Combat Team Tactics 6, 7, 8 November 2015
Bottom Line up Front: CTT is some of the best thought out and executed training that I have ever taken. The MVT cadre is the best set of trainers that I have encountered anywhere on multiple CONUS and OCONUS assignments and training engagements. The MVT facility is the best facility that I have found outside a US Government facility.
The facilities at MVT are incredible. There is not much to be said about a square range. However, the square range at MVT has the potential to host 180 degree shooting. In fact, when configured to do so, the range can handle ~220 degree shooting. If you do not understand what that means, get out your protractor and compass and draw it out on a piece of paper. There is not much one cannot do on that type of range.
The training ranges are even better! Again, 180 degree shooting on pop-up targets is unheard of. Range safety fans simply do not exist in most places to allow this type of shooting. I have not found that type of training anywhere and have conducted a fair amount of training for US and other forces. I have only found the facilities that MVT offers at military bases. Live fire conducted on pop-up targets as it is conducted at MVT rarely happens even on active duty. This makes the CTT course at MVT rare and unique.
Max has added a mandatory range day to the CTT class. And, rightfully so. On day one, students learn the all-important purpose of solid weapons manipulation skills. As an example, tightening the battle sight zero so that three rounds pretty much touch in the center of the target is a confidence builder. Doing that consistently on day one means that students know where their rounds will go – as long as the student does his job – on days two and three.
On the square range, students worked on the task, Reduce a Stoppage. Max and Lee went to a level of detail that I have never experienced in weapons manipulations training. Tap-Rack-Bang is the universal standard. Max and Lee covered this in excellent detail. They went well beyond that with the more difficult stoppages such as double feed and bolt override. It is refreshing to learn from trainers who possess the knowledge demonstrated by these two instructors. After day one, no one in the class was uncomfortable handling their rifle. In short, day one builds confidence.
Day one also instills safety and muzzle discipline. The MVT cadre stress weapons safety and muzzle discipline very effectively. During the three days of training, I did not observe one episode of flagging. Max and Lee maintained a level of safety that is remarkable.
Moving from the square range to the buddy team ranges was smooth and efficient. MVT training is based on the crawl/walk/run format and is absolutely effective in moving students from novice to experienced quickly. Max uses walk-throughs and demonstrations extremely effectively so that students quickly get to the meat of the matter which is executing the drill.
Students quickly move from individual to buddy-team movement in a very controlled environment. Weapons safety is carried through each drill and from the square range onto the training lane.
The culmination of the two days of buddy-team movement is a squad attack with MVT cadre acting as squad/team leaders. The walkthrough provided each student with the knowledge to execute his part of the attack. During execution, Max and Lee provided positive control of each element from start to finish. Students experience the satisfaction of proper execution under the control of seasoned veterans. Max challenges each student to perform to the best of his ability. What results is a student who is confident in his ability to safely manipulate his weapon, work in a team environment, and communicate effectively. While amazing to watch, it is even more amazing to participate and see the growth of group of individuals as they inculcate the real meaning of team.
Max and Lee trained the MVT students exactly as I trained my rifle squads when I was a rifle platoon leader in an infantry company.
There are those who have not experienced the training at MVT who will talk down this type of training as being unsafe or unnecessary or blah, blah, blah. Max and the MVT cadre provide a type of training and level of training that is not found outside the military or very select training organizations that are generally not open to the public. Ignore them and their comments.
Also, there are those who believe that they were provided a high degree of “light infantry” training. For most, that is not true. They were trained as dismounted infantry but not true light infantry. There is a significant difference. Regardless, we all need to brush up on our infantry skills. The best way to do this is train at MVT.
The training at MVT is the best training I have ever encountered in the civilian world and is equal to much of the training that I received as an active duty soldier. In the area of weapons manipulation it is better.
If you have not yet experienced training at MVT, go now. I will certainly go back for more MVT training.