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The American Wars:Rural Towns and Gangs Collide

The American Wars: Rural Towns and Gangs Collide
by Sam Coffman, U.S. Special Forces Green Beret, Survival Instructor,
© 2013
Continued Below ...
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by Sam Coffman.

Part 3 -- "Rural Towns and Gangs Collide"

Before Farrell could make it all the way to the meeting location in the center of town, he heard yelling off to his right. Expecting the worst again, he broke into a sprint, the butt of his AR-15 cradled into his shoulder, barrel pointed down finger on the trigger guard and safety off. As he rounded the first corner he immediately saw the cause of the commotion.

A young girl, probably in her late teens, was being gently escorted toward the makeshift "clinic" they had set up -- in the back of which Farrell had made his temporary sleeping quarters.

The girl was pretty and athletic looking, with long dark hair.

However, what a person would undoubtedly notice first was the dried blood on her arms, her face and legs. The freshest wound on her appeared to be on her forehead, as she had a trickle of blood running down the side of her face which Jon Hammer from the council was futilely trying to place a bandage over as she brushed him aside.

"I need to talk to someone now about what's coming!" She shouted, stumbling back toward the center of town with 2 men trying to catch and steady her.

From Bad to Worse

Farrell caught up to the young woman in 3 strides as he switched the safety back on his AR. He allowed the rifle to hang by its sling so that he had both hands free and gently steered her by the shoulders to face him.

"Miss, my name's Farrell, I'm a medic and one of the folks in charge of security for this town." He told her gently, looking directly into her eyes.

"Why don't you let me clean up your scrapes while you tell me whatever it is that you need to tell me, and I promise we will listen to every word you have to say."

He steered her toward the town center where he knew there was a first aid kit as he and several other townspeople listened to the flow of information starting to come from this frightened young woman.

Kidnap and Escape

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"I'm from Gardner," she started. "My name is Tamara and I was kidnapped by a biker gang."

She continued as they walked. "I managed to escape about 5 hours ago while they were getting ready to attack your town. Did they already do that?" Her voice raised a notch as she looked around surprised.

Farrell nodded. "We did have some visitors."

Tamara shook her head, "How many? I'm not talking about a few. They said they'd send out a few first to see how you'd all react, but they are all planning on taking over this town. They want this place. They said it is the best location anywhere within 100 miles to stay at least for the winter."

Farrell looked up. Tom and Jeff had been standing on the other side of the girl and he was so engrossed in what she was saying he hadn't noticed them arriving. They nodded to each other and Farrell touched Tamara lightly on the shoulder again, motioning her to sit down on the bench as he grabbed the first aid kit they had stored in a covered supply cabinet at the center of town.

"I'd like to find out everything you know about the attack," he said as he opened the first aid kit to tend to her wounds.

Planning a Defense

Once the girl's story had been told, detailing what she knew was supposed to happen and when, they had one of the women from the town, Sheila, take her back to her house to feed her and give her some much-needed rest.

Meanwhile, Farrell and the rest of his team sat in a semi-circle, across from the "council" -- a core group of 5 town leaders. Farrell's team -- Tom, Jeff and John -- from his former U.S. Special Forces days, were all veterans of numerous wars and conflicts even prior to the "collapse" of the United States which had happened over a year earlier.

As experienced veterans, they hadn't waited around for Farrell's direction on what needed to happen in order for them to be able to sit and have a meeting when they had just been attacked.

Earlier, before Tamara had shown up, Jeff had walked the 8 best shooters -- four teams of 2 each -- to the high ground on both sides of the valley north and south of town, and placed them into positions that were concealed and covered from possible enemy fire. Each team of two had a shooter and a security/watcher. Fortunately they had plenty of optics, both in the form of rifle-mounted scopes as well as binoculars. They didn't let any of the teams take their spotting scopes and high-value binoculars, as that wasn't necessary. They only needed the security teams to be in place for about 4 hours while Farrell's team and the council came to an agreement on what priorities they needed to fulfill over the next few days.

Now, Jeff relayed to everyone what had happened while he was setting his LP/OP's and shooting positions into place.

Jeff's Story: Spotting the Scout

It was while placing a team on hilltop 1 -- overlooking the southwest end of town and the bridge that had been used during the attack -- that Jeff had seen what he assumed was another biker. The biker scout was on the far side of the river, approximately 600 meters to the south, and was already making his (or her) way into a small draw that was too protected for Jeff to get off any kind of accurate shot.

Besides, he couldn't be absolutely sure that was what this person was doing, and the last thing he wanted to do was to wound or kill someone who was either unconnected from the last attack (even though he was reasonably sure they were involved with the gang), or even worse, shoot someone who had relatives or another community nearby, and start a small war between towns or create hostility with a family that might be living outside the town -- as unlikely as that situation would be.

Don't Assume Everyone is an Enemy

Nonetheless, Jeff had come to learn over the last year that you couldn't always just assume everyone was an enemy and start shooting as a way to solve every problem. Doing so was a good way to end up in a situation that could turn out very badly or make enemies you couldn't afford to make. In a world without emergency rooms, any fight could be a bad fight for all parties involved.

However, based off the fact that this person had been watching them, the only safe assumption to make was that the attack had been a probe. A probe could be a real attack with its own specific goal (as this one had probably been) or a fake attack or distraction, to watch and see how the group being attacked would respond.

In this way, a probe was generally a good way to determine firepower, defensive tactics and most importantly organization and communication of a group of people you might want to attack. Whether the motorcycle gang had been expecting organized resistance or not, Jeff didn't think they'd be so fortunate the next time. Jeff motioned his two security people to sit behind some cover and instructed them to watch the draw that they'd seen the (likely) scout disappear into. He then found himself a decent place to observe from with his 8 x 42 binoculars.

Finding Cover, Sitting Still and Watching from the Military Crest of the Hill

After about 10 minutes, he picked up some movement while scanning with the binoculars and signaled the others. One of them -- a 25 year old named Jake, had also just seen the movement. They watched the retreating figure, approximately 1000 meters distant, make his or her way down to the road that led southwest out of the river valley.

A few minutes later, the very faint sound of an engine could be heard driving off. Jeff waited 20 more minutes before leaving the security team in place. He had thoroughly briefed them on the areas he wanted them to scan and watch, and what their procedure was to be if anyone approached the town. They were the southern overwatch over the bridge (which had been barricaded), and were to fire a warning shot at any person who approached the bridge.

If they approached by vehicle, he was to wait until one or more exited the vehicle before firing the shot. Once he fired the shot, he had an immediate secondary location to switch to. The second person on the security team, Allison, was also one of their better marksmen in the training they had started.

She was initially tasked as the team security -- paying attention to all of the areas that Jake was not covering, to include their flanks and of course rear security. They were below the crest of the hilltop, using the "military crest" in order to not profile themselves, and they had found a location where cover was decent from anyone who might be able to sneak around behind them and crest the hilltop from the north.

The approach from the north was steep and slippery, and would be difficult for anyone to sneak down. Between those factors, and the various cover that they had between granite boulders, as well as concealment from scrub oak and mountain mahogany bushes, Jeff felt that they had an extremely good firing position set up for the south side of the valley. Nobody would be able to approach them during the daytime.

Strategies and Tactics

Now Jeff, Farrell, Tom and John sat across from the town council. The information from Jeff and the story from Tamara gave them all a lot to think about.

"Do you think she's a plant or for real?" Tom asked the group.

Farrell counted to 5 slowly, giving everyone else a chance to answer. When nobody did, he cleared his throat and said, "I'd like to assume she's for real but I'm not going to assume anything."

Most of the rest of the group nodded.

"The main question is," Farrell continued, "does it really change what we'd do anyway or not?" He stood. "Basically she told us that they're planning on attacking from the south, with a force of approximately 40 bikers, standard small arms, some explosives and homemade mortars."

"Now, we know there is no easy way for them to approach using the road to the north. It would take them at least a full day's drive to loop around that way, the valley is way too narrow to be easily approachable if we hold the high ground, and we are almost finished with the barriers that make anything but an approach on foot impossible."

Jeff looked up and spoke. "Skirmish team."

Farrell nodded. "Yes, that's more likely. Send a small team in on foot or ATVs to harass and distract us before the main force hits, assuming they attack from any other direction but the south at all. Nonetheless, it is critical that we hold high ground and observe all approach corridors by foot or vehicle. What I'm most concerned with is Tamara's information that they have about a dozen ATVs."

ATV Defense

Farrell continued, "Let's put up some clotheslines along every ATV approach. Offset them, about 4 or 5 per approachable valley track. There's really only about 3 side valleys they can come in at if they're not on foot." He pointed to the map, "Here, here and here."

Farrell looked at Tom. "Tom, can you take a team and get those valleys all set up for any All Terrain Visitors?" Tom smiled. "I'd love to. I'm going to use the wire we have in the tool shed behind the clinic. There's several hundred feet, some even barbed. I need at least 3 helpers to make this go fast. I also need to take the Dodge diesel truck, since I'll be using a little bit of fuel for this if we want these up fast." Farrell nodded.

Ambush Alley -- Explosives and Diesel

"OK Jeff." Farrell rolled up the maps they had been using to discuss the defensive strategies. "If you can take the front end loader, a small team and set up the ambush corridors along the main approach, John can start working on the explosives and diversions."

John nodded. He not only had dynamite and blasting caps, but also had diesel, metal barrels and several bags of ammonium nitrate.

The first order of business was to make sure that all motorcycle traffic would be forced to slow down. To accomplish this, John mapped out the most likely high-speed straightaway within ½ mile of the south side of the bridge. He had Roy -- one of the townsfolk that he brought with him -- use their small backhoe to create a narrow but deep trench along both sides of the road for about 50 meters to ensure that there was no place for a motorcycle to detour along the side of the road.

Booby trap

They then spread diesel and used motor oil across the asphalt. Finally, at the starting end of the diesel, John strung tan-colored military spec paracord across the road. Because of the background color of the rocks and cliffs, the tan color was the most difficult to see out of the colors he had brought along. Using a trucker's hitch, John was able to get a very strong tension on the cord that stretched between a tree and a telephone pole on either side of the road. He gauged the line to be just above the average handlebar height. Too low to duck under quickly and high enough to not catch on anything unless they had a faring, in which case it would still provide considerable problems for the motorcycle rider.

After placing 2 lines and the diesel/oil mixture on the road, John and his crew moved back closer to the bridge. There were already barriers that would cause the bikers to have to dismount and walk, but John wanted to make sure he planted the explosives where everyone would be most likely to bunch up.

Under the Bridge

They had already dug a 2 foot trench, approximately 3 feet wide, about 20 feet south of the bridge. There was some road trash lying around, and John and his team gathered more of it, throwing tires, metal and other scrap into piles nearer to the bridge.

Inside two of those piles on either side of the road, John placed two bags each of diesel soaked ammonium nitrate into the metal 55-gallon drums after running detonation cord around each. John then placed a blasting cap onto the det cord and placed some metal scrap into the barrel along with everything else. He had already drilled a hole in the back of the barrel to run the detonation wires out the back, and had about 100 feet of wire which took the detonator down under the bridge in a safe location if it had to be manually detonated.

After double checking all of their work and reinforcing any obstacles that needed reinforcing, they walked back across the bridge into town, feeling satisfied that the approach from the south was going to be a slow and very costly one for the motorcycle gang.

Shots from Hilltop 1

They had just made it across the bridge when suddenly a shot rang out from Hilltop 1. John heard the bullet ricochet off the bridge behind him as he dove for cover. He turned to yell for the other 3 people on his team to get to cover, and saw the chest of the youngest of his helpers -- a 16 year old boy named Alex -- explode outward in a pink mist. Alex looked at him with a puzzled expression as he fell forward, dead before he hit the ground.

Continue to Part 4 (Conclusion): The American Wars: Biker Wars: The Final Battle...

"How to Fight and Survive the Coming American Wars" puts real life tactics of U.S. Special Forces to work in an "After the Collapse" scenario. Learn tactics for armed warfare and defensive strategy by following these fictional scenarios. In a dangerous land, you don't have to be a sitting duck. Check back in the coming days for part 4. Subscribe to the Crisis Newsletter and we'll let you know when it's posted."

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