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Night Land Navigation

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oldsoldier View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30 October 2012 at 5:13pm
Well saturday night I go down to Kansas City to observe a MilSim Airsoft groups night land nav course for leadership training for thier big op in March. The group is a NATO vs Warsaw pact group with equipment from the late 70's to early 90's, so no wizbang GPS, basic map, compass, here is the route and points, initial azimuth...GO.

Now I am hoping not having to 'find' lost troopers as I will be monitoring the wanderings on radio, but the potential is there. My fear is based on some of my expierience with other attempts at MilSim groups who have difficulty navigating in daylight, let alone night, that I will again enjoy the fun of 'experts' telling me how it is done.

I am told this group has a far more serious cadre, so I am hopefull, but night land nav is an art form, we should have good moon so won't be that bad.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rednekk98 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 October 2012 at 9:11pm
Glad to hear you're keeping busy and still teaching. That's a good skill to have. Finding knuckleheads lost in the woods in the dark sucks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evillepaintball Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 October 2012 at 7:37am
Meh. I've had to teach cadets night land nav. As long as they have a good panic azimuth you can just let them come to you. I'm sure you know that already though.
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oldsoldier View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldsoldier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 October 2012 at 8:13am
Basically it is head west come to road, stand there, we will find you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evillepaintball Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 October 2012 at 10:23am
Better take a big van
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The Guy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 October 2012 at 4:46pm
Have them take glowsticks and whistles. Crack the stick, and blow the whistle 3 times if you have an emergency or get lost.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote usafpilot07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 October 2012 at 6:48pm
You need FLIR.
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oldsoldier View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldsoldier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 November 2012 at 4:59pm
Fun weekend. Got to Ft Leonard Wood area, met up with 'the troops'. Observed the pre mission planning, looked at each teams routing and patrol points, and marked it on my map. At 1800 the groups took off and the 'fun' began. Sitting in the radio 'shack' I recieved the SITREP's as the groups moved, and marked the 'bravo sierra' information on my map. Group 1 got lost less than 2K into this, and were totally lost, they would send in thier 'location' and they were no were near there. I did mark on my map based on the terrain and my 'expierience' where each group would get disorientated and possibly lost, and guess what. At 0430 we had to safety ENDEX because group 1 was totally lost, and we had to sent group 2 into the area to find them, they linked up at least 3K from the position group 1 sent as thier current position, based on the terrain, I knew where they would be approximately based on the amount of trails, terrain features, and the tendancy for lost troops to go downhill, and again guess what.

AAR for some reason non of the groups used thier compass as much as required, guess it is the GPS generation, pace counts based on daylight rates rather than adjusted for night (add a minimum of 1/3rd on flat terrain, let alone climbing or decending), and map orientation was pitiful (if no part of your route goes south, why are you traveling on a 180* azimuth?)

Showed them oldschool methods, such as actually using a compass, shooting 'short' azimuths based on routes (trails) on map, and the 10m tree to tree method for pacing. How to use intersection and resection from known objects (prominant hilltops in area) to figure out where you are.

Had fun, next months 'training' is 'patroling', day and night, those who have played with me know what the troops can expect in the form of training on that one, lets see how the MW3 experts handle this exercise.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evillepaintball Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 November 2012 at 5:27pm
Not gonna lie, that sounds like a lot of fun.  The terrain around FLW is kind of difficult if you are new to land nav and insist on dead reckoning everything, especially if you aren't aware of your natural tendency to drift of course around certain terrain features.  It shouldn't have been too hard with teams though.  Have one guy shoot the azimuth and direct the other guy along it out a little ways then leap frog up to him.  If you are even remotely familiar with a compass, it's pretty fail-proof, theoretically.  
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oldsoldier View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldsoldier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 November 2012 at 5:52pm
Just a heads up, night land nav course at the Ranger school is near a 70% NO-GO rate on the first try, even with all the 'training'.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 November 2012 at 6:30pm
Originally posted by oldsoldier oldsoldier wrote:

, and the tendancy for lost troops to go downhill, and again guess what.

I never knew that. Fun fact for the day. I would think to go uphill to get a better vantage.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldsoldier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 November 2012 at 6:36pm
Percieved path of least resistance, regardless of tactical need. At night troops tend to to see what they want to see, not what they actually see and go the easiest route to what they want to see.

And at night 'navigation by consensus' usually does not work.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evillepaintball Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 November 2012 at 12:47pm
Originally posted by The Guy The Guy wrote:

Originally posted by oldsoldier oldsoldier wrote:

, and the tendancy for lost troops to go downhill, and again guess what.

I never knew that. Fun fact for the day. I would think to go uphill to get a better vantage.

In addition to what OS said, you can't see your surroundings as well so you have less perception that you are drifting off course.  Gravity does the rest.  
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