Excellent topic and great responses.
I incorporate this topic in lots of my training and it is very difficult to get across, if the student has never faced armed combat or an actual physical assault. Reality is always the best teacher. Sento/Batman and others have covered the topic very well, just a couple of observations:
having spent the last 7 years working, training, and living in various countries in the Middle East, you have to learn your environment… This applies to everywhere I have worked, including 6 countries in Europe. there are certain situations you need to try and avoid at all costs: large crowds on the streets, lines of people in the markets ,intelligence on whether the area is Shiite or Sunni, know your local hotspots for attacks, does the street have any children playing, if not, run like hell, try to avoid or exit a police/military checkpoint as fast as possible. Always have secure and reliable communications (I prefer two cell phones with two different carriers) , transportation, backup team or direct communication with a QRT, a reliable and pre planned exit route, and, if legal…weapons.
This is where everyone is the most vulnerable. Know the airport lay out the best you can,(maps on walls) arrive 3 hours early , get through customs and then walk the terminal marking the exits, bathrooms, and checkpoints…does it have multiple levels? if so, spend time in the upper levels watching the crowds entering, because, if an attack is going to occur, if will be on the ground level (high percentage). Locate security…is it the army or local police? do they have roving patrols or fixed stations? if they are killed outright, can you operate their weapons for your own survival? visualize an attack and then decide what you are going to do…what cover do you have? where are the exits? have a plan, no matter how simple.
stay away from the “food courts” at all times…if a mass of people a sleeping along the walls ( Kuwait International) never linger…walk on by. watch everyone carefully, especially if they are carrying large amounts of luggage in cardboard or other types of carriers… try to arrive early enough to avoid waiting several hours checking in…This has happened to me several times after late flights and , believe me, waiting with several hundred people on the GROUND FLOOR of a terminal with massive amounts of luggage is not a good situation. Most security entering the ground floor is shit. (recent LA airport shooting). Watch the entrance as much as possible, have a plan. example:( There is nothing wrong with jumping past the ticket agent and crawling through the luggage conveyor belt if someone opens up with an AK-behind you).
The most stupid thing I see every time I travel: USE OF ELECTRONICS.
for God’s sake, get those buds out of your ears, how can you hear gunshots, people yelling, rockets or mortars whistling in with music blasting ?
How the hell, do you watch your area, if you have your face stuck in an I-Phone playing the latest version of whatever…save that crap when you on the plane or in your hotel room.
Just a few thoughts this morning.