Ten Paths to Operational Enhancement……continued

Part Two

I’ve been training professionals for over 20 years and throughout that time I have reached the conclusion that what individuals, teams and “Units” want more than anything is a training solution that offers them an enhanced capability. A capability that will allow them to function and therefore operate more efficiently! They don’t ask me to lighten their loads, offer them an “easy” way to achieve their mission or even a way that will allow them additional time with their family and loved ones…although this last one would be pretty neat! What they want is a skill-set, gem of knowledge, way or path to make them even better at what they do! Well here it is, and you’ll be pleased to hear, there is no magic involved…..Do the “Basics” well, all the time, every time whether you’re deploying on a mission or just on to a training exercise!


Major Dean A Williams MBE Royal Marines Commandos (Ret) Founding Director and Chief Instructor

In no particular order a further 5 ‘path’s’ that when followed and practiced regularly, will lead to improved and enhanced mission performance:

6.         Navigation. Navigate everywhere and don’t rely on your GPS. Global Positioning Systems have become an undeniable asset and certainly should not be forsaken however, learn how to really read a map and understand how to read the contours marked on that map. You need to have the confidence in your map reading ability to “feel” the terrain under your feet! I once had a 5 man team of “Premier” SOF come through our school. We reminded them of the need to navigate, at all times, through the use of map, compass and pacing along with GPS ‘confirmation’. The team leader replied thanks but “no thanks” as “we” have the latest up to date “you can’t bend it” GPS in the world! Four hours after aviation insertion dropped the “Team” into triple canopy rainforest, these exceptional Operators were totally disorientated and “misplaced”. They had relied on technology for too long and forsaken the “Basics”. After a substantial amount of eating large slices of “humble pie” they agreed to re-learn the use of compass, azimuths and crucially pacing (see point number 7) – the “Basics”


Fig 1 Don’t be reliant on GPS, check and confirm with Map and Compass

7.         Pace, everywhere – Ask yourself this question. How many paces do you walk in ten yards or even 100 yards? How many paces with tactical vest and plate armour, with a full bergan/load on your back, along the flat, uphill, downhill, when running, by day and at night? Have a means of recording your paces – pace counter attached to weapon (remember point 3), or pacing beads attached to your non dominant hand side of your webbing riser. With a little “training” pacing can prove an accurate way to measure your distance traveled and will ensure that you know exactly where you are at all times!

ImageFig 2. No visible landmarks, pacing is a must!

8.         Trash/Discardables. What goes in with you – comes out with you! Don’t bury it, burn it or hide it! Information gained from trash by your adversary can be phenomenal, and can include, time that you buried it and therefore, through a time and distance study an assessment of your current position, nationality of unit, type, ethnicity, numbers, professionalism, information or need for resupply…the list is endless.

9.         Stealth and Deception. Always use deception tactics. The Russians have a word for stealth “Khitrost”, this heading was and still is included into every set of operational orders, it was included for a very good reason. Through the use of stealth you achieve deception. Learn how to Anti-Track and minimise your signature both physical and electronic. Study deception and the techniques to successfully implement it until it becomes second nature – think out of the box!


Fig 3. Use Stealth and Deception on every operation.

 10.       Train – don’t practice. What’s the difference I hear you say? All the practising in the world isn’t doing you any good if you’re practising the wrong things! You must simulate what you’re required to do on operations in as many varied scenarios as possible. Discover what you’re weakest in and train yourself in that aspect the most. There’s little benefit, if any, in constantly repeating the things that we are already proficient at, just because it’s easy, or we enjoy that feeling of self gratification. Get out there and start “training” in the component that you are “not” good at and reap the rewards!


Fig 4.”Train Hard in order to Fight Hard”

Dean Williams spent 26 years serving in the British Royal Marine Commandos in a myriad of specialist units, serving at every rank from Marine to Major and with experience in the commercial training sector, he is the visionary behind PENCARI’s development. PENCARI means ‘Searcher or Seeker’ in Bahasa Malay. It was while serving in Borneo in SE Asia, initially as the Training Officer and then the Officer Commanding the UK Military’s Jungle Warfare and Combat Tracking School that Dean recognised the need for an intelligent and focused training delivery organisation that continually ‘seeks’ and strives for the very latest techniques in training design, concept and delivery.

Through the partnering of some incredible Associates, PENCARI have established a world leading team of subject matter experts capable of delivering the very best bespoke defence and security training unrivaled and unmatched by its competitors.

 Providing Bespoke Training Solutions in order to prepare Today’s Specialists for Tomorrow’s Uncertainties 

For further information regarding PENCARI’s Training services please contact them: info@pencari-training.com

Website: www.pencari-training.com

PENCARI – Offensive Exploitation Training for Contemporary Operations

“The ‘color change’ was obvious, the ‘regularity’ more subtle. A change in the Operators position, placing the ‘Sign’[1] between himself and the sun increased the amount of ‘contained shadow’ created by the ‘emplacers’ footwear. Another shift of position and the disturbed soil created by the burying of the pressure plate was clear to see. Within seconds the Ground Penetrating Radar confirmed the presence of a low metal content Improvised Explosive Device (IED)”.


CIED Sign Awareness ( CIED SA) is a derivative of Combat Tracking – the ability to actively follow and pursue a Quarry or Target in order to gain information or close with and interdict! It has enhanced the ability of both military and law enforcement personnel to identify the visual and in some instances non visual (scent, audio even ‘6th sense) ‘action indicators’ associated to/with an IED placement. Fused with the considerable technological advances made in detection and surveillance equipment over the last eleven years it is now proven to increase both our Military and our Law Enforcement Officers survivability by 70-80%!

So, are CIED Sign Awareness and Combat Tracking (CT) purely a defensive ‘Force Protection’ capability therefore only suited to the realms of a ‘Defeat the Device’ concept? Or is there scope to offensively utilise CT as an Information Exploitation (IX) asset enabling active Follow and Pursuit style operations and therefore truly ‘Attacking the Network’, whatever that ‘Network’ may be? PENCARI[2] have been working towards a fresh and updated version of what is widely termed ‘Awareness Training’, and have actively encouraged the fusing of technology to enhance what is ultimately a low level yet undeniably crucial tactical skill-set.

The PENCARI Combat Tracking Information Exploitation or CTIX as it is more widely known, is successful in ‘Training the Force’ to both identify and subsequently exploit any area of insurgent or criminal activity including IED, Ambush Sites, LUP’s and Distribution Points (to name a few). CTIX is multi faceted and works hand in hand with technology such as Ground Penetrating Radar, C-IED Metal detectors, UAV’s and other ISTAR[3] assets such as handheld and vehicle mounted optics, cameras and even thermal devices. It is not however reliant on any of this technology for its successful application and therefore does not add additional weight to the Operator (Military or Law Enforcer) in the form of extra equipment. CTIX is enhanced training and knowledge that weighs nothing yet delivers a punch in the form of valuable ‘immediate use intelligence’ negating any sacrifice for speed of manoeuvre, imperative to our already over burdened and heavily laden troops.


CTIX is suitable for all environments and weather conditions, not every ISTAR asset can make this claim. Climatic and geographic problems such as cloud cover or triple canopy rainforest is not susceptible to Satellite or UAS penetration. In a close country tropical environment Combat Trackers can and will be a primary source of intelligence along with both HUMINT[4] and EW[5]. After listening to our clients needs, PENCARI have enhanced their training adding fresh impetus and focus on ‘mobile IX’ training. Looking for and positively identifying Sign from an elevated position while moving at speed is very different to that of a foot patrol or an EOD Operator making a slow and methodical approach towards an IED.

The multi environment approach to PENCARI’s training recognises that future contingency style operations may take our forces into the jungles of West Africa or the arid desert regions of the Sub Sahara. With current and future conflicts revolving around and at times entering into population centres the urban environment is not forgotten. A portion of each CTIX is dedicated to operating within this hazardous environment, factoring on both Force Protection and Information Exploitation alike.

The Law Enforcement and the Commercial Security Sector, especially the Oil and Gas industry recognise CTIX as a valuable force multiplier. The US Border Patrol have employed Tracking and various exploitation techniques successfully for many years both as a means of identifying cross border incursions and also along with other assets, to actively pursue and interdict illegals. The UK Police and other European based Forensic Agencies are increasingly using the skills associated with the CTIX to prevent and decrease the escalation of metal theft from critical infrastructure such as the National Rail Networks and critical communication hubs.

“The Tracker moved stealthily along the ‘trackline’, every few feet confirming his quarries ‘Sign’. He could clearly identify where the emplacer had squatted, while resting and smoked a cigarette, the sign was becoming fresher, they were gaining on this guy and he didn’t even know it! Now that the insurgent’s direction was established additional assets were being brought to bear on his path of flight. A UAV was already flying along the search ‘cone’. The real-time video feed linked back to an Operations Room ready to launch an interdiction force, by vehicle or aviation means. For the CTIX trained operators the result was inevitable……”

[1] Sign – Any evidence of change to the natural environment created by Man, Animal or Machinery.

[2] PENCARI – meaning ‘Seeker or Searcher’ in Bahasa Malay, many of PENCARI’s Instructors are ex UK and UKSF Instructors who taught at the UK Military’s Combat Tracking School based in Brunei, SE Asia.

[3] ISTAR – Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance.

[4] HUMINT – Human Intelligence.

[5] EW – Electronic Warfare.

PENCARI deliver bespoke training solutions to both Military and Law Enforcement professionals ‘worldwide’. For further information concerning the CTIX and other training contact PENCARI Defence and Security at: info@pencari-training.com  or alternatively visit their website: www.pencari-training.com

P.I.G. Saddle from Shadow Tech LLC

Another great addition from our friends at Shadow Tech. These guys also brought us the PIG Saddle’s big brother, the HOG Saddle.


Shadow Tech, LLC describes their P.I.G. (Professionally Instructed Gunman) Saddle as the AK-47 version of their popular HOG Saddle, in that it’s just as durable and reliable as its older brother, but at roughly a third of the cost. It’s constructed from steel with superior corrosion resistance and uses UV resistant pads – specifically engineered to absorb rifle recoil and reduce muzzle jump. The heavy duty torque knob is made from polymer and the P.I.G. features steel 1/4-20 mounting threads and 3/8-16 back up threads.

Welcome to PENCARI Training


We would like to welcome you to PENCARI Training’s blog page. Here you will find exciting news, views and information on everything from our latest training package to new and ground breaking techniques and ways in which you can enhance your own training. It doesn’t matter if you are from a Military, Law Enforcement, Commercial background or one of our growing numbers of “Individual” followers there will be something among these pages for you.


Please bear with us while we start to build our blog and make it an interesting place that you will wish to return to and share with your friends and colleagues. In the meantime take a look at some photos from one of our highly successful CIED Sign Awareness training packages. We recently delivered this proven life saving training on behalf of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to our friends in the Kenyan Military. We know that they will put it to excellent use.


So make sure that you make PENCARI’s blog a place to visit while you have your first cup of morning coffee and catch up on what’s new and happening.