Student Review: Combat Team Tactics 12-14 December 2014: Arthur

Student Review: Combat Team Tactics, December 12-14, 2014
I attended the Combat Team Tactics (CTT) class from 12/12 to 12/14 with my son Matt. I am 59 my son is 27. This review is from my perspective.
By way of background I have attended other square range training in the past and most recently, Combat Rifle (CR) in August (review here). I consider myself to be in good shape PT wise, running, weight work and rucking. My goals when doing something I have never done before are modest, finish the class (no quitting no matter what) and don’t be a drag on the class.
I am breaking this down into Class Review, PT and Take Aways.
This is a 3 day class which starts day 1 with a condensed version of CR. As I reflect on this it is as crucial as taking CR as a full 2 day class in preparation for CTT. The first day started with an extensive safety brief. I will say that safety was always paramount and never felt that it wasn’t under control. We then spent the day zeroing our rifles, tactical reloads, emergency reloads, malfunction clearance, body movements (head, body, weapon), beginning fire and movement and many discussions of reasoning/theory behind all drills. All questions are welcomed and answered to satisfaction.
This first day while seeming the least exciting contains the nuts and bolts for the next 2 days. I will tell you that other than zeroing the rifle every drill you do and learn on day one will most likely appear on days 2 and 3. The most crucial drill is malfunction clearance. In prior square range classes the instructors would explain the malfunction and set them up. A conga line was formed to resolve the malfunction. The very important difference at MVT is that the students are also taught to create the malfunction. It is much easier to know, understand and fix a malfunction if you have leaned and know how to create one.
There are 2 other important benefits to day 1 that are not in the curriculum. First, day 1 allows you to meet your classmates and instructor in a relatively low stress environment. Secondly, the day 1 activities functionally ease apprehension and the stress of taking the class, thus allowing you to progress into days 2 & 3 more easily.
Days 2 & 3 are continuous ramping up of drills, methodology, instruction and theory. It starts with you as an individual patrolling down a path with Max to practice react to contract, then RTR, contact front, contact right, contact left, fight forward, breaking contact, peeling maneuvers, rally points. Now, work in your battle buddy, progress to 4 man squad and if your heart isn’t pumping and pulse racing you are not alive. This is all done under tight supervision and safety is continuously reinforced.
I do not want to go through every drill but will give one example of how it all comes together. We were in a 4 man squad (Alpha & Bravo, each 2 man squads) patrolling up a path to recon the area. If we came into contact we were to break contact and report back to camp. We patrol up the path, contact left is called, all squad members turn left (head, body, weapon) and engage the enemy. The lead 2 man team, Alpha is told to move back while second 2 man squad, Bravo covers. This break contact peeling maneuver  continues until we have moved back, out of sight of the enemy and contact. During the course of this maneuver there were numerous emergency reloads, a rifle go down out of the fight (broken trigger pin) more than 1 contact with enemy ending at a rally point with a tactical reload and bugging out down the trail.  During the course of these 2 days almost anything that can happen to your rifle will, and you need to know how to get it back into the fight.
In addition, during the course of day 3, Fred gives a CBRN report that is excellent. Truth from myth about these types of threats clears a lot of misconceptions up. All done in a way that is understandable and patience with endless questions.
PT is a subject that is stressed continuously because it is essential. You cannot expect to get the most out of this training if you are not in good enough shape to do the training. I know there is an effort now starting to create Tactical Fitness Training Plans (HERE). My suggestion is find a way/method/plan that gets you in shape. The benefit is a lifetime, quality of life choice that goes beyond this training and will allow you to gain the most from this training. Get in shape. There is no excuse, none.
Take Aways
  1. Physical conditioning is a must. Lung capacity, agility, endurance, upper body strength.
  2. There are different stresses in life. This training made me realize all the more that composure under adverse conditions is critical.
  3. This class cannot be taken once. I believe it is something that needs to be done at a minimum of once a year, not including other offerings that are available.
  4. These skills are perishable. Learn them, practice them and go back to the class to refresh on a regular basis.
  5. Agility is more important than I thought. In the case of the MVT site, there is not one level place to stand other than the square range.
  6. Maintain your rifle. Keep is greased, oiled and ready to go.
My final comment is with regard to Max and his MVT training site (Velocity Training Site (Appalachia) (VTC-A)). Max is a professional, carries himself as such and executes his duties as such. We were in good hands and never at risk for any safety problems. In addition, he has put together a training site that allows us to practice as close to real world conditions as us civilians will ever get.
Get in shape and get trained.