Surviving an Expedient Ambush Roadblock
While Traveling by Vechicle
In the days following a societal collapse, there will be
some people who will be on the move from where the problems exist to where
they hope safety lies. There can be many reasons why people are on the move,
and an equal number of reasons why someone else may wish to stop your
progress. Getting on the move and out of a hostile area as early as possible
in the wake of a collapse is a significant key to one’s survival, as well
has having buddies to cover you during your travel.
The sooner you get on the road, the less your chances of encountering
problems. A few people will recognize the early signs of collapse and get
moving out of town long before traffic becomes a problem. Others will
recognize the issue within twenty-four hours after the event takes place,
and will be on the leading edge of the traffic during the exodus. The
majority will not realize the seriousness until it is too late. These people
will get caught-up in the traffic jam that will rival the exodus of Houston
during Hurricane Rita, where I-45 and I-10 were packed full of cars stopped
on the highway for 100 miles. Many people ran out of gas on the side of the
road and found themselves without food or water since they had only moved a
few miles in four hours.
You may be a well prepared family, but for one reason or another are caught
on your heals when a collapse occurs. This leads you to stay put longer than
you would have liked, but you have no better tactical choices but to lay low
at home or work for a few days before bugging out. You do not want to get
caught in a highway traffic jam following a collapse. If you get stuck, you
will have to leave most of what you packed into your vehicle(s) and move out
on foot amongst the thousands of ill-prepared people on the roads doing
things they would never have considered during normal times.
Those who are forced to wait out the initial exodus and are moving out of
urban areas several days or weeks after the collapse will have a higher
probability of coming in contact with an expedient ambush roadblock, both in
the city and on rural roads outside of small towns. An expedient ambush
roadblock is one set-up in haste with readily available materials and
personnel. There will be plenty of desperate people who were caught
unprepared for such an event; their lack of morals and innate nature to
survive will drive them to take from others, with deadly force if necessary.
It is your job to protect your family and yourself from these threats,
especially when on the move.
While traveling in a vehicle on the roads, you may encounter various types
of roadblocks or ambush points. Some may be fairly elaborate, while others
may be quite simple. All are equally deadly. The primary tactic you will
need to thread your way safely through one of these expedient ambush
roadblocks is what I call R.O.C.S.: Recognition, Observation, Covering Fire,
Recognizing that something you see ahead is a potential ambush site is the
first key to success. An ambush site can appear as a traffic accident (as
illustrated in Patriots), a fallen tree near or on the road,
abandoned/broken down vehicles, anything blocking all or part of the road,
detours, refugees, high ground on one or both sides of the road, bridges,
and anything that looks like it does not belong on, or near, a road. These
are the types of expedient ambush sites that someone may quickly create in
the days following a societal collapse. It is up to whomever is leading, to
recognize that a potential exists and to move into the observation phase.
Once you recognize a likely ambush point (LAP), you have two choices: divert
your course and completely avoid the circumstance, or observe and evaluate
the site. You can either stop well short of the potential ambush point and
observe through a scope or binoculars, or have a passenger continue to
observe while on the move. Observation is a form of Intel. Look for signs of
movement, or things that seem out of place. Reverse what you see and put
yourself in the place of the ambusher. Where would you hide? How would you
set it up? How many people would you need to pull off an ambush? What
weapons would you use? What tactics would you employ? What is your end game?
At this point, you need to determine if what you see is worth the risk of
approach or if you need to turn around and find a different route (if
possible). Anyone traveling with you should also evaluate the situation and
help with risk assessment. Once a decision is made to approach and pass the
observed site, cover[ing fire] is needed.
This is a two or more person/vehicle job. This means that if it is just you,
your wife and the kids, that you need to move out of town in two vehicles.
Hopefully you have friends traveling with you to a new location who also
have a vehicle and weapons. For [overwatching] cover[ing fire] during the
operation, the lead vehicle stops at a distance from the LAP that is within
the range of the weapon being employed. For most weapon platforms a good
distance is 100-300 yards. This ensures accurate shots and plenty of
ballistic energy. The lead vehicle should place their vehicle at a 45-degree
angle to the direction of travel and the weapon system should then be
employed across the hood so that the engine block provides a [limited]
ballistic shield for those person(s) providing cover[ing fire].
The trailing vehicles should move past the lead vehicle with Speed. Once
beyond the LAP, those vehicles stop and provide cover for the other
vehicle(s) yet to pass through the site. Again, the vehicles that have
already passed the LAP should stop within range of the weapon(s) being
employed and turn their vehicles 45-degrees to the road and take personal
cover behind the engine, covering the passage of the trailing vehicles.
[JWR Adds: The concept of covering fire is actaully better termed
suppressive fire. The term "cover", properly, only applies to barriers that
provide ballistic protection to those behind them. So "covering fire" does
not provide cover, nor concealment, only supression!]
Passing through the LAP with adequate speed, and setting up a covering
position on the far side for the trailing vehicles as fast as possible is
key to minimizing exposure for all concerned. You do not want to drive so
fast that you could lose control of your vehicle if you suddenly had to
swerve or take significant evasive action.
Having short-range communications for these types of situations is also a
smart idea. This can be done with CB radios, or inexpensive GMRS/eXRS
two-way radios. Radios will be especially helpful during nighttime
operations of this type. When the lead vehicle can communicate to trailing
vehicle(s) that there is a LAP ahead, this can start a desired chain
reaction that can significantly increase the odds of surviving one of these
situations. Communications can also be an aid when the lead vehicle passes
an unseen ambush point and can radio a warning to following vehicles, which
can immediately render covering fire and/or take evasive actions.
The following is a fictitious scenario using all of the aforementioned, with
three families in three vehicles approaching a potential ambush site seen
from one mile away. The cars are traveling 200 yards apart. (After the SHTF,
when traveling by foot or vehicle, travel should always be conducted in
tactical columns, where a specified distance is maintained between people or
vehicles. Staying too close together and/or tailgating are unacceptable
risks after SHTF, when traveling.)
Lead vehicle (vehicle 1): “LAP ahead, one mile”
Trailing vehicles stop in place, while vehicle 1 moves forward another
1/2-mile and evaluates the LAP. The lead vehicle stops and uses 10x50
binoculars to scan the area. No movement is noticed, but it looks like a
large tree was dropped across one lane of the highway. The base is obviously
recently cut, and there are no other dead trees nearby. The leaves still
have a greenish tint and have not yet browned, but are wilted.
Lead vehicle radios the trailing vehicles: “No movement seen, there is a way
past the LAP on the opposite shoulder and grass. Watch the tree line on the
right side of the road. Lots of dense cover there. We will move ahead to 200
yards and set-up.”
The lead vehicle approaches slowly to within 200 yards while the trailing
vehicles move to within ˝ mile away. The lead vehicle stops in the road and
turns to 45-degrees to the direction of travel and both occupants exit the
drivers side and set up across the hood with their AR-10 rifles with ACOG
Lead vehicle radios the trailing vehicles: “Go!”
The first trailing vehicle (vehicle 2) gets up to speed and approaches the
LAP while the lead vehicle continues to scan the LAP through their scopes,
ready to fire upon any threat. The vehicle passes the LAP with no problems
and goes 200 yards beyond and sets up an overwatch position on the other
side, careful to orient themselves so as not to fire upon the vehicles on
the other side. They are covering with scoped AR-10s scanning the LAP.
Vehicle 2 radios: “We are through and set up. Go!”
While vehicles 1 and 2 maintain covering positions, the last vehicle
(vehicle 3) gets up to speed and starts to pass the LAP. As they do so,
gunfire erupts from the tree line (in this instance, the ambushers were
caught unaware by the first vehicle and were alert when the next one came
through.) Vehicles 1 and 2 open fire on the tree line, while the passenger
in vehicle 3 opens fire while passing the ambush. Once beyond the ambush
point, vehicle 3 sets up 220 yards on the other side of the ambush to the
rear and right of vehicle 2, and provides covering fire along with vehicle
Vehicle 3 radios: “We’re set. Covering. No fire from the trees. Go!”
Vehicle 1 remounts and charges through the ambush point with no gunfire
coming from the tree line. They drive beyond the other two vehicles and all
personnel remount their vehicles and resume their travels.
At this point, it would be wise to find a secure place to stop and evaluate
your persons and vehicles. You don’t need to stop all jumbled together,
especially if there is more than one person per vehicle and everyone has a
radio. Each vehicle stops a couple hundred yards apart and while one person
provides cover, the other goes over the vehicle and passengers, looking for
You would want to check the tires, engine soft points (hoses, belts, etc.)
and look for leaks (anti-freeze, fuel, oil, hydraulic fluid, etc.) Be sure
to check each other carefully as adrenaline will be high and a person who
has been shot or injured may not feel a wound at this point. Address any
issues as quickly as possible and continue moving.
Stopping to evaluate and/or cover a position may not be advisable in some
circumstances. You do the best you can at evaluating while on the move,
radioing your findings to your travel companions, and then pushing through.
This is where speed comes in to play. The faster you can get through the LAP
the better your chances of survival. Your passenger (if you have one) helps
with navigation, assessing threats, and provides cover during the encounter.
Choosing weapons is always a difficult decision, especially if you are going
to be defending your life with them. For situations such as the one
presented above, the longer the effective range of the weapon, the further
away you can stay from the LAP, increasing your chances of survival. You
must also consider that just because you can easily shoot a M1A or even a
.50 Barrett, your wife or teenager may not be able to adequately handle such
a weapon in a life-or-death cover fire situation. [So a .223, 5.45x39, or
7.62x39mm rifle may be more apropos.]
Having a scope on your weapon will also increase your shot accuracy and your
ability to observe the area for movement while your weapon system is
employed. We all want to be accurate with open sights at long ranges, but if
you are trying to hit the small exposed body part of a person behind cover
at 250 meters, it is easier to find the body part to shoot at with a scope.
People do not always present themselves as a nice squared-up silhouette like
at a shooting range. When your target has taken cover, you may only get to
see the top of a head, or part of an arm or leg. Putting a bullet in an
extremity might not kill them, but it may take them out of the fight.
For night operations, having some form of night vision technology could
become critical. These systems allow you to see through the darkness and
into the darkest of shadows. Generation I systems are only adequate to about
50 meters and cost under $200. Generation I+ systems have a little more
clarity and cost $300-500. Generation II and II+ systems can now be had for
less than $1,000 new, and can be found cheaper from time to time in the used
marketplace. These go up to $3,500 depending on features and manufacturer,
and have a range from 100 to 200 meters with quite clear optics for the
price. Generation III night vision has come down quite a bit and can be had
for $3,500-$5,500. Personally, I cannot see enough difference between
quality (with the exception of extended recognition range) of the Gen II and
Gen III night vision to compel me to spend the extra $2,500+. There is also
"Generation IV" night vision, which I know very little about. Prices seem to
be in the $4,500-5,500 range. A Gen II, III, or IV night vision monocular
could be a life saver, especially if you can get one that comes with an
optional weapons mount.
JEFFERSON STATE MILITIA
And the Neo-Militia Movement
- What we are about -
is important to the militia is what is important to all
Americans. We are concerned with the health of this nation.
Militia members are a cross section of the American people.
Many of us have been active in the political realm to voice
our opinion to our elected leaders. Our voice has yet to be heard.
We will not tolerate any trouble makers, Jew haters, bigots,
racists, dissenters of any type first and foremost. We are here
to reestablish the Militias reputation. The militia is a formation
of communities. This is true now as it was throughout the
history of this land. We the people have gathered together to
form one voice in the hope that we will be heard.
Our communities are banding together across this country to
form one voice which is getting louder each day. It is not the
guns of the militia that our government fears, we have not fired
a single shot. The people are uniting together as one to bring
out the truth, justice and liberty that we are Americans!
The Jefferson State Militia is not a "Anti-Government"
hate club or occult of any type. As an "Unorganized" militia
we will assist local state and government in times where
manpower has been exhausted. We stand against enemies
both foreign and domestic.
We all see the
destination in which
Our Government is forcing
upon We American Citizens.
So consider this:
'Like a powerful fast moving Train
heading break neck for the cliff,
We understand that: One doesn't turn
a train for it's on a track.
First the train must be stopped, and
then it must be backed up.'
Hasten Patriots to the Call of Liberty!
~ JRM - 12/22/08
JEFFERSON STATE MILITIA
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