Custom shirts

Posted by Belligerent Digger on

Besides doing the range of PT apparel that we put on the site, we can also do custom runs for you. We specialise in screen printing on cotton, but have also moved into digital prints and using moisture wicking polyester shirts.

- Here’s an example of Company PT shirts for 1ACR

- A poor quality photo of our custom shirts for Phonetech

We can do minimum order quantity runs of shirts from about 20 and up. We do our best to realise whatever idea you have in mind and make it a reality. Feel free to email and discuss options.

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I'll stomp with you

Posted by Belligerent Digger on

One day, Nicholas Latham, an ADF member, went for a cheeky stomp in Brisbane. It was a stomp no different to any other stomp, until someone called Queensland police. Latham was dressed in cams, was wearing a pack and was carrying what could be, if you had little knowledge of firearms, a firearm made from a series of welded steel pipes.

QLDPOL actually sent the aviation unit out to look for him, all because someone didn't know what battle PT was. Latham was charged with public nuisance. It's unknown if Latham also copped a prejudicial conduct charge and is currently mopping rain at whatever unit's guard room his from because the ADF had to apologise.

Kate McKenna of the Courier Mail wrote during a court session that Magistrate Sheryl Cornack, who presided over the case, “expressed surprise that Latham was slapped with a charge of public nuisance — and not going armed so as to cause fear”. 

Basically, every single person on the entire planet overreacted.

The ADF is a very small organisation, at most having around 58,000 active personnel. That is far outnumbered by the amount of Australians meeting military age every year (144,959 males and 137,333 females according to Wikipedia). Very few people actually know anything about the defence force because so few people are actually touched by even a cursory knowledge of it. That's compounded with few people exposed to guns in Australia and you've got a recipe for someone going for a stomp through suburbia looking like a big army man looking for Sarah Connor.

The other problem facing the defence force is the only way to get good at running with guns, you need to... run with guns. Battle PT is absolutely vital to training; it's rigours train soldiers for the situations they will deal with later. Pack marches, being part of battle PT, are also very important and is something that is part and parcel of warfare dating back to the start of professional soldiering. An essay by LT. Rob Orr in the Australian Army Journal discusses combat loads throughout history. An example of Greek soldier's loads during war between the Greeks and Persia:

“In preparation for his war against the Greek Hoplites and the Persians, King Philip II of Macedon aimed to increase the mobility and speed of his army. Philip gave orders that all soldiers were to carry their own equipment and that wheeled vehicles were not to be used, replacing them with pack mule and horse—an order later echoed by his son Alexander.”

This action reduced the number of camp followers by as much as two thirds, consequently decreasing the army’s logistical load and increased its march speed. The result was a Macedonian soldier who was a beast of burden, carrying 13.5 kilograms of grain (ten days’ rations), plus their 22.5 kilograms of battle equipment and arms: a total load of 36 kilograms”.

Loads are assessed from Assyria right through to the present in the essay, the conclusion being that soldiers only got heavier. For a halfway decent army to function, it's members need to train for the worst scenario: no vehicles and having to carry all your crap to where you need to go.

In the interest of fairness, while anyone who knows what an F88 looks like would have a chuckle, it's not like firearms haven't been made out of a bunch of pipes welded together. Consider the Luty SMG. Phillip Luty was a pro-gun campaigner in Britain who wrote Expedient Firearms, a guide on how to make a 9mm SMG using springs, bolts and pipes. Technical drawings for producing said SMG are available on the internet and completed Luty build SMGs have turned up in Australia. To some extent, you can let QLDPOL off for responding to what was called in as a firearm when you've got stuff like that floating around.

According to the Queensland Weapons Act 1990 section 57, part 1, a replica weapon counts as a weapon. According section 57, part 2, “A person must not, without reasonable excuse, carry a weapon exposed to view in a public place”. 

Scenario: You're a policeman. You get a call of a gunman in suburbia. You find a big, sweaty dude in cams, pulling weird faces because he's tired, carrying an F88 welded pipe capable of 0 rounds per minute with no ejection port, cocking device, sights, mag, whatever. So you question him. If anything, Latham getting hit with a public nuisance offence is probably not the worst thing that happened. Whether or not the veteran community shakes their fists over whether he was charged at all is irrelevant. If Latham was found guilty of an offence under the Weapons Act, he could've been looking at six months in the clink.

So, all stomps matter, civvies don't get the ADF and basically anything can look like a weapon. How can defence members deal with all these problems? It's not entirely clear cut and I don't know because it's a pickle.

One way this can be dealt with is calling the police. No, not calling the police to dob in a mate who's going for a stomp, calling the police and asking them how you can do battle PT without getting arrested. Standard practise in surveillance for private investigators is to actually call the police, explain you are doing surveillance and that you are licensed to do so (if you're a PI anyway) and give a description of your car. This is done so that when some hysterical person calls up, instead of getting hauled out of a car and screwing up your surveillance of whatever, they tell the person not to worry as they aren't actually a paedophile or a robber.

Call the police, ask them what you can use to simulate running with a weapon. Some of you may say, well, Mr. Presley, I am a serving defence member and I shouldn't have to ask anyone to train to defend the plebs. To that I say way to be a dickhead. All that engaging with CIVPOL can possibly do is build better ties with them. They will get the impression that the ADF is genuinely worried about whether or not it's members are going to be running afoul of the police or scaring their charges. If they can tell nut jobs that it's just some random preparing for SF or trying to stay fit and that the bunch of pipes or PVC pipe full of rocks isn't a gun, you're saving them a call out. And you're potentially safeguarding your weekend from doing ROPs.

When you find out what won't get you arrested and what the police are not happy with, tell your unit! Don't keep it to yourself, let everyone know so that they can improve themselves unmolested too.

The biggest lesson from this whole debacle is that you have to play the game. Everyone is big on saying it between 0730 and 1600, but for some reason don't want to say it outside of those hours. Well, civvies have to play the game as well because the law applies to everyone. While Mr. Latham shouldn't have been in trouble for trying to improve himself and everyone was pretty angry (quite rightly so) that there was any backlash, treat this as a learning experience. When you are dealing with civvies overseas, you're going to have to work around problems like this too. Life is just as much practise for your job as picking up ciggie butts and pulling out weeds.

Protect ya neck and keep stomping.

REF:

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/30251435/breaking-news-reports-brisbane-schools-in-lockdown/ original coverage of incident

http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/legisltn/current/w/weaponsa90.pdf QLD weapons act 1990

http://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/brisbane-gunman-in-court-over-army-training-run-with-fake-weapon/news-story/b68508954e2a1650928909c22805b0a6 Latham in court
http://www.army.gov.au/~/media/Files/Our%20future/LWSC%20Publications/AAJ/2010Winter/07-TheHistoryOfTheSoldiers.pdf Essay in army journal by LT. Orr.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Defence_Force ADF wiki page

Luty SMG in AU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dv33pCUkLRM 



featured image: www.brisbanetimes.com.au

 

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Bomb Jocks

Posted by Belligerent Digger on

This is a bit of description of what it was like overseas in Afghanistan whilst on QRF in Tarin Kowt. We would have first parade in the morning to do stores checks and check out the vehicles to make everything was good to go in case we had a call out. The daily ritual would then be to line up in our sections and sometimes as a Platoon and do a visual check of all our personal stores that were required for stepping off. The last part would then involve checking that we were wearing our ballistic underwear, affectionately called bomb jocks. This would lead to us all dropping trou in the stables and showing that we were wearing the required goods.

-As a side note, these things were good to go. They're made with a percentage of silk within the material to protect our undercarriage from secondary (fragmentation) and tertiary (blunt and penetrating trauma) blast effects. (primary blast effects rupture the fluid and air filled sacs within the body i.e. lungs, so these shorts aren't helping that) the reason for bringing these in was due to information gained from the brits. They had had a small number of British servicemen who had had their genitals explosively removed on deployments overseas from IED strikes, a truly horrific prospect, and the majority of these men upon return from deployment had committed suicide. These were hopefully going to keep our junk intact and reduce the chances of suicide post deployment.-

So in closing, it was potentially a good bit of kit and thankfully we didn't have to test their capability for real. However the army way of doing things usually leads to a strange back end result, such as the surreal job of standing in the open with the rest of your Platoon bearing your junk to the world. Good times indeed.

References;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blast_injury

image - Belligerent Digger

Artist -http://codeyanderson.blogspot.com.au

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Immortan Joe vs. ISIS: A Tale Of Woe For Unprepared Conventional Armies

Posted by Belligerent Digger on

vs


Mad Max: Fury Road is a fantastic movie. It's a movie that is good, no matter how you shake it. What's even better is how the tyrants in the film would be considered, in any other environment, as a pretty typical irregular or insurgent force, definitely on par with ISIS. Immortan Joe's despicable triumvirate with the Bullet Farmer of the Bullet Farm (a re-purposed lead mine) and the People Eater of Gastown (a refurbished oil refinery) business and stateship practises are pretty much from the same play book as al-Baghdadi's.

Both have an entirely punitive system of control. When ISIS was still Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), they controlled areas of Iraq by basically saying to Sunni populations it's either us or the Shia. Many citizens of Iraq lived a blighted existence where their women were treated as cattle, their children had their knees drilled and their men dismembered because they were lead to believe that this was somehow better than living under the actual Iraqi government. For those playing at home, AQI caused much of the instability after the al-Askari bombing of 2006.

Immortan Joe, a former ADF officer named Joe Moore who started a gang after wars for oil and water, took his fiefdom, on the other hand, rather than trying to out govern anyone. Because he controlled water in a desert, it was his triumvirate, as either militia man or slave, or nothing. Forever. 

Water is also something both groups manipulate. Water was cut to Pristina after a plot by ISIS to poison water was uncovered by the Kosovo government July this year. ISIS also threatened to destroy the Mosul Dam in Iraq which would destroy over half of Mosul, a city with a population of 664,000 people.

Immortan Joe's army (IJA) controlled effectively the only potable water source in his immediate region. Immortan Joe took the aquifer he controls in the film and rebuilt it after it was destroyed by retreating enemy forces, explained in a prelude graphic novel, and cemented himself as a god.

The most striking resemblance between the two is their operational tactics: Both at one stage were mobilised infantry.

ISIS started it's life, after breaking from AQ, as a mobilised infantry conventional force. ISIS's blitz mid last year in Iraq was carried out by not more than 1000 members. Those 1000 soldiers managed to route an army many times it's size using Hiluxes and busted Kalashnikovs. It's needs to be conceded that obviously there was also a lot more going on there than is being let on. Iraqi army (IA) officers who were sympathetic to ISIS did order subordinates to drop their weapons and uniforms and run. The IA itself is so deeply fractious due to being roughly half Shia and half Sunni that they either thought there was little gain in protecting another sect's people or ultimately saw their side coming to power respectively.

Not only that, Iraq is a very, very flat country with little rainfall. There's no way you can patrol on foot, so light skin, easy to maintain vehicles that can carry four guys and a PKM is going to be the way to do it.

Immortan Joe obviously had little choice but to do the same thing as well considering he works in a desert with no features to speak of. With every War Boy in his army doubling as a mechanic, his army is comprised of long range, light skin, easy to maintain vehicles as well. The focus of IJA being more in the vehicle more than the driver or crew. The crew are entirely disposable and are bred to believe as such, only knowing reward in death.

So, what would it look like if they went toe to toe?

Using Syria as the test bed for this example, and presuming it's just ISIS and IJA without the huge web of intrigue that currently exists, you've got a pretty serious fight on your hands.

Say ISIS controls Raqqa, as it does now, along with all of the existing territory it controls. IJA controls Tabqa Dam, keeping in line with the idea that much of IJA relies on control of water sources, but adding a spot feature in the middle of al-Tabqa itself, ala Fury Road. IJA basically starts encircled, which is fine, because it's not like they give a shit about losses to start with, but divided as well by distance between the Bullet Farm and Gastown.

IJA's first action is securing it's supply lines. Without it's supply lines, shipping munitions, petrol and water and food stops and IJA are finished. The three disparate heads lose them because the only thing they can actually provide that means anything, resources, isn't coming. This is similar for ISIS, but ISIS have a more diversified income. IJA begins doing so, but begins hitting IEDs, something they seem to not really experience before. 

Problem is, well, they can't really change it up like ISIS can, so they've immediately got a problem. So they go on the offensive.

Mammoth raiding parties begin. Streams of V8s with outriders with nothing more than pistols and gunpowder filled sticks begin smashing up ISIS villages. ISIS can't take the blitz and begin booby trapping the houses, which doesn't work. Why would an organisation focused around one point clear a village? They capture the women and children, kill the men and go home. This also eliminates the traditional “here's $50 and shovel, start laying IEDs” method of attack because there's less people to do it. Supply lines are now secure again.

Raiding parties now are just a prophylactic measure and ISIS is losing the only thing that matters to them: people. Without people, ISIS doesn't matter anymore, so now they have to fight the convoys, what IJA are actually prepared for, but they lack the modern weaponry that ISIS have. They also begin blowing bridges throughout the land, seriously diminishing the ability for IJA to resupply it's other holdings.

Restricted to pistols, thundersticks, flame throwers and knives, IJA start losing convoys to mortars, DHSk technicals and MILAN systems. They're in big trouble. What weapons IJA can capture don't last long. With the supply lines getting strangled, they're in trouble.

Slowly but surely, IJA are ground down. The War Boys keep dying and the requisite truck, mechanic, defensive driving and CQB training aren't being met with less area to work in, not as well trained War Boys getting sent out and Immortan Joe losing his god like grip on people. ISIS now move in on the spot feature in al-Tabqa.

Suicide bombings involving up armoured vehicles begins, not any structures, but just on the people at the base of the spot feature. ISIS begin offering them ways out in the form of escape corridors to their territory. That in between lobbing a rocket or two at the top of the base feature: Immortan Joe's citadel.

Driven mad by the deaths of his wives, wounded children and terrified advisors, the human shield of his subjects disappearing and his inability to control water, Joe begins to lead attacks himself... just as ISIS begin sending militants up the spot feature, the same way Immortan Joe originally captured it from the tribe before him. He's still losing men, he's still losing vehicles, so he returns, only to find his whole world destroyed. He can't call for assistance from the Bullet Farm or Gastown, they already signed up with ISIS who can offer more security and are now the bigger tribe. Joe's through, sodomised with knives like Gaddafi and dragged through the streets like Hector.

It does make you wonder, if the world hadn't ended in the early 1980s in the Mad Max world, could the various gangs, tribes and war lords have been able to hold on to more knowledge? Could they have managed to actually produce better fiefdoms or diversify their various economies and tactics? Probably not, because they ultimately are victims of their own environment, large open spaces, and doctrine, absolute control over everything they see. Every attack has to be out in the open. Every attack has to be head on so only the strongest survive.

ISIS just don't have to do that because they always fight from a position of weakness, whether it be in numbers, area of operations or otherwise because they just live in amongst everyone, in all the holes you can't plug and they'll adapt whenever they can. We need to as well.

By Hannibal Presley 

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100 Deadly Skills book review

Posted by Belligerent Digger on

Book Review: 100 Deadly Skills by Clint Emerson. 



 I first heard about 100 Deadly Skills by Clint Emerson (Navy SEAL, Ret.) in SOFREP last August after I finished reading I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, a book about a former CIA operative that foils a terror plot after writing a book about forensic pathology, and was immediately intrigued. I Am Pilgrim's fictional pathology book is the clean, clinical reference used by a serial killer. 100 Deadly Skills is the equivalent of the hood-rat kid at TAFE who likes breaking locks and wearing Oakley’s.

In an interview with the Elliot In The Morning radio show, Clint Emerson explains how he learned the skills in the book: “The skills in the book are kinda mine. The beauty of being in special operations is your leadership relies on you to adapt and be creative... So they're not going to train you in everything... Hopefully the screening and the selection process gives them good men and they can figure things out. This is a compilation of things I've figured out.” 

When you start the book, it's difficult to put it down, not just because it's entertaining (which it is) but also because it's just so easy to read. All the language is very easy to understand, similar to a pam or manual where if the language is too verbose, you're going read it and then forget it when stressed. All of the skills can be done with very cheap and low tech equipment such as turning your Honda Odyssey in to a surveillance rig with black sheets and a box cutter or turning your home speakers in to microphones by merely switching the polarity of the wires (changing which wire goes where, in short).

What's that? Can't visualise how to make body armour from telephone books, the tiles from your shitty safe house patio and some duct tape, well, never fear. Here are some well drawn, annotated pictures of a guy showing you what they mean by “increase integrity”. Can't figure out how to clone keys? Here is a picture of a bar of soap and a photocopier. Every skill has a drawing on the opposite page to the text. You've got a choice between reading the Tom Clancy-esque explanation and background and checking out the illustrations for clarification or just go straight for the illustrations and get pretty much the same amount of information without the depth.

The book, in short, is the manual for getting stuff done with few resources. Prior to this, I personally have never found any compendium like it. You had to crawl lock picking communities or have an engineering background or have piratical contractor friends. A lot of these skills just aren't that accessible because you had to look too damn hard, invest too much money or your skill set was made for, say, working in insurance or making coffee and your dad never taught you to make silencers out of water bottles. Mine didn't.

It's maligned in some places because a lot of this stuff is known in specific circles, say for example guys who's job might be human exploitation or working in non or semi permissible environments and that a lot of the information is old anyway. I tend to agree in some parts, but that shouldn't ruin the book for people or be seen as a rip off. Some people just don't know where to look because they have crappy Google-fu or they've always wanted to learn these skills and because it's such a broad skill set, they don't know where to start and this is ultimately what this book is. A starting point to be expanded upon. Skill number 76 is “Wage psychological warfare” and covers driving your opposition bat shit crazy with threats and Dennis the Menace crap like throwing rocks at windows that they feel a need to act in a way that may benefit you. That is a small scale, limited version of PSY OPS, a discipline that covers everything from countering propaganda with leaflet drops to the incident where a Chinese senior colonel came to Australia to tell the then Rudd government to pick either China or America as a big daddy.

100 Deadly Skills is a fantastic, entertaining, easy to pick up book for the everyman and while the skills will probably make you feel like a Cold War spy, it's the absolute bottom floor for a variety of skill sets that will immediately make you more independent and can be done on a shoe string budget.

Would I recommend it to soldiers? It depends. If you're seeing this as the way to get in to SF or intelligence, you really don't understand either of those roles and you need to stop watching TV. If you view it as a way to be the multi-tool you've always wanted to be, you've come to the right place, kiddo.

  

Hannibal Presley is an ex infantryman who currently writes and has some PI experience who’s worked humanitarian jobs with DVM/HASF (dvmhasf.org) in Iraq and in the Americas.

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