I attended HEAT 2 August 22nd – 25th at MVT. As a background, I have taken HEAT 1 a number of times and attended HEAT 0.5 and HEAT 1 with my son earlier in the summer.
Bottom line up front – this was a fantastic class! In traditional MVT fashion, additional skills and training builds on HEAT 1 foundational theory and drill execution moving into patrolling, reconnaissance, and ambush/raids. This was an extremely content rich class with a ton of information and drilling packed into 4 days.
Max and Scott thoroughly explain the planning process and tactics behind each one of the concepts which is then drilled with walkthroughs and then live fire execution.
Day 1 focuses on patrol theory, movement and security with a refresher on live fire bounding movements toward and away from contact.
Day 2 centers around the Close Target Recce (CTR) with a fantastic day/night live patrol with “OpFor” locations to be surreptitiously scouted with the objective of delivering detailed information report. What an eye-opening experience! The woods are a big place but sounds travel, terrain has a vote and a watchful enemy can be hard to hide from. Worth the price of the class in and of itself.
Day 3, “Ambush Day”, was another enlightening day. Planning, movement, set-up, placement and direction of a 10-man team highlights the complexity of this action. You just don’t line up and shoot at a group of targets walking down a trail (not if you want to live)!! We had excellent team leaders (thank you JohnnyMac and Dimitri!) who also learned a number of hard lessons along the way such as when casualties were introduced to the exercise.
Day 4, “Attack Day” was the capstone drill with support by fire and assault team drills. The criticality of communication, focusing on the fundamentals of spacing, adjustment and proper bounding techniques were reinforced as part of the drill.
In summary, this is a “must-take” class for someone truly interested in small unit tactics and staying alive on a battle space. It was a very crisply delivered class with the proper amount of breaks and little to no wasted time. The other class attendees were focused, prepared and engaged. As is paramount in all MVT classes, safety is job 1. Never did I, or any of the other students feel concerned about safety. I have said it before, I worry more about going to an FSO-monitored indoor flat range than I ever do at MVT. I appreciate all of the time, effort and sweat and tears that Max and Scott put into these classes.
Next up, Defensive Concealed Handgun class and CQB.