Review: Long Range Marksmanship: May 2018. From: Brad L.
Spoiler Alert – The MVT May 2018 Romney WV LRMS class was excellent!!
My Background: A retired engineer, long time hunter with no previous military service. Prior to this weekend, I can count on one hand the number of times I shot at something farther than 300 yards. I attended CTT/MOB Texas in Feb 2017 but this was my first time at the Romney WV site. Really wanted to attend the LRMS in the fall of 2017 but house construction made that a non-starter. As soon as the 2018 class popped up on the calendar, I signed up. It was a long drive, but hands down it was worth every hour spent on the road to get there.
I am focusing this review on three specific areas of the class, Facility, POI and the Instructors.
Facility: The class was held at three different places on MVT Romney, cabin for classroom, 100 yard range for zero checks and the absolutely beautiful 1000 yard range for the majority of the class time. As others have posted and shared in the AAR, no picture can do this range justice.
- The cabin provided an excellent place for the classroom portion of day 1. It allowed comfortable seating, organization of written materials and effective use of the dreaded PowerPoint presentation.
- The 100 yard range was nice, convenient and only utilized for zero checks and establishing muzzle velocities to input into ballistic calculators. There were also some drills we ran at that facility, more later.
- The 1000 yard range is where it was at! In addition to a stunning view over two ridges and the mountains beyond, there are three target areas specifically of unknown distances. Multiple sizes of targets at different ranges in each area provided challenges for the balance of the class time. And according to information shared in the AAR, this is not a static facility. Many upgrades and improvements are planned and underway. In fact the day before class, some additional clearing was done on the target areas. These additions will continue to improve an already impressive range!
POI: The course was an appropriate mix of classroom and field time. Although everyone naturally wanted to get out and shoot steel, a necessary understanding of ballistics and the process to shoot at long range was provided in the first half day. A well organized, interactive presentation laid the foundation for our range work to follow.
As mentioned, we then spent some time on the 100 yard range confirming zeros while at the same time gathering muzzle velocities for each individual’s rifle/ammo combination. A few drills at this point drove home some of the lessons form the classroom presentation, in an eye opening manner. No hints, you gotta go to class!
Finally we got to move onto the 1000 yard range where the rest of the class was conducted. No messing around here, we jumped right into a line of shooters firing at the near target area until everyone hit steel. Then we moved to the medium range, same drill and subsequently to the 1000 yard target area. Within 30 minutes of starting, everyone in the first group had connected at close to 1000 yards. Impressive results for the entire methodology used. Over the next day spent on this range the requirements gradually got tougher and required the students to do more and more of the work required to find a firing solution, until on late Sunday morning all you were given was a target designation and a time constraint to engage.
My previous record of 300 yards had been shattered. Small targets at just shy of 1000 yards and first round hits. This is a no bullshit class and a fantastic opportunity to learn how to shoot that far.
Instructors: Bottom line, John is a great teacher and wind guru. Kevin was an excellent AI, and no slouch on the wind calls either. The way things shook out on the firing line, I was shooting with John making calls on the scope so that why I can attest to his wizardry with the wind.
- Being an effective teacher requires, among other things, Organization, Knowledge of the Subject, and a Passion for and Dedication to the Subject being taught.
- Organization was an area that John could have used some improvement, as even he admitted during the AAR. Not a huge impediment to results, just that some parts of the class could have been smoother with a little better organization. That said, I will deal with a slight bit of chaos and take the rock solid calls on the scope ANY DAY!
- Knowledge of the Subject is self evident. Read the bio, listen to the classroom presentation and then watch John interact as those lessons are put into practice. The guy knows Long Range shooting. Most importantly in this case he was able to relay that knowledge and how to implement it to the class participants.
- Passion and Dedication: Just listening to John and Kevin talk about long range subjects, explain things with a mix of technical knowledge and war stories and become animated when things didn’t seem to be working attests to their passion. An instructor that will remove the scope from his personal weapon and put in on a participants gun to diagnose an issue is dedicated (and that was the case here). Turned out the scope had some issues so that person used Johns scope for the balance of the class.
- In summary, John and Kevin did an outstanding job teaching and coaching this class.
Suggestions for future participants:
- Bring all ammo from the same lot if at all possible
- Have your rifle zeroed at 100 yards and some rounds downrange with that zero
- Come ready to exceed your expectations!
Conclusion: If you want to learn about Long Range shooting, this is an absolute rock solid opportunity to do so and I highly recommend it. If the Advanced class that was the subject of discussion is scheduled, I will be one of the first to sign up.
Review: HEAT 1 April 2018 – ‘Left Bob’
By Left Bob
HEAT 1 was a dynamic, information-filled class for me. As background, I am new to the carbine with little trigger time prior to the class besides some recreational shooting and zeroing. While the first 2 days of the class is a proper and excellent introduction to the rifle, I would highly recommend taking the Hostile Environment Marksmanship (HEMS) class if you have not had prior rifle/carbine classes. In my opinion it will allow you to absorb the information easier and make the maneuver part of the class on Days 3 & 4 more valuable. If you have had multiple training classes, I still strongly recommend you attend all 4 days or the HEMS class.
The first 2 days on the flat range were extremely valuable especially the stoppage exercises and basic fire & movement drills. Though most of the attendees had extensive carbine training under their belt, they all learned new things these first two days. I cannot overstate the quality of instruction and the information provided. All the early drills build, in a very structured way, the skills required for the team movements on Day 3 and 4.
Days 3 and 4 of the class on the tactical ranges was eye-opening and brain numbing at the same time. Shooting, moving and communicating are straightforward in isolation but complex in execution combining safe weapon manipulation, multiple team members, targets and terrain. Day 3 was a blur and I was at “40,000 feet” for most of it but it all started to slow down on Day 4. This is why so many alumni come back and take it over again and continue to learn.
The bottom line is that it was a superb class and learning experience that you should plan on attending multiple times. If you want to be coddled and can’t check your ego, I recommend you stay home and plink at the indoor range – this is serious training. Other recommendations to improve your experience at this class:
- Make sure your rifle is zeroed and in good operating condition. Have a spare.
- The fitness test is no joke. You need to be in shape to do this class.
- Koolwink Motel worked great and is very convenient.
- Dirt roads are a little rough, make sure you have some ground clearance for your vehicles and 4WD is not a bad idea.
- Practice with your kit and have the ability to carry at least 6 magazines.
In closing, Max and Scott are excellent, highly knowledgeable, experienced instructors with a fantastic training facility and a well-structured program. I really appreciate all for the support, especially from Scott, primarily delivered up close and personal! I only hope that I did not drive them to drink!
Safety is paramount and I feel more unsafe at any local indoor range than I ever did at MVT. My classmates added to the learning experience (thanks Dimitri!) and were helpful all along the way. If you want to take your training to the next level, MVT is the place.
1) There is no fitness test at class, but there are pre-class fitness prerequisites for all tactical classes. You can find links on the relevant class pages and in the training menu.
2) HEMS is a 2 day combat rifle / combat marksmanship class that closely mirrors the Thursday / Friday of the HEAT 1 class. It is standalone and is not a prerequisite for HEAT 1. Taking HEMS will allow you, within 6 months, to attend the Saturday / Sunday of HEAT 1, missing the first 2 days. As 'Left Bob' states, it is highly recommended to do both, simply because it will make your training experience more rewarding. More training with MVT = better.
3) You do not need to attend HEMS, in which case you would simply attend the 4 day HEAT 1 class. Depending on an honest assessment of your carbine skills, you should decide to attend HEMS or go straight for HEAT 1. None of these classes are 'too basic' for anyone, and attending HEMS will flatten your learning curve at HEAT 1.
Review: Heat 2, Texas 2018: S.Little
I am late writing this review. After getting back from a six day class, work was and has been super busy!
Background: I attended what is formerly known as Combat Rifle Skills and Combat Team Tactics last year at Brady, Texas. I was amazed at how much we were able to go through, and retain day to day, and then roll right into the next drill without a hitch. So as soon as the Texas 2018 Heat 2 class went up last year I was hitting the “take my money” button as fast as I could!
Leading up to Texas: Heat 2 in 2018 I was (still am) doing a lot of PT, I didn’t want to be the guy sucking wind and not able to keep up. I will admit though, I was still a little nervous before the class date….wondering had I done enough, had I pushed hard enough? Would I remember the drills from last year? Like a lot of guys, with work, family, and a myriad of other responsibilities…getting time to practice is hard. Heat 2 started off with a review of the basic bounding, peeling, and patrol formations that we went over in CTT last year. We were able to roll right into the drills like we hadn’t missed a beat! A true testament to the training that Max provides! We were introduced to a 6 man arrowhead patrol and several other patrol formations, along with move & fire forward bounds, whereas last year we only did a cover fire after our bound and we were set for the next buddy pair to bound forward. Max had a theme for us this year and introduced us to a Rhodesian cover shoot concept, which was very interesting, and really hit home on that one of the hardest things to do is to locate the enemy! We also had a daylight and night time reconnaissance that was a lot of fun! We had to set up an ORP in an area where we could view the OPFOR that was guarding the lodge we were staying at. We sent out satellite patrols to see what other kind of information we could gather on the force and possible hostage situation. Once it turned dark we split up into 3 two man teams and tried to penetrate into the compound area in a clover leaf pattern to see how far we could get in and what other types of info we could gather. It was a great learning experience!
Ambush day was a lot of fun, I don’t know how many iterations we did, but they were all different each time and most everyone got a chance to get experience leading an ambush. The last iteration was interesting as Max pulled out some tricks, with the pop up targets popping up again as a counterattack and our squad taking a casualty. The casualty had to self-treat as best as possible while the squad went to work trying to win the fight. Once the enemy were suppressed, part of the squad was able to get the casualty to an EVAC area while the rest of the squad followed up. I will say this, PT is essential! I can’t imagine how much SUCK it would have been had I not been doing PT! Raid day was very interesting with employing a support by fire team and having them shift fire as we were assaulting through! Somewhere in here we had an evening that Max and my roommate Wheelsee put on a TC3 class that was superb!
The last couple of days were CQB and partly Force on Force. The House of Woe was an eye opener, never having cleared a house before by myself or with a buddy or a team……wow! You need to do it, it will really get you thinking about angles, which as a land surveyor I can understand, but in a house with possible occupants wanting to harm you….it’s a whole different game! You really have to think your way through. Getting to use UTM ammo and the rifle that you train with, I can’t tell you how much that brings it all together! That was a great learning experience, I did die several times, and each time Max was able to go over what we did wrong (usually not enough suppressive fire!!!) and each time we would get a little better! Max has a way of getting you to understand and see what you did wrong and how to fix it that is very admirable! Getting to use the tactics we had learned against live opponents, in my opinion is one of the best learning experiences you can have! It will show you where you are at and what you don’t know yet! Without having to pay the ultimate price…. I also have to say that the group of guys I was with were an excellent group of guys and family men to train with! No egos, no BS, eager to help, eager to learn, it made the experience all the more better. By the way, I’m already signed up for Texas 2019! Get out there, get busy, train, do PT and take a class you won’t regret it!
~ S.Little - South Texas
Review: Texas HEAT 2 February 2018: William
This was my second year taking a class from Max. I attended Combat Rifle Skills and Combat Team Tactics (4-day class, which is now HEAT 1) in 2017, learning about a rifle platform I had almost zero knowledge of and how to work as a team. I was impressed enough that I had already decided to attend 2018 before the 2017 class was even finished. Max runs one of, if not the safest range (static and dynamic) that I’ve ever been on (public or local/state government). This also made my early decision easy.
If HEAT 1 is about learning to crawl and stand up, HEAT 2 is about walking. We spent the early mornings learning how to apply team concepts in varied situations through discussion, whiteboard, and going through the movements without our gear (adhering again to the crawl, walk, run concept). Once we felt comfortable with this, we headed to a pre-determined location that Max had setup for the drill. (Another conversation can be had on Max’s ability to use specific parts of a >3K ranch to enhance the experience – the terrain chosen always lends itself to the lesson he’s conveying). During these drills, some of the more experienced students were given the responsibility of leading. Different teaching styles and working with a group absent egos resulted in positive learning experiences.
CQB and FonF were also introduced. This was one of my biggest learning challenges. While SWAT has changed over the years, this isn’t SWAT. Suppressive fire?? WTH?? And yes, I was that guy. I died multiple times, thankfully it was in training and I learned a little bit more each time. Am I competent? No, but I’m aware of my limitations and some realizations.
Lessons Learned –
- PT, and yes, more PT. Walking/tabbing on flat ground isn’t the same as going up and down the gullies of south TX. This year will be spent walking the football stadium (think “running the stands”) as often as I can.
- Have spares. While cleaning BCG, I noticed the gas rings were crumbling (only 1 remained after handling). I carry an armorer’s repair kit (and a spare BCG) so the downtime was only temporary.
- Team – one of the most enjoyable aspects of the class was working with people who, while I only knew a couple from previous training, had similar desires and NO egos. These were a GREAT group of people to work with.
- What the heck?? When I stripped my rifle down to clean after the UTMs, a chunk of metal was found in the action. It took several people to figure it out (thanks Dave!!). The tip of the forward-assist had broken off……don’t ask how, I have no clue……
- YDKWYDK – You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know. While I’m still processing it, the term suppressive fire has a totally different meaning now.
- Gear shakedown. EVERY single day, I was adjusting something. Even something I’d adjusted the day before.
- PT – did I mention PT??
- REPEAT – this isn’t a skill set that is a “one and done”. Max knows the importance of adjusting and honing, even the basics, and it shows in his classes. TX is already on my schedule for next year………
Review: HEAT 1 March 2018: Dimitri
HEAT 1 (previously CTT) is a very good cornerstone class for small unit tactics learning. This class continues to evolve into a must take and repeat course. Each time I have taken this class I am learning something new and get better understanding of the things learned in previous HEAT 1 (CTT) classes. This class should be taken more than once or twice, as they say: “practice makes it perfect”.
One of the things which I have noticed about myself in HEAT 1 is, things begin to slow down for me during the drills, movements, and communication. The situational awareness is becoming less chaotic during the drills, which allows me to focus on practicing to shoot with both eyes open, better scanning of the surrounding environment, and most importantly better communication with other team members during the drills.
Max and Scott do a very good job at the layer-based teaching style of the class criteria. They each have a way to present the information in a clear and to the point manner. Each question is clearly answered, explanations are given to reinforce topics explained, any “tacticool internet” non-sense is quickly put to rest to be never seen or heard of again.
The group of guys at the class in Marxh was superb. Everyone helped each other out during the training, exchanged ideas, guys shared thoughts on gear and gear preferences, even a few good laughs during the break times between training. I am looking forward to returning to another HEAT 1 in the near future.
Review: HEAT 2 April 2018: JohnnyMac
HEAT 2 is the follow up class to HEAT 1. While HEAT 1 focuses on individual rifleman skills and the basics of team movement, HEAT 2 teaches students how the basics of team movement can be applied in direct action and reconnaissance. It’s also the first time MVT students are exposed to Troop Leading Procedures and have the opportunity to volunteer as a team leader and/or patrol leader.
Walking into Day 1, the expectation is that your rifle is zeroed, you have your kit sorted out, and are able to effectively run your rifle in a high threat environment. With MVT’s fitness prerequisite, there is also the assumption that you are capable of moving athletically across mountainous terrain and going into a kneeling/prone position while maintaining situation awareness and muzzle control. From this alumni’s perspective, the physical ability of students at MVT classes has steadily been rising every year, and was especially noticeable during this class. This is important for not only safety, but also for the smooth execution of team tactics, especially when it comes to more advanced drills.
The Velocity Training Center (VTC) itself is continuing to develop in an effort to improve the learning environment for students. During the class, the team cabin was used for lectures, when possible. With its HVAC and electric, it allowed students to stay focused on the lessons without being distracted while trying to keep warm in the morning hours. There have also been additional pop-up target pits dug in certain lanes, allowing for greater realism in drills. Looking ahead, there will be further improvements to the facility that will provide students with an even better training outcomes.
Day 1 of HEAT 2 is primarily focused on reacquainting students with the fundamentals of team movement: RTR drill, bounding forward, bounding back and peeling. It’s also time spent getting team members comfortable working together, remember, SUT is all about team work (aka “It’s not about YOU”). For those who have not attended an MVT class in a while, some TTPs have evolved, namely Move Fire while bounding forward (and when appropriate). The morning of Day 1 is all about getting everyone on the same page. On a side note, Day 1 started with a few rifle malfunctions during drills, but seemed to disappear for the rest of the class. Make sure you’ve run your rifle recently and that it’s properly lubricated. In some drills, you might already be working at your functional limit and a malfunction might move you beyond that functional limit. At this point, many students have learned “not to get sucked into Ivan,” but can still succumb to being sucked into a malfunction. In the afternoon, students apply the basics at the 5-man team level to battle drills like react to contact, break contact, and assault. Everything is briefed, then rehearsed, then performed live fire. This ensures students know exactly what to do. The instructors maintained tight control of the students during live fire, making me feel comfortable from a safety perspective.
In the early morning of Day 2, we did some basic live fire drills, now working at a 10-man patrol level. Following that, we dove into recce/recon patrol theory the rest of the day. The personal highlight of the class for me was then briefly planning and executing a day/night recce that began slightly before sundown and finished sometime around 2230 hrs. This was a great opportunity for students to work independently, test out their skills (and equipment) at night, and work on the ability to move silently in the woods. In my mind, the reconnaissance patrol is the most important but least glamorous patrol type. Intelligence is VITAL. Having the ability to go out and get it is a key enabler for strong mission planning.
Day 3 is fully focused on ambushes- theory, TTPs, and drills. A few things that stuck out to me with ambushes:
- Requires manpower to be effective (more than you might realize). We used a notional rear security element, for example.
- It takes practice in order to spring the ambush quickly, with aggression, preventing the situation devolving into a firefight
- Getting off the objective quickly also takes skill and practice. This can be severely complicated if casualties are taken.
Day 4 is focused on the hasty attack and raid. The raid is the culmination exercise and allow students to experience sequencing through support by fire and assault positions. By the end, I think we had meshed pretty well in our teams and as a patrol, and a multiphase drill was executed pretty successfully.
If you have only done HEAT 1, you need to get yourself to HEAT 2 so that you can “have a clue” in terms of using the skills of HEAT 1 in specific situations/missions. If you’ve taken Combat Patrol a long time ago, the course has greatly changed and would be well worth your time. Even if you consider yourself pretty squared away, these skills are highly perishable and require periodic refreshes in order to stay current and continue to grow as a warrior.
We had a great group of guys, with world class instruction, in a well-developed training facility. See you on the ranges.
Defensive Concealed Handgun March 3/4 2018: Jon R T
If you have a CCW permit, take this class. When you really need a weapon, CCW holders usually (hopefully) have a handgun available. Since your handgun is most likely going to be the tool used an emergency, becoming reasonably competent with your handgun should be a top priority.
Scott was a great instructor. Not only did he teach us the “how to shoot”, he also told us the “why this is a good way to shoot”. So much information was presented and absorbed in the two days that I am still digesting it at this point. Don’t think that you have too much experience or training to take this class. I have had a CCW permit for many 23 years and have had other classes and such; however, the value and volume of quality instruction was far greater than the price of admission.
Day 1: Consisted of a morning safety brief and discussion. Equipment was discussed and displayed. The value of having first aid training and supplies was discussed. Holsters, magazine pouches, training vs carry magazines, gun types for difference circumstances, clothing, maintenance, etc. were discussed. This classroom discussion was extremely enlightening for me.
We followed this with firing line range work. All the activities were led by Scott including demonstration (dry and live) then follow through by the students. The instructions and reasoning behind every drill and firing exercise was clearly presented and discussed. Individual instruction was delivered when needed and training scars were identified and discussed. Draw, grip, trigger, target, strong hand, support hand, concealment garments, and awareness were all instructed.
Night: I highly recommend the additional night shooting exercise. Scott demonstrated the selection and use of flashlights. The night exercises were practical and useful. As Scott stated, “We live half our lives in the dark”.
Day 2: We were on the firing line all day. Use of cover, engaging from standing, sitting and around obstacles were demonstrated and practiced. The Tueller drill was discussed and demonstrated. Firing line drills included target selection and firing near no shoot objects.
Overall Scott controlled the class extremely well. He was able to give each shooter the individual attention that they needed when they needed it. If you missed a step or had training scars, Scott would notice it and address it appropriately with practical reasoning on why it needs correcting.
Take the class, take notes, and take the knowledge to your home range.
Jon R. T.
Review: HEAT 1 March 2018: Dave R.
Review: HEAT 1 March & MVT Training Experiences – by ‘Green Tip’
Conan Knows: Get the word on MVT Tactical Training via the new Tactical Manual. HERE.
I first heard about Max Velocity Tactical in 2012 or 2013. I started reading the old blog and recalled some of the first class reviews or After Action Reports. All of the review were positive and that peaked my interest. I am an 18 year State Trooper so I am a bit skeptical of most things in life. I kept reading the bog and enjoyed the detailed post Max would make about how to set up a battle belt or a ruck. Then I bought Max’s fiction books and the manual 'Contact!' and enjoyed each. In December of 2016 I saw on the blog Max was coming to Kentucky to teach. I live in an adjoining state and this was a closer drive than Romney, WV. I contacted a work mate and we decided to attend CTT which is now HEAT 1.
I attended the CTT/HEAT 1 class in Kentucky 2017 in October. I had a great time and it was a real eye opener in regards to tactical movements. I thought because I had had some elementary CQB stuff at work I was good to go. Not the case at all. I was introduced to one rifle malfunction drill I had never been shown. All of the various tactical team movements were new to me. Class started at 0800 and was over at 1600 each day. Everything in class was done with safety in mind and Max was very professional and answered all questions. I was hooked by the class I wanted more.
In December of 2017 Max came up with the Cabin Club program. It was basically a buy in for a fee and you could attend all future classes at Romney for half price. By this time I knew I wanted to take more classes and was already planning for 2018. I didn’t have the cash for the program but I wanted in. I sold a rifle and pistol and had the cash to buy in. I was excited and I was set to take all the classes and have my kids attend when they were old enough. The classes teach many things but most people overlook: discipline, team building, responsibility and attention to detail. Most people are focused on the tactics of the class and miss the other aspects listed above which I think are perfect for teens. Plus, you get bonding time with your kids or friends!!!!!
When the 2018 schedule was posted for the first part of the year, I had already been working on guys to go to class. You need a team of four when the zombies come right? I got Frank and Ron to sign up for HEAT 1 in March of 2018 and I scheduled HEAT 2 in April 2018. I was so excited as I had three guys and myself to make four who were all going to attend multiple classes in the future. What great fun.
So March 2018 rolls around and I attend HEAT 1 for the second time in Romney. It is true that so much knowledge is passed in class you need to retake classes. I thought at first this was a marketing gimmick. It is not, you get so much information you have never heard or read and didn’t fully understand. You must attend again. I can verify this is true. My group and I arrived on Wednesday night and stayed at the South Branch Inn. It was a nice hotel and close to several restaurants. We had a positive experience at the hotel.
Class started at 0730 each day and ended around 1600. The first two days were on the square range. Safety from the first moment is preached and reinforced. We worked on loading, malfunctions, shooting positions and various movements over the first two days. The third and fourth day we moved to two range areas that are wooded and have multiple pop up targets and we worked up to running various tactical movements live fire. Everything in class is talked about, rehearsed and then live under supervision. It is a very safe environment and every instruction is very clear by Max and Scott ('First Sergeant'). I did participate in the night vision class that is offered in you have night vision. Scott showed us a quick way to zero our lasers. I had never heard of it but it was effective and very quick. During the night class we worked on shooting and progressed to a simulated raid. Great fun!!!!!
When you go to class you need to have knee pads, a bunch of loaded magazines and equipment that works. Make sure your gun is zeroed in and you put lube on the rifle. Several rifles went down because they were dry. Scott gave a good class over rifle care. Because of the class I know of two issues that were corrected by students; a set of worn gas rings and a bad extractor.
I almost forgot to mention the quality of people in my class last week. We had a Doctor, Pharmacist, three small business owners, Police Officer, State Trooper, Fireman and a supervisor at a factory. Quality experience and am sitting here waiting on HEAT 2 next week. Hope to see you then!!
Dutch Knows. How did he defeat the Predator? MVT Tactical Manual. HERE.
Review: HEAT 2 Texas 2018: Dave P
Review: Texas Classes 2018: James
This was my second year training with Max in Texas. The first year I took the Combat Team Tactics / Mobility courses and they were great. This training is highly applicable towards situations that could be encountered in a hostile environment. I immediately started planning to attend classes in 2018 as soon as the classes in 2017 concluded. Max's classes can seem intimidating before attending but are brilliantly sequenced for safety and so the lessons are retained by the student. Everything Max teaches has value on both a civilian and military application. This year I attended 8 days of training which was comprised of 2 days of HEAT 1, 4 days of HEAT 2, and 2 days of CQB/FOF.
HEAT 1: I am always amazed that there are people who turn up their noses at spending a day working on the basics of shooting, weapon manipulation, and movement drills, I have taken many carbine courses and still find a lot of value in Max critiques and suggestions. The basics are the most important thing you can be competent at as they are the basis of anything else you will do. Max will have you competent at running your weapon very quickly if you pay attention to what he says. The movement drills that you will do during this class are well thought out and will begin to get you up to speed on the movements and tactics that are practiced in the second half of this class and the advanced drills that are part of HEAT 2.
HEAT 2: This class consists of both lecture and drills, which is very unique to Max. Most carbine courses just have you run drill after drill on a square range which is tedious and leads to safety issues by students that don't fully understand the concepts. All of the drills we did were discussed, diagrammed, and rehearsed to give us a more thorough understanding of the drills tactical purpose and sequence of movements. Max' real world experience allows him to give you context about tactics and movements that are used in the SF community. All of these things lead to an amazing amount of retention of the material taught. Even after a year between trainings with Max I felt like I hadn't lost any of what I had learned from him previously.
CQB/FOF: This was an extremely fun and fast paced class that combined lecture, tactics and drills to give us an introduction to best practices for room clearing and securing a building in hostile environments. By the end of this class we were taking many fewer UTM casualties than when we started. In many instances UTM training has the inclination to devolve into an airsoft or paintball free for all mentality which is marginally useful at best. Max attention to detail and his specific sequence of training kept us on task, learning and improving for the duration of the class. Additionally as in all of the time I have spent training with Max safety was the first priority and in no instance were unsafe practices tolerated among the students.
Thanks for the great training experience Max! I'm looking forward to next year and ready to book as soon as it is scheduled.
James D. in Texas
Above: Ivan Class Photo, Texas 2018.
Review: H.E.A.T. 1 Texas: February 2018: Ken
The bottom line: MVT training is an excellent choice for anyone serious about improving the odds of surviving in a dynamic, non-square range environment.
Background: I have attended previous MVT classes in WV and in Texas. This time I brought one of my sons for his first firearms class.
Class content includes rifle manipulation, reaction to contact, team fire and movement (break contact and assault through), communication.
- For each drill: lecture, demonstration, rehearsal and live fire. Immediate critique and student feedback. The drills build in complexity and provide common sense solutions to tactical problems. Max added a drill based on a historical scenario that fit the terrain quite well; I thought it was compelling.
- There are alternative ways to move on the battlefield and Max explains why, given the circumstances, one approach might be more appropriate than the other.
- Max uses popup targets as appropriate. These are useful, but hardly necessary. How a contact is initiated is not nearly as important as learning what to do in response. The ultimate goal is to break any contact paralysis and immediately roll into the correct battle drill. Knowing when to change the drill to another (for example, from bounding back to a peel) is equally important.
- This class featured unusual local weather with continued heavy freezing rain the first day. Max adjusted by moving everyone back to the lodge for front loading of the lectures, as well as some welcome shooting from covered positions, so that all subjects were addressed with ease during the course.
- I have never felt any uneasiness about my safety at MVT and I certainly would not have brought my son for training if I had ever seen anything worrisome. Max explains safety angles, demonstrates proper weapon handling when moving around teammates and enforces all safety rules by carefully observing for developing situations (typically a student surging/delaying slightly off the line of advance of his team).
- An excellent cross-section. People you would very much want to associate with outside of the training environment.
- A central Texas ranch, some low mesquite cover, minor elevation changes, river beds.
- Comparison with MVT home base in West Virginia: WV is hilly and covered with a hardwoods forest; Texas has much longer sight lines. WV has both cover & concealment, Texas has some concealment, very limited cover. This affects the number of bounds necessary to break contact and the duration of fire necessary to suppress the target during an assault.
- The ranch has a great lodge with WiFi, cell phone coverage (at least my ATT cell phone worked fine), a full kitchen and a comfortable great room with satellite TV. Students take turns preparing breakfast for the group and typically go into town for (outstanding) BBQ each night. Thus, learning continues after the days’ drills have concluded. Also the camaraderie helps make possible frank group evaluations; there is a remarkable willingness by the students to accept the suggestions of one’s peers. I do suggest driving a pickup—a passenger car can traverse the roads on the ranch, but a pickup is better.
- Max requires that each prospective student self-certify completion of a simple fitness test prior to the course. The standard is not difficult at all; I am 61 years old, a non-athlete, and the test was a non-issue. If someone can’t meet the standard, then he is delusional as to his capability to fight in anything other than a static scenario.
- Check your ego at the door and approach this training with an open mind. I imagine that some potential students may worry “how will I look”, or “can I handle it”. If you have rudimentary rifle skills, you are ready to benefit tremendously from this training. If my son can walk in cold, learn a lot (including important areas for improvement) and have a great time doing it, then you can as well.
Summary: MVT provides training that you are not likely to find anywhere short of joining the armed forces. Because MVT trains in both Texas and WV, you can train in terrain that is probably similar to that around your home. An added bonus in Texas is the co-located lodge (and the local BBQ).
Here is a video from the HEAT 2 class, currently ongoing. This video is probably the only one we will produce from Texas this year:
5 man patrol. React to close contact. Cover Shooting. Skirmish / Fight Through. Move / Fire technique. The Theme of the Texas Class this year is ‘Rhodesia.’