Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Escape and Evade

During the '80s, I had military training at McDill AFB, Florida. One of the classes that I took was titled "Escape and Evasion." I almost immediately fell in love with the class. Part of the exercise included us being captured and placed in a POW camp. Myself and several others managed to over power a guard and begin the "Escape and Evasion" part of the exercise.
Nobody wants to ever have to use this type of knowledge. If they do, it is related to a stressful situation of survival. In today's world, you don't have to be in the military to use escape and evasion tactics. Today individuals can come into harms way. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time, can require a person to employ these survival methods.
In today's world, there are two areas of escape and evasion. One is urban tactics and the other is in the country. In some ways both require many of the same tactics. However, some are very different.
When you find yourself in one of these situations, there are several things that you have to seriously consider for survival. First you must keep an attitude that you are in a dangerous environment. You cannot trust anyone, but your own judgment and decisions. You must maintain silence, move swiftly and be in stealth mode until you are safe. It could mean doing things that you would never consider doing in your regular life.
When you are in an urban environment, you must dress like the locals. This includes everything from clothes, shoes and head wear. Don't plan on camouflage. It will stand out. Rain gear should also be avoided. Most people use umbrellas or nothing at all. Before any daylight movement, you must scout your area. Remember the landmarks and their location. Do not travel along a street or roadway. You can use it as a landmark, but you must travel at a distance off the road way. If you have a pen and notebook, use it to make notes of these landmarks. Use a zigzag pattern when moving.
The military refers to escape and evasion as "survival."
S...Size up your situation. Don't sugar coat it.
U...Use all your senses.
R...Remember where you are.
V...Vanquish Fear and Panic
I...Improvise and Improve
V..Value Living
A..Act like the natives
L..Live by your wits
Always strive to develop more than one avenue of escape. Move from one concealed area to another. Be swift, but don't run. Use shadows. You can find them along bushes, buildings, fences, bridges and even parked automobiles.
Do not use odors like soaps, deodorants, gels, perfume or anything that can be detected by smell. Keep shiny objects like watches, chains, glasses and rings covered or hidden.
For camouflage and concealment, follow the "Bliss " rules.
L..Low silhouette
I..Irregular shape
S..Secluded location
When considering concealment, you must be concerned about overhead concealment as well. Never allow for a silhouette against a sky background. This is why you need to use shadows.
In an urban setting try to stay off the beaten path. Cameras are everywhere. Security outside businesses, inside stores and banks, in malls, near ATM's, at intersections, just about everywhere. If you find yourself needing to hide from government entities, avoid large and even small cities. If you must go into these places, try to be aware of cameras and their angles.
Never eat food without water. Keep yourself hydrated as best as you can.
Try to avoid disturbing vegetation that is over knee level. Go around fences and barricades, not over or under. Always observe a road crossing before leaving your concealment area to pass over the road. Use shadows if possible.
If you travel by some form of vehicle, do it alone if possible. Stay off of major roadways. Bikes make for easy, yet undetected movement on smaller weak roadways and trails.
Always stay positive and be prepared to make quick and radical adjustments. Do what you have to do to survive.
These tactics can make a big difference if you ever need to use them. Security is mostly what you you do and how you do it.

Semper Paratus
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