September 10th, 2005
Camp Stasa, MI
Mad Hatter's Report:
There's a lot going on in the world. And everything seems to continue to point to the need to be prepared.
Septembers training was an exercise of a different sort.
With the recent tragedy along the gulf coast in our minds, As well as the anniversary of September 11th on the near horizon, We approached this weekend in a different manner. A large number of spouses and even a young child were there.
We continued our push-and-bound fire team training, with the addition of wooded environment to increase the difficulty.
Covering. Excellent camo by Bishop.
We also took some time to focus on the basics. With everyone being self equipped, there's a large array of weapons, gear, other equipment, and an infinite combination of ways to carry it. Some folks only carry what they need. Others try to be prepared with items that could come in handy, but may not be vital on a day to day basis. The balance is to carry as much as you feel comfortable with yet still remain mobile and functional.
It's not until your gear is tested in a (simulated) combat situation that you find what does and does not work.
Weapon M sporting enough gear to be effective.
To this end, We worked on tactical reloading from a prone position. Eight 30-round magazines is a great concept. But if you can only reach four of them under fire, adjustments need to be made.
The canteen which is vital to staying hydrated in the field can become a hindrance if it slides down, and prevents you from rolling over to get at that mag-pouch.
A sheathed bayonet that's well placed while upright may become dangerous in a crouched position. (Demonstration by Cpl. Punishment)
Thumper handled the difficult task of filling Chuck Wagons shoes (and chef's hat). Thanks for the food! It may not have been militia-burgers and beans, but it really hit the spot.
As the day wore on, People qualified for level one and two (details to come), and wives were given the opportunity to learn how to use the weapons that we all count on to protect us at home.
Special thanks to Doc for doing that thing she does so well.
Lee: My first thoughts were to not post any pics or even mention this, but then, we are always honest about things. This was the most serious training-related injury we have ever had at the range, and the first and only one to require a trip to a hospital. Cpl Punishment required only five stitches to close the wound, and none of them were internal. This was a freakish combination of events that resulted in a minor self-inflicted stab wound. Doc (and Cabbage) were on site, and he was never in any serious danger. What did we learn?
1. Get a serious scabbard, not just a nylon one. if you have a flimsy sheath, pop a couple of rivets near the bottom to prevent any knife from stabbing through.
2. Get a knife or bayonet with a crosspiece to keep it from getting pushed down too far.
3. Check your gear placement. Even with seasoned veteran militia-people like Cpl Punishment, accidents can happen. Let them happen at training, and not when it really counts.
I also have had some time to think about this. Cpl Punishment most likely incurred this injury on the second position of the four-pin shoot. It had to hurt to drop into the prone, and then to get back up. However, he moved on to the final positions, finished the shoot (in 53 seconds, which is pretty good time), and then...he set up the bowling pins for the next guy. Only after this was all complete, did he seek medical attention. He finished the mission. Let that sink in when you sit at home wondering exactly what kind of people come out here and train. Bleeding, he finished the mission.
(Prize for being the first to "drop trou" on the web page? We'll come up with something...)