Student Review: Combat Patrol May 2015: Diz

CP May 2015

AAR CP 1502
The Combat Patrol Class is the culmination of all your other training.  This is where all the other pieces come together to form actual combat ops.  I’m sure lots of you have done training of one sort or another, but I doubt many of you have pushed it to this level of continuous progression.  The scenario is very realistic.  You have been taken in by local farmers since you fled from the city.  But now you are asked to return the favor by helping to protect the locals from a roving gang of criminals.  So you plan,  prepare, and execute combat operations in your new AO.  You first have to locate the enemy.  This is the recce patrol.  Then you have to do something about it.  This is the ambush patrol.  Finally you locate their campsite and eradicate the vermin.  This is the raid patrol.  It is a very realistic progression of combat ops as we may very well face them.   It all culminates in a 24 hr FTX, where you also learn to live in the field, in a tactical environment.  This is very important, because I’m sure not many of you have had this level of experience, in setting up a patrol base, and learning how to function while maintaining 360/24/7 security.  This is an art in and of itself.
As you have already had the CRCD/CTT training, this class will build on those skills sets with some integrated practical application.  Everything from weapons manipulation to fire and maneuver will be put to the test.  And it will be a test, because you will be under simulated combat stress, just to give you a taste of what it will be like.  So it is important to show up with your previous skill sets up to speed, but also the right mindset as well.  The training is hard, but doable.  Get your headspace right and the rest will follow.
Weapons.  Pretty much the same as CTT.  Keep it light.  Keep it oiled.  And camo your weapon for this people.  That black licorice stick stands out in the bush.
Equipment.  Same as CTT.  Only doubly so.  You need to keep your patrol ruck as light as possible and still have everything you need to function.  That Karrimor 45L is perfect for this.  And on sale at Grey Ghost right now.   The MVT prototype chest rigs worked well.  I worked out of mine for 10 days in a row and was very pleased with it (I stayed over between classes and patrolled every day).  It will be ready for production soon.
Ammo.  The round counts are a lot less than CTT.  I would say in the neighborhood of 800 rds.  So for planning purposes I would say about 2,000 rds for both CTT/CP combined.
Night Vision.  Not required but definitely useful.  Especially in navigating to the target at night.  And with an IR laser, it makes an awesome system to engage targets with.  The Crye Night Cap is a very useful piece of kit.  It replaces the weight and bulk of a helmet with something easily packable with your -14’s.  I plan on getting one.  Detractors say it sucks, well, so do the helmets.  I think the key is getting a suitable counter-weight in the back.
Water.  You definitely need to manage this stuff.  I carried a 3L bladder for drinking and a 1 qt canteen for cooking.  That’s a bare minimum per day.  Think about water re-supply.  And water purification.  You have to continually monitor this stuff.  Easy to get heat casualties.  Water will be available for re-supply.
Food.  Besides your freeze-dried main meals, I highly recommend you get power/clif bars for in between snacks, and some kind of gel packs (GU, Power, Hammer, etc) for some quick energy when you smoked.  Yeah, you will be smoked.  Especially if you don’t eat.  When you enter the FTX phase this is doubly important.  Remember all those shows about BUDs and all the calories they take in per day to keep functioning? It’s like that.  Don’t skimp on the calories.  Eat even if you don’t feel like it.  You will need the fuel.
PT.  Do I have to keep banging this gong.  Yeah.  This class is more about endurance, staying froggy all the time, versus short bursts of energy.  After 3 days in the bush you will be tired.  After running patrols up to midnight and then your turn at sentry duty, you will be tired.  Running a raid at the enemy after a few hours sleep, you will be tired.  The higher your overall fitness level, the better you will be able to handle the stress on your body.  As I said before, I did the Improve Your Tactical Fitness, Intermediate course before attending CTT, and CP.  This helps tremendously to get you to a level of fitness to function at class.  Also, I highly recommend you get out on some real hills and practice walking on the military crest for awhile.  It’s not so much the up and a down, but rather the sideways slant of the terrain that’s hard on your joints.
Personnel.  In this class, teamwork is essential.  I mentioned this in CTT, but it is 10X more important in this class.  You have to gel, early on, as a team.  There are many strong personalities in these groups.  That’s the actual reality of what we train for.  People will be thrown together, and must learn to work together, quickly, to survive.  I think it is important to mention, as you are formed up into teams, there will be chiefs, and there will be Indians.  As Chris said, when you’re a leader, lead; when you’re a follower, follow.  If you are constantly squabbling amongst yourselves you will not be combat effective.  So show up with the right mindset.  Be ready to lead, but ready to follow as well.
Instructors.  This is where Max really shines, as this is the bread and butter of his training and experience.  As I mentioned before, the Brits are the masters of this stuff, with world-wide experience, from Northern Ireland, to the Gulf.  And this time we had Chris, who also brings a wealth of knowledge to the table, with experience as both an Army Ranger Officer, and Contractor.  As our Rangers are also the masters of patrolling, he adds a lot of additional insight to the training.
It is hard, but it is doable.  It’s all about the right mindset.  Think about what it will be like for real.  The enemy doesn’t care if you are exhausted, hot/cold, hungry/thirsty, or hurting/injured.  He will kill you, rape your wife, and take all your shit.  He will laugh at you because you were so easy to kill.  Wrap your mind around that for a moment.  On a team level, if you guys aren’t working together, he will kill you, take all your fancy toys, and laugh at what a bunch of dickheads you were.  This is reality 101 people.
So there it is.  This is the most realistic training you will ever get outside of Ranger school.  I highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity.  If I can do it, you guys can do it.  Get out here and train!

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