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Thank you! I just took out a paid subscription with the following note:

You are innovating decentralized intelligence and training so that every person can defend his family, his community and his unit regardless of whether or not the ‘officials’ are focused on their well-being. As we learn from Oct 7 every community must be prepared to defend itself independently of the government. May G-d Al-mighty bless you.

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That is really kind of you to day. Toda.

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Thank you for helping fighters stay alive with your posts. I am proud to support you on substack.

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The title might make it hard to share. I tried sharing it with someone in the IDF, and it looks like I am rubbing his nose in a Hamas attack because the subtitle does not come through. Just an FYI. Chances are, Israelis are going to have to learn the hard way. People learn through two means: Painful experience or abusive teaching that also constitutes a painful experience. Very few people want to learn before the pain.

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Agreed. It'll have to be a "honcho" of some sort who sees this, and wants to get his name on the Big Boss's radar by seeming "forward thinking".

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I am one of those rare things. Retired US Army Special Forces and Jewish. And I mean JEWISH. I also went through my SF Q course with an Israeli Paratroop Company commander who had just come from the invasion on Lebanon in 1984. My take from him was that no matter how much pride they had to swallow in order to admit they were doing something wrong and, that reversing course would save soldiers lives, they would do it. Thank you so much for this analysis and I feel it will get through to the right leaders. Israeli commanders DO listen to suggestions from bottom up so to speak. I also feel that knowing the mindset of these guys that the analysis and subsequent changes to how far to the rear, front line dispersement and movement procedures have already been ordered and done. But just in case I feel its vitally important that your message be pushed though to them.

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Nov 2, 2023Liked by Ryan McBeth

Years ago (too many) I was an OPFOR dismount on rotation to the NTC. My Scout platoon was supplementing an infantry unit who didn't have enough Joes for their required number and we filled them out for 30 days at NTC (in actuality it was a chance to see how the OPFOR worked for our next Blue rotation six months later).

On the subject of the turret moving for #5.

We were on a dismounted pre-dawn assault mission, stuck about 500 meters from a line of M1s in our last covered and concealed position trying to work out how to approach closer to use our Vipers when my PSG (also my former Tank PSG in the Cav Troop) said, "Sir, listen!"

It only took a minute or two, and we were both laughing out loud, causing the Infantry CO to come forward to see what the ruckus was about.

We explained - the accumulators weren't going off for the line of M1s, meaning the turrets weren't turning,... which after 14 days of operations, they were all dead asleep. And 20 minutes later, they were all kills - all 14 of them.

Which prompted me to come up with our mantra for the Scout Platoon - "A thermal sight is only as good as the man asleep behind it".

1987 - A Troop, 15th Cavalry $1.97th Brigade.

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Something that’s been bothering me about these drones is why don’t they jam them? They’re commercial off the shelf units that operate on known, very specific frequencies. It seems like it should be pretty straightforward to deny them the areas that troops are in.

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It’s a lot easier said than done since you have to jam a pretty big spectrum. I also think that if you have line of sight and you can create an Omni directional antenna back to the source, you might be able to overcome the jamming. But I am at my limits of signals ability here and it’s a little outside my wheelhouse.

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What about having drones that can detect the signal being transmitted by the enemy drone operator. Locate where the operator is and drop a 155 on them.

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That makes sense. I know next to nothing about that stuff and I didn’t think Russia being unable to counter Ukrainian drones was a good analog here considering their technological performance of late. I know I very nearly lost my DJI drone to interference at one point because I accidentally flew it too close to a 5G cell tower so it made me curious about the combat applications.

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"jamming" a radio signal means that your signal has to be so great in strength that it overwhelms the other signal so that it doesn't work. You could also transmit noise but digital transmitter receivers are pretty good and ignoring that. It would be almost impossible to do this well across a wide radio spectrum because of the size of the equipment you would need, specifically the antenna, amplifier, and giant generator to run the jammer. You would then create an EXCELLENT target that anyone in the area could easily triangulate the MASSIVE radio signal coming out of a MASSIVE antenna.

Instead of jamming though, you could work on the specific frequencies and requests that drones are expecting and bombard the airways with that at random bursts. I don't know if that would work with how drones handshake the controller, but I would assume you might have more success with that approach.

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That's true if you are trying to jam a well-engineered jam resistant radio system and even then you can only reduce the bit rate (ideally below what they need for the application see the noisy channel theorem).

However, if the concern isn't million dollar American defense products but cheap drones made using commercial kit it's almost certainly quite doable. Whether you want to call it jamming or exploiting/obstructing the protocol used by the drone is a matter of terminology -- but it takes time to work out exactly what works against each threat and you'd need to have soldiers equipped with software defined radios so they could push out new jamming updates.

But they really should have those already if for no other reason than to detect nearby drone transmissions.

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Looks like the soldiers were trained to move in different directions after the explosion. I think in the futre when soldiers stop in areas like this. They will have to put up some type of parabolic anntena to gather sound. You may not see it but maybe you could be alerted to the sound of the drone. Great video and goid explantion Ryan, keep it up!

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I wonder if those small drones give off any heat signature at all? I could imagine small IR "radars" beibg used to protect assembly areas, or even vehicle mounted systems...just something that would scan say a 750-1000ft radius... IR would be passive, wouldn't give off a signature so wouldn't attract attention of enemy sensors....probably not practical but maybe someday

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founding

Yes, SkyNet. Combat Drones are a Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). Or at least they ay they have been used since Feb 22 and in the Armenia and Azeri conflict. Hopefully our guys are paying attention.

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Nov 3, 2023·edited Nov 3, 2023

I had various incarnations of my military career. Way, way, way back in the day, I went from being a proud 11B to a 16P Chaparral SHORAD ADA crewman. If it flies it dies, ya know? So of course, we constantly were thinking of the air threat. We'd look for aircraft avenues of approach. When we were in convoy, say in a M151 Jeep, the CSM had all the soft tops removed, so we could see and engage aircraft. We practiced of course with designated ADA weaons, which for us were Stingers, Vulcans, and my beloved Chaparrals. And we practiced small arms fire against aircraft, using tactics my Viet Nam era NCOs had learned from North Viet Namese, having a group of people, aiming ahead of an aircraft, basically making a ball of lead for it to run into, which the North Viet Namese used successfully against US aircraft, particularly helicopters. The only "drones" back then, were the targets, the styrofoam airplans and missiles, called "BATS" we shot at. But we constantly had an airguard, both on the move and at the halt. For me later in Bosnia and Iraq, back in the Infantry role, for whatever reason, I think mostly because we thought we owned the skies, the air guard concept had gone away. You make a good point, it needs to come back. We need to be agile, adapt our tactics. Glad you are looking at this Ryan.

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Hi Ryan, Roger your last ... BUT

We routinely drive our soldiers to dig in. We are exhorted to continue digging until we have a '9 storey building with a marble forecourt.'

We are trained to dig 2 man trenches, limiting the effect of 152mm on a position.

We ALWAYS have a air sentry out (though he usually doubles as NBC sentry). But, in UK service, we have NO Low Level Air Defence capability organically. The Wehrmacht were better protected than us!

We too suffer from the "Mounted is Armoured and Armoured is good" thing.

I hope your comments drive open discussion and that the Chain of Command studies the tactical level stuff, like this, before we need to face it next!!

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You could probably make a bunch of money and help your country alot by creating a portable system that detects drones flying high.

I don't think it would be that technically difficult using ML and a high resolution image sensor. You could probably do the computation with a phone sized device -- mounting the camera might be a bit more effort but certainly doable on a vehicle.

It's never going to detect a reaper up at 30,000 feet but could be effective at this kind of threat.

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Israel pandering to Russia has caused tragic comeuppance. It’s late to ask Ukraine for helpful exchanges but I expect this is happening now.

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Israel's got a thin line to walk. About 1/6th of their population is Russian.

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You nailed it. At one point Isreal had more Russian missile designers than Russia as they emigrated by faking Jewish lineage.

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Drones have really changed the rules of the game. Even just being able to see what's around the corner or behind the hedge is huge. Being able to attack at arms length is even more of a huge step forward. I think the IDF may still underestimate the opposition, despite the drubbing given to them in 2006. That 'she'll be right, mate' attitude (the Aussie version) reminds me of something one of my sergeants was fond of saying... "complacency will get you killed, son." So will hubris and arrogance and when you've been the biggest dog in the neighbourhood for decades it's easy to ignore the scabby mongrel pack creeping up on you.

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Do you think this threat will encourage the US military to transition all soldiers to default on headset radios for platoon/squad/etc communication?

I mean it seems like the best way to discourage soldiers from gathering to plan or socialize is to give them the kind of headset communication standard in onljne video games (tho with multiple channels, encryption, capability for relayed transmission etc). But when I look online if seems like the standard is still walkie talkie style radios.

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What's needed is an iPhone app to watch the sky and listen for drones.

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Thank you for the great analysis. Iranian drones seem to be striking our troops in Syria pretty frequently these days. I am not sure if our troops have any anti-drone technical capabilities.

Any dog trainers out there? My terrier has great hearing, could a dog be trained to hear the drones as a stop gap until something better comes along??? Just a wild assed guess / wishful thinking.

After a quick search, I ran across this:

Drone Presence Detection by the Drone’s RF Communication To cite this article: Huan Lv et al 2021 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 1738 012044.

And this:

Drone communication protocols usually use the same frequency bands used for WiFi transmissions, particularly in the 2.400–2.483 GHz and 5.725–5.825 GHz. A drone equipped with a camera usually transmits a video stream to its control unit through the same wireless channel.

Now depending on how much WiFi is in the area might present a problem.

I'm sure that people much smarter than me have been looking at this problem.

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