Student Review: Citizen Close Combat: M1-Guy
For all Combat Team Tactics (CTT), Combat Patrol (CP) alumni, you must take this class!!! This is an absolute, even though there aren’t supposed to be any. I will explain, but want to first talk safety. As all MVT alumni know safety is of paramount importance. In Citizen Close Combat (“C3”) it is monitored with great intensity given the close proximity with which the live fire drills are run, many times shoulder to shoulder. Safety is one of the hallmarks of MVT’s training reputation and this class is another example of why that is true. Lee ran it tight while allowing scenarios to develop and play out.
Why is C3 a must for everyone? The skills, information and critical thinking taught here might save you if you are ever in an urban combat situation as a result of home invasion, civil unrest or any other situation that causes you to have to transit an urban environment to safety. I say might save you because in the urban chaos you find yourself in, there are so many variables and random events occurring that there is no way to have an absolute outcome. In my mind I have termed this getting an Edge. These are techniques MVT has taught me that I believe will give me little advantage over any opposition I might meet, an Edge.
Note: CTT is a required prerequisite for C3. CP is not.
CTT teaches you the information you need (shoot, move, communicate) which then is used to allow you to gain more skills and knowledge for the urban environment taught in C3. This is not like fighting in the woods. If you read Diz’s AAR (here) you will get a detailed account of our 2 days. I am going to describe one of the scenarios we ran to describe and illustrate how CTT and C3 are intertwined.
Things have gone sideways and your group has decided to leave their area. Sporadic gunfire, fires, time to go. We need to get cross town. Our team is 3 fighters (A, B & C). A is front and responsible for the front sector, B is flank and responsible for our right flank and overhead (windows/roof tops) and C has rear. We have chosen the left side of this block (close to the buildings that run the length of the block) given the features we see (windows, doors and available possible cover and concealment) and make the decision that this is the best side of the street to go down. Our number 1 SOP is to break contact if engaged.
We pass a building on our left with a closed door. Prior to reaching the end of the block we are engaged. A calls contact front, returns fire, moves to cover/concealment close to wall on his left and returns strong effective fire . Simultaneously, B moves up on line with A almost shoulder to shoulder using the available cover/concealment (RTR). C calls the doorway, A tells B to move back to the doorway. As B is bounding to the doorway A calls “stoppage”, B reverses and rejoins A online to his left, shoulder to the wall, with strong cadence fire. A performs emergency reload, A yells “back in”, B tells A to move and A & C breach the door, pie it and clear the room, attaining a position of dominance. C moves to doorway security and tells B to move. B does not move in a straight line to the doorway but moves back on an angle that keeps his cover/concealment in play, then makes hard right turn into the room. The team then will plan their way out.
The preceding is a break contact maneuver. It was made more complicated by a 3 man squad, a compressed & walled battlefield, limited escape routes and numerous unknowns presented by buildings, doors and windows. You make the best decisions you can given the reality you are dealt. Oh, and our scenario didn’t include spouses, children, etc you might have in tow!!!
The potential complications are almost endless. This is where MVT and Lee come in. Lee is the instructor and has the credentials, experience and patience needed to teach us the information necessary to give us an Edge if ever faced with the chaos of urban warfare. Lee teaches us the high probability solutions, remember there are no absolutes and it seems even fewer in urban warfare. He teaches us to trust your training, assess the angles, make your decisions, scan your sectors, move quickly and be ready to reassess if/as the “flows” change.
Here are some of my takeaways in no order of importance:
- The optimal squad is 4 fighters, 3 is workable, less than that is problematic.
- If somehow you have 6 (optimally 8) or more fighters perhaps you can use satellite patrolling
- At a minimum, Combat Rifle Skills (here) class for your spouse/children
- C3 is about teaching you skills that will provide you with an Edge
- In the compressed and confined battlefield (streets, buildings, windows, doors) everything happens very fast and decision making has to made fast.
- Communicate loudly. It is louder in the confined area of streets and buildings than in the woods.
- You need to be thinking many steps ahead. It is like a chess match with no boundaries.
- It seems many times you will face making the least bad decision.
- This is stressful and mentally tiring
- This is complicated movement, more so with people in tow.
- Geometry, always assess the angles
- If it is possible (which it would not be for most) avoid urban combat
- Learn to become proficient in shooting from your support side. This is about angles, maximum cover/concealment, efficiency
- Slings in urban warfare are not necessarily a good thing because of transition to support side shooting
- You need to take this class!!
Next Citizen Close Combat Class: December 12-13.
Next Combat Rifle Skills Class: Nov 7-8.