Editorial RECOIL and OFFGRID On Track Iain Harrison April 1, 2016 Photos courtesy of Firelance Media, Q Concepts, Greenside Training, and David Reeder. As I advised last week (And the Horse We Rode In On), several members of the RECOIL editorial staff will be headed to the field next week. With them will go members of the OFFGRID and CONCEALMENT staff. You could say it's a family affair, but not in a creepy incest way. They'll be going to teach a course, and the roster of attendees promises to be very interesting indeed. Under the auspices of Freddy Osuna's Greenside Training (you've seen or read about Freddy in all our publications) our lads will be teaching a combination Index and Kinetic Tracking course to a number of armed professionals out east, near the nation's capitol. The course — a series of courses, really, followed by many hours of field work — came as a result of difficulties encountered by law enforcement in cases like the hunt for Richard Matt and David Sweat in New York last year, the Eric Frein manhunt previously and the Christopher Dorner manhunt a couple of years before that. When my web editor and some of the freelancers asked for time off to go teach with Freddy I was happy to oblige them. First, they're doing something that will make LEOs and SOF personnel more effective (and lethal) while at the same time increasing their survivability. How many magazines have contributors still actively working with SOF and LE units? Second, maybe with Reeder gone we'll get some damn work done around here. Never fear — Steven Kuo and David Merrill will be minding the shop for the next couple of weeks. You'll be in good, if unsanitary, hands (unless they bollocks it up of course). I've trained with Osuna before (Hunting Humans, issue 9) and the man is as switched on as he is humbly passionate about his craft. While he instructs holistically, nothing he instructs cannot be articulated on the stand or used to quantify actionable intelligence. He is quite literally helping weaponize the human. The skillset is an under appreciated one, often incorrectly viewed as an esoteric craft useful in just a few specific situations. That isn't true. Tracking is an effective tool not just for old Westerns, search and rescue, and courtroom prosecution, it's a significant force multiplier for asymmetrical warfare, counterinsurgency operations (which they've known at the British Jungle Warfare School in Brunei for years) and of course good ole' fashioned manhunts. “Where ever you go, what ever you do, you take something with you and you leave something behind.” Locard’s Principle Track evidence was used to solve the murder of a little girl in Scotland in 1786 and far more recently in the John Allen Muhammad-Lee Boyd Malvo case, as well as a successful investigation into the murder of Joie Armstrong (which led to the closing of several other cases) and of course in the successful interdiction of human- and narcotics-smugglers along the border every day. Training in the art of tracking can be important for the individual, too, even if you live in the middle of the urban sprawl with no intention whatsoever of looking for Batty, Kowalski and Zhora — because it gives you finer appreciation for the nuances of detail. In other words, your situational awareness will be improved — regardless of your profession. “The ability to track is a decided advantage to anyone involved in the bush, either in work or as recreation. It is an even greater advantage to a person stranded in the bush facing a survival situation.” Ron Reid Daly, Pamwe Chete “Footprints are generally not used sufficiently by investigators of crime. Experience is needed… [O]nce the eye has become accustomed to observe minute details a composite picture of interesting facts will stand out very clearly…” Modern Criminal Investigations, Söderman/O’Connell, 1940 Watch for updates about RECOIL and OFFGRID On Track. They'll be posting to social media and giving us word on how their equipment is holding up. They're using some of the best gear available, but you never know how something will handle a malleting until you take it into the ring. You can check out Greenside Training online or on the FaceSpaceInstaTumblebook at “@greenside_training.” He also teaches courses for Alias Training on occasion (schedule here). Can't attend one of Osuna's courses? Attend one taught by one of the other reputable tracking organizations — learn from Jim Grasky (Arizona), Mike Vaught (Oklahoma) or Anthony Winegar (Georgia), if you can contrive to. Look also to Gary Drake at TTOS, Scott-Donelan at SDTS or John Hurth at Tyr. You won't regret it. Reach out to Freddy (Fred(at)GreensideTraining.com) if you want some guidance on reputable instructors. You'll just need to wait a couple weeks to do it. IH @recoilboss Our thanks to US Elite Gear, Salomon, Suunto, Benchmade, Kestrel, SOG, Smith & Bradley Watches, Surefire, Crye Precision, Arcteryx, Arcteryx LEAF, Viking Tactics, Bone Tactical, Camelbak, Triple Aught Design, Uber Group, Ares Gear, Coye Knives, LOWA, Grey Ghost Gear, Vertx Apparel, In God We Must, Archangel Design, Prometheus Design Werx, Dark Angel Medical, UF Pro, Heavy Cover, Vortex Optics, Agilite and others for outfitting the boys — and a big thank you as well to F3 Tactical‘s brick-and-mortar for providing a forward logistical base from which they could operate (@F3Tactical). “The terms ‘Spooring' and ‘Trailing' are used to indicate the art of following the traces of any animal, or to discover what creatures may have lately passed over the ground on which the spoorer is himself walking. This art–for it really deserves the name–is practised chiefly by sportsmen and savages, whilst it is one also that the detective ought to be well acquainted with…Almost every individual has some peculiarity, either in the shape of the feet or in the manner of walking: some turn out the toes more than others, or tread more on the side of the foot than the other, or walk more on the heels; and any one of these peculiarities…will often aid us to individualize a footprint. Captain A. W. Drayson, R.A. (Royal Military Academy Woolrich) St.James Magazine Vol 9 December 1863 “…first in Malaya they innovated by importing Dyak tribesmen as trackers and scouts whose tracking skills helped the counter-insurgency campaign by avoiding ambushes and locating the insurgents for destruction. In particular, in the last two years of the counterinsurgency, a force of 300 Senoi Pr'ak tribesmen was able to track and kill more insurgents than all the rest of the security forces combined…” Robert M. Cassidy (Ph.D.), Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War Explore RECOILweb:AfterSHOT: Reebok Zigkick Tactical BootsPreview - The Guns of American SniperSAIN Defense releases insane cleaning kitDueling Tree Target Stands From Birchwood Casey NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). Click here to get IMMEDIATE ACCESS to a digital PDF of this target pack!