Student Review: Texas 2020 by Stacy

MVT TEXAS – FEBRUARY 23-29, 2020

The MVT Texas class, IMO, gets better each year and I have been lucky enough to fall in with a great group of guys to train with.  The ranch that we get to use is a beautiful place, with a comfortable lodge to relax in after the day’s work is through.  I do believe that training together and living together for the week brings about a lot more camaraderie and is inductive to the team work that we are working on.

Day 1: TCCC Class

This was an optional day, but highly recommended.  The course was taught by Max and another student and was very informative and hands on.  We worked on wound packing, Tourniquets, needle decompression, working through the whole M.A.R.C.H. algorithm.  The techniques we learned on this day were used later on in the week.

Day 2: River Assault & Rhodesian Tracking/Pursuit

The river assault started our day off by running thru some simple four man team drills, bounding forward (shoot, move, communicate), assaulting through etc…  The Rhodesian themed drill had us in pursuit of terrorists who hit a farm and we came into contact with upon catching up with them. This day was good for getting the kinks out, since most of us only get to this class once a year.

Day 3: Immediate Action Drills

The morning of day 3 we practiced react to contact, breaking contact, bounding back, peeling, react to second contact after peeling. In the afternoon we practiced a Rhodesian cover shoot reaction to contact, then moved forward in pairs by pepper potting and cover shooting on the move.

Day 4: Sequenced Squad Attack

Day four had us working as a squad with three four man teams on patrol, approx. 50 yards apart.  We ran through many iterations of this drill, with the first team coming under contact with OPFOR (ivans) in bunkers, and teams 2 & 3 moving in a flanking maneuver to assault the bunkers.  Each team got to rotate position in the patrol so that each one got to be team one, team 2 and team 3 and get experience in each part of this sequenced scenario.  In the afternoon of day four we ran a raid on a camp using a group as support by fire, then using a Polaris Ranger, another group rolling in on a flank to assault through by bounding then fighting through by pairs.

Day 5: Ambush Day

Ambush day is exactly like it sounds, we set up an ambush along a trail using cover and waiting for the OPFOR (ivans and popups) to roll through along the trail.  We did many, many iterations of this with the students getting to take turns either in the stop groups or in the kill groups or as the squad leader. As these iterations progressed through the day, it started getting more complex with Max throwing in casualties as we started to exfil and come under attack by the OPFOR QRF. This is where the skills learned on Day 1 in the TCCC class got put to use.  Casualty had to play their pre assigned part, and had to self-aid if possible (depending on their pre assigned injury), then once the firefight had been won, the casualty could be assessed (M.A.R.C.H.) or moved to a more secure location  and then assessed (M.A.R.C.H.). In later scenarios we bugged out using trucks and the Polaris Ranger and came under attack by the QRF and had to react to contact.  It was an exhausting day, but a great learning experience.

Day 6 & 7: FOF AirSim

The AirSIm days are where the lessons learned during the week really hit home. Going against live opponents who are also trained is a great learning experience. On day 6, we practiced patrolling in teams then having the teams coming into contact with each other and each team reacting to contact. Day 7 we had OPFOR set up in bunkers or in ambush along a trail/creek bank with the patrolling team reacting to contact.  We also used the experience we had on day four, running a raid on the camp, to set up a raid on the bunkers and assault through their position.  The AirSim days are invaluable in my opinion.

As stated in other AAR’s, do your PT!  I try to get in at least four days a week, but even so, I was definitely sore, mainly my knees. You always come away finding what you need to work on more! Looking forward to next year as well.