In the spirit of using ‘Stupid Stuff Max Does’ as an example to make a couple of points, here is a little anecdote. Because, as a wise Chinaman might say: “Wise man learn by other people’s mistakes.”
I’m up at the cabin at the training site this weekend. Brought my 3 kids with me. Yesterday, we went out to the CTT ranges so I could do some repair work, repair target pits, chop up some downed trees and make backstops etc.
We were in the Ranger Crew 6 seater that I use all the time to move targets and students. I drove the kids out to the schoolhouse and unloaded them. They always wear seat belts, and I always tell them to keep arms within the vehicle. I then proceeded to drive up the trail on Range 1, which I have done hundreds of times to move equipment, position targets, do work on the ranges etc.
I was driving between target pit 1 and a tree on the right side. I probably wasn’t paying attention. Distracted. Complacency kills. I was obviously too far over the the right. The right side of the Ranger bounced off the tree and next thing I know I was down, Ranger laying on the left side, me still sitting at the wheel, almost like I had blacked out it happened so fast.
I managed to get the Ranger back up and out of the target pit using the winch in various ways off trees. I then found out that the steering was busted. I am still not sure if the steering column just popped out where the UJ fits into the steering gear, or if something has actually busted. Anyway, after several calls to Polaris dealers and then to a backwoods recovery company, I realized that I was FUKED.
Unless I had a tractor to lift the front end that I could get out to the trailhead; I could not move the Ranger.
So I called Fred. He is my friendly neighbor in the white house on the way in to the site. Keeps an eye on the place. He arrives in his truck. Between backing and filling while attempting to manhandle the wheels over, winching and generally messing about in the woods, we got the Ranger down to his truck at the trailhead. We then hitched the winch to the back of his truck and managed to tow the Ranger out to the site parking area, despite the wheels not complying. I have to spend the next 48 hours messing about getting the trailer from VA, coming back, taking the Ranger to the Polaris dealer for repairs etc.
During this whole thing, we didn’t have a plan, we just worked to get the Ranger to the next part, and then figured it out. We just had a rough idea that we needed to get it to his truck. Once we got to his truck, we still couldn’t figure it out, but we looked at it for a long time, tried a couple of options, and then got it working. We had no way to lift the front wheels off the ground, due to the various relative heights of his hitch etc. Sometimes if you overplan, you will end up giving up because you are biting off too much to chew. Just get to the next part and keep figuring as you go. Develop the situation. Because we are all gonna die when the enemy attacks, right? Well, let’s just try to survive for the next 5 minutes, and then figure out the next 5…..
…..Fred is true West Virginia country folk, retired, Vietnam Veteran. He is not moving too fast, but looking and figuring.
I’m going to use this as a salutary lesson to bring some points out that I have mentioned before:
1) Complacency/inattention kills (or at least drops you in the poop).
2) Don’t piss off your wife, because women have magical powers, and they can reach out and flip you in the Ranger from a range of over 100 miles 😉
3) When shit happens, it happens fast. When things go left, they go left and cannot be undone. You have to adapt and overcome. There is no use in denial, you just have to accept the dislocation of expectations and adjust the plan accordingly.
4) In SHTF, there will be no-one to help you.
5) In SHTF, as of now, you need friendly neighbors. You will end up relying on each other to get you out of the poop. Self/Group reliance.
That momentary mistake with the Ranger means that the whole notional operation where the Ranger was being used as a logistical support or a casevac system has now irrevocably changed.
Now, back to fuking about in the woods. Enjoy your weekend.
Max Velocity Tactical is on the leading edge of immersive, scenario based, tactical live fire and force on force training. Teaching combat proven, adapted, Special Operations / light infantry tactics.