TACTICAL TRAINING: Examine Your Combat Power


successfully break contact with the enemy after an IED/EFP strike or RPG hit

We all carry big guns, ride in tricked out armored vehicles, and wear the latest in body armor and gear swag, but it’s all for shit if you’re team can’t produce at the moment of truth. To produce effective results on the ‘X’ takes the refined use of combat power by all those involved – drivers, gunners, and leaders. Everything falls apart in the friction of the moment when you’re under fire and your team has not been effectively trained in the arts of fire and maneuver, and then drilled to the edge of failure on its relative importance to your individual and collective survival.

I am talking from experience. When you are ambushed, the surprise of the moment disorients you, and the confusion of the pitched battle that follows an IED/EFP strike, RPG hit, or other complex attack can only be turned around by a savvy team using their prior training and experience to establish a base of fire, maneuver for effect, and destroy or successfully break contact with the enemy on your own terms not theirs.

Your job as a security contractor is to protect your team mates and those within your charge by all available means within your ROE. Slow things down, observe the scene, get a feel for the terrain and situation, keep your mobility, communicate with others in your element, and finally, place effective fire on your enemy and get the hell out.

This all seems a simple matter until it happens. The fog of war will always be present, but it’s all on you to perform, and that takes guts as well as tested tactics.


No doubt, your enemy runs around with a rusty AK and less than half the shit you carry, but make no mistake, he’s determined to put you in the grave, and then dance around on Al Jezzera News with your helmet and tricked out M4.

Your only way out is to neutralize his effectiveness by observing your enemies position and establishing your fire superiority. This takes leadership and the effective employment of your given tools.

Train your fire on his emplacement as you and your team mates move your clients to safety and maneuver against your would-be attackers; short sustained bursts and accurate fire rule the day. If you have smoke, deploy it as the situation permits.


Don’t get sucked into the ‘X’. Staying static and returning fire is an Alamo moment best used in Comic book Westerns if you have any other choice. The goal is to stay mobile and maneuver against the bad guys. As the saying goes – ‘find em,’ fix them,’ and fuck em’.

Keep mobile in your vehicles and let your turret gunners earn their pay, or debus and maneuver on foot when called for; the first choice is to always remain mobile. You’re a harder target and a more effective threat to those opposing you when on the move.


Team Leaders; if you’ve trained your men right, instilled them with confidence in their tool use, then they will apply themselves to the problem no matter the moment’s friction. However, you still need to take the lead and demonstrate and communicate what is required of them when under fire.

Leadership is decisive. You can have a motivated and trained team shocked into inaction by an ambush. It’s your job to kick start the stalled engine when on the ‘X’ and quickly assess and solve the field problem with the required use of force. Seek any advantage or opportunity that will put the use of force back in your court.

Move, shoot, and communicate, but for God’s sake always LEAD!


I am one of those guys that has never had the answers just lands in his lap so I expect shit to get twisted up fast. When this happens on the ‘X’ you’ve got to keep the momentum of the fight moving forwards and press the enemy in any manner possible.

Remember, Operator confidence is bred though realistic and recent training. Get your guys out there on a down day and push their limits a bit. The pay off will be performance when the lead hornets start flying.

When shit goes wrong, your team will only have three things to directly rely on when in the shit – themselves, their training, and your leadership. Do them the favor of having a higher standard than your enemy.


At some point, you’ll break contact or have achieved a tactical victory due to your proper use of combat power. Don’t even consider the possible alternatives to this – stay focused.

This is now the time to re-evaluate and institute force protection measures, reconsolidate, tend to the injured, assess battle damage, and prepare for the next fight.

Use ‘L.A.C.E.’ as your guide – Liquids, Ammo, Casualties, and Equipment, and sort your men out to continue on your mission prepared for another contact. Field discipline is critical.

Combat power is central to your mission as a Security Contractor. Make sure focus on this function properly when building a team or becoming a part of one.


~Bubba G Editor at Large


Bubba G. is an active protective professional presently performing contract duties in the Middle East and has well over 15 years of military, high risk contracting, international training and martial arts experience.