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Old December 1, 1998, 02:56 PM   #1
Harry Humphries
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You Mil. and LEO's let's discuss the concept and gear that is presently on the market.
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Old December 2, 1998, 10:56 AM   #2
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I would appreciate any information on the use of photography strobes as a distraction device. I have read or heard about people making them into some kind of a ball and rolling them into a room. They apparently can be set on a timer to only last so long.

This could be an anwser when making entry into a dwelling with children present.

Or are there any other devices which can provide an interior distraction - which are VERY low risk to the occupants?

Currently our only option, as per administration, is the Def Tec or nothing. That is, beyond various tactical strategies - I am limiting my question to distraction devices only.

Buck Peddicord
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Old December 2, 1998, 02:27 PM   #3
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Foundational: the purpose of a diversion is to distract or divert the attention of hostiles. Flash-sound diversionary devices (flashbangs) provide this distraction by instantaneous combination of light, sound and pressure to achieve confusion and disorientation. A properly designed and deployed flashbang does this with minimum risk of injury from the device to friendlies and hostiles alike.

Minimum operator safety gear when deploying flashbangs: flame retardant face cover and gloves, eye and ear protection, long sleeve enclosed collar top.

Types of flashbangs that my agency has used and likes: single-bang (full and reduced power), multi-bang, pojectile emitting (for environments other than those where innocents are suspected might be located); hand placed, covertly introduced, or launched.

Situations where we've used flashbangs: hostage rescue (33 rescued in a single incident), in or away from an entry point in high risk arrest warrant services, area denial in high risk narcotics warrant services.

Situations where we've planned for flashbangs as a tactical/less lethal option: open air hostage rescues, retrograde in the interior of a target location when faced with "overwhelming firepower" in other than a rescue operation, open air suicidal subjects.

Other types of diversions we've used in operations: knocking at a window or door or on a wall, rock through a window, "hat on a stick", less lethal munition, in person ruse, dialogue.

Other types of diversions we plan to use: limited only by our own imagination and the tactical environment.

Miratio, Incursio et Sestinato.

[This message has been edited by SKN (edited 12-02-98).]
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Old December 2, 1998, 04:06 PM   #4
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Addendum re: flashbangs.

These are sometimes erroneously referred
to as "grenades" or "concussion
grenades" that "explode" or "detonate".
Though flashbangs have a ordnance
component to them, none of these terms
are accurate in describing either the
device (unless describing projectile
emitting types) or the chain of events
which actuate it.

Single element flashbangs may be
preferable to separating sub-munition
types though my unit has used both types
over the course of our history.

Miratio, Incursio et Sestinato.
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Old December 2, 1998, 05:20 PM   #5
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Don't laugh, but I have actually seen this used by a team serving an arrest warrent:

a Marine Air Horn.

Inside an apartment building the sound was so loud it was not only distracting, but almost incapacitating!

Kenetic Defence Institute
[email protected]

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Old December 2, 1998, 06:24 PM   #6
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I think the PC term is now called "NFD", Noise-flash device :-)
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Old December 2, 1998, 06:43 PM   #7
Mike in VA
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Kodiac, the marine air horn is a wonderful distraction. If you let one of them puppies off in someones face indoors, all they want to do is get the hell away from you quickly. I used one once to break up a fight, literally knocking one of the combatants off his feet and backing the other one into the next room. He tried to re-engage a time or two, but after the third blast, all I had to do was point it in his direction. My wife won't carry a gun or OC, but carries a small one in her coat pocket. Besides repelling some one, it gets EVERYBODY's attention in the immediate vicinity. The brand is Falcon, and you can get them in bicycle shops for around $5. Not quite as load as teh bigger horns, but works well in any closed space or parking garage. M2
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Old December 3, 1998, 02:10 PM   #8
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Mike, if your attacker happens to be a basketball player, when he hears the air horn, does he think it's a two minute warning? There must be something to horns.

When I wuz a kid, I snuck up behind someone
with one of those old car horns. It looked like a spiral trumpet with a big black rubber bulb at the end. When it honked, it was so loud that his legs collasped out from under him and he looked like he had seen the death angel. Talk about getting vapor lock! He didn't recover quickly either, even considering he was a young, strong football player at the time. I've respected surpise attacks with loud noises ever since.
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Old December 4, 1998, 01:00 PM   #9
Michael Carlin
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Harry et al,

We in the infantry of the US Army generally do not train (as far as I know) in non-lethal diversionary devices. Generally, if we are going to assume the risk of delivery we will use a casualty inflicting device.

I am not certain what the SRTs are doing, in the MP community I would assume the same as the other Federal agencies in the employment of these for initiation of action.

I would like to make this observation as an one on the outside of the law enforcement community. The employment of any such device must be assumed to be incendiary in nature. The near immediate requirement to fight fire in conjunction with their use is quite likely. The safety of the divices has, I am sure, improved. How ever, one must be prepared to control a fire if it results. There are numerous cases of the structure having been burned as a result of these devices employment. In a combat environment flame weapons may be acceptable. The use of such weapons is supposed to be carefully balanced against the possible collateral damage.

If your department has not instituted a careful protocol concerning the employment and necessary employment preparation to include having the fire fighters alerted perhaps you might consider this. Remember the block that the Philadelphi police burned in the MOVE incident. The total destruction and accompanying loss of life at WACO would probably not be acceptable for a military operation in todays enlightenment.

(Make no mistake here, I am not being sarcastic in the least. The employment of force carries with it enormous burdens to avoid wanton destruction and loss of life.)

As a non-LEO it would make me feel alot better about the use of dynamic entry if I knew that the teams executing it were being careful to control the impact of the use of such devices.

This falls into the same category, in my estimation, as wounding civilians with uncontrolled gunfire.

Just an old infantryman's take on the situation.

yours in marksmanship


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Old December 4, 1998, 06:58 PM   #10
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Michael: You're right in terms of LE deployment of flashbangs. My team's SOPs include getting a look into the prospective target area prior to placing the device as well as carrying a fire extinguisher to the initial entry/deployment point. I think this is pretty much a SOP for any unit properly trained and using flashbangs.

Re: Philadelphia, the ordnance dropped on the location was not used as a distraction but as a method to reduce a rooftop bunker and create a vent in case of fire.

Re: Waco, I hold the opinion that though the fire may have been initiated by the methods used to breech the walls of the compound or in the introduction of chemical agents, the catastrophic end result was caused by the dispersal of flammable liquid and other accelerants inside the structure by the Davidians. I am not making a judgement here as to the circumstances or reasonableness of ATF's initial actions or the pursuit of the matter by Federal LE, just rendering an opinion as to responsibility for the uncontrollable and horrendous fire.

[This message has been edited by SKN (edited 12-04-98).]
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Old December 4, 1998, 07:17 PM   #11
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Micheal & SKN,
I was living about 40 mins from Philly when the MOVE thing happened, and the fire was not only a result of an overpowered charge, but, was started by flammable liquids the MOVE people had near and on the roof. Specifically, Gasoline mixtures for molotov cocktails.
Then, after the fire started, the firemen who were on the scene already were shot at (I believe at least one was hit) but snipers from inside the building when they tried to fight the fire!

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Old December 5, 1998, 09:39 AM   #12
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As a former team commander and having worked with both civilian, military and fed teams the area of diversionary devices is pretty common throughout. Most teams that I have dealt with, use the Def-tec No.25. I required all users to be certified (8 hr block) and SOPs where established to cover their deployment. Like SKN said SOPs are mandatory, but anyone specifically trained understands the capabilities of these devices. Fire extinguishers can and are carried either on the person or readily available. Like anything else they are subject to the Murphy factor and alternate "diversions" must be considered. Bottom line there are multiple diversions avail on the market. IMHO all are tools to put in your tool box, not all situations allow for the deployment of "flashbangs" but as others have stated one can only be limited by there imagination.

To answer a previous question, I have heard of strobe like distractions devices, but I do not think that there is anything on the market in particular. It probably would not be too difficult to construct using a standard strobe package with a high-frequency diode. However the same principle is applied when you light up a subject with your sure-fire.

In reference to Michael Carlin's question, MPs and Army in general are integrating less-lethal into their inventory; however, the Army calls it Non-lethal. That title is not really appropriate because I have dealt with some of these items via T&E and they can easily become lethal.

As a rule of thumb the KISS principle is the best way to go. But specifically speaking IMO the best diversionary devices are made by Def-tec and Nico-pyrotech; each have multiple options and capabilities. "Starfire" is another option that seems to work pretty well.

In terms of imagination, I've used the bullhorn, staged car accident, break and rakes, small exp. shot outside, and various other simple diversions. Blowing a hole in the wall seems to work well too.

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Old December 6, 1998, 01:40 AM   #13
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Driving an A.P.C.'s with the ram up front through a wall seems to get the attention of the bad guy/s REAL QUICK- my personal favourite... ....HS

[This message has been edited by HS (edited 12-06-98).]
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Old October 26, 1999, 09:26 PM   #14
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Does anybody know if any style/brand of flash bang/Diversionary Device that is nuclear certifed? We have been trying to get them for work but we ran into the preverbial brick wall stating that they had to be "nuclear" certifed. Due to the risk potental of setting one off in a ICBM launcher and then having the warhead (or fuel) go "bang" with a sympathetic non-nuclear detonation. While this is a extremly remote possibility it does exist, or so we were told.

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Old October 30, 1999, 12:09 PM   #15
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Since the flashbang's chemical components ordnance reaction consists of deflagration, very rapid high intensity burning, I know of none that would be safe around a hazmat (combustible fuel) environment.
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Old November 3, 1999, 04:22 PM   #16
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The diversionary device that I'm most familiar with is used on TV from time to time.

To bad guy:
"Hey! What's that?!!!" As you point over his shoulder. He turns around and -POW!!- Sucker punch to his jaw. Out like a light. "Holy knoch out Batman!...Works every time."

If life were just as simple as TV........

"But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip; and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." -Jesus Christ (Luke 22:36, see John 3:15-18)
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