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Field Command (Hardcover)

Charles Heal

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ISBN 10: 1590563441 / ISBN 13: 9781590563441
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Hardcover. FIELD COMMAND is a first of its kind: a full-length tactical science textbook focused specifically on crisis situations faced by the law enforcement community. Expanding on the groundbreak.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 419 pages. 0.839. Bookseller Inventory # 9781590563441

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Title: Field Command (Hardcover)

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title


Ever wondered about the difference between a sector of fire and a field of fire?  How about command and control, information and intelligence or drifting standards and creeping missions?   Is time on your side?  What is key terrain and how do you recognize it?  Should a tactical intervention always be considered a last resort?

What would we think of a doctor who had the latest and most sophisticated MRIs, CAT scans and X-rays but without the knowledge to interpret and understand them?  Sadly, that is the state of many tacticians in contemporary law enforcement.  It is somewhat ironic that in the most technologically advanced period in history the most conspicuous capability gap appears to be a lack of knowledge of tried and true scientific principles that can be dated back thousands of years.

This book is a first of its kind in that it introduces and explains more than 250 time-tested, tried and true tactical concepts in an easy to understand format tightly focused on domestic law enforcement applications. Critical concepts like initiative, tempo, speed, friction, fog, and surprise are explained in detail. Commonly confused terms with distinctly different meanings and applications, such as; fields of fire vs. sectors of fire, situational awareness vs. common operational picture, main effort vs. focus of effort, centers of gravity vs. critical vulnerabilities, proximate causes vs. root causes, and many others are both defined and compared for easy understanding.

The book is formatted to be used as both a text and a reference. For example, no footnotes are used to facilitate continuity and an easier style of reading and each of the principles is bold-printed and defined when first introduced. Many of the concepts are amplified with endnotes that provide the historical context of how they were discovered or determined. The concepts and principles are taken from tactical texts and military field manuals but are presented in scenarios that commonly confront law enforcement officers. The book includes more than 40 illustrations to elucidate and amplify key concepts and includes both a comprehensive index and "concept glossary" to facilitate reference and research.

From the Author:

It is a sad but irrefutable fact that hindsight has revealed that many tactical fiascoes could have been avoided had the planners and decision makers had a deeper understanding of the factors and influences in play. Indeed, hindsight can make even the most subtle influences blatant. Hindsight, however, is one of those factors that are never available to commanders handling unfolding events. Because most tactical situations in law enforcement are "come as you are parties," a solid understanding of the principles and precepts that dominate such chaotic circumstances becomes paramount.

The principles that support sound tactical decisions have been documented since the time of Sun Tzu, Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great, Thucydides, and many others, so it is somewhat ironic that many contemporary law enforcement commanders are sadly lacking any understanding of the science that supports sound decisions. This is not to besmirch or belittle their earnest and gallant efforts at doing the best they can with what they have, but rather an indictment of a system that teaches strategy and tactics as a "skill set" rather than an intuitive application of doctrinal principles and precepts. As long as the situation encountered resembles those for which these commanders were trained they work just fine. Problems occur; however, when some variation results in a deviation from the norm and the commander attempts to impose a solution which has been successful in the past but is unsuitable for the different circumstances.

In the simplest terms, tactical science is the systematized body of knowledge covering the principles and doctrines associated with tactical operations and emergency responses. It reconciles scientific knowledge with practical ends.Unlike the "hard" sciences, such as chemistry, physics and mathematics, tactical science more closely resembles the "soft" sciences, like economics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology. This is because scientific truths cannot be determined to an absolute certainly but instead are limited to a range of likely probabilities. Likewise, it is an "applied science" in that the major contribution is not merely identifying the principles and precepts in play, but rather in applying that knowledge to forecast and influence behaviors and outcomes to enhance the likelihood of a more satisfactory outcome.

Where most law enforcement tactical books describe "how" and "what," this book focuses on the "why." It provides the information "between the lines" for the Incident Command System (ICS) National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the National Response Plan (NRP). Planners and decision makers fully immersed in the science of tactical operations and disaster responses are far more likely to recognize anomalies and be able to adapt and innovate when they understand the conceptual underpinnings of the factors and influences in play. Likewise, they become a formidable adversary when challenged to defend their actions in the courts and other forums. 

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