Training with your Group

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Home Forums Tactics & Leadership Small Unit Tactics (HEAT 1) Training with your Group

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    • #95666

        Some very important issues were raised (again) in the recent thread ‘Training Through Competition.‘ That thread was a total cluster fuck. The question often comes up about people attending MVT and then going back to train their people. Bottom line, it isn’t going to happen, and there are a number of anecdotes about that I am sure people may (or may not) want to post here.

        However, absolutely do not do 3 Gun or any similar BS for ‘training value.’ This will induce massive training scars. Whatever people say, it is not tactical training.

        But what can you do? Let us assume that your group has one or two people that have trained sufficiently at MVT to have an actual understanding of what we are doing with SUT, in such as way that they can articulate that and pass it on. You will want to get your (untrained) group at least up to a minimum standard before at some point attending MVT, or you will want to maintain the skills of those that have trained.

        Some of this will depend what facilities you have. Let us assume a square range that allows movement, or a backwoods areas on someones property. A lot of this is down to your imagination, but I’ll throw out some ideas.

        Safety: it is vital that everyone receives a thorough safety brief including practise in the movement and carriage of their weapon. As we do at MVT. Have them actually move about with an unloaded weapon, and do dry presentations. Nails this down and exclude any bullshit from the beginning. Correct carriage and movement with the weapon in the patrol/low ready position. etc.

        1) Individual shooting skills: this is where we get on the range and practice our shooting and RTR drills. Up to your imagination. Make sure it is real though, no 3 Gun BS. Also incorporate weapon manipulation, such as reloads, so you can train it and your speed includes designed reloads/ stoppages.

        2) Jungle walk: place out targets however works for your situation so that they are only seen when you round a bend, or whatever. Practice patrol movement, observation, and individual RTR drills.

        3) Bounding: one of the big issues is lateral and vertical spacing, and thus safety angles. Taking untrained people and throwing them into bounding is a recipe for disaster. I would train bounding on a suitable piece of open ground, using marked positions with perhaps traffic cones or similar markers. Practice your communications and move from marker to marker. On the CRS classes we usually put barricades on the range to do rudimentary buddy bounding, from barricade to barricade. Have someone walk in the middle doing safety.

        4) Team bounding can be done the same way, with each buddy pair moving from marked cover to marked cover. Vital to watch the weapon carriage / safety.

        5) Peeling: move laterally with each place on the trail / linear feature marked by a cone or similar.

        6) Break contact: once you have reached a level of competency, run break contact drills with each position marked.

        Obviously it is essential that you have someone competent and who has absorbed MVT training set this up. What I am driving at is embedding the required lateral/vertical safety angles and bounds by having people move to marked positions so there can be no mistake as they learn this.

        You may make such a bounding lane going through woods, where each firing position is clearly marked, but as they progress different fixed targets come into view, and must be observed and engaged. Scanning is vital. This could become a competition for hits on the targets. Use IDPA silhouettes, paper Ivans, or staked static green Ivans like I use at MVT. Steel is good at long enough ranges, it cannot be engaged close.

        This sort of training can be made into a competition, but works to train tactical skills, shoot move and communicate, no BS 3 Gun stuff.

        You can also run the RC shoot with whatever targets you want (more scoring areas/difficulty), in order to train a scored simulation of a squad attack. This also forces you to be fast at reloads and weapon manipulation.

      • #95667

          Ah yes, the problems of training on your own. OK, it can be done IF you have a few things going for you.
          1) Competent Instructors, that both know what they’re talking about, and can convey it to others
          2) Competent Students, who are capable and motivated to learn
          3) Proper place to do it
          4) Proper equipment to do it with

          Where to start. Well how about number one. They are many good soldiers out there, proficient in the trade. There are many good teachers. But there are not that many who can do both. Very few individuals have taken the time to develop of COI that codifies what they know, and how that gets past on to you. Much less have the teaching skills necessary to impart the knowledge and skills to you. You can learn this stuff OJT, if you have an annual training schedule and someone to show you the ropes, but that gets into the other points.

          Number two. Lots of guys talk a good story but when it comes down to actually training, the excuses begin. Gotta bad back. Can’t get off work. The kid’s are sick. And when they do show up to train, the motivation drains out once they get into the hard work. If you haven’t paid money for the training, you don’t have skin in the game. It’s easy to come up with all sorts of shit as to why you can’t do it.

          Three. Hard to find a good place to do SUT, just with blanks, much less live fire.

          Four. Hard to get every body on the same sheet of music for weapons and equipment.

          It can be done, but it’s extremely difficult. Like herding cats.

          I have tried a couple of times and was seriously disappointed. Just some highlights. Various buy-in from individuals; some take it seriously, some not so much. Hobby time. Some cannot do big-boys rules. If you’re not standing over them like a drill sgt they aren’t paying attention. Some have problems with authority; they don’t like someone else telling them what to do. All sorts of “helpers” that want to add to their 2c to the training. Some want to bring the wife and kids out. Make it a big camp out. Training gets diluted.

          Basically there is a lack of any real authority due to the voluntary nature of the thing. One guy may have a shitty weapon. Another has crappy mags. Maybe another guy’s web gear is all fubar. You try and get this stuff squared away and they get all butt-hurt about it. So until you have some real buy-in, it’s kinda pointless.

          And then there’s safety. This has to be paramount. Again due to the voluntary nature of the thing, you get guys with various levels of competence and seriousness.

          The bottom line is until you establish a real working group, with a chain of command, and stated goals and training plan to get there, you’re just wasting your time, IMHO.

          I know Robert has had much more experience at this than me and can address these issues some more.

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