Student Review: Close Quarter Battle Course June 2020 by Rob

I recently took the CQB course at MVT. I am alumni and have trained at MVT before. I will preface this AAR with this, the CQB class offered by MVT is the most practical class that one can take through MVT; in my opinion. This is not minimizing the benefits of Max’s other classes, not at all. For me, and I think that I can speak for most of us, CQB is more practical-simply put. Why this class isn’t fully booked twice a year is beyond my understanding.

Max had a new trainer that none of the class had met before, his name was Dave. Dave was humble in his introduction, but listed his qualifications on why he is capable of teaching this class. If I remember correctly, he mentioned something like over a decade (17 years…?) in the Army Special Forces.

His training style is unique, understandable and easily appliable to what’s being taught. Dave is patient, thorough and a complete asset to the MVT cadre. Max, keep him around. One of the things that I most liked about Dave is that he kept reminding the class to slow down, breathe, and understand what’s going on around you and with your team. He taught to be fast with your eyes, then with your trigger finger- but have proper footwork. He emphasized being natural in your movement and “flow” through room(s). The “tacticool” Hollywood theatric footwork/movement is bullshit. He didn’t say that, but that’s the analogy that I worked into by head. When applying what Dave taught, it was clear that the teams all moved smoother, and that the mission was usually successful.

Day 1- Arrival to the parking lot at 0800. Typical meet and greet. It’s always good to catch-up and see old friends from class and meet new ones. We drove up to the flat range and started class. Max went through safety, as most know that’s always stressed at MVT. We went through basic rifle manipulation, ready-ups and engaging targets from ready-ups. As most have learned in Heat 1…. Head, body, weapon. As the day progressed Max and Dave brought out barricades and shooting from behind cover/concealment. Then the doorway and magical broomstick was brought out. Max went through diminishing sectors and step center. Essentially these movements are the base fundamentals of CQB entry. The cadre also went through center fed and corner fed rooms and entry into those rooms. Once it was demonstrated, the students had ample (empty rifle) entry reps. As always, the trainers corrected our errors and we continued gaining more experience. As we got more comfortable, pallet rooms were introduced with steel targets and frangible ammo. We applied what we learned with individual room clearing and engaging steel targets upon room entry. Reps, reps, reps. Max and Dave let us get a ton of reps. For that I am thankful.  Day 1 went until about 1700-1730.

Day 2-Arrival to the parking lot at 0745. We then went to the team house and were handed out our airsim rental rifles for those that do not own on personally. Max walked everyone through the operation of the airsim rifles, gassing the magazines, loading, unloading and of course, safety and ppe (personal protection equipment). From there we went to the CQB house. Applying what we learned from day 1. Day 2 was force on target. So, we started in 2-man teams, working up to 8-man teams. We started simple and as the day progressed, more challenges were thrown into the mix.  Paper targets were put up and continually changed throughout the day. Adding rooms, adding “no-shoot” targets, and as mentioned above, factoring in 2 teams (8 men). Dave then went into hallways and crossing multiple connecting hallways. Albeit, the hallways were 2×4’s on the ground, but you easily understood the point and the training made perfect sense. We started small and built up. Day 2 was great. Everything that was practiced on the flat range was put into practical application within the CQB house.

Day 3- Force on force. Day 3 was putting two days of training to now force on force, people that shoot back; hostiles that move within the building…Here you quickly realize how fast things change. You also realize how fast your plans change when members of your team start going down around you. Starting small and building up. It was amazing how fast things came together for our teams. I mentioned the amount of reps that you get, and I stress the importance of that because it’s needed when day 3 comes. I was quite surprised that the little actual training time we had (for doing what we were doing); the teams came together nicely. We all moved well and the application of what was taught over two days was now being used and used quite effectively. Everyone cycles through as OPFOR. So, seeing it from the other perspective is also effective training. I don’t want to give too much more away for day 3. Do yourself a favor and sign-up for this class the next time that it becomes available.  

The class finished with an AAR, as all classes do. This was a phenomenal class; I strongly recommend that you sign up for this in the future. I would also recommend that you take HEAT 1, prior to CQB. That will give you a good baseline on safety, movement, rifle manipulation, and communication.

Quick take aways from class

  • Flow into the room.
  • Don’t overthink it.
  • Slow down and breathe
  • Fast eyes, fast finger
  • Get guns into the room
  • Don’t do CQB unless you absolutely have to