Spartan9 Dispatch for September 2022

This month - Preparing for dangerous times, photography exhibition, Street Satchel prototyping, and four new crisis management articles.

This is our inaugural dispatch on Substack. I’ve been posting a monthly newsletter using Mailchimp for the past few years. Kicking the tires here to see if Substack offers a better experience for me as a writer and you as a reader — Grant


What we’ve been doing, where we’ve been travelling to, and what’s next.

Preparing for dangerous times

These past few weeks have been almost solely focused on assessing the risks relating to China invading Taiwan and Putin deploying a nuclear weapon in Ukraine. While unthinkable to some, these are risks we need to objectively consider and plan for.

We’re entering a dangerous period.

The region is (almost) fully open for travel

Most countries in Asia have now lifted COVID-related travel restrictions. Japan and South Korea have been amongst the latest to do so.

Recognising that travel is going to increase, particularly as we approach the end of the year, I’ve written a short article on supporting travellers during a major crisis. You can read this article here.

Photography exhibition

A series of my photographs from a trip to Syria in 2020 will be on display in the Leica Gallery at Marina Bay Sands (B1-82A) in Singapore until 6 November 2022.

The theme of the exhibition is resilience. While the photos touch on the inescapable devastation of war, the emphasis is on showcasing the fortitude of people and communities emerging from a decade-long conflict.

This week, I delivered a workshop at the Leica Gallery focused on photography in challenging environments. Using my photos from Syria for context, I shared different techniques and perspective for photography in scenarios where taking photos of the wrong things at the wrong time could have serious consequences. The session was highly enjoyable, and resulted in some meaningful conversations. Sincere thanks to the wonderful folks at Leica Singapore for coordinating the evening.

This first session was overbooked, so we may run another session in the next few weeks. More information will be available at the Leica Singapore website.


Training workshops and customised training solutions.

Taiwan Evacuation Planning Workshop

Struggling to develop viable evacuation plans from Taiwan?

Concerned your plans may not actually work when needed?

Not sure when to pull the trigger?

We’re running a limited number of workshops focused specifically on planning evacuations from Taiwan.

During the 3-hour workshop, we cover the following:

  • Organisation and leadership
  • Decision-making frameworks
  • Evacuation preparation and readiness
  • Air evacuation planning
  • Domestic relocation planning
  • Shelter-in-place planning

By the end of this workshop, you’ll have a detailed understanding of the evacuation problem, and how to get around many of the inherent challenges.

If you’re interested in attending a Taiwan Evacuation Planning Workshop, please get in touch.

Learn more about our training workshops


Updates on our in-house gear.

Street_Satchel Mk II design & prototyping

Work continues on the Mk II version of the Street_Satchel. A new batch of materials arrived yesterday, so almost ready to start work on a new prototype.

Street_Satchel Mk I options

The Street_Satchel Mk I is available in two variants:

  1. Street_Satchel Mk I DCF. Made using Dyneema Composite Fabric.

  2. Street_Satchel Mk I ULTRA. Made using Challenge Ultra fabric, which is a blend of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) and polyester.

The Street_Satchel Mk I in an Istanbul alley You can learn more about the difference between ULTRA and DCF variants here. You’ll also be able to see photos of both variants. All Street_Satchels come with custom-ordered matte black YKK zips and matte black oxide sliders, UHMWPE webbing tabs for optional accessories, and a 40mm polyester detachable shoulder sling with acetal hardware.

Learn more about the Street_Satchel


Curated jobs in corporate security and security consulting.

Nike has a position in Singapore for a Regional Senior Manager, Loss Prevention - Asia Pacific

UBS has a position in Singapore for a Business Continuity & Resilience Manager

Amazon Web Services has a position in Singapore for a Regional Crisis Manager - APAC , Corporate Crisis Management

View these and more security jobs at our curated jobs page here.


Our latest articles and updates on selected publications.

Crisis Management Newsletter

This year, I’m writing one article a week on crisis management in a newsletter titled ‘51CM’.

Here’s a list of the articles I published in September:

35/51 Continual Improvement for Crisis Management

36/51 Simplify, simplify and simplify some more

37/51 Practical Considerations for Supporting Employees in Taiwan During a Crisis

38/51 Supporting Travellers During a Major Crisis

The Security Evacuation Handbook

This month has seen a surge in demand for The Security Evacuation Handbook. Potentially an indicator of troubling times ahead relating to the China / Taiwan situation.

If you want to check it out, you can download the table of contents and first chapter of both volumes for free here.

Publication Updates

I’m continuing work on updates for the Field Guide series. I’ve finished reviewing and updating The Field Guide to Deployment Planning and The Field Guide to Personal Security. I’m in the process of updating The Field Guide to Acommodation Security. After that, onto The Field Guide to Transport Security. I won’t be re-releasing these books individually (a lot of people have purchased the bundle). Instead, I’ll release all of the updated books in one go before year end.

If you’ve already purchased these books, you’ll automatically receive the latest version at no additional cost.

View our books and download free samples here.

Bulk Orders

If you think your organisation or team would benefit from the knowledge and experience contained in these books, please reach out. We can provide discounts for bulk sales.

View all our publications


Links to articles covering Russian mercenaries, Chinese social surveillance and DNA farming, terrorist funding, compromised covert communications channels, plus other interesting topics worth your time.

Hackers, Hoodies, and Helmets: Technology and the changing face of Russian private military contractors. Read here

Hedging with Humility: Reassessing China’s Power Projection Capabilities Against Taiwan. Read here

The Two Faces of China’s Surveillance State. The government’s new social contract promises the security and convenience of a perfectly engineered society—to those who don’t resist. Read here

‘Salad bar extremism’: Edmonton researchers release second report on violent extremist movements. Read here

China: New Evidence of Mass DNA Collection in Tibet. Rural Areas, Children Targeted for Intrusive Policing. Read here

Chinese social media platforms add hidden digital watermarks to track screenshot sharing. Douban is the first social media site using the digital tracker. Read here

Ukraine Holds the Future. The War Between Democracy and Nihilism. Read here

How do terrorists fund their activities? Some do it legally. Read here

Iran Accused Of Secretly Implementing Controversial Draft Internet Bill. Read here

Beijing will regulate ‘digital humans’ in the metaverse and beyond. China’s capital is looking to set standards for digital assistants, virtual influencers and gaming avatars. Read here

Private Eye: On the Limits of Textual Screen Peeking via Eyeglass Reflections in Video Conferencing. Read here

Decoding the Wagner Group: Analyzing the Role of Private Military Security Contractors in Russian Proxy Warfare. Read here

How Underground Groups Use Stolen Identities and Deepfakes. The growing appearance of deepfake attacks is significantly reshaping the threat landscape. These fakes brings attacks such as business email compromise (BEC) and identity verification bypassing to new levels. Read here

America’s Throwaway Spies. How the CIA failed Iranian informants in its secret war with Tehran. Read here

That’s it for this month folks.

Thanks for reading and stay safe out there.

Grant Rayner Spartan9

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