Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Security: Determining Your Own Threat Matrix

I was asked by someone once how much ammo I carry. Seems like an easy enough question doesn’t it? My usual answer is a vague “As much as can carry!” I don’t like compromising my OPSEC so I am usually vague about such questions. But here I can address such information about my loadout. If you’re wondering, the military term “loadout” could be replaced by every day carry items or EDC. I’ve always separated my EDC items from my load out, or guns and ammo. For the sake of this article know that I am referring to loadout as guns and ammo carry. Most people have not put a lot of thought into why they carry what they carry. I asked a friend why he carried two guns? He didn’t have a real answer except that it made him feel more secure. Sometimes that is enough. But I suggest there be some thought into your loadout.
When I was in the military we were never trained to be an individual, but a team. So if you were going into harm’s way you had 3 options: To not go, which is usually not an option, Bring a rifle, and last but not least, Bring friend’s with rifles.
So barring any military operation, determine your threat.
In the military we have threatcons or threat conditions. We actually had a criteria for each threatcon but for the sake of your sanity (it’s impossible REMEMBER all this stuff!), we’ll stick with threatcons as Low, Medium, and High.
Low is what we live in almost always every day. In this threatcon you are only preparing for the off chance something may happen. This is also being in condition Yellow that we’ve talked about in previous posts (See blog Yellow to Orange 3/8/2014).
Medium threat would have to do with location or situation. Going into a known high crime area or an isolated area or even at night might be enough to make the threat medium. This is not a directed threat against you.
High is imminent danger. A direct focused threat of loss of life or limb. You have verifiable evidence of a threat against you. A verbal, written threat through personal encounter, internet, phone, or letter.
There is also one more category of threat, that is without rule of law. WROL is an extreme that we can plan for, but is less likely to happen. That would be one of many things such as a Katrina disaster, a EMP (electromagnetic pulse), an attack by a foreign power, etc.
What exactly do you carry? That all depends on the threatcon. So naturally the loadout is put into three categories like the threatcons. Light, standard, and heavy.
Light is mostly what I carry every day. A Sub-compact, a spare magazine, a tactical knife, a flashlight, and a tactical pen.
Standard would be Light armament with the sub-compact becoming a backup gun to the compact. I will have a spare magazine for both weapons and 50 rounds extra.
Heavy would be the standard but a with 4 additional magazines. And 100 extra rounds.
There is also Extreme heavy which is directly linked to WROL. That would be basically a combat loadout, tac vest, fully loaded. Battle rifle, large fixed blade knife, grenades, which I DO NOT have, but would like to have in this situation. And all the heavy armament with as much ammo as I can carry for each weapon. As I said above, this is a unlikely situation, but plan for it anyway.
Heavy and of course extreme heavy are very hard to conceal. You may conceal part of what you are carrying, but at least make it not so obvious. Sort of like the difference between cover and concealment. Cover is ideal, concealment is sometimes reality.
I have seen these thoughts put down into a graph. I tried it and it’s a good exercise for preparing and planning.
It follows the 3 threatcons and 3 loadouts, minus the extreme and WROL.
It has a graph of 9 squares, 3 columns and 3 rows. On the left of the graph is Loadout, the top is for Threatcons. Then you fill in each square with what you think you should have under each situation. You may end up eliminating some squares, but the graph would give you an idea of where you need to prepare, and maybe even show some holes in your security plan. This will give you a chance to prepare accordingly, and maybe even get resources you may not have now but feel you’ll need later. This is called the Threat Matrix and it’s a good exercise in security prep. This is not my idea but I think it is a good tool use for your security plan.
Semper Paratus
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