Combat Patrol: where planning, combat team tactics, effective noisy/silent communication, personal fitness, attention to detail, commitment to success, all come together to solidify the understanding of what it actually takes for the team/family, to have a realistic chance at keeping the perimeter secure. For the most of us, the “perimeter” contains our families within it. The skill and the ability to keep the danger out, or find the danger before it finds you, is invaluable and must be mastered.
My personal progression has been Combat Team Tactics, followed by the CQB intro, Force-on-Force, and Combat Patrol.
Each class which I have taken prior to the CP, builds upon the other, like the pieces of a puzzle, the full picture becomes visible and will come together after participation in various classes offered at MVT. During the CTT classes, individuals and teams learn about the reactive and proactive maneuvers for the situations where contact with the enemy has been or will be made. CTT has showed me over and over, that it is not about me out there, it is about the situational awareness and my team around me. The communication between team members has to be clear, decisive, and timely.
During the Force-on-Force class, the teams actually get to apply the CTT and CP curriculum to the scenarios designed for the FoF class.
This class was a major eye opener for me in various ways: actual application of the team tactics, how to communicate the intent of our actions between the team members, what it actually takes to advance into contact undetected by the enemy, the importance of each fire team and how to use each team properly, the importance of cover, dangers of being stuck in one place, dangers of not paying attention to the rear or flanks, understanding that the enemy has a vote also.
Combat Patrol class for me personally, helped me to understand better the appropriate application of the combat team tactics, multiple teams advancing or breaking contact, support by fire and its purpose, reconnaissance of the objective, the importance of the available logistics, proper planning for the patrol and its activities, proper ambush set up and its execution. With the teams becoming more competent, a realistic curve ball was thrown at the teams to simulate the unpredictability of, and to demonstrate the difficulty of a casualty evacuation under contact. Cadre all said many times prior, the casualty evacuation under contact is one of the most difficult tasks to complete, after going through the “casualty” scenario during the ambush day, now I understand why that is.
Each drive home from Romney, I have time to reflect on the class and the weekend. One of the reoccurring conclusions after each class, is the realization of the importance of continuation of training, and the need of taking different classes at MVT. As stated above, each class brings a new layer of knowledge and skill which can be applied to the lessons learned from previous classes. Combination of this knowledge and skill will come together for each individual who is serious about their reason for being at MVT.