Monday, March 24, 2014

Know Your Enemy: Part 2

As a follow on to last weeks post, I have been browsing the internet looking for more information about the situation in Ukraine. This led me on a couple directions. First I'll cover some observations of Russian "Spetznaz" units, then onto some photos from Ukraine.


Spetznaz, specifically what is known to be Alpha group. Alfa/Alpha is stated to be the Russian equivalent of both US Army's CAG, US Navy's SEALs and FBI HRT.

Interesting observations over the last year or two have shown that Spetznaz units have been copying what high end US units do for equipment. This might be done by watching videos and looking at photos of US guys, or it could be some hands on observations in conflict zones. Even though the Soviet Bear is still a threat to the US, we also face a common threat, Al Queda and similar groups. I'm sure lessons learned in fighting the Chechens were passed from the Russians to the West at some point, officially or not.

It was interesting to see photos and video that Larry Vickers collected during his trip to Russia in 2013. He met with some FSB Alfa members and documented the trip for his show, TacTV. The show footage is available on the TacTV site. Also posted both on his Facebook page and his Training coordinator - Alias Training - site were the following photos.

Larry Vickers in the middle, Alfa members on the right. 
Note the HSGI Tacos, Multicam Gear and Crye Precision styled uniforms. Overall a very American SOF appearance. 

Russian AK-105
Note the Magpul products, Aimpoint T-1, PEQ-15, Surefire Raid and use of BUIS.

Glock 17's:
Noe the "Hackathorn" style sights, Skateboard tape for one handed racking of slide, Crimson Trace Laser Grip, Surefire X300's and most noticeable, the IFF tape on the slide. 

 Also located on line after searching around where some photos of purported Spetznaz members from "FSB Grad" with some very Multicam looking uniforms in the Crye Style. Also of note was the Ops Core rails on the American style helmets. Seen on at least one was a fighting setup AR-15 as well. 

Ukraine/Crimea situation:
As mentioned in part 1, Spetznaz types were seen all over in the invasion/non-invasion of Crimea. Most of the non flagged Russian soldiers wore the latest in Russian uniform's and gear but these guys were seen in the midst of the assaults over the past week to seize Ukranian bases in Crimea. 

Multi terrain styled uniforms and non standard gear:

So what can we learn from studying the enemy? What they are doing is studying the west. Remember that no matter your profession, the enemy is studying you. Wether its the Russians, local Gang Banger with a hit on you, a street mugger, etc, they are studying you. Some would even argue that those of us who run blogs, post on forums, etc are aiding the enemy, but the fact is the enemy will get the info no matter what. Do you want the good guys to get the info as well? Keep OPSEC in mind and don't disclose things that must be truly kept hush hush.

Be observant of suspicious behavior no matter where you work, live or patrol. The US is a open target and full of soft targets of critical infrastructure. Drug Cartels from south of the border are the number one threat and most likely to either launch an attack on the US, or allow a AQ affiliated group in. These attacks will most likely be initiated by the same type of tactics as seen by the Russian units in Georgia, Crimea and elsewhere.

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