Over the last two weeks our training at Fort Jackson has been focused on combat operations. Our instructors for this training were senior NCO's lead by a Military Police Captain from the "Combined Arms Division". The CAD instructors are all combat experienced with multiple combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq under their belt.
The main training focus was on convoy operations. Each student was able to log onto a high-end laptop station and run through a convoy operation. The Army-specific software simulated the current operating environment overseas complete with roads, cities, civilians and the enemy blended in to the environment. The instructors threw variables at us like IED blasts, sniper and small arms fire and each vehicle had to react and communicate effectively to make it out of the killzone. Each gun truck had a driver, gunner and truck commander (TC), to play out the mission. We were able to communicate with each other during the mission via headsets. It was a great way to get efficient on battle drills for many different scenarios and freshen up on effective radio communication. From the simulation we went into the live convoy portion where we took up the role of the truck commander, dismount or gunner. I was the TC, so I had to communicate with my team in the truck during the mission, as well as all of the other trucks. I had a lot of fun going through the scenarios and getting some more practice on the radio. It is a much different experience when you are commanding the truck versus being a dismount or gunner like I was a few years back!
To complete the CAD training we finished Army Combatives familiarization last week, and I am still feeling some of the soreness from that! Overall the quality of the instruction during the training and classes have been pretty good. This week is all in the classroom, with a test just about everyday. I was having a lot of fun with the combat training, so this is going to be a little bit of a transition for me, but I think I will end up enjoying the classroom portion as well. Stay tuned for updates.