Do You Own The Night?

Alot of people with night vision will answer yes to that question but would the same people answer yes if they didn’t have NODS?

Being able to operate at night W/O NODS is mandatory for a small group. You could easily loose or break your delicate electronic night vision devices and then what? Do you give up on your mission because you don’t have them? Hell no you don’t! You should already be skilled at night fighting and continue the mission.

The first thing you must do is get over the fear of the dark. I mean the real dark in the wilderness all alone. One thing you need to start doing now as an individual is go out into whatever wilderness you have around you and spend an hour alone in complete darkness. Let your eyes adjust to the darkness. Sit and listen. Enjoy the sounds. Embrace the darkness. The darkness is a small groups best friend. It covers your movement into and out of an area. It covers your activities in said areas.

Once you have gotten over your fear of the darkness its time to work on getting your group over the fear of being in the dark. The best way to get over the fear is to face it. Take your group out and do a bit of patrolling on a moonless night in an open area. Do not allow them to bring flashlights or NODS. They need to become comfortable in the dark with thier team. They need to see they CAN operate fully in the dark. It may be a bit slower and they may fall a few times but it is doable.

After you have your group comfortable enough in the darkness its time to start working on night movement drills.

First off you need to know how to walk silently. You will need to practice this in the day.

Now that you have moving silently down it’s time to get out in the dark.

The fist exercise is a stalking exercise. Start with a buddy team (2 man team) 50 yds from anyone else.. The stalker will move 25 yds away from the victim and then try to stalk back as close as possible without being heard. The victim will have a hand full off pebbles. The victim will throw the pebbles in the direction of the stalker noise. If the stalker is hit he starts over again. After doing this for 10 minutes the roles are reverse. Everyone in the group needs to run this exercise. Note the guys who were able to get the closest to the victim.

Next is we setup two listening posts 50 yds apart with two people in each post. We then have one person at a time try to move between the two without being heard. If the stalker is heard they have to start over. Rotate through the whole group.

After that exercise you need to see how to approach someone whose eyes haven’t adjusted to the night yet. Take two or three guys from your group and have them setup a camp fire or a bright lantern. They don’t have to do much other than hang around the light and patrol around the light some. If there is a vehicle with them have the stalkers individually sneak in and get the value stems off the vehicle without getting caught while also trying to retain their night vision. If no vehicle have them move around the edge of the light in the shadows without getting caught.

Finally we will divide the whole group into two teams. In a marked of area of approximately 2×2 acres we have one team start on one side and one team start on the other. They patrol the area trying to avoid detection by the other team. If one team detects the other team they quietly goto the prone and let the team pass. Once the team is buy they get up and continue patrolling. Do this for two hrs.

These are things that HAVE to be learned in the field! Reading and watching videos with not teach you the art of night fighting. Put your night vision away, get your group, and get out in the dark.

Then you will actually own the night!

One thought on “Do You Own The Night?

  1. Great Post! 50% of your training should be at night, which is a tall order for most, so make use of these long winter nights! Also need to address target acquisition / engagement and signals. Both of which change quite a bit when going from day light to low light.

    Liked by 1 person

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