Patrol / Direct Action Opinions Wanted

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    • #92047
      Max
      Keymaster

        Currently, Combat Patrol is a 4 day class, standalone. This includes the first day of CTT live fire revision. For mobile combined classes, and any classes that I run combined at the VTC, it is a 3 day class, if preceded by CTT (i.e. no need for the CTT revision day, if you just did CTT).

        I have started doing ‘Direct Action’ classes as part of mobile classes. These are either 2 or 3 day classes and focus on elements of Combat Patrol: for example, it may be a 2 day ambush / raid focus after a CTT class. Or standalone it may be a 3 day alumni class with a CTT day, an ambush day and a raid day.

        I have been evolving the class to focus more and more on training / learning and repetition. For example last year in Texas we ran a full overnight patrol base / dawn ambush mission. So we only did the ambush once and everyone was tired. I felt it was great experience of an actual mission, but it could have been better from a learning perspective.

        Now for the 4 day class, we have a CTT day, a recce day, an ambush day and a raid day. With multiple iterations for each for example the ambush, to make it more of a learning experience. For example, at the VTC I am about to dig some more target pits and create a second live ambush area, so we can ambush at one then run another mission at another location.

        I am looking to amend the combat patrol class page to explain this better, and explain what direct action is.

        My question, for opinion, is this: running the patrol base on the night after the ambush day (the final night before the last day of class, raid day) takes a lot of time out of ambush day. We now run the patrol base as a learning experience (there is no live fire bug out in the morning like there used to be). However, what I want to do, and what I am going to try and sell to the incoming Texas class, is to not do the patrol base overnight at all.

        There is time on the final raid day where we basically just do the raid severl times. I can teach and do rehearsals of the patrol base that morning. no actual overnight. Once taught, people can overnight any time on their own time. So I am proposing to teach it all, but not sleep overnight.

        Combat patrol would okk like this:

        (CTT Revision Day)
        Patrol basics / recce day / night (this goes till about 2300 hrs)
        Ambush Day – multiple ambush missions
        Patrol Base / Raid Day

        Much more time in the program for teaching, and less tired students.

        Direct action may be:

        (CTT revision Day)
        Ambush Day – multiple ambush missions
        Patrol Base / Raid Day

        Let me know what you think. You get no overnight patrol base, but you get taught how to do it, and you get more teaching / more mission repetitions.

      • #92048
        PaulV
        Participant

          My .02…..While the old JarHead-Get-some part of me would like to say stay in the field, I think there is more learning/teaching potential and value in your new proposal. Learning how to set up a proper Patrol Base is the key. Learning to endure the misery of sleeping and pulling security in one isn’t going to happen with one night anyway and not worth sacrificing students’ attention to detail the next day.

        • #92049
          Max
          Keymaster
          • #92050
            Keeper
            Participant

              Is there a way to work in a DMR person/team into a patrol/direct action event?
              I think the overnight patrol base was a good thing I enjoyed and learned a lot for it. We are here learn. I agree with Max and PaulV that once we learn this skill we can practices it at home or with a group and devote more time in getting right the first time and building off it.

            • #92051
              Mike H
              Participant

                The 3 day alumni class sounds like an interesting concept. Look forward to updates as they develop.

              • #92052
                Max
                Keymaster

                  Mike: it already is an alumni class. The 2 or 3 day versions are already scheduled with mobile classes this year.

                • #92053
                  Mike H
                  Participant

                    whoops…sorry about that ..should have read your post more thoroughly

                  • #92054
                    rcolburn
                    Participant

                      Hi Max,

                      Having attended the Patrol Class back in May 2015, I’d say skipping the overnight in lieu of more time spent on dynamic training and practice would be a good step. As cool as the overnight was, there was quite a bit of “down time” executing the base in the afternoon. As mentioned above, that time could perhaps be better spent with other drills and more repetition.

                      Covering the basics of a patrol base in a few hours, with some daylight rehearsals would still be key however, as I think you’re already planning.

                      Bob

                    • #92055
                      Robert
                      Participant

                        Hi Max,

                        Having attended the Patrol Class back in May 2015, I’d say skipping the overnight in lieu of more time spent on dynamic training and practice would be a good step. As cool as the overnight was, there was quite a bit of “down time” executing the base in the afternoon. As mentioned above, that time could perhaps be better spent with other drills and more repetition.

                        Covering the basics of a patrol base in a few hours, with some daylight rehearsals would still be key however, as I think you’re already planning.

                        Bob

                        EGG ZACH LEE!

                        Couldn’t have said it better myself.

                      • #92056
                        Short Stroke
                        Participant

                          As long as there is still some instruction on the patrol base, I’d rather have more drill repetitions. This seems like a good change.

                        • #92057
                          tango
                          Participant

                            The night recce was one of my favorite training aspects thus far, so glad to see that will not be revised. Absolutely great experience there. When else are you going to get to paint your face, gear up, and live out a comic book plot of sneaking up on the OPFOR at night :)

                            Setting up the patrol base was a great learning experience and one that can not be overlooked. There should definitely be a real piece of time set aside to pay attention to that, not just make it a side item. The fieldcraft portion of this class is crucial.

                            Getting rid of the overnight is a downer for me. There is plenty to learn there and from a purist perspective all that fieldcraft is the stuff that dies off that 1SGT is always harping about having to relearn/reteach, and that can only be done by practice. Not to mention really getting people to practice with their packs and gear. How many times are you going to tell people about what/how to pack? You know the only way they’ll learn is the hard way.

                            The shift in attitude of the men and their mindset after manning the patrol base was a valuable sight to see. From a leadership perspective, very valuable things to note there. If this gets relegated to CLC only I would understand your point, but the 1 day dose of it showed how quickly things set in. There’s more going on here than just the tactics. This is currently not provided on any other class and would allow the savvy to get an idea without going for the whole week long CLC (if that continues).

                            It may sell more spots to take some of the perceived hardship out of it but the loss of valuable fieldcraft & leadership experience in trade for another run or two at an ambush is not 1:1. No bueno IMO.

                          • #92058
                            riflemaniv
                            Participant

                              What @tango said. I really enjoyed the night recce and doing the over night in the patrol base. I would have done a recce every night of the class. That said I could see changing things up to allow more teaching and repetitions.

                            • #92059
                              Max
                              Keymaster

                                Well, no one took the recce out.

                                But I already made the changes.

                                You know that I only really put these things uo to give you the impression of being involved, right? I’m a dictator.

                                Limited time on class is better given over to training patrol action. Patrol base will be taught. You can stay out in the woods on your own time, or come back for a CLC.

                              • #92060
                                hellokitty
                                Participant

                                  Although I understand why you want to maximize your instruction time, the overnight was a way to shake out your gear in a patrol base and figure out what works. I know you post multiple (and I mean multiple) explanations on packs and gear, etc. However, usually the ones that don’t get it have not taken your combat patrol course with the overnight. Doing it and reading about it are not the same, as you know. I fear that you will be explaining rucks and gear ad nauseum even more than current if you take the overnight out. So from a sanity perspective, you might want to keep.

                                  After all, a happy Max means more training for me. B-)

                                  HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
                                  HEAT 2 (CP) X1
                                  FOF X3
                                  OPFOR X2
                                  CLC X2
                                  RIFLEMAN

                                • #92061
                                  diomedes
                                  Participant

                                    I think its great. Sounds in line with what I suggested in 2015….. :-)

                                  • #92062
                                    Max
                                    Keymaster

                                      Now I’m putting it back on: can’t have Diomedes attempting to claim credit.

                                      Truth is it has value, but it is a case if short time and prioritizations. Dudes can sleep in the woods in their own time – there is better time to teach the PB on the final day. Many guys who have been to CP have experiwnced it, but couls not pull if an ambush or a raid, because they were just participants.

                                    • #92063
                                      HiDesertRat
                                      Participant

                                        I agree with tango, the night recon was a great experience. I love going out in the dark, it feels natural to me. The overnight patrol experience was learning experience. I learned a lot about shell scrapes, handlines, setting up sentries, etc. That particular info could be imparted in lecture w/o actually having to do it. I understand the need to impart as much information/training as possible in the shortest time span. I also appreciate the overnight, and the raid in the morning, everyone is tired, so more applicable to real scenarios. But again, it comes back to imparting information to impressionable minds. Maybe better with fresh minds, maybe better with fatigue thrown into the mix. Thats not my call in your world. I suspect that over time, CP could become the pinnacle of achievement, day maneuvers, hasty ambush, reconnaissance, raid, night firing, CT3, some other wrench thrown in for good measure.

                                      • #92064
                                        Socks
                                        Participant

                                          Well Max I can certainly see your point and now there will be more incentive to come back for another combat patrol. I must say I greatly enjoyed the overnighter though….. Pulling two sentry duties was enlightening lol

                                        • #92065

                                          after 3 combat patrols classes, I have to say I agree. Teach the patrol base concepts and the motivated can practice on their own….more shooting is always better!!

                                        • #92066
                                          Robert
                                          Participant

                                            after 3 combat patrols classes, I have to say I agree. Teach the patrol base concepts and the motivated can practice on their own….more shooting is always better!!

                                            Yes.

                                            Something else to consider is that a great many students are beat tired, not used to sleeping in the woods, semi dehydrated, etc. by the morning after the overnighter. While that’s real world without a doubt, it also it’s the best learning environment for some.

                                            Keep the night work, you don’t have to have the overnighter with it. The folks that want to do it can go back to the normal camping area. The people that want to jet back to the koolwink can.

                                            Less admin time people have to do on site means the more training time that’s available. I liken it to showing up with 30 mags all loaded versus 6 mags all unloaded. Your going to miss a lot of instruction while your stuffing mags.

                                            I would have definitely traded a few more iterations of the ambush and raid for the night out. And I like sleeping in the woods.

                                          • #92067
                                            tango
                                            Participant

                                              You know that I only really put these things uo to give you the impression of being involved, right? I’m a dictator.

                                              Yes. Much to your chagrin, we can’t help flexing our egos and acting like our opinion is worth something lol.

                                            • #92068
                                              Max
                                              Keymaster

                                                This is what happens when I do the right thing:

                                                (Poke it)

                                              • #92069
                                                wheelsee
                                                Participant

                                                  Re video……. 1 day…..need at least another CTT before…..good teamwork

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