Student Review: Combat Patrol Aug 30 – Sep 1: Jon R T
After reading and hearing directly from MVT alumni about the value of repeating training at MVT, I decided to repeat the Combat Patrol class.
The environmental differences between my two experiences in CP were significant. During the day the temperature was in the mid 80’s as opposed to near perfect temps in April. This class had almost no moon on night patrol. The forest had a full leave canopy this time which mostly blocked the small amount on available moonlight. These factors made movement of our 6 man patrol team difficult particularly after 2230 hrs. I had NOD’s, so our team’s formation after moonset was almost like a 6 man human caterpillar attached to one guy with NOD’s. We had a FLIR Scout, and this was very useful on the RECCE patrol as well. If you have night vision gear, bring it. I think that maneuvering on the RECCE patrol would have been really tough without NOD’s.
It is a fact that repeating the class reinforces the previous lessons, and I certainly felt more at home with the drills, goals, and expectations of the class. Max’s lessons had subtle refinements and improvements. I can’t emphasize enough how impressed I am with the teaching techniques used by Max and Chris.
The drills were much the same as my last patrol class. I had originally attended the CRCD/CP combined class, so, at that time, I was a bit overwhelmed with the concepts. After 5 months to reflect on the lessons, I felt completely comfortable with the drills. I knew where to go and picked out my cover before moving where possible. My situational awareness was much better. Of course, my battle buddy was excellent as was our team. Our communication was great. There was far less Max bollocking.
I think the most important aspect was that I finally picked up on what Max called controlled aggression. I think it allowed quicker movement and target acquisition and made me less tired during the drills. It was particularly helpful during the raid drill. Once the 24 hr patrol drill commences, act as you would if the exercise was real and you can’t go wrong.
Lessons learned and reinforced:
- Assemble your entire kit before the class (including your tarp) and practice with it all if possible.
- Read about patrol formations and movement prior to the class (Contact is a good reference).
- Drink lots of water if it is hot. Bring at least 2 liters on the night patrol exercise.
- Streamline your kit.
- Get NOD’s.
- Knee pad, elbow pads, eye protection, and gloves are good to have.
- Bring tools for your gun and extra parts (at least have them in your vehicle).
- Bring medical supplies such as ibuprofen, bandaids, etc.
- Bring a note pad and pen on patrol (Rite in the Rain pads are nice).
- Keep extra ear protection in an accessible pocket (such as soft ear plugs).
- Wear Gortex boots.
- Permethrin fabric treatment works.
- Sleep where and when you can.
- Make sure the guy with the NOD’s won’t lead you off a cliff on patrol.
- and, yes (as batsoff wrote), it’s confusing but it’s simple.
Jon R T