Friday, March 12

We just completed Gates training two days ago. Gates training was created as a direct result of feedback from units in Iraq and Afghanistan and is design to teach us things that will help keep us 'healthy' over there. It takes a crawl, walk, run approach to learning these skills. To get through each 'gate' of the training you have to pass certain requirements.

In gate one we learned things like individual movement techniques, urban operations, convoy operations, and personnel and vehicle search techniques. Individual movement techniques are ways of moving around that minimize your exposure/risk under direct fire. The search techniques are similar to those used in law enforcement: how to control people while you search them for contraband and how to cuff them with zip cuffs if necessary. In urban ops we learned how to enter and clear a room much like the SWAT teams you see on TV.

In gate two, we put the techniques we learned in gate one into action as a unit in realistic training scenarios. One day we did convoy operations. As Commander, I had to plan the route, put the right people in the right vehicles, the right vehicles in the right order (for best security and control), and lead rehearsals of the battle drills. Examples of convoy battle drills are: react to sniper fire, react to unblocked ambush, react to blocked ambush, what to do is the convoy becomes seperated, what to do if civilian personnel or vehicles attempt to get into our convoy, etc.

We worked our way through several of these scenarious throughout the day wearing our full 'battle rattle' on the tank trails of Fort Riley. Links to some photo's are below. The trainers had OPFOR (opposing forces) out there to make it realistic. We had blank ammunition and MILES gear. MILES is a sturdy, upscale version of laser tag that fits on our weapons and vests. This allows us to know when we git the OPFOR, or when they hit us. They hit us very hard. We experienced several casualties through the day. The soldiers learned that Rambo techniques only work in Hollywood.

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