Hi all, Helen & Joe here.
We have just taken Max Velocity’s Combat Rifle/Contact Drills course for the second time. Here are our observations, in a stream of consciousness format.
1. We focused less on weapon issues and more on communicating with one another(and weight of kit- see below). Including more wife/husband tiffs! ARRRGH!! DON”T PUSH ME!! There was a LOT more talking/shouting (to be heard, not anger) this time. We also knew the drills, so upon hearing support fire, we knew we could/should move. We felt more fluid.
2. Static paper targets for contact right/left, have been replaced with popup targets. Much-mo-better!
3. We predominantly used prone positions for cover which led to significant muscle soreness on Monday. More PT.
4. Weapon reloads:
This time we short loaded mags to force reloads during the drills. We had tac reloaded during our first course with Max to limit the variables, read minimize brain farts. Prone reloads are NOT executed the same as standing or kneeling. Practice prone reloads.
5. Weight of kit:
Our battle belt (BB)with 8 rifle mags, 2 pistol mags, IFAK, dump, 9mm M&P/G17 pistol w/ Tlr-1s white light=== 19 lbs(5.56), 24 lbs(7.62S)
A plate carrier (PC)with 2 plates, 4 pistol mags, leatherman, folder knife, tourniquet, flashlight, ranging compact binocs, Motorola DT650 radio, Camelback 3L(CB)===29 lbs (w/lite plates) , 36 lbs (w full size plates)
Sig 556 w/ Eotech 552 & 3x magnifier, buis, IR & white light flashlight, full mag 5.56, sling === 13 lbs
Sig 556R w/Eotech 552 & 3x magnifie, buis, white light flashlight, full mag 7.62 Short, sling, DBAL IR/Vis === 14 lbs
Camelback 3l(CB)===8 lbs
So Sat am, Helen was carrying 19 + 29 + 13 = 61 lbs with no food, spares, sleeping kit, foul weather gear, extra clothes or extra ammo.
I am carrying 24 + 36 + 14 = 74 lbs again, no food, sleeping kit, foul weather gear, extra clothes or extra ammo.
We lasted through the morning… At lunch we ditched the PC and just ran the BB, CB and rifle. Helen carried 40 lbs, me 46 lbs. Ditching 21 and 28 lbs respectively. I am continually amazed by Helen’s pluck. She never bitched, just sucked it up and drove on. As a percentage of body weight she out carried me by 18 lbs. I really need to improve my conditioning so I don’t let her down.
A tarp/ poncho, poncho liner, extra socks, pants, shirt, food, extra ammo ~ 10- 20 lbs. depending on sleep comfort and duration.
So the big question: Can you be effective, by any metric, carrying an extra 80 to 100 lbs? Right now? When?
6. Assault on Bunker:
You GOTTA do this!!
The coordination of support team suppressive fire and flanking maneuvers Max taught will put your game up a significant level. Probably the same level of effectiveness improvement as you experienced with buddy team fire and movement coordination beyond the individual.
Smoke grenades for cover in a small unit context are game changers, probably life savers. Problems: How big, how many, how many pounds?
7. The notion of scalability of forces, individual to buddy team to pairs of buddy teams,..,vehicles,… really started to make sense. Fire and Movement.
8. TC3, Man down and Squad leader tactical command and control courses will come if more people return for training! We all need the training and Max is the man to guide us.
9. I am still crawling, but I have also had a few halting periods of walking. I am anxious to start walking easily with periods of running. To do that I need more of you guys to come back so we can develop a core competency that Max and we all are comfortable with.
10. You don’t rise to the occasion. You fall back to your last level of training.
11. The character of the people we have trained with these past two times is remarkable! Good people, salt of the earth people, trustworthy people, confident people, people who make a difference!
Helen & Joe AKA Wanna-be-West Virginians