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I'm the author of four books: Warrior SOS, The Work of Death, Together Forever, and Leaders Wanted. I'm in the doc film Please Remove Your Shoes. I've blogged for The Washington Times, and I write for Guns.com. I've worked for the high-profile U.S.-led Roadmap to Mideast Peace in Israel and Palestine. I've also worked as a SWAT team leader, a Federal Air Marshal and a sole-source training instructor on a classified contract with a U.S. government customer. My master's degree is in Military Studies and terrorism. I'm a former noncommissioned and commissioned Army officer, with service in Iraq. I've been Scuba diving and skydiving; I have trained with members of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team, and I'm an FBI-trained crisis negotiator. My interests lie in helping others and in strengthening America through inspiring moral courage, government fiscal responsibility and accountability, and maintaining principles that have made--and will continue to make--the United States of America a blessed and prosperous country. I'm a father of six, a husband, and a police officer. I reside in Utah, and I'm a Mormon. See also https://jeffreydenning.wordpress.com.

October 26, 2010

Ambush! A Professional Guide to Preparing & Preventing Ambushes

Warrior SOS wishes to thank Mark Monday for his extensive research and skill in helping warriors for many years, and for sending us this article. Keep up the great work!


Lt. Col. Joshua Potter first read the 1994 edition of Killing Zone: A Professional’s Guide to Preparing and Preventing Ambushes by Gary Stubblefield and Mark Monday in 1998 while attending the Special Forces Detachment Officers Qualification Course (the “Q Course,” to earn his green beret). The book was part of his unofficial curriculum of training, and his instructor used excerpts from it to teach important lessons learned from the ambush in the Philippines that resulted in the death of a heroic figure in the Special Operations community—Colonel Nick Rowe.

During the same course, he watched the movie Black Hawk Down (based on Mark Bowden’s best-selling book of the same name) in the auditorium at Fort Bragg, along with many of the survivors of the Battle of Mogadishu and Bowden himself to rate the film’s accuracy. Noticing his instructor sitting through the movie with a copy of Killing Zone (which contained a case study of the Somalia firefight) in his lap, Potter asked him, “Why don’t you have a copy of Bowden’s book with you?”

“Brevity,” he replied.

What the instructor was acknowledging, and what Potter soon came to appreciate, was that Killing Zone contained a sophisticated understanding of ambush, antiambush, and counterambush TTPs (tactics, techniques, and procedures) in a concise, readable format that was unavailable anywhere else in the military training community.

Potter carefully studied Killing Zone after that, and he used its valuable lessons and insights during three subsequent combat tours in Iraq. But in the back of his mind, he knew a revised and updated edition was in order—one that would cover new adversary tactics, technological assets, and targets that had emerged since the book’s publication.

In 2008, Potter, now a lieutenant colonel, had a chance meeting with Mark Monday at a Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) event, which focused on identifying training gaps in our nation’s understanding of complex operations and irregular warfare. During a subsequent discussion shortly thereafter, they agreed that many of the conditions under which ambushes occur in today’s areas of conflict had changed (while acknowledging that several had remained constant). They also reflected that these conflict areas were now shared with law-enforcement personnel, private security contractors, humanitarian organizations, relief agencies, and common citizens.

As a consequence, they began discussing the need to bring Killing Zone up to date. Gary Stubblefield eagerly agreed, and the hard work began to meld Lieutenant Colonel Potter’s combat experience in Iraq—along with contributions from dozens of veterans of combat in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other war zones around the world—with the proven instruction in the original book.

The result, Ambush! is already being hailed by military professionals as a vital training tool. In a prepublication review, security expert and CIA veteran David Allen writes:
“Effective ambush is always easier for the savvy attacker to implement than it is for the defender to successfully prevent or repel. And while it may not always be possible to mount a perfect ambush or to defend perfectly against a well-executed attack, knowledge is indeed power. It is this improved knowledge and direct combat experience that Lt. Col. Potter brings to this new book. Such knowledge used in training our warfighters has the potential to convey powerful lessons that can save the lives of our soldiers and civilians who serve us all in defense of our nation’s freedom.”

In his foreword to Ambush!, former secretary of the navy Richard Danzig writes:

“Readers of these pages will realize that the authors have given them the gift of a rich history of ambush; that detailed, subtle, and sometimes varying lessons can be drawn from that history; that nowhere else has this history been compiled and systematically analyzed; and that he who masters the history and analysis gains power.”

Lieutenant Colonel Potter is currently serving on his fourth combat tour of Iraq. Stay tuned for word of how Ambush! is being used today to train troops in the ever-evolving art and science of ambush, antiambush, and counterambush.


To read amazing interviews with warriors, check out Warrior SOS: Interviews, Insights and Inspiration, the book on Amazon.com. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D3WO7VK

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