Going on the Offensive: Basic Counter-Attack Considerations

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Editor’s Note: This article was generously contributed by Orlando Wilson. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today!

There may be situations if you are trained and armed when you will have to take aggressive action and counter-attack those who are attacking you.  For example, an ambush that does not kill all those in the kill zone or just disables your vehicles, to get out of the kill zone you may have to attack the ambush party. An attack on a residence where access has been gained by the attackers, the residents or security team must clear any attackers from the residence.  An attack on a shopping mall or hotel where you may be visiting or staying and aggressive action would be required to evacuate the location.

This is very basic information and can help you establish your own procedures if you are in a situation where you have the capabilities for counter-attack options. This is based on basic procedures for close protection teams and can be adapted to most situations.

Note: You cannot learn the skills required for this by reading a book or this document, you have to learn to shoot and train tactically for these tasks. This section can help you establish your procedures; you won’t become a Ninja by reading this!

There are three fundamental elements to aggressive actions:

  • Speed
  • Surprise
  • Aggression

For your action to be successful you must have at least two of the above elements

Mobile counter-attack

The conventional military response to an ambush is to attack the ambush.  In most cases an individual or small security team would not be able to attack an ambush, for to do so would leave a client or family members without close protection when the need is greatest. Also an individual or two-man security team would not usually have the weapons or ammunition to do so to perform and assault.


The best means of attacking an ambush is to use a separate security team not responsible for the client’s immediate protection. The counter attack team should consist of people who have received training in small unit tactics and have sufficient firepower to deal with all threats.  It should consist of not less than two people, in one vehicle. The counter attack team follows the client’s vehicle at a distance so that it will not become caught in an ambush on the client’s vehicle but close enough to be able to an attack the ambush quickly.  The distances the team will have to be from the client will vary due to terrain, traffic etc.  The protective surveillance team/personnel can be trained and used as the counter attack team.

Actions on a terrorist ambush by immediate close protection personnel:

  • Return fire
  • Drop smoke
  • Cover Client’s vehicle and attempt to break out.
  • Send contact report

When counter attack begins:

  • Give covering fire.
  • Remove Client from the killing zone to a safe location.

If the opportunity arises to escape before counter attack team takes action and never endanger the client because of your concern for the counter attack team.

Actions on a terrorist ambush by Counter Attack Team:

  • Move to killing zone at best speed
  • Use lights and siren for distractions
  • Debus and attack ambush or drive at ambush.
  • Do not hesitate. Fast, aggressive action is vital.
  • If Client has been extricated, do not attack ambush but cover move to safe house.
  • Weapons. Maximum use must be made of automatic weapons, grenades and CS gas etc.


Counter-attack on buildings

A counter attack on a building must be mounted quickly; the longer the delay, the more time the attackers will have to fortify their positions. A counter attack plan must be made and, if possible, practiced.

The counter attack team should consist of at least two people, but not more than five; i.e. a team leader and two pairs. The team leader needs as much information as possible on the situation in the building.  This could be obtained from civilians, locations security team, staff by the use of radios or cell/mobile phones or social media.

The information required includes:

  • The number “of attackers.
  • The description of the attackers.
  • Method of entry
  • Types of weapons and equipment used by the attackers
  • Location of the client
  • Physical state of the client
  • Location of any family or household staff
  • Overall casualties

Methods of Entry

  • If restricted by protective measures use same entry point as attackers but only as a last resort
  • Enter by stealth whenever possible.
  • Enter at the roof or top floor whenever possible.
  • Early contingency planning to identify possible means of entry.
  • Secure the entry point.


Room Clearing

  • Work in pairs.
  • Clear the door.
  • On entering the room IDENTIFY targets before engaging with fire.
  • Check all hiding places.
  • When room is clear, secure and lock the door if possible.


  • Control will be difficult.
  • Clear the building progressively; room by room, floor by floor.
  • Stairs.  Once taken, stairs must be held.
  • Use fire and Maneuver
  • Avoid confrontation with other team members.
  • Avoid being silhouetted or illuminated
  • Use natural and locations lights to your own advantage.
  • Use sound to disorientate the attackers: 1) Alarms. 2) Sirens. 3) Concussion Grenades.
  • Use of vehicles for approach and escape. 1) Must not spoil surprise. 2) Must remain secure. 3) Must not be put to unnecessary risk,

Action when building is clear

  • Ensure that the Client is safe.  Do not, however, remove them from a safe room.
  • Check that all attackers are dead or secured as prisoners.
  • Ensure that the perimeter of the building is secure.  Secure the entry point(s).
  • Decide whether to hold or escape
  • Co-ordinate external agencies on their arrival.

It is unlikely that plans proposed before the event will be put into effect as envisaged. The plan must be carefully thought out and rehearsed by all members of the team.

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Sound like a great way to wind up dead……very quickly!!

John Bowie

I think this is good for contractors/ body guards. Preppers? Not so much.

Mike Lashewitz

If you were EMPLOYED bu Blackwater (now “The Craft”) this would be appropriate.
I think (from experience) that guerrilla tactics work best for prepper’s needs. If you are a prepper within a city, what in the hell are you doing there? GTFO!!! Now.
The golden horde is coming…


Mike, good points, but you can’t say that your own property won’t come under attack by thugs. Guerilla tactics can be effective – but only if you aren’t holed up in your basement.

Mike Lashewitz

Oh the “thugs” also called the golden horde from the inner cities will come. They will come in waves and each wave will have a different reasoning but all will come for what we have. I only hope we have what is necessary to stop them in their tracks.


Nice article. It’s informative, and it provides an eye-opening look at what “pros” must think about in such situations. I, for one, have no personal experience in such situations, and I hope I never do. Honestly, I am quite content to take your word for it all.

Some comments hint that this article might be inappropriate for this blog’s readership…maybe, maybe not. Either way, I still found it to be a good article and interesting. Thanks.


Great article again – factual and authoritative.


Minus the fact that the vast majority of preppers, will not have the whiz tech gear that an 11 bang bang will have.

Unless you actually practice these battle drills on a regular basis, it ain’t gonna be pretty under fire.

One also needs to understand the differnce between a near and a far ambush. Tis very critical to know what to do in each scenario.


I am skeptical if at a mall (where you can’t legally carry in most places) or a hotel where its being attacked, that you will be trying to mount a counterattack. First off you won’t have weapons or extra ammo, you wont have back up (unless your buddies are all military). not to mention limited first aid or doctor close by. Getting shot once will doom you. Learning how to clear a building or room is always a good skill, but I doubt in most sthf scenarios we will be acting like SealTeam 6 (we would act more more like… Read more »

paul crosley

I would have to agree with most of the opinions here. This is a good article geared more for professionals. There is a bit of “Mall Ninja” fantasy here, for arm chair survivalists. You know the type; 300 lb. office workers who sit at a desk all day and do nothing more strenuous than waddle out of their SUVs to go to the “all you can eat” buffet. Dressed in camo of course.


The article appears to be the outline from a training course and nothing more. Just enough information to get you hurt. These type of tactics take a lot of practice and the professionals still loose operators. As a prepper you want to avoid conflict if possible, not go looking for it.


Another sensational article. Or should I say sensationalized article. People are cowards and won’t even attempt an ambush unless they are pretty positive it will work, that’s the whole point of an ambush. Also it is not like in the movies where the bad guy always misses and the good guy shoots from the hip and hits his target. If you are ambushed then you will probably be dead.

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