Tactical Tracking Operations School: How to create SOF Manhunters

TTOS, Tactical Tracking Operations School, teaches special forces, special operations forces and special missions units the art of visual tracking.

How to master any environment and terrain for special operations – full mission profile!

The ultimate training to be ready for the conflicts to come in some of the world’s most dangerous countries.

The art of tracking: How to hunt the hunter!

“It is not enough to know hunting; you must have the ability to hunt the hunter!”

Tactical Tracking Operations School Inc. (TTOS) teaches military and enforcement personnel to become hunters instead of the hunted.

What does it mean?

TTOS is dedicated to the art of visual tracking.

Instead of relying heavily on modern technologies like GPS, sensors, satellites or drones, TTOS works with SOF units to develop and maintain their natural ability to read and understand an environment directly and without the filters of technology or bias.

From that knowledge base, layers of modern technology may be intergrated, but stripped away, the mission is still executed to standard without it.

TTOS brings their students back to a very essential core ability of the human nature: to become one with any environment, clear the senses from the distortion of bias, see reality how it really is, and hunt.

“Our attendees will learn how to master how they perceive the environment around them, not merely what they see within it.

There is a tremendous difference in the internal processes at work”, a TTOS member told us.

© TTOS Tactical Tracking Operations School 

US Army Special Forces UW Operator on Extended Culminating Exercise in the Jungle

Armed conflicts and complex missions in hostile terrain

Tracking in the context of combat and warfare is more than mastering recon, scouting and pathfinding.

Any operational unit that is serious about counter-guerilla warfare, surviving armed conflicts in rural areas and conducting complex missions in austere, foreign and hostile terrain has to face many difficult subjects:

• sensory adaption
• threshold of perception
• sensory interaction
• sensory overload
• confirmation bias
• belief perseverance
• framing
• cognition
• concepts
• rules of grouping
• inattentional and change blindness

… just to name a few.

The above points of focus sound very scientific and intensely psychological, but the collective higher intellect of SOF unit members requires the “why” and depth of understanding.

They are concepts that everyone human struggles with.

TTOS clears the chaff for students, related to observation and bias. Mastery of personal faculties is a foundational concept in training.

TTOS trains members of US Military, US Special Operations Forces, and Law Enforcement Agencies to read and master their environment and to track enemies in a rural environment, permissive or non-permissive (open battlespace or behind enemy lines/clandestine).

And later, as an extension of this process, to track effectively in any kind of environment: urban, rural, green side, deserts, jungles and for any given or potential international and domestic combat scenario.

The style of tracking changes in context to the environment.

For example, if you’re desert tracking and don’t have a mounted element(s), you are doing it wrong.

TTOS teaches mounted tracking as well.

© TTOS Tactical Tracking Operations School

Philippine Army Scout Rangers on a TTOS Field Exercise – PID Confirmation

Ancient hunting skills with 21st Century technologies

From urban streets to jungle warfare, tracking is a universal ability and TTOS teaches the core principles of how to use and adopt this ability in any environment, by mastery of individual faculties and absolute mastery of the basics first.

TTOS creates hunters. Modern hunters who are able to use ancient and contemporary hunting skills with 21st Century technologies, techniques, tactics, and procedures to counter any threat, in any theater or area of operation.

Therefore, within the SOF community TTOS is very well-known as an excellent provider for the most innovative and effective methods of manhunting, targeting, special reconnaissance, personnel recovery, escape and evasion and network defeat techniques developed worldwide.

On the top of their list you will find consulting solutions and specialized training such as technical tracking, targeting, network defeat, C-IED and advanced counterinsurgency (COIN) for US Military, US Special Operations Forces, and Law Enforcement.

TTOS has spent a lot of time with USMC and US Air Force, combat engineers and EOD.

Both have stated superiority to any contemporaries in visual detection and stand-off interrogation of IED’s.

TTOS’s observation and cognition models and framing of instruction keeps troops from falling victim to the preferred weapon of our enemies – IED’s.

TTOS has also worked extensively with US DoD’s JIEDDO (Joint IED Defeat Organization), which is now JIDA.

© TTOS Tactical Tracking Operations School

US Army Jungle Warfare Instructors Learning How to Built Central African Rest Over Night (RON) sites, by TTOS SME’s

Meet the hunters: The TTOS Team

Tactical Tracking Operations School Inc. (TTOS) was founded in 1994 by US army, USMC, Law Enforcement, Game Wardens and foreign military intelligence veterans.

TTOS was the first to offer Combat and Tactical Tracking training in the United States and remains the premier resource for such instruction, and then some.

With offices and established training areas in Africa, the Philippines, Arizona, Washington State, Hawaii, California, North Carolina and Poland, TTOS is running a full-time global operation.

The team is still a small one but widely recognized within the military world as the premier source of professional Combat and Tactical Tracking and all current related doctrine, strategy and tactics.

“Our team is small for a good reason. It took a lot of time and a global search to assemble the team that we have and we are extremely proud to have each and every one of them,” TTOS explains its team building process.

Peter Kerr: President and CEO

© Peter Kerr, TTOS

Peter Kerr is the President and CEO of TTOS.

Peter spent most of his career working as a Conservation Enforcement Officer for the State of Hawaii and for the counterdrug mission in Hawaii, with specific focus on marijuana eradication and drug enforcement operations; as well organized crime enforcement and ground interdiction operations.

Peter was assigned to the DEA DCE/SP Task Force and to become his department’s interagency liaison for a multi-agency counterdrug efforts on the Island of Hawaii, which focused on targeting manufacturing, trafficking, and smuggling operations.

Pete spent much of his time in the jungles tracking those engaged in on-going organized criminal activities.

Additionally, he has been working as part of an operational team (since 2013) of SMEs on missions, wherein the highest level of tracking capability, bush craft and evasion is crucial.

R.L. Lightfoot II: Vice President of TTOS

© R.L. Lightfoot II, TTOS

R.L. Lightfoot II is the Vice President of TTOS

He is a former Army Ranger with 2/75, as well as a former Intel NCO.

He spent almost 20 years that followed his Army enlistment as an LEO on the northern US Border.

As a K-9 handler, he was one of the team members (as a cross commissioned US Customs Officer) responsible for the interdiction and arrest of the Al Qaeda linked terrorist, Ahmed Ressam – the “Millenium Bomber”.

He has been a police officer, field deputy, detective (narcotics), detective (major crimes), SRT, K9 handler, wildlife officer and tracking team member with many captures to his credit.

From his multi-jurisdictional border county manhunting experiences and expertise, he created Operation Green SEAL, which was later adopted by the U.S. Government and later made classified.

A lot of the “guts” of the RLEO Academy come from Operation Green SEAL (unclassified).

In 2005, he was selected as an instructor for TTOS.

In 2007, he became a Lead Instructor and in 2012, the co-program lead for all TTOS programs of instruction.

In 2012, he was also appointed to the position of Director of Operations and later, VP (2016).

© TTOS Tactical Tracking Operations School

USMC Force Reconnasaince Member at the Target Footprint and Gate Analysis Lab – US Army Jungle Warfare Training Center, Oahu HI

The instructors of Tactical Tracking Operations Schools

TTOS has a long list of qualified tracking instructors and subject-matter experts it utilizes to support training, consulting, and development task.

TTOS staff personnel are highly trained professionals with distinctive military operations or law enforcement backgrounds, or both. 

These experts have over 150 years of combined tracking experience in operations and training missions.

All TTOS SME personnel have extensive tracking experience and are thoroughly versed in manhunting operations and a variety of other specialized tactical training and skills, which they used comprehensively during their military and/or law enforcement careers with elite military units such as the US Army Special Forces (SF) and Rangers, USMC Force Recon and MARSOC, and Navy SEALS.

A direct lineage to the very foundation of tracking

TTOS’ programs have a direct lineage to the very foundation of tracking in context to conflict, scouting and all manner of warfare.

TTOS on their lineage and the core philosophy of their trainings in combative tracking:

“Our programs have direct lineage to the very foundation of tracking in context to conflict, scouting and all manner of warfare.

As a company, we’re based out of the very place that the original US Army Scouts were stationed and worked extensively.

From those scouts (Seiber, Horn, Free and Burnham, to name a few) came the early beginning and establishment of Combat Tracking TTP’s (tactics, techniques, and procedures), many of which we still teach today in either general theory, direct application and/or tactical absolutes.”

© TTOS Tactical Tracking Operations School

1st Group US Special Forces Members in the Target Footprint and Gait Analysis Lab – Camp Jedburgh

The “knowledge base”:

How to master an environment within a combative conflict

One of TTOS’ key concepts is the “knowledge base”: a very specific collection of data and information that allows a multi-dimensional understanding of an environment within a combative conflict.

A TTOS “knowledge base” of a specific environment or country starts with basic information like maps, how to get maps, how to interpret them according to operational objectives, how to get access to certain areas, avoiding pitfalls and understanding the terrain, etc.

There are many places US forces operate within, in which foreign (Russian and other) maps and private mineral/mining survey/GIS maps are all that are available. TTOS has the contacts to get them to the troops on the ground.

The concept later continues into a deeper understanding of how to get in touch with reliable scouts and partisans, understanding the cultural environment, finding reliable sources within the tribal and social hierarchy and its peripherals, how to read, avoid or use the local flora and fauna for the tactical or operational objectives, etc.

And finally, the concept of the TTOS tracking knowledge base leads to far more complex and very specific information like characteristical tracking information, the precise interpretation of this tracking information within a country and its environmental “rules“.

And to advanced tactics like using the given terrain effectively for operational objectives, rules of grouping, escape without a trace or how to avoid becoming tracked or even compromised by hostile forces and their own scouts or their intelligence sources within the population.

TTOS told us: “We are the managers of the Combat and Tactical Tracking knowledge base for our military, allies, law enforcement and homeland security.

From the early beginnings, through multiple conflicts worldwide to today, there is no greater depth of knowledge in Tactical Tracking Operations than the core group that started this company and operates it to this day.

Our ability to issue Army certificates of completion for our courses is a testament to those facts. We are the ONLY ones.”

© TTOS Tactical Tracking Operations School

US Special Forces Studying Their “Aging Lab” of Local Flora, Indigenous Foods, Blood and Body Waste

TTOS: Tier1 assets and classified operations

Talking about TTOS means to talk about some serious SOF business.

TTOS has executed hundreds of small and large contracts and trained over 4,000 military personnel since its inception.

TTOS is not your friendly boy scout weekend course nor a common hunting school for adventure seekers.

When you talk to the TTOS personnel, you will definitely meet some of the most down-to-earth, attentive and welcoming people, but you can also be very sure that you are talking to some very experienced soldiers and SOF experts.

TTOS trains Tier1 assets and participates in classified operations.

Have you ever heard of Joseph Kony?

Yes, TTOS helped to hunt one of Africa’s worst war criminal in recent history.

Most of TTOS’s contracts are classified. But take a look at the list of their “customers” and you will get the picture:

Army Rangers, Ranger Reconnaissance Detachment, Airborne, Scouts, EOD, Military Police.

Navy SEALS, Navy SDVT-1, Navy EOD, Navy SERE School, US Coast Guard – Narcotics Interdiction Units.

1st Recon Bn, 2cd Recon, 3rd Recon Bn, MARSOC, USMC Jungle Warfare Training Center, USMC Survival School, USMC Helicopter Squad, Marine Scout Snipers, ACO 1 Bn 3 Mar.

USAF Combat Controllers, USAF Para Rescue, USAF Survival School AFB Fairchild, USAF Air National Guard Pilots, Security Forces.

British SAS, Royal Marines, Dutch Royal Marines, Australian SAS, Philippine Army Scout Rangers, Korean National Police Counter-Assault.

TTOS is doing some very serious SOF work and they are doing it very well.

We have the feedback of SOF units that worked with them and they say quite frankly, “This is exactly the training we need! This is how it should be done!”

© TTOS Tactical Tracking Operations School

USMC Force Reconnasaince Member on Field Exercises in the Jungle with TTOS

Visual tracking in the age of drones and satellites

“Why should we invest in the training of scouts on the ground if we can track and kill our enemies by drones, satellites and air strikes?” someone may ask.

If you ask Israeli commanders (of which TTOS has worked with) they will tell you, “An army without trackers is blind”.

The TTOS training is not about substitution.

There is a place and a time for everything.

The concept of TTOS is to integrate the art of tracking seamlessly into modern warfare.

If you rely solely on one single idea or concept on how to encounter hostile forces or environments, you will create one-dimensional tactics and warriors.

This is a great danger.

One-dimensional tactics of warfare and one-dimensional warriors have been the cause of great loss and broken empires for centuries.

TTOS prepares multi-dimensional warriors for all battlefields and for all situations.

© TTOS Tactical Tracking Operations School

TTOS Cadre During Bushcraft Instruction – Pig was on the Menu

Why missions fail on the ground… and what to do about it

Just ask yourself one question:

“What will you do if the lights go off, when the sensors stop to work, when the satellite turns black?

Will you be able to read and master the environment under these circumstances as well?”

The answer to this question will save your mission, your men, and your unit.

Did you know that most missions fail because they were compromised on the ground?

Because there was a lack of intelligence?

There was a lack of scouting?

This happens even in the age of drones and satellite surveillance.

Learning tracking provides troops with gathering historical or immediate use intelligence.

When all else fails, this is what gets the job done.

As MB (former career SF member and TTOS lead instructor) will tell you, “Iron sights always work”.

© TTOS Tactical Tracking Operations School

TTOS, Training Hunters from the Sky Since 1994

When climate and terrain become lethal allies of your enemy

Drones, satellites, and sensors are helpful but hardly the only solution for all problems on actual or upcoming battlefields.

Not to mention, all technology can eventually be used against you by your adversaries, in one form or another.

When you look deeper into the most likely conflicts of the next decades, you will get very easily that most of these conflicts will happen in rural environments:

  • Western Africa
  • Central Africa
  • The Sahel
  • South Eastern Pacific
  • The Caucasus

Terrorist and guerrilla forces understand western capabilities and risk aversion.

FLIR sees the first plane of resistance and is not X-Ray vision.

Dense tropical forest and triple canopy jungle are quickly becoming the home of our adversaries – asometric as usual.

In these regions, the terrain and the climate are lethal allies of anyone who is able to use them against an enemy, if you know how.

If drones, satellites, sensors and algorithms would be the only answer to our 21st Century conflicts, the Afghanistan campaign should have been ended in 2007.

But ten years later, the war in Afghanistan is still ongoing and more deadly than ever.

So, there is definitely some wisdom in the key idea of TTOS that human conflicts are still very much linked to hunting and tracking and that anyone who is able to outperform his enemy on these fields has an advantage on the battlefield, even in the 21st century.

Read our interview with TTOS vice president Lightfoot here:

Click the image to read the interview!

Video: TTOS Introduction

Watch the first TTOS video podcast here: Introduction 

Click on the image to start the video!

More about TTOS

TTOS Homepage

TTOS Facebook

TTOS Youtube

And follow the official TTOS Podcast on iTunes!


Back to our Homepage


By | 2018-02-14T09:43:16+00:00 August 11th, 2017|Categories: Author, Special Operations Forces, Tactical Tracking Operations School, Tactical Training, Tactical Training - Articles|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Tactical Tracking Operations School: How to create SOF Manhunters
error: Content is protected !!