Ambushed. Who's The Hero? – Readyman

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Ambushed. Who's The Hero?

Posted on September 22 2019

Ok, we just finished the ReadyMan challenge that we dubbed “The Ambush”.  We had a total blast over the last couple of days with a dozen ReadyMen from all over the United States.  They all linked up at the Homestead on Friday evening to begin a weekend of learning the fine art of emplacing and conducting ambushes.   



Jeff Kirkham, Wali Tasleem, and Josh Brooks were all on hand to help teach, mentor and critique the students as they went through multiple force-on-force scenarios using the IR Tactical System ReadyMan is pioneering.  The IR Tactical System registers a “hit” during force-on-force training and administers a jolt of electricity ( a shock) to the person to let them know they’ve been hit.



As background, the instructors who teaching the course are a mainstay in the ReadyMan challenge and are some of the most experienced and tactically sound instructors available.  It’s with great pride that they focus their teaching time and training with “regular folks” because those people are the heartbeat of America!


Just in case you don’t know:

  • Jeff is the one of the authors of the Amazon best seller “Black Autumn” and also a 28 year Green Beret with numerous combat tours.
  • Wali was a commander with the Afghan Special Forces and participated in combat operations for over 15 years.
  • Josh was an infantry Marine for 8 years with several war tours and has a deep understanding of small unit tactics.


So, who is the indisputable champion of the ReadyMan challenge?

You wont believe it but it was a ……. radio!


Yep! The winner of the challenge was the BaoFeng multi channel variable power two-way radio.


During the weekend of scenarios, the students learned that communication is paramount during an operation and getting real time intelligence is incredibly important.  The only way to do that in the dark or while the force is spread out over a mountain is to have reliable radios that have enough accessories to make it tactically possible. 


The BAUFENG is an incredible powerful radio in a small affordable package.  Up to 8 watts of power with scanner function let you monitor as well as reach out and talk to people.  You have to hurry though; these are going off the market soon due to the government not liking the power that these little radios have. You can grab one HERE.


The BAOFENG radio has a plethora of accessories so you can use it in multiple scenarios.


We found that you definitely need an earpiece and microphone.  This allows you to talk without having to hold the radio to your mouth, which is critical in a tactical situation. You can find these HERE.


So there you have it.  If you are putting your emergency preparation plan together or you want to get out in the woods and train with your community, don’t forget the commo.  This weekend we proved that this, is the way to go: GET COMMS


You just can’t beat it for the versatility, power and PRICE.  It is set at a price that just about anyone can afford.  But hurry, because Uncle Sam is banning this model at the end of October.  Something about too much power!






  • Randy: February 05, 2022

    As a ham, we have BaoFeng’s that we have to give to the other guy, we don’t use them. I want good quality radios for good quality comms, the BaoFeng’s are not very frequency stable and can and do cause a lot of headaches and interference, especially in narrow band use and repeaters. I would rather have the enemy have them than a group I was supporting. I am an Extra Class Ham, a ComL, and work in emergency communications at a 911 center as one of two radio techs. Just my opinion though. I would however love to attend one of these training events.

  • wxcSyvQtmoBUAVpP: November 15, 2019


  • EezIviRsgnUF: November 15, 2019


  • William Littrell: September 29, 2019

    It shows that the radios are out of stock. You can get them cheap through and

  • Charles Christopher: September 27, 2019

    Just want to throw some additional info into this discussion. I have allways thought the BaoFeng’s claim to fame really seems to be price. Maybe I have missed something?

    If we open up the price range there are additional benefits to consider. I have an “old” Kenwood TH-F6A (out of production). I say old because it is a very old “analog” design but I purchased it at a time when most radios were digital, analog has benefits (which I will skip for now). But its frequency range and sensitivity are remarkable, which is why it was produced for so long. What I am about to point out is generally true of the new “digital” radios as well.

    First, most radios are a single design and single internal software for distribution throughout the world. To reduce expense, there are internal parts that, when removed, extends the radio’s frequency range. It IS legal to make this modification, how you use the radio after the mod is another matter. These parts are installed to make the radio’s frequencies match the country it is shipped to. These mods are not for everyone, but I think the crew around here probably has at least one friend that is good with a soldering iron, and the mods are very easy to find on the internet.

    If you purchase a radio made by Yaesu, Icom or Kenwood, you should have a high quality and rugged radio. Look at the specifications carefully and you will find some, like the Kenwood TH-F6A, can receive any frequency from AM radio to 1 GHz (sorry for the geek speak). You do need an antenna (hunk of wire really) that somewhat matches the frequency. This means on these radios, just type in most frequencies you are likely to want to listen to and you will be able to (the radio will auto select the right modulation for you). The Kenwood TH-F6A also contains the unique antenna used to receive AM radio, thus making it a great general purpose emergency radio. I am sure there are some modern designs that have the same features.

    So to sum up, the better ham radios don’t need any programming and are capable of working on GMRS, perhaps a mod is needed but maybe not depending on the radio. The BaoFeng’s have to be programmed, the better ham radios already can work on most frequencies. The better ham radios are a little more work to learn as they do have more features. I think the BaoFeng may have a little more simplicity of use, but that’s not clear to me after having watched a friend use his.

    I recently had someone email me about the BaoFeng and concern of them no longer being available. I have had my Ham license for almost 40 years now. Modding radios, and doing things like are done with the BaoFeng also shows up in Yaesu, Icom or Kenwood and I don’t think their radios are going away anytime soon.

    My bigger concern is kids today experience remarkable connectivity via cell phones without understanding the benefits Ham Radio provides. I think the bigger concern will be a ham radio market that gets so small that ham radio itself might disappear from lack of interest. The manufacturers just can’t justify the development and production costs for so few customers. But in the mean time, their devices are going to be as general purpose as possible (receive any frequency, transmit on frequencies outside Ham bands) to preserve the market are long as possible.

    BTW, 30 years ago I had a friend up a 100’ tower and dropped his Icom radio. It landed on tower’s concrete pad. When he got down he found the radio and the battery that it ejected. He put the battery in the radio and it worked just fine and never had any issues. He got lucky, but just makes the point that the big three do put a lot into making their radios, very rugged, and they have decades of experiance doing just that. So also don’t be afraid to pickup one of these on ebay to reduce the cost.


  • Ed: September 23, 2019

    Mandy, You are basically correct. The BaoFeng is a HAM radio and you do need a license to use it legally. But there is an alternative. You can use a GMRS radio. Many of the walkie-talkies that you find at the Big Box stores are GMRS. Most are low power with very limited range. But BaoFeng’s US affiliate, Btech, distributes what is probably the best GMRS handheld on the market. It’s the Btech GMRS-V1, about $50 on Amazon. The transmit power is about 4 watts, which is typical for handheld HAM radios. It supports all the GMRS frequencies. It even supports Repeater operation. A Repeater is a more powerful base station that can retransmit your signal over a much wider area. While your range with the handheld may be limited to 2-3 miles based on terrain, a Repeater can extend that range to 20 – 30 miles. The downside is that there aren’t that many GMRS repeaters available to the general public. Our small town has a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), groups of civilians who have received some training and are willing to help out if something happens. The CERT teams have standardized on the Btech GMRS radio and the town has put up a Repeater that gives us wide-area communications. GMRS radios still require a license, but it’s a simple matter of filing an online application with the FCC and paying a $70 fee for a license that covers up to 5 radios (I believe) and is good for 10 years. These radios should work for your whole family.

  • Amanda: September 23, 2019

    Hi guys! Had a couple of questions. Before I ask them though I need you to understand that my husband is a 100% disabled Marine. I tell you that because I’m now having to handle EVERYTHING. Sooo my questions may be a bit …stupid. LOL.
    I read what you said in above article about communication during an ambush situation and it being so very important. My question is you were saying how very useful the BaoFeng multi-channel variable power two-way radio was to your excerise. I did a little “light” research on the device. This is actually a small HAM radio, correct? With that said, one would have to have a HAM license in talk on it, correct? So this would not be a device for if I’m hunting, to communicate with a hunting partner on, (unless both of us had a HAM license)? Or if SHTF scenario, for our 10 year old daughter and I to communicate on if we were separated? Another words, these aren’t just some high powered walkie-talkies. So in your scenario, assuming that not everyone had their HAM license, most were using these to just know what was going on around them, in the general vicinity of their own location, not for two-way communications?
    Thank you for your response.
    Mandy (Amanda)

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