Student Review: Combat Team Tactics August: ‘Gatlinggun’
I had wanted to attend a Combat Team Tactics (CTT) class for some time and in August 2015 it finally happened. I arrived in theater on Thursday and got settled into the Koolwink. As I arrived at the motel there were several “military age males” loitering in the parking lot. So after I registered, I walked over and talked to them. It turned out they were attending the same class.
Friday morning was cool and rainy and after introductions and an in-depth safety briefing by Max the class got started. We zeroed our rifles and started right into drills. Stoppage drills, rifle manipulation drills, muzzle awareness and more. All of the drills were done under the supervision of Max and 1SG.
Shortly after lunch the light rain that had been falling finally stopped. It was onto the individual RTR drill, after that was the RTR drill with a buddy. The buddy drills were where the constantly stressed muzzle awareness really became evident. The first day of drills and shooting gets you ready for what was to come the next two days.
Saturday morning was a little warmer than the previous day and again began with an in-depth safety brief by Max. Max was very thorough and serious about safety and buddy position awareness, especially on Saturday and Sunday. We started out with basic buddy team drills RTR’ing up the valley. “Shoot, move, communicate”.
I mentioned to several classmates that it is easy to shoot, mostly easy to move, and most difficult to remember to communicate. The first time or two the targets popped up I did the RTR drill and then blue screened as my rounds went down range. My buddy was not so patiently waiting for me to tell him to move. 1SG quickly (and not so gently) brought me back to earth. After each drill Max would give a critique and the next buddy team would do the drill.
During the class I had the dubious distinction of being the only blockhead to do a “tactical pirouette” earning 10 pullups on the pullup bar!
The drills on Sunday built on everything we learned the two previous days. Again after an in-depth safety brief Max got right into the instruction. First was the individual Jungle walk. Then came move advanced fire and movement drills with teams.
It was during the team break contact drill that I took an unplanned trip into the creek. Bravo team had told us to move. I answered for my team, got up and took about two steps, tripped over some unseen, unknown object (or maybe it was my own feet) and went head over heels into the creek. After Max and 1SG stopped laughing, Max came over and asked if anything was broken (only my pride). I said no. On the next bound back I was limping heavily and Max again came over and asked where it hurt. “Everywhere” was my answer. He laughed again and said “Good”.
It was only a minor injury but it put me in a support role for the last drill, the squad attack.
I must mention that I was the only one in the class not running an AR. I used my DSA FAL-para clone with an 18-inch barrel and ACE folding/telescoping stock. Optic was a Hi-Lux Micro Max red dot sight. I was shooting surplus South African 147-grain ball and didn’t have any stoppages due to faulty ammo.
If you want to use a .308 caliber rifle, here are a couple of takeaways from the class:
The CTT class can be successfully completed with a .308. I did it.
20 round magazines go quickly. So slow down your rate of fire. (Thanks 1SG.)
7.62x51mm ammo is heavy. I carried 8 mags in pouches and one in the gun.
Ammo magazine management is critical. When doing a tactical reload don’t be shy in bumping fresh mags to your ready pouches. Be sure to announce the bump first.
I want to thank Max and 1SG for their professionalism and attention to detail.