Why we train towards weapons mastery:

"As if more adversity were needed in a situation that was already an against-all-odds struggle to protect the body of a fallen comrade while also trying to stay alive, against the combined opposition of an assault from foreign fighters in the stairwell and a constant stream of grenades being tossed onto the roof near him — which prevented his crossing the mere feet separating him from Morley’s load carrying vest, which was in the northwestern corner and held a walkie-talkie (“ICOM”), the last undamaged piece of communications equipment on the roof — as well as nonstop machine gun fire from the buildings on every side, now Moser’s M4 was threatening to fail him. In this time of greatest need, Moser’s training and experience kicked in. He remained calm, cleared his weapon, and, undeterred by the fact that now, due to a malfunction in his most precious piece of equipment, he had to charge the rifle’s firing handle after every single shot, resumed the battle." -Jeff Manuel, The Longest Morning For Training Tuesday, we are discussing why it is important to develop unconscious competence with our weapons. The source of this discussion is the video linked below. A turret Gunner is

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Raymond Miller
82nd Airborne Division Small Arms Master Gunner: primary weapons trainer, force modernization for individual weapons, and range liason for the 82nd.

Movement as a part of the shot process, part 1

  “Though he was in a similarly desperate situation on the south side of the roof, the idea of leaping off a four-story building never occurred to Corriveau. Instead, as he bounded back and forth across the building’s edge, alternately firing into the northern stairwell door and taking cover from whatever return fire came his way, his mass of conflicting emotions was overridden by only one thought: get to the radio on the other side of the roof.”  -Excerpt of The Longest Morning by Jeff Manuel For Manual Monday, we are beginning our discussion on Movement. Specifically, we will define movement, and what the different movement types there are according to doctrine. Our reference for this discussion is TC 3-22.9 Change 1, dated January 2017. For those who have not kept up with it, the Army has updated their doctrine when it comes to shooting. There are now four functional elements of the shot process. To recap, they are Stability, Aim, Control, and Movement. We’ve discussed Stability, Aim, and Control previously. Now we are addressing movement as a part of the shot process. The reason movement is a functional element, is because, on the modern battlefield, it is imperative that Paratroopers be able

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Raymond Miller
82nd Airborne Division Small Arms Master Gunner: primary weapons trainer, force modernization for individual weapons, and range liason for the 82nd.

Developing Wide-Band Situational Awareness

There are a lot of cliche statements repeated over and over ad nauseum in the training world. Many of those statements refer to situational awareness (SA), the most popular being, “Keep your head on a swivel!” While it is true that it depends on how you interpret it, honestly I think that any shallow interpretation is going to miss the essence of what situational awareness is and how it actually works. If we think back to the conditions of awareness first laid out by Jeff Cooper (Google this if you have not seen it yet) we see that the main thing that changes with each condition is that our focus actually narrows with each increase in intensity. This is critically important to understand. The more tense and focused you are, the smaller your field of vision actually becomes. As the threat becomes more apparent, you become more fixated on that particular threat. I’d like to point out the most common mistake I see in the gun carrying community: mistaking high intensity for wide-band SA. Picture the most ridiculous culprit, he’s wearing tactical pants, tactical boots, requisite shirt to hide obvious gun gear, and his eyebrows are pulled into the center

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Varg Freeborn
"I come from the place that produces your enemy, so my own experience is relevant to your specific mission of self-defense. I truly have been there and done it. I want to give you every possible advantage against whatever evil comes against you. The purpose of my instruction is to help ensure you can live a long and happy life with your family. We only get One Life. It takes more than simply carrying a gun, and knowing how to shoot at paper, to protect that."
http://www.onelifedefense.com/

Five on Friday – 19May2017

Photo Credit: Alliance PD Instagram/Rat Mountain Photography https://instagram.com/p/4asMw6mng_/ Five on Friday is back. I'll be collecting links and stories throughout the week to share with all of y'all. If you have topics, news sources, or ideas for future FoF's, dont hesitate to drop a comment. 75th Ranger Regiment to Stand Up 5th Battalion http://soldiersystems.net/2017/05/17/75th-ranger-regt-to-stand-up-5th-battalion/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook Iran is Holding Elections (That are likely over by the time you read this) https://warontherocks.com/2017/05/iran-is-holding-presidential-elections-here-are-four-things-to-know/ Erik Prince (Former CEO of Blackwater) gives an interesting lecture on private sector vs government sector, as well some anecdotes on the history of Blackwater. http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/video-erik-prince-lecture-at-the-oxford-union 25 Gunfighting Stats Learned from Convicted Cop Killers http://www.tierthreetactical.com/25-gunfighting-stats-learned-from-convicted-cop-killers/ North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile https://www.wsj.com/articles/north-korea-launches-possible-ballistic-missile-south-korean-news-agency-reports-1494713029?mod=e2fb
Josh
Civilian. Intel weenie. Just a guy lookin to lend a helping hand.

The Safety Brief

For Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures Thursday, we are going to be discussing something that is basic but needs standardizing for every time we go to the range: The Safety Brief. Every day at the Enduring Range, a safety brief is given to the Paratroopers in attendance for Zero and Qualification. They receive the same safety brief covering the same topics every time: Orientation to the range, the four rules of firearms safety, ‘what is the primary safety of any weapon?’ and the course of fire. Orientation to the range is the Range Safety Officer or Officer In Charge physically pointing out the left and right limits of the range to every person coming on the range. This is done so as to ensure that the Paratroopers know what their limits are, along with the injunction that all their rounds must go between these limits. The four rules of firearms safety are discussed next. They are: Treat every weapon as if it is loaded, Never point your weapon at anything you do not intend to destroy, Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until on target and prepared to engage, and know your target; know what is in front of,

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Raymond Miller
82nd Airborne Division Small Arms Master Gunner: primary weapons trainer, force modernization for individual weapons, and range liason for the 82nd.

Why We Fight

" War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose." -Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers We are continuing our discussion on why we need to train our Paratroopers more efficiently.  Last week we discussed how little space it takes on the calendar, so how do we ensure it has emphasis placed on it? It boils down to leaders of all levels and types understanding the reason why it should be a priority. The mindset that every leader needs to have is that Weapons Mastery should be the goal of every soldier, with weapons proficiency being accepted as the minimum standard. In the 82nd Airborne Division, the commander has addressed this in DIV PAM 600-2, which has weapons mastery as a part of the ‘82nd eight.’ Regardless of Military Occupational Specialty, we are all a part of America’s Army. That means that when called upon, all of us fight and win the nation’s wars. In today’s Unified Land Operations environment, that means that everyone needs to be proficient at weapons. The reality is, most of the insurgents we have fought in the past 15 years are not looking for a ‘fair’ fight. They are looking to

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Raymond Miller
82nd Airborne Division Small Arms Master Gunner: primary weapons trainer, force modernization for individual weapons, and range liason for the 82nd.

Introduction to Ballistics

  ‘There were over thirty of them in continuous action, and all I could do was touch the Germans off just as fast as I could. I was sharpshooting. I don't think I missed a shot. It was no time to miss.’ -Alvin C. York’s account of October 8, 1918 For Walkthrough Wednesday, we are starting a discussion on a topic that is commonly misunderstood and appreciated: we are going to begin a conversation on ballistics. Reference for this is Appendix B, TC 3-22.9, Change 1 dated January 2017. Ballistics is the study of a projectile in motion. TC 3-22.9 defines it as “Ballistics is the science of the processes that occur from the time a firearm is fired to the time when the bullet impacts its target [and ceases movement].” Put simply, Ballistics is everything that happens the moment the firing pin comes in contact with the primer, to just before the projectile ceases movement in its target. There are three major categories of ballistics: Internal, External, and Terminal. Internal ballistics are everything that happens to the projectile from the moment the trigger is squeezed to the moment before it exits the barrel. External ballistics is everything that happens to

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Raymond Miller
82nd Airborne Division Small Arms Master Gunner: primary weapons trainer, force modernization for individual weapons, and range liason for the 82nd.

Transitions from Primary to Secondary Weapon

  For Manual Monday, we are continuing our discussion on Control. Specifically, we will continue our discussion on malfunctions by discussing when to transition from a Primary weapon to secondary. Our reference for this discussion is TC 3-22.9 Change 1, dated January 2017, FM 3-23.35 dated June 2003, and FM 3-22.31 dated February 2003. A secondary weapon, such as a pistol or the M4, is the most efficient way to engage a target at close quarters when the primary weapon has malfunctioned. The Paratrooper controls which actions must be taken to ensure the target is defeated as quickly as possible based on the threat presented. In the case of the M9 pistol, the firer transitions by taking the secondary weapon from the HOLSTERED position to the READY UP position, reacquiring the target, and resuming the shot process as appropriate. This brings us to a point most have not considered: for the grenadier, which is their primary weapon? and which is their secondary? As the job title implies, their primary weapon is the M320 Grenade Launcher, not the M4. How to we transition from primary weapon to secondary in that case? The Grenadier should have both firing and non-firing hand on

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Raymond Miller
82nd Airborne Division Small Arms Master Gunner: primary weapons trainer, force modernization for individual weapons, and range liason for the 82nd.

Law Enforcement Emotional Survival

Every LEO, whether a rookie or a 30-year veteran, needs to learn emotional survival and how to prioritize their life. I wasn't exposed to the concept until 14 years into a career and 15 years into a marriage. My career flourished and slowly over time my personal relationships suffered. When I first got to Philadelphia in 1998, I was prepared mentally and had the necessary skill set to do the job. I was 23 and had found my calling. I was married already, but knew that I wasn't ready for children yet. I constantly gave my wife reasons why we couldn't have little ones. I continually responded to call outs, went in to work early for hits and then stayed late. I took long term temporary assignments to help open up new Task Force offices and work long term OCDETF operations. Holding off on having kids was the right decision as I couldn't have been more ready and mature ten years later when we had our first child. The problem is that while my agency continually improved my skills and ability to do the job, it never taught me how to balance what I did for a living and my

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The Engagement Skills Trainer

For Tactics, Techniques and Procedures Thursday, we are going to be discussing a system that has a reputation for being more trouble than it’s worth: The Engagement Skills Trainer. The legacy EST system was a tethered system that allowed NCO’s the capability to identify issues with their paratroopers prior to coming to the range. It had many good tools and capabilities built in that could refine the Paratrooper’s shot process. The only drawback it had, was that it was required to be hooked to the line, which degraded realism when the Paratrooper got off their belly. The new system that has been installed on Fort Bragg is a wireless system. It fixes this issue and makes it much more realistic for use. Information on it can be found at the following link: https://www.meggitttrainingsystems.com/Law-Enforcement/Simulation-training/BlueFire-wireless-weapon-simulators What needs to be taken away from this is how the leaders are going to implement the use of this new system prior to qualification. All Paratroopers need to demonstrate proficiency in the scenarios outlined in the table below as a part of the new Integrated Weapons Training Strategy Table II. This can be implemented up to 6 weeks prior to the range.  Planning factor for these

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Raymond Miller
82nd Airborne Division Small Arms Master Gunner: primary weapons trainer, force modernization for individual weapons, and range liason for the 82nd.

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