This review of the November 7-8 class was sent to me this past week. I’m not big on the whole “Public AAR” thing (we do it in the class and that’s enough for me), because I don’t ever want to sound like it’s a second hand “Tooting my own horn” thing (not that anyone else who posts them is doing that). Concerned American at WRSA had told me a little while back that I needed to start posting them more, so here goes.
Mason Dixon Tactical:
Regional Security Forces Small Unit Tactics and Techniques Series, Class 1:
(Class 1 is the same as RBTEC, AKA “Bushbastard 1”)
November 7, 2015: Classroom & field Instructions, Multiple Patrol and Ambush Exercises
November 8, 2015: Classroom & field Instructions, Patrol and Live Fire Exercise
The Bushbastard Course #1
Instructor: JC Dodge
Individual and Buddy Team Movements, Camouflage and Concealment. Fire Team and Detachment formation familiarization, and Neighborhood Protection Team Formations and Movement:
The Beginning rollcall at 0800 began with a safety brief, concerning weapons, ammo (blank and live), injury response, followed by the planned timeline. Following this, classroom instruction on individual movement techniques; low crawl, high crawl, rush, and camouflage face cover, patrol and ambush began.
I chose to wear my boonies-cap that morning it provides side head and ear cover during the low crawl, however upon lifting my head at the end of each crawl leg, I noticed that the cap severely restricted my visibility, therefore the boonies-cap has been stricken from my uniform.
Previously I had been instructed to cradle my rifle while high crawling, I have used this technique at a previous FTX during a force on force exercise while wearing a chest-rig, I found it difficult to move and I didn’t like the feeling of rifle cradled in my arms. During the exercise I was instructed to use a slightly different technique by holding the pistol grip of my rifle in my strong hand while engaged in the high crawl. This was a more effective way while crawling, the rifle felt secure while moving, and with my hand already on the pistol grip it would be much faster in the transition to aiming down range.
Getting up moving suddenly dropping to the prone position it sounds relatively easy. The instruction was to keep the pistol grip in your strong hand rolling the rifle 90 degrees inward and landing you and the rifle approximately at the same time into the prone position and immediately aiming down range. Then reversing the drill (breaking contact) while maintaining safety, (trigger safety and muzzle safety discipline), sliding like Pete Rose plaining a baseball game is not the desired technique during this exercise, however maintaining control and muzzle discipline dropping to the knees and reversing your line of sight is, in addition to the technique a much need upgrade would be the addition of knee pads to my uniform.
Camouflaging Face Cover:
The instruction is to remove facial features, by highlighting the shadows of the eyes (lighter colors) and dulling the shine, nose, cheeks, ears (darker colors); remembering a previous FTX I dulled the shine and increased the shadow around my eyes. I’m looking forward to applying the camouflage correctly.
Buddy Team Movement:
Maintaining an approximate 5 meter spread in a staggered formation or Ranger file dictated by terrain.
Contact is made, “Distance, Direction, Description” is given by the “In contact” team member. The action is chosen (“Assault” or “Break Contact”). The #2 Buddy starts moving while his buddy suppresses the target with his weapon, all the while using the verbal commands, “Move” or “Moving” and mentally repeating the mantra “I’m up he see me I’m down” (to give a time scale for how long you’ve been up) as you bound forward in the direction of the target using any of the three individual movement techniques (IMT) that is chosen based on the terrain, visibility, cover and concealment available and the speed needed.
The Buddy who called “Contact” immediately drops to kneeling or prone based on terrain and target visibility, firing weapon 3-5 rounds and sounding off with “3D’s” followed by the action to be taken while continuing fire suppression. They command #2 Buddy to “Move”, #2 Buddy returns verbal response of “Moving”, the buddy then bounds to his firing position and fires 2-3 rounds before giving the buddy an action command of “Move”. Repeating this bounding you may encounter weapon malfunctions and reloading, in which anything critical during the movement must be communicated to your buddy. All the while maintaining “Muzzle”, “Trigger” and “Safety” disciplines.
Daytime Patrol Ambush Simulated firefight:
We patrolled in a staggered Buddy Team, walking into the ambush, then using the verbal commands “Contact!”, and describing the Distance, Direction, and Description to/of the target, the buddy may or may not have a line of sight on the target (I found it difficult to overcome the desire not to move), however the buddy may see a target (360 degree security) which is a greater threat which needs to be suppressed at once (and communicates that), such as a target to you buddy’s immediate left or right. Tracking moving targets while under simulated fire (blanks), proved to be stressful in and of itself when there was one target and now there is three. I definitely would like to repeat that simulation multiple times.
Nighttime Patrol Ambush Simulated firefight:
Patrolling in a staggered 4 man patrol with 2 Buddy teams, walking into the ambush using the verbal commands “Contact”, then communicating the “Distance, Direction, and Description” for suppression of the target. Movement feels much easier under the concealment of darkness. An important action learned was the keeping the distance of buddies only double arms length apart, and not accidentally dropping directly behind you buddy (when it’s your buddy team’s turn to lay down suppressive fire), thus impeding your ability to suppress targets. During the exercise as a measure of correction during our last bound my buddy kept his hand on the back of my shoulder, that enabled my ability of knowing his exact location, therefore when we went prone we were in the correct position to begin suppressive fire while the other Buddy team bounded.
The Beginning rollcall at 0800 classroom instructions on neighborhood protection team formations and movement:
Neighborhood Protection Team:
Distance 5-10 meters consisting of three (2) man buddy teams providing 360 security, the team consist of a Point Man, Team Leader, Heavy Gunner, Commo, Medic, Assistance Team Leader, each team member will maintain an overlapping lanes of security, I have been instructed in this formation before (from former students of MDT), however four new movement techniques I learned at this class.
Fire Team/Squad Movement Techniques:
(2) NPT (Neighborhood Protection Team) Distance between 10-20 meters not likely to make contact (control more closer together) (depression less closer together) (relative speed is fast and contact is not likely) (individual spread is closer together during reduced visibility) First NPT travels in a wedge formation with heavy side nearest to likely contact this is flexible to adjust to changing conditions, Second Team always provides rear security (in a “Diamond” formation). Always staggering (different sides) the personal from two teams will eliminate having the Heavy Gunner, Team Leader, Commo, and Medic on the same side of the overall formations.
(2) NPT Distance between 10-50 meters likely to make contact, (less overall control due to being further apart and speed is slower due to possible contact). First NPT travels in a wedge formation with heavy side most likely to make contact this is flexible to adjust to changing conditions, Second Team provides rear security. Always staggering (different sides) the personal from two teams will eliminate having the Heavy Gunner, Team Leader, Commo, and Medic on the same side of the overall formations.
(2) NPT Distance between individuals 10 meters Distance between teams up to 150 meters because contact is expected, and spread is dictated by terrain and visibility (speed is slower, and teams are bounding and expected to make contact). First NPT travels in a wedge formation with heavy side most likely to make contact this is flexible to adjust to changing conditions, Second Team provides rear security. Always staggering (different sides) the personal from two teams will eliminate having the Heavy Gunner, Team Leader, Commo, and Medic on the same side of the overall formations.
Live Fire Exercise:
Action initiated by the sound of “Incoming Fire” (blanks). Verbal commands given by lead Buddy, “Contact!”, then the distance, direction, description to/of the target, followed by “Assault”. Buddy #1 immediately called “Contact!” and immediately drops to a kneeling or prone based on terrain, firing weapon 3-5 rounds “DDD” followed by continued fire suppression. Buddy #2 gives verbal command of “Moving” and the direction of movement. Using verbal commands, “Move” or “Moving” and using the mantra (I’m up he see me I’m down) as you bound forward in the direction of the target using any of the three IMT’s based on terrain cover and concealment and speed needed. Before the class I had never received instruction on the Ranger File movement techniques; I also received a more in-depth instruction on suppression of the target before giving action commands. Upon receiving instructions from the Instructor, the command is given to “Break Contact!”, and the process is revered to get away from the threat.
Areas of improvement:
First and foremost is PT, I have got to drag myself to the gym, I will do all the manual work from digging ditches, cutting down trees by hand, tearing off roofs, It may sound strange but I love bull work, but I have got to change my mind set of not liking the gym to just push something for the sake of pushing it.
Second Improvement in everything I took part in “practice, practice, practice”, until its perfect then “perfect practice, perfect practice”, on all drills, and upgrades to the load bearing equipment. My verbal commands need to be louder, clearer, and with less verbiage example “Loading” vs “Reloading” (brevity).
The strength of attending this course will not only provide you the necessary training on the building block of individual movements, formations and patrols, the fact is you will be instructed by a real life experienced combat veteran. His professionalism is unmatched and each member attending the course will find the same level of attentiveness regardless of their experience. You will also experience an instructor who does not single you out but rather encourages you and makes corrections by using positive reinforcement. During classroom instruction you will find the instructions easy to follow, all question will be addressed in a clear concise manor. The pace of your training depends upon experience; nothing is rushed leaving the individual feeling uncomfortable or unsure of the instructions whether it’s in the classroom or in the field.
I loved the class, my instructor is a great guy that I have the utmost respect for I’m thankful for his time, dedication, and instructions on training and providing a great location to train.
Personally I thought the price was right I certainly got more training than I expected.
PA 77th Lightfoot Coyote Company
Robert E Nauroth
I appreciate Rob’s kind words, and am glad he got so much out of the class. The class went very well, and I’m proud of every one of them for the strides they made in “owning” these critical skills. I am looking forward to seeing them for Class 2 soon.
P.S. Thanks so much to Doug and Jim for helping as “Safeties” for the “live fire”, and semi indigenous guides for the rest of the class. Thanks guys. Another “Thanks” goes to the MDT OpFor who always gets the job done and helps people get squared away with kick ass ambushes both day and night.
American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE