the incident mostly has centered around the ability to make a 12-15 yard head shot. The tactical factors have largely been ignored or overlooked. That’s a Strategic Mistake.

Here’s my list for those wishing to do their own research and METT-TC analysis.

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I miss that kind of clarity

Not surprisingly, yesterday’s church shooting incident has generated a great of deal of discussion. As Mr. Wabash of the CIA said in Three Days of the Condor, “I miss that kind of clarity.”

Someone asked if I have analyzed various documents about Active Murderers and if I keep the documents on my website. My response was:

I tend to think about the other 3,300 violent crimes that occurred yesterday, including 43 other murders, 400 rapes, and 2,200 Aggravated Assaults.

Yesterday. Except for the other murders, they didn’t even make the news. And the other murders received about 90 seconds of coverage, on average, with no streaming replay of the event.

The kind of clarity that Mr. Jack Wilson,  the Counter-Murder Operator who prevented further murders, had is rare. We should also consider the depth of Mr. Wilson’s shooting resume in terms of skill development.

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Requisite level of skill

As long as a person can consistently (95% of one shot presentations) hit a target the size of two sheets of paper, stacked in landscape orientation, at four yards, they have the requisite level of marksmanship skill to dominate 99% of personal protection shooting incidents by non-sworn personnel.

Two sheet target

That’s not a popular opinion but after studying over 5,000 Armed Citizen incidents, it’s the conclusion I’ve come to. Here is the Male torso hit zone target sheet.

There are other skills that are more important than marksmanship.

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What’s the likelihood that something unpleasant is going to happen?

Stupid people, stupid places, stupid things. This is a perfect example.

Going to a birthday memorial service (lasting until 12:30 am) to honor the memory of a person who was killed while conducting a carjacking. That fulfills all of the criteria. What’s the likelihood that something unpleasant is going to happen?

13 People Shot At Chicago House Party Honoring A Man Killed [while carjacking] In April

Note also that there were three different shooting scenes. 1) The initial shooting in the home, 2) one of the shooters outside waiting for people to come out and randomly shooting at them, and 3) another shooter firing at a vehicle going down the street.

‘We can’t normalize this kind of behavior,’ [Chicargo Mayor] Lightfoot said.

Roger that transmission.

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Get Ready (part 2)

Why do people carry an autoloader with an empty chamber? Because they’re concerned about having an Unintentional Discharge.

Sheriff’s gun goes off inside Walmart during a ‘Shop with a Sheriff’ event

One of the comments about the incident on Facebook sums up many people’s feelings about it.

Pickens County Georgia Sheriff UD comment redacted

Which is more likely to save your life? Carrying an autoloader with the chamber empty or carrying a revolver ready to go? Active Self Protection provides us with some food for thought.

A Stark Reminder to Keep Your Defensive Firearm Chambered

Armed Robber Kills Store Owner Whose Gun Wasn’t Ready

Another Reminder to Carry Chamber Full

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METT-TC and how it applies to us

Excerpt from: FM 6-0 Mission Command: Command and Control of Army Forces – August 2003
RELEVANT INFORMATION SUBJECT CATEGORIES—METT-TC

B-10. Relevant information is all information of importance to the commander and staff in the exercise of command and control (FM 3-0 [Operations – February 2008]). In the context of information management, the six factors of METT-TC — Mission, Enemy, Terrain and weather, Troops and support available, Time available, and Civil considerations—make up the major subject categories into which relevant information is grouped for military operations. The commander and staff consider R[elevant] I[nformation] for each category in all military operations. The relative impact of each category may vary, but the commander and C2 [Command and Control] system consider them all.

MISSION

B-11. The mission is the task, together with the purpose, that clearly indicates the action to be taken and the reason therefore (JP 1-02 [Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms]). It is always the first factor commanders consider during decisionmaking. (See FM 5-0 [The Operations Process – March 2010].) A thorough understanding of the mission focuses decisionmaking throughout the operations process. … Commanders and staffs view all the other factors of METT-TC in terms of their impact on mission accomplishment.

B-12. The mission statement defines the who, what, when, where, and why of the operation. A thorough understanding of why the unit is conducting an operation provides the focus for planning.

METT-TC table square 2

In every encounter there is an element of chance.

–John Hall, former head of the FBI Firearms Training Unit

Family mourns loss of single father of two girls

The perils of Intervention are very high. The question I like to pose about mission definition is:

To whom does your primary duty and allegiance lie, a total stranger or your family?

That’s a moral decision I do not choose to answer for anyone else, only myself.

The Role of Questions in Personal Protection

Who is around me and what are they doing? – Tom Givens

What are you capable of? – Ken Hackathorn

What’s the object of the exercise? – the Tactical Professor

What is the best use of my time right now? – Alan Lakein

METT-TC is a well developed structure for asking questions when developing plans for Personal Protection.

  • Mission
  • Enemy
  • Terrain and Weather
  • Troops and Support Available
  • Time Available
  • Civil (Legal and moral) Considerations

SALUTE is a good structure for gathering information in the moment.

  • Size
  • Activity
  • Location (proximity)
  • Unit
  • Time
  • Equipment

When we are children, we are constantly asking questions. As adults, we usually get in the habit of providing opinions, experiences, and self-promotion instead of asking question. Information gathering is a vital skill in Personal Protection. Putting ourselves back into the question asking mode requires a shift in our thinking patterns that requires practice.

asking the wrong questions annotated

My thanks to John Correia of Active Self Protection for stimulating my thinking about the topic.

My Patreon page is where I go into more depth on Personal Protection topics. https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor

The Mission

If I went out looking for bad guys for 8-10 hours a day every workday, I’d be carrying a high capacity autoloader too. And I’d be wearing a helmet.

Thinking about what’s important

Man shot in neighbor’s home charged after allegedly undressing in 12-year-old’s bedroom during break-in

https://www.wdrb.com/news/man-shot-in-neighbor-s-home-charged-after-allegedly-undressing/article_184841ce-5f90-11e9-be1f-e328e3b39e3e.html

Although this incident occurred in April, it recently re-surfaced as an example of a Defensive Gun Use. As is frequently the case, Internet common taters had numerous things to say about it.

  • Needs more practice.
  • Only six? Should have emptied the magazine!
  • Too bad the dirtbag’s not in the morgue.
  • Etc.

It’s easy to focus on the unimportant aspects of an incident. All of the commentary focused on feelings, which are unimportant, instead of Lessons to be Learned (LTBL), which are important.

How do we focus on what’s important? One way to start is to identify who was involved by role rather than name. Most the time, news stories use last names but that tends to obscure who did what. Substituting a role for names in the story leads to more clarity about the actions of the participants. For this incident, it would look as follows.

Cast of characters in the drama

Donald Oliver – Intruder

Tina Burton – female of household (Female)

Ali Bracey – male of household (Male)

Daughter

Important aspects of the incident

  • The Male knew there was an actual intruder because of the Daughter’s text.
  • Despite knowing it wasn’t just a ‘bump in the night,’ the Male went to confront the intruder unarmed.
  • The confrontation between the Male and Intruder started verbally and then turned physical.
  • It was either an entangled fight or within arm’s length.
  • When it went physical, the male employed an improvised weapon, to wit: a broom.
  • The broom was apparently ineffective in the confrontation, so the male continued using unspecified improvised weapons.
  • They had a gun but didn’t think initially to bring it to the fight.
  • The Female eventually brought the gun to the Male to use.
  • There was a weapon handoff from the Female to the Male.
  • Shooting the gun caused the Intruder to flee.

Unimportant aspects of the incident

  • The intruder wasn’t killed.
  • The householder didn’t practice enough at the gun range.

Lessons To Be Learned (LBTL) and other important aspects

Guns are not useful if you don’t bring them to the fight. Have a plan ahead of time about how to handle an intrusion.

You can’t practice appropriately for an entangled or close range fight at a gun range anyway. This would most likely have been best handled as a retention shooting situation. Retention shooting is a skill best learned by taking a class from someone who knows what they’re doing. Few instructors are qualified to teach this task. I can recommend Brian Hill of The Complete Combatant, Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training, and Craig Douglas of Shivworks.

Males of the household will often confront an intruder unarmed. It’s not uncommon for another family member to have to access the firearm and bring it to the fight. A handoff to the Male periodically occurs at that point. This means that several implied Personal Protection tasks for the other family member come into play.

  1. Know where the gun is.
  2. Be able to access the gun. Is it in a safe and can the family member open it?
  3. If the gun is not stored Ready to Fire, be able to place the gun into Ready to Fire condition.
  4. Move safely from the storage location to the fight location. Having an Unintentional Discharge en route will probably be a Tactical Disaster.
  5. Either be able to engage the Intruder with the firearm, or
  6. Safely hand off the firearm to the Male engaged in the confrontation. If the confrontation is physically entangled, a handoff may not be safely possible.

Whether the Intruder is killed or not is completely irrelevant. Let’s keep in mind The Cost of Killing. Achieving a Break In Contact is our objective as Non-Sworn Citizens. Note that in this incident, the Intruder had to be taken to court in a wheelchair. That probably means that he has some serious injuries, perhaps debilitating for his entire life.

We need to focus on the important tasks in Personal Protection incident analysis and not our feelings, which are unimportant. That is what I will be doing in the monthly incident analysis on my Patreon page.

https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor