Ground Spoor/Ground Sign/ Combat Tracking

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  • This topic has 3 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 5 years, 9 months ago by Max. This post has been viewed 32 times
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    • #62561
      Max
      Keymaster

        Haven’t been on the forum in awhile, professional development issues have sucked up my free time. I don’t have a lot of light infantry experience, I know the terminology from supporting infantry elements but can’t offer much in the way of tactics…long story short, I have had some training in ground sign awareness and tracking, through both the Army Situational Awareness Course ( which I recommend for any active duty personnel on the forum) and through my job in C-IED work. The value of the training is obvious, but I’m curious as to the thoughts of others on the Forum. Have any of you implemented any level of this type of skill in your training ? Looking forward to hearing from y’all

      • #62562
        Max
        Keymaster

          My tracking training is two weeks with David Scott Donelan’s program and a one time opportunity with Alan Brosnan who taught me his New Zealand SAS method.
          I have not been able to incorporate as much training as I would have liked to.
          The first issue, to use tracking in training, is to get everyone in your group trained up to a level that they can perform adequatly in the basics of tracking. The is a 5-7 day cycle of training right there. A day of covering basics and types of spoor and sign, a half day in the sand pit looking at sign and and the other half learning to age sign. Another day on tracking duties, formations, lost spoor techniques, and tracking drills, and then one or two more days running longer tracking exercises and scenarios. Thats just for the basics. Tracking is at it’s most effective, in a military sense, when you have a team that is all equally trained. In a civilan SAR situation you can get away with only one tracker. Hunting bad guys, who also might know counter tracking techniques, in a whole other ball game.

        • #62563
          Max
          Keymaster

            The one thing I will say is I love the Y formation I learned in Donelan’s class and how to use it effectively. It has become my go to formation in the majority of my light infantry training. For small 4 man teams, which is what most militia type groups will be working with it can serve so many functions other than tracking. We have used it to set up small unit ORPs, Patrol bases, Hasty ambush positions, movement to contact, tracking etc. I am told by people who were in Afghanistan and took Donelans classes, that it became there go to formation likewise. This is at a time when many other infantry types I met, who were overseas, were using the Column formation for everything. I think those who spent a lot of time in urban operations in Iraq were just using it all the time I guess. Even if I don’t practice other aspects of tracking in my training, the Y formation alone is an immensely powerful tool in the toolbox.

          • #62564
            Max
            Keymaster

              I’m a huge fan of the Y formation for EOD operations. My ground sign training was merely a day out of our training week with the ASAT guys, some of who had taken courses with DSD. They couldn’t say enough good things about his program. I’ll have to haggle my way into some leave and look into checking it out

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