Student Review: Combat Patrol 30 Aug – 01 Sep: Batsoff
Company: Max Velocity Tactical
Course: Combat Patrol (CP)
Instructors: Max / Chris
Location: Romney, WV
Dates: Aug 30th 2014 – Sept 1st 2014
Another great training weekend at Max Velocity, I want to share my experience and highlight some of the training that left an impression on me.
The class curriculum can be found at here.
The Combat Patrol class is a 3 day class that covers the theory and practice of patrolling. The class consists of both lecture and practice. Many of the concepts are taught, rehearsed several times, and then executed in the field.
Below is a rough outline of each training day (borrowed from Submariner):
TD1 was the theory of patrolling, including, but not limited to, types of patrols; planning; movement; field craft; actions on contact, etc.; patrol movement/security; gear requirements and packing. Afternoon was live firing as a squad: Offensive react to contact – squad hasty attack; Squad level break contact drills – options; and The MVT Box Peel – an MVT designed drill for withdrawing for contact front/flank simultaneously. Think reaction to an L-Shaped ambush or enemy flanking move.
TD2 Instructors conducted an equipment check to weed out unnecessary items and taught us how to set up a basha/tarp in the field. Practical instruction on living in the field and how to operate in a patrol base followed. Then that afternoon, we commenced the 24-hour tactical exercise: Patrolling out; Occupy Patrol Base; Routine in Patrol Base, including Evening Stand-To in Patrol Base; Night Recce Patrol; Routine in Patrol Base overnight, including sentry duty.
TD3 began with Morning Stand-To in Patrol Base; a Proprietary tactical exercise – live firing; AM: Live ambush; PM: Live Raid; Patrolling in. Again, theory of ambushes and raids were presented; rehearsals were conducted and the evolutions were run until we got it right.
Thoughts, Ramblings, Learnings:
PT… freaking PT. It doesn’t seem to matter how much PT I do, I’m gassed when running through some of the drills. I work out 5 days a week (weights, P90X, Cardio/Running)… but you can never do enough. Carrying a rifle and my loadout changes the game considerably… and I’m reminded of that every time I attend a class at Max’s. I need more PT.
PT… again. In typing the above, I was thinking that it’s rare to attend a training class where you are gassed even before the shooting starts. I’ve heard of some instances where instructors will make you do some jumping jacks or burpees to get you breathing heavy, but it’s almost the norm at Max’s to be breathing heavy before you start pulling the trigger (CRM is a little different as you are on the square range, but the above holds true for CRCD and CP). In CRCD there are several drills where you need to patrol up the mountain a good 150-200 yards before you experience your first enemy contact… then you need to use break contact drills to fight your way back down the mountain.
During the last day of Combat Patrol we rehearsed the final Raid drill several times and I even heard Max say “The assault team will sprint the last 100 yards up the creek bed to make the assault on the base once the fire cover team starts to lay down fire.” (Max: I deny it all! Come on guys, it was about 40 yards and I was shuffling… that’s adrenalin for you!) In my mind, sprinting 100 yards translated to “we need to move quickly for 30 yards to get into position for the attack”… but when the fire team started their covering fire, Max started sprinting up the riverbed… he was freaking moving, by the time the assault team got into our first firing position, I could hear my heartbeat thumping in my ear pro. From there it was covering fire, a left peel, more covering fire, an offensive react to contact drill and fighting through the camp, a brief pause while another team attacked, a break contact drill, frag out, more break contact, and then a sprint down the main road out of the camp. It was 15 mins of non-stop movement… and I was once again gassed. Need more PT.
Night Recce was my favorite drill. Patrolling through Max’s property with a team of 4, staying as stealthy as possible while not being seen by the sentries or Max driving around on the Ranger was another eye opener for me. Having the search beam float over you while you are face down in a creek bed is enough to make you hold your breath in hopes of not being seen.
Night Vision / FLIR: If you have read the other AARs you’ve heard attendees talk about how dark it is; it was pitch black. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face for most of the night. I didn’t’ think it would be possible to be walking 2ft behind someone and not see them or be able to follow them, but we did operate for most of the night that way. I hadn’t seriously considered NODs… but they are back on my procurement list. We all train for different reasons, and if you think that the “lights might go out” at some point… NODs are going to be a must.
Team: I’ve been fortunate to meet some very good people at Max’s. This class was no exception. I was impressed with how quickly a group of motivated guys could get together, learn a skill, and then apply it in a professional manner.
Having a team is vital to surviving… Max talks about it, Mosby addresses it, I’m sure the MIL community also understands this. Being a loaner is a non-starter when operating in this type of environment. Build a team.
Battle Flow: Another big take away for me was watching the flow of the battle during the drills. In CRCD you get a taste of this, but in CP, you are fighting with multiple squads all working the same objective. The concepts of flanking, covering fire, and movement all come to a head as Max directs the squads on the ranges… it’s an art as much as it’s a science.
Quote of the Week: “It’s complicated, but it’s simple.”
Another great weekend, I will definitely be back to train again with Mr. Velocity .