I’ve had a few inquiries about gear requirements for the Patrol Class. It seems like a good opportunity to allay some fears. Here is the LINK
to my original post about the Patrol Class
I will be sending out a detailed info packet to attendees closer to the time, as I do currently with the CRCD class. There is a basic list on the Class Schedule post HERE
. Given that you have to have attended CRCD to attend Patrol you will know what I am talking about.
The class will follow the style of the CRCD class. You will not be thrown into the deep end with a three day patrol living in the woods. The Saturday and Sunday will alternate between teaching sessions in the schoolhouse, moving into tactical phases to practice what has been taught, then back out to teaching.
This class is effectively ‘Patrol 1’ with ‘Patrol 2 to be designed and implemented in the future.
In this way, the topics from types of patrol, living in the field, contact drills, actions on various things such as crossing linear danger areas, ambush and raid will be covered and rehearsed, before moving into a full tactical phase to practice it live (with live rounds), then back out to debrief and further teaching.
Example: Ambush. The subject will be taught. You will then be briefed on an ambush scenario. There will not be time in the class for full sets of orders before each tactical phase, but the scenario will be briefed. The operation will then be rehearsed pre-patrol and we will then go out and conduct a live ambush in full tactical conditions. We will then recover back to the school house for tea and medals, a debrief and then on to the next topic.
Accommodation: this will be the same as for a CRCD class. You will be able to stay locally in hotels/motels, or camp on site. The Sunday night is the exception; this will be a full tactical execution of an overnight patrol base.
Weather: bring appropriate tactical clothing for the time of year. Wet/cold weather gear. The January class will be cold. If severe weather impacts on the patrol base operation, it will be called in the name of safety. I don’t want hypothermic or frostbitten students. It is about learning, not suffering. (Well, a little bit of suffering will be included, this is the infantry, right?). If we end up sleeping around a burn barrel in the school house in a raging blizzard, so be it. There will be times during teaching and on phases such as ambush where you will need a good jacket to stay warm sitting/laying about.
Again, don’t overdo the snivel gear. You may be cold in an ambush, but when you spring it and then have to bug out, and then get a casualty (for example) you don’t want to be wearing too much , or you will be a heat casualty. Balance it.
Gear: the difference with the CRCD class is that you will be expected to bring and carry a patrol pack as well as your battle belt/vest. You will only be fully living out of this for the patrol base overnight operation. On the one hand, don’t pack the kitchen sink. Use it as an opportunity to pack light and sort out your gear. You will need to bring appropriate gear for the weather but don’t overdo it. We may end up working with lighter patrol packs and then packing in heavier for the overnight patrol base phase. Again, I’m not trying to destroy people here.
Make sure you bring cold weather and rain gear, a full change of your tactical training clothing, spare socks, hat, gloves, headover etc. Not all of this gear needs to be carried all of the time, but I want it available. METT-TC right.
A headlamp is invaluable, with a red or green filter. Bring a small tactical flashlight (red or green capable). Have a tactical flashlight mounted on your rifle if possible. For tactical operations at night, including the patrol base, you will not be using light. NO LIGHT. Light discipline in the patrol base will mean you will have to be able to pack, unpack and find gear in the dark. For non-tactical phases at night, the headlamp is ideal.
Sleeping gear: for the patrol base night, you will be sleeping tactically. This means you will need appropriate sleeping equipment to sleep on the ground. This is what I want you to bring:
– Sleeping bag. Appropriate to the season. Don’t overdo it – you will be clothed inside it. For winter, I use an olive color Snugpak Sleeper Lite. Job done. (Summer I use a Snugpak jungle sleeping bag)
– Gore-Tex Bivvy Bag: you can pick up the woodland military surplus ones for cheap.
– Shelter Tarp. A Nylon (not polypro nastiness) military style subdued color shelter tarp. Military ponchos are ideal. If the MVT Shield is available by then, use one of those.
– Thermal sleeping mat. A 3/4 length thermarest or knock-off is ideal. The ones that slightly inflate and pack down small. Without this your heat will leech off into the ground, big time.
Technology: I have not come to a solid conclusion on technology, such as NVGs. Clearly there will be a mix of capabilities depending on what people have. I could say no to NVGs, in a bid to keep the class uniform and basic, but this will mean those with them will not be able to practice. So for now we will work with what we have, just like SHTF.
Rations: as per CRCD, bring food for lunches and for all meals if you are camping. For the patrol base overnight, you will need to bring appropriate rations. A couple of MRE’s will suffice. You are also welcome and encouraged to bring some sort of small camping stove, such as a propane or solo stove, to heat water/food and to make hot drinks. For tactical phases, these will be used as appropriate to the tactical situation and during daylight.
Entrenching tool: you will not be digging shell scrapes for the patrol base. A shovel will be provided for the latrine to be dug. For this class, an e-tool is optional, but remember that you will need one for real.