We all make choices in life and those choices always affect the outcome, whether for better or worse. While many of these choices you make are subconscious, there are small conscious choices you can start making that will give you an advantage in those situations you find yourself in that are beyond your control.
I’m specifically talking about the way you interact with locations you visit. While I’ll cover the broad topic, I’m specifically going to discuss choices as simple as where you sit.
This is simple, yet informative post by Bryan at ITS Tactical.
We've talked about casing a site many times in the blog. If you are going to do it, here are a few things to have in mind:
- ALWAYS HAVE A COVER STORY: Don't get caught! (Rule 5)
- Prepare a sketch of the site being cased. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it does have to include the important points: entrances, cameras, windows, where to sit and have a good view, exits, places to hide inside the site and outside, places where a tail can be lost, places where if you're tailing someone can pose potential risks, etc.
- Take pictures of those points and add them next to the sketch.
- Provide a description of the everyday activities, atmospherics: do people walk with cellphones on their ears, do they talk to each other, do they stand, do they cross the street when the light is right or at any time, do they park their cars in order or randomly, do they eat at the bar or they take food to go, etc...
- Provide a list possible places where hasty disguises can be achieved: cafes, bars, gas stations, etc. Take pictures and note the addresses.
- Provide a list of possible choke points: a choke point is a place on the AO (area of operations) that will make the people casing or tailing, very evident. If we are following someone this will be a crossroad when the target can easily spot us. Note those when casing the site.
- Avoid static lookouts. Move and act naturally. Blend in. DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE PLACE OR PERSON.
- If a team is casing the site, divide and case the site in a circle, that way each team member can see the other's weak points and if someone is pulling counter-surveillance.
- If close to a possible hostile, ACT NATURALLY and if needed ask the target for directions or whatever. Be aware that after this you are burned with this target. DO NOT ACT LIKE A ROBOT, i.e. immediately reach for the phone or switch direction...
- 2, 3, 4 or more people on a location not really doing anything is bad. If a full team is casing the site, spread. Keep comms with TOC and with each other.
- If you think you were made, report and go away from the site.
- Keep an eye on faces: Once is an accident; twice is a coincidence; three times is an enemy action. Report (if possible take pics) people you think you saw before.
Practice and be safe.