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Review: Combat Rifle Skills, MVT West, Spokane WA, Nov 2016: HiDesertRat

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I attended the Combat Rifle Skills (CRS) at MVT/West, Spokane, WA almost two weeks ago. Our trainer was Chris, former Army Ranger whom I first met at MVT/WV 2 years ago (TC3, CR/CD, CP). He is a great instructor who is a wealth of information about gear, procedures, tactical movement etc and offered many suggestions and guidance to folks with a casual, professional demeanor. Two years is a long time, and as Max has said numerous times, what we learn at MVT are skills that are perishable. It can’t be ‘one and done’. Serous learning never is. The site is in its infancy stage, currently just a square range, but a huge hill overlooks the range. I can hear the PT gods already admonishing everyone to get in shape. My legs ached just looking up that hillside. It will be a great site for developing CTT, CP, and whatever else the future holds.

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Above: Chris

The class started out with safety i.e. muzzle control, use of safety, awareness of others, progressed to zeroing of the rifle, clearance of weapon malfunctions, types of fire, movement (head, body, weapon), and much more. Eventually we got into shoot, move, communicate with a buddy. Multiple target engagement, use of cover and shooting strong/weak side. So much more, you just have to take the class to find out.

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I showed up with a MVT Patrol Chest Rig and battle belt lite. As the chest rig had only arrived a few days earlier, I had no opportunity to really consider how it would change my movements i.e. reloads etc from my earlier experience with a BB only. I felt awkward at first, but then came to appreciate it as time wore on. As anyone who goes through MVT knows, they will change placement of pouches, gear or remove them, whatever, as training progresses until one feels it works. Also, first time use of a sling was added to the mix. In my estimation it is a double edged sword. Yes, it makes carrying a rifle easier, frees up your hands for other tasks, but I found it also interfered with mag reloads at times and transition to the support side. It took some getting used to. You quickly realize that equipment, no matter the type, always has consequences, most unrealized unless you train, and most people don’t train. Finding out during the fight is too late.

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Above: MVT 556 Patrol Rig

It is astounding that civilians have access to such a knowledge base and not be in the armed forces. Truly, the MVT training experience is worth all the effort. And in the process you learn vital skills, challenge yourself and the bonus of meeting likewise individuals/ citizens who mirror your ideals. I had a great time and look forward to returning when other classes open up.

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Note: The Schedule for MVT West for 2017 is not yet up. We are looking to add CTT to the current CRS offering. Keep an eye out here.

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