The title says it all.
Having the latest and greatest high-speed, low-drag tactical gear and training can be a good thing. Being in the best physical, mental and spiritual shape of your life is a good thing. Being a part of a group of like-minded folks that have been tempered by working through and overcoming the hard things together is great. Being at the pointy end of the sharpest and longest spear in the valley can be a result of those things.
However, experience has shown me that if you don’t have intelligence that is timely, relevant, accurate, specific and actionable, your spear will usually be pointed in the wrong direction at the wrong time.
Our group recently had a member that needed to get spun up in the S-2 (Intelligence) area but converting the Army’s intel. programs to something usable by civilians is not my forte. So we both recently attended Sam Culper’s Intelligence Preparation of the Community Course. http://guerrillamerica.com/2015/04/intelligence-preparation-of-the-community/
Sam has successfully converted the Army’s Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) into an entry-level, two-day civilian community based course. It was well worth our money and time.
If you decide to attend this course he will patiently guide you through the processes that will allow your group to develop a systematic, continuous process of analyzing the environment and the threats in your community. While his online courses and posts are a good starting point, attending a class in meat space is much better. While in class you can ask questions and receive timely answers, as well as work through practical exercises geared toward the physical and human terrain that is unique to your area. These can be done alone or as a group, with instant feedback from Sam. Sam will also assist you in configuring your laptop for use in your ACE. The experience is worth it’s weight in gold.
The final result: Keeping that pointy end in the right direction.