SAS Tactics – Setting up an OP

Most people know about the SAS, or the Special Air Service out of Great Britain.  They are arguably one of the best – if not the best – Special Forces units in the world.  In fact, a lof of other Special Forces units are modeled after them, including Delta Force.  Step inside as ZETA discusses SAS tactics to set up an Observation Post during the Zombie Apocalypse.

Jack Walker (name changed) is an SAS soldier as well as a ZETA Agent.  In this article, he discusses setting up an Observation Post, SAS style, in the wake of the Zombie Apocalypse. According to Jack, the best way to survive during the Zombie Apocalypse is through gathering intel concerning zombie movement.  In order to gather that intel, the best tactic to use is one developed by the SAS in setting up an Observation Post, or OP.


Before Departure

Before going out to create an OP, certain things must be taken into consideration.  First of all, according to the SAS, the length of the mission is always 28 days.  Therefore, enough gear should be taken with each agent for them to survive that long on the mission.  Four agents should be selected as the OP team.  One with good eyes and ears, a smart guy, who will be the scout and point man.   Another agent who can operate a radio and is good with explosives should make the team.  2 agents who possess sniper skills and good weapons skills should round out the team.

This team of four agents should gather their gear together.  Everything they take should make them combat ready, and survival capable.  Each agent should have a handgun as well as a rifle.  The two sniper agents should also carry sniper rifles.  Each agent should carry 5 loaded mags for each weapon, as well as 200 – 400 rounds.  Each agent should also have enough rations and means to gather water for 28 days.  In the SAS, these packs can weight up to 130 pounds.  Walker suggests packing lighter if possible.

The team of agents should then form what the SAS calls a “Chinese Parliament”, where the four agents determine the plan of action.  It is imperative that these four agents determine the plan themselves, and agree to it without outside input.  After all, they will be the ones performing the mission.  Every agent’s input should be considered during this meeting and planning session.  Next, it is time to begin the operation, and head towards the objective.


Insertion/Moving to OP

Once the team is packed and ready, they must begin moving to the OP.  Almost always the team will want to move under the cover of darkness.  Though some zombies have been known to smell out a human, taking away the ability to see the team moving is essential.  The team should move slowly and deliberately towards the OP/objective.  The point man should lead the way, and determines the best and most tactical route for the team.  The team should cover 360 degrees while moving.

The team should move as silently as possible, using pre-determined hand signals to communicate along the way.  Avoid speaking at all if possible, and stopping every so often to listen to the surroundings.  Stay concealed, avoid creating silhouettes, and determine ERL (Emergency Rendezvous Location) along the way.  This way, if things go wrong, the team knows where to meet.  If the team has to move through camps of other survivors, it is best to not let them know of your postion.  If communication was established before the mission, use a code to confirm they are who they claim to be.  The SAS does this by speaking a number – the answer must add up to 9, otherwise they are considered combatants.  Move slowly until you are about 500 meters to the OP.


Setting up the OP/LUP

Once the team is about 500 meters from the OP, it is time to set up the LUP, or Lying Up Position.  This is a defensive postion the SAS creates behind the OP to allow for eating, sleeping, and providing cover of the OP.  At this point, the team splits up into pairs.  The 2 snipers will move up to the OP while the other two create the LUP.

For the LUP, holes are dug deep enough to allow plenty of room for each agent.  Though not necessary during the Zombie Apocalypse, the SAS will actually hide every ounce of dirt removed from their holes, and leave no trace of their existence behind.  In fact, they even remove with them their own body waste.  During the ZA, however  you must still dig the hole, and use the SAS method of stuffing chicken wire with local vegetation to create a roof.  Once the LUP is created, the team will rotate on and off who is resting, and who is at the OP observing zombie movements.

While at the OP and LUP, the proximity to the undead may be close.  Therefore, the team must use what the SAS refers to as “Hard Routine”.  This means speaking in whispers only.  No fires or cooking – cold rations only.  Nothing that will alert the undead.  From here, the team should plan to spend a month in the ground observing zombie movements and taking notes.  Though the undead movements are unpredictable, numbers can be observed, as well as supplies, possible zone entry points, and more.  The team should take notes of everything.



The team should celan up all evidence of them being there, and return to their starting location. Be careful to use a different route than the one used to arrive.  Another Chinese Parliament can be held before departure  but it should be silent and swift.  Again, move during the cover of night, and get back safely.  Relay all the intel to the other agents, and make a plan from there.

Good luck!