Having previously attended part of the CRCD in August (aborted due to unrelated injury), I was eager to finish the training. The weather looked potentially awful, so I prepared with layers (ECWS base layer, combat shirt, silicone-treated BDU pants, ECWS fleece vest and Goretex outer shell. That was barely enough in 25F snow but very little wind. The issues were mostly hands and feet.
But, the real fun was the training – the core concept, both described and practiced, was “fire and movement.” Working with a buddy to move only during “covering” fire is essential to survival. We practiced in buddy pairs, then in pairs of pairs to perfect the close communication needed to make this possible. The reactive popup targets were very realistic and kept us alert.
The second day (new to me) was the most fun – a solo walk in the woods with surprises popping up! Also, doing both assault and break-contact drills with a team were the most practically useful things one could do (aside from joining the Infantry for real) to prepare for bad times. The final squad attack brought it all home in a real-world scenario.
We also had a short class on TCCC, focused on the most immediately life-threatening injuries we might see – a sobering bit, to say the least.
Max Interjects: Dr. James Berry of TACMEDICINE – he kindly agreed to provide the concurrent activity class while the jungle (arctic) walk was ongoing on the Sunday morning. Note: I am always interested in volunteers with interest classes to teach during this time period – we have had a CBRN expert and now a TC3 expert fill this time slot.
If you think you can shoot, try this class – it will make you both humble and even more determined to improve your skills. The level of fitness needed to “run and gun” is nothing compared to what you need going uphill, in snow, with 45lb of gear.