Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

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Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Ryan » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:35 pm

I was playing a game (hold your horses) and it was quite prolonged and intense in operating in close, urban areas. Most engagements were going-out of a building or in the actual urban area mainly on the streets and houses left and right of it, or surroundings of the small town. Infact it was a mixture of the initial phase being a prolonged and 'preparatory' or 'weakening' attack to take out the main brunt of the enemies defences before moving in. This actually included us destroying high and very well strategic houses they could use, as well as manned ones. :P

We entered and cleared a number of buildings from which we shot out of and moved onto the next, sometimes observing the enemy as they came for our building and ambushing them within doorways or as they approached. The 40mm's they got hold of didn't do much good to us, taking out walls and destroying some of our force holed-up in a few buildings. We took out their main firing points and isolated them to set areas, but with house-to-house fighting in it's best, it wasn't long before we were within the area with not enough men for a cordon so they could come from literally anywhere.

But on one occasion I went in, the 2nd man held the outside as we were in heavy enemy territory and this position looked 'green' to us, as in very unlikely for an enemy to be in and with no need for a 'red entry' - a preparatory grenade to be used - instead we chose the green route, to clear with small arms. It was just a single story, bungalow-type house with literally two rooms of which had no doors but small half-wall's to left and an open initial room to the right with a very small space in the very right hand corner to fit one man. On the approach, after coming from the rear of the building and assessing it's shape, we could see through the main window into the first room and everything was clear except for the small portion to the right (Estimated around 10% of the room compared with the main factor - the half wall and left side). So imagine it as virtually square in shape with a center-fed front door, to the left was a half-wall leading to a small room (2x3m) and to the right was the main room (larger room but only by a meter or two) with the right hard corner having a very small space of which to fit inside. So almost square with the bottom right corner pretruding outwards and downwards allowing a small space for someone to fit (like a small box within a box). It had no ladders to go to a roof and no major openings, only a minimal amount of windows, most of which were very small and did not provide good arcs of fire, hence the reason we thought it wouldn't be used by the enemy.

As I came in I swept to the left, clearing the half-wall and considering it clear I shouted 'clear' for my side. As I turned into the rest of the room to go back out the front and only door (as we wanted to just clear out rear as we and a possible defence position being that building as we conducted further operations and the main covered area was with the half-wall so if that was clear I considered the main threat to be clear) there was an enemy in the corner neatly tucked into the very small portion, of which from the initial shock (after a prolonged experience of having no contact and being sneaky, but hearing it and fulwell knowing there was some heavy fighting) I jumped. The term people say 'jump out of your skin', that kind of moment, I started engaging as he did and we both shot eachother dead (we both had 7.62 weapons and hit centre mass). That millisecond delay may have got an extra round out or got me going prone.

I notice also they must go through (especially if inexperienced in it or literally shocked) that initial shock. And I notice that when you begin to fire, their brain then automatically triggers to fire back, even though you may get the round off earlier you can expect some flak back.

How do you control this? Especially if it was low-light, with an enemy closer or simply appeared to appear out of nowhere, behind furniture or within a wardrobe, or within the light of your weapons shining onto them. Some people say hold your breath, others say expect an enemy in each corner, others say expect the unexpected and go with it. What are your opinions? If we were talking about a known-assault taking place with known enemy it would be completely different as you would expect, prepare and be psych'ed for it, direct action or deliberate, but with an unknown threat area of which you have to confirm I think you react differently.
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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Admin » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:45 pm

Training, training and training
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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Ryan » Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:14 am

What kind of training as we're talking about with prolonged operations with unknowns everywhere?

Clearing around 40+ houses with multiple squads (definitely not enough manpower). Lots of action then suddenly calm amongst the storm.
I'm sure a natural reaction would happen, and would be hard to develop through training as we're talking about on the go, against a human-mind constantly for multiple hours, but I'm sure a second time around would be much easier to control and engage.
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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by jimothy_183 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:53 am

Admin is right, it is a simple matter of training.

Train until you reach stage 4.

Infantry operations may seem chatoic and disorderly to an outsider (which it is to a certain degree in reality) but a lot of the actions they take are actually closely ordered drills that they have been trained on relentlessly prior to the real deal.

They train until they have been mentally conditioned and have attained muscle memory.

This is what they teach in martial arts and other combat type schools in general.

The object of self defence is to train so that you can react to a threat without thinking about it.

When know you are about to be attacked most people, even if they are trained will think "oh my god, oh my god, I'm going to get stabbed" but if they trained well they will still react with some sort of counter measure without thinking about it.

Whereas someone who is untrained will get that deer in the headlights look and do nothing because they have frozen.

Train hard, fight easy, or as the samurai used to say "Tomorrows battle is won by todays practice".



Going on from an online gamer's point of view, the amount of hours that you can get together with a team quite simply isn't enough. From what I can gather, even military reservists will get more hours in training.
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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Ryan » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:52 am

So learn to subconsciously expect (by preparation) it to happen, as to doing the drill of which you've trained upon many times before?

Of course, talking of prolonged exposure to such a high-risk, and stress, environment would definitely wear you down but training would help push these boundaries but the bodies reactions when face-to-face, how to train for? More force-on-force training? Out of the blue surprises? More prolonged, high-stress operations? More training on recognition? What type of training? And training and combat (reality) are completely different in my opinion as nothing goes in formal order and not normally 'routine', at least not as prolonged as we were doing in such a time limit with low manpower and the reality of it all hits home, as some people say you can get to 99% in training and that extra 1% of reality can push you over the limits and are vastly different. Some say, when talking of pressures and stresses, 100% in training, 110% in combat and we were representing true chaos with human versus human, mind versus mind, so it's hard to get any harder and you can't change the atmosphere to such realistic heights.

It wasn't incompetence, I functioned properly during a natural moment of shock, traumatic shock and tension, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat_stress_reaction, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_%28psychological%29) as Andy Mcnab says in the documentary below, and got a round-off before the other guy who full-well expected me and had some matter of early warning to me coming to be in a defensive position within the room.

Turning that initial fear into another emotion sounds like a plan, anger being a good one for such close combat. And recognition then focusing would help mould it into productivity, e.g. see out of the corner of your eye, put 1 and 1 together, turn and do the drill. Even if you were wrong you were prepared, and could easily stop the drill once recognition kicked in from focusing. Plans to combating it are just important to training in it.

Probably a main reason for relaxation exercises, like Snipers are taught in high-stress shoots, and moments of preparation before a set action/task.

Because talking of going house-to-house for lots of buildings without struggle or surprise can change mindest slightly, we were hitting some enemy in their backyard and houses and I was completely fine then, it just caught me off guard. As many units have found out, including RAR in Afghan, clearing a village and it took them so long doing it properly they ended up getting one or two men just running ahead instead, checking initally for no enemy and running back, imagine what kind of fear factor would kick in if sudden rounds burst out a closet. I must admit if you were stacked properly, and to the rear or at least not front of the stack, if rounds went off you could be initially shocked but training would kick in and you could do it, at the front of the stack you'd have to be in that mindset straight away as one stutter would take you out. And of course with combat indicators you could prepare, but there wasn't any - it was the last place you'd expect the enemy. A lot of soldiers say 'It kicks in', 'Shit it's on, it's really on' or 'It brings it home' when similar events happen. A few soldiers also talk of in similar events silly things coming to mind, and motivational things coming to mind like family, wifes, kids and things.

I think it's more a process of: prior-preparation or on-the-job preparation -> recognition -> initial shock and state of mind -> drills run through head -> automatically do the drills which come to mind or skip and instinctively do. Of course to get to a phase of: recognition -> instinctive, is all about training but that doesn't mean you won't be shocked or have a natural feeling run through the body. Because not every initial drill will be the correct one for the situation, e.g. with a minimised target you can't just fire, you have to aim your weapon where you believe it's going to hit the guy then fire, so it's like an extra phase going into it with some experiences. And because in a simple operation of 'hit this building' you'd be prepared or psych'ed, but in a operation saying this is 8 hours long (to days long), hit all these buildings one by one, well then different story. The initial wave of fire is the shock, everything after that is normality in that situation, it's changing your readiness and alertness level I think. I also think the factor of 'this is clear' or 'this is complete' and suddenly you find out it isn't has something to do with it also. I full-well prepared to take fire on entry, and after being in the room for a few seconds without being shot at, at such close quarters than that anticipation was lost.

And can you really train for initial shock (uncontrollable, natural) in an environment that is so dynamic and not parallel. I mean if you clear your side of the room and turn inwards to your partners side who is not there and see an enemy pointing one back at you, you'd have that shock impact (like when your heart jumps) and still do the drill even with the initial shock. Some scientists have linked it to your central nervous system, and the heart actually sending a message to the brain, they actually tried linking the heart to be apart of your central nervous system as well as your circulatory system and are doing on-going studies with stress and shock factors.

As with other face-to-face scenarios as case studies, they all relatively shit themself in the same fashion, look at David Bellavia, and do the drill they are meant to do. I mean I got rounds off, centre mass, that was with an M110, 7.62 but the initial jump can throw you slightly off as the drills flood your head in what to do and the motor action kicks in. Anyways, lessons learnt, good learning experience to say the least! React, and react quickly with no hesitation. You don't think right or wrong, you react to the fire.

I think anytime it would happen again it would happen differently due to past exposure.

Good doco on basically the same factors at such close combat:

I'm sure there are similar videos out there, and from books I have read, similar events make the brain fuzz-up! Talk about fog of war.

On conclusion I do believe the same tactics could be used against the enemy to create such intimidation and thought of the unknown or last thing to expect. I'm sure that's one of the reasons of surpressive fire, to weaken the state of mind as well as keep heads down, though contineous fire will cause this to be neglected through experience of it and getting over initial factors and prelonged exposure will just get you used to it in that moment. Now if that means it will get you used to it in other moments to come over a set time period then cool, but I think it would soon wear off but the initial exposure to it again after that wearing off period would allow the brain to kick in easier given past experience.
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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by jimothy_183 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:29 pm

Read The Cooper Color Code.

Go to page 7 of this book and begin reading from the paragraph that starts "To do this, you must develop an escalating state of alertness...".

This will also be of interest, mainly for its reaction drills such as "react to contact".
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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Ryan » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:47 am

Thanks a lot. :) Now to use it.
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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Ryan » Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:46 am

What are good ways to SIMULATE the type of shock, fear factors seen in reality? E.g. Places like OPSGear do a mixture of loud noises (simulated explosions and gunshots), strobe lights, all kinds of things.
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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by jimothy_183 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:04 am

A new article relevant to this thread.
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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Ryan » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:40 am

jimothy_183 wrote:A new article relevant to this thread.
Nice find.


Here's a good video too. They have some good videos on this kind of thing. Definitely good mental preparation videos.
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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Ryan » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:16 am

I looked more into perceptual distortions (tunnel vision, blur, confusion) within high intensity environments, deffo a good read for all those interested. More below...
Last edited by Ryan on Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Ryan » Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:48 am

I've read into this quite a bit and watched a few videos. Pre-operation mindset and assurity is most important. During the battle you just have to adjust. It happened in Black Hawk Down to a few of the Rangers (some new, some veteran to battle), and in many other battles - so did shaking with fear or even hysterical blindness. Delta talked about it a bit. Interesting none the less because training doesn't offer death - the real world offers death as the biggest contra you'll ever face. And if you do jump, shake, break-down then you have to be prepared to get yourself back up or re-gain control. It's a case of inner-self, attributes and being aligned.

Mental preparation is a big deal, and one that can't be over-emphasized. It's a shame it isn't considered enough. If you think about it... tactical consciousness and tactics themself are a mental preparation for combat and facing someone who could kill you.

I was also watching a video by an ex-Navy Seal who talked about the facepaint they used to wear. It wasn't just for camouflage, it was for contact. It was to scare the living crap out of people (funny because that's what happened in my first post, he was wearing skull-like facepaint, representing a non-human).

What do you guys think to creating fear and shock factors?
Facepaint, flashbangs, loud noises, unusual noises, loud music, darkness.
I mean I've even heard about the British SAS (in a documentary) in their Black Kit - why black? All black, quite gothic, are you going to a funeral? No. It's partly the psychological fight, creating fear, anxiety, awe. The glamorous image of the Black Knights!?

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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Ryan » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:32 am



These documentaries have a great deal to do with this topic.
Up to a 1/4 of soldiers piss themselves on contact say some reports. I even remember the Generation Kill (GK) scene where they make the journalist buy them adult diapers from the PX (Post Exchange).
Only 25% of soldiers in WW2 shot to kill say others.
Getting the shakes is common of occurrence.
The jump or startle (which I've learnt to ride!).
Legs feel heavy.
Feeling of wanting to curl up as distress signals go nuts.
Wanting to flee; survival instinct kicks in.
Brain freeze, helmet fire.
Distortion of time.
Fear breeding paranoia.

Are you a sociopath, a psychopath? Was the question asked.
The capacity for violence and the absence of empathy.
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"Anyone with a weapon is just as deadly as the next person."
"Unopposed CQB is always a success, if you wanted you could moonwalk into the room holding a Pepsi."

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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Dramatikk » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:03 pm

Ryan wrote:I mean I've even heard about the British SAS (in a documentary) in their Black Kit - why black? All black, quite gothic, are you going to a funeral? No. It's partly the psychological fight, creating fear, anxiety, awe.
ALL ENTRY TEAM MEMBERS SHOULD BE DRESSED THE SAME FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT ON SUSPECT.
Why? When they all look the same it gets harder do keep the count on how many they are because of the so-called "Gang Effect":
Remember, once a person sees more than four people at one time, her unconscious mind defines that number as lots, or a crowd. How intimidating it is, then, for someone to walk into a room with anything more than four people in it: “Oh, no, a gang!”
Also, when they all have their faces disguised both eyes and mouth, they can not directly express feelings and this way they seem less human so negotiation also seems less possible. Why do you think they make zombies in the movies have white eyes? This is to make them "soul less".

And, why the color black?
Black can be seen as the color of authority and seriousness.
Anyone else got a comment on this matter?

Kind regards, Dramatikk. :)

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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by jimothy_183 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:53 am

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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Ryan » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:29 am

Haha, pretty much. Fear creator, no face, no name, no soul.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-25/v ... _138609420
2:00
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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by tangosvk » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:33 am

you cant prepare for this things only with training, it is impossible.
for example, you are a young medic, and you are serving in ambulance car, before that time, you had a lot of training, but no real action.
you are going to your first car crash accident, there is a big panic, dead bodies, screaming, dying hard bleeding women, your hands are shaking, your heart beats faster, you have a lot of adrenaline in veins, there is a kid in car and in dark only with flashlight you have to find his cut off head in the corn field. that happens to my friend. after few year....on car crash site. he is working like robot, no emotions, no adrenaline, no fear, no useless moves, he knows what to do, how to be efective, that is no way of training, that is way of real expiriences, only reality is the best teacher.
for operators it is the same, you can shoot to paper targets, or with FX to real oponents, or whatever, on action, this is diferent.
a lot of actions can make from you efective fearless warrior. someone need only 10 actions to absorbe all of this stress, someone needs 20. but one day if he has good eligibility he will be good fighter.
on your first action everything is going too fast, realy too fast, everybody is moving faster, you feel it like that, but after few actions the time is slowing down.
and you have more time for thinking, if you are moving in building, you see more corners, you see more details, you feel your buddies near of you, you are hearing more things, you are prepared to win that fight. you have skills. it is all about tactic. and what is tactic? what does it means? tactic is an optimal utilization of power and resources for reaching the task. nothing more. I red here on forum something about POD point of dominance...that is nothing more like an optimal utilization of power and resources for reaching the task.

and i see here something about black colour. in warfare something could help something not. black is better like pink. in one point of combat skills it doesnt metter for me what colour you are wearing, green, black, blue, I am adapted to flashbangs, to tear gas, to pain. so black boys are only black for me. nothing more.
but....for not trained person like me as well, panic of action is so big they are lost their memory in this time, after acion a will ask them, what do you remember, and he with shits full of his paints, shaking, told me I do not remember nothing...action for him was so quick and stress so big too, he forget his date of birth. but for me time goes slow, I saw everything, remember everything, because I am adapted, Adapted by actions.

better like black colour is dark OD green. in low light conditions, in the night if you want. there si no night too dark for black colour, there are stars, moon, lights from buildings. to 15-20m is better to wear OD green, for father doesnt metter if it is OD green or black. if the persons are in black you will see siluets easier like in OD green simply said
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t.

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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Ryan » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:54 am

Nice Tango.

What do people thing of adrenaline dumps/rushes and the freeze? I've heard of people freezing up pre-entry only to be pushed in or to the back of the stack.


17:53.

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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Ryan » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:16 am

"The key to managing that fear, especially for those who operate under extreme stress on a near-daily basis, is to acknowledge it, says Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a retired West Point psychology professor".

People in highly stressful situations can experience profound and disturbing physical and mental effects, Grossman says, such as:

Vision — Loss of near and peripheral vision and depth perception. The eyes revert to what Grossman calls the "default survival position."

Hearing — Even loud sounds like that of gunfire may seem muted or are not heard at all.

Movement — Loss of bowel and bladder control. Loss of fine motor control, which can be marked by shaking, and complex motor control. Remaining calm is crucial for personnel such as bomb technicians or military pilots. "If our pilots lose one iota of fine motor control skill on a close approach ... we're all having a bad day," Grossman says.

Thought — A slowed sense of perception and time. People may literally become scared out of their wits as blood drains from the forebrain. This leaves the midbrain, which Grossman calls "the part of your brain that's the same as your dog," as dominant.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... d=92644050
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Re: Controlling Shock/Fear Factors

Post by Ryan » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:58 pm


Flinch. Stress reaction.
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