Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Fort Benning TV Presents – Shooter’s Corner: Barricades

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Part One

SSG Andrew McElroy of the Army Marksmanship Unit discusses proper techniqiue when shooting from barricades.

Part Two

The AMU’s SSG Luis Saucedo and SFC Christopher Toepfer demonstrate proper technique for approaching and shooting from barricades in the standing and kneeling positions.

Source Recon Presents: Frank Proctor of Way of The Gun (WOTG)

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Source Recon is a source for helping shooters connect with trainers and resources to find different genres of training that suits their needs. They’ve partnered up with Frank Proctor to provide such training.

For more information about Frank Proctor and the classes he offers, visit: www.wayofthegun.us

For more information about Source Recon visit: sourcerecon.com

US Army Introduces Occupational Physical Assessment Test For Retrainees/New Accessions

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

This is big news for the US Army as they begin to implement functional fitness assements. Granted, it’s only being used as as a tool to determine suitability for training into certain MOSs, but it’s a start. A common, standarized, Physical Fitness Test will always be important for centralized boards, whether for promotion or retention, so I dont see that going away.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service) — On Tuesday, the Army began administering the Occupational Physical Assessment Test, or OPAT, to all recruits to assess their fitness for military occupational specialties. The OPAT also will be used to assess some Soldiers who are reclassifying into a different MOS.

Soldiers administer the “standing long jump” portion of the Occupational Physical Assessment Test to potential recruits during an OPAT pilot program. (Photo Credit: Army)

Army Recruiting Command estimates that the OPAT will be administered to about 80,000 recruits and thousands of cadets annually. Soldiers moving into more physically demanding MOSs also will have to meet the OPAT standard, said Jim Bragg, retention and reclassification branch chief for Army Human Resources Command.

Under the OPAT, there are four physical demand categories, Bragg explained.

— Heavy (black).
— Significant (gray).
— Moderate (gold).
— Unqualified (white).

When a Soldier wishes to reclassify to a new MOS, from the significant category to the heavy category, for example, he or she will need to take the OPAT. However, a Soldier whose new MOS falls within the same or a lower level physical demand category will not need to take the OPAT.

The Soldier’s commander will be responsible for ensuring the OPAT is administered prior to approval of a reclassification, Bragg said. As with any reclassification action, the battalion-level or brigade-level career counselor will administer the OPAT.

When it comes to recruiting, Brian Sutton, a spokesman for Army Recruiting Command, said the OPAT is not meant to turn away or weed people out.

“It is designed to put the right people in the right jobs and to ensure we keep our recruits safe while doing so,” he said.

OPAT scoring is gender neutral, he added. All Soldiers, male and female, must pass the same physical standards for their desired career field.

The test will be administered to everyone coming into the Army: officer, enlisted, active, Reserve and Guard. It will be administered by any command responsible for Soldier assessions — including Recruiting Command and Army Cadet Command — after the Soldier swears in but before he or she begins training.


OPAT measures muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiorespiratory endurance, explosive power and speed. It consists of four individual tests:

— The “standing long jump” is designed to assess lower-body power. Participants stand behind a takeoff line with their feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. They jump as far as possible.

— The “seated power throw” is designed to assess upper-body power. Participants sit on the floor with their lower back against a yoga block and upper back against a wall. They hold a 4.4-pound (2-kilogram) medicine ball with both hands, bring the medicine ball to their chest and then push or throw the medicine ball upwards and outwards at an approximate 45-degree angle. The throw is scored from the wall to the nearest 10 centimeters from where the ball first contacts the ground.

— The “strength deadlift” is designed to assess lower-body strength. Participants stand inside a hex-bar and perform practice lifts to ensure good technique. They then begin a sequence of lifts starting with 120 pounds, working up to 220 pounds.

— The “interval aerobic run,” always performed last, is designed to assess aerobic capacity. The evaluation involves running “shuttles,” or laps, between two designated points that are spaced 20 meters apart. The running pace is synchronized with “beeps,” produced by a loudspeaker, at specific intervals. As the test progresses, the time between beeps gets shorter, requiring recruits to run faster in order to complete the shuttle. Participants are scored according to the level they reach and the number of shuttles they complete.


Here is a quick breakdown of the four physical demand categories incorporated into the OPAT:

— “Black” is for MOSs with heavy physical demands, like those of the combat arms branches, that require lifting or moving 99 pounds or more.

To attain black on the OPAT, the recruit or Soldier would need to achieve a minimum of 5 feet, 3 inches in the standing long jump; 14 feet, 9 inches for the seated power throw; 160 pounds for the strength deadlift; and a 10:14 minute mile over the course of 43 shuttles.

— “Gray” is for MOSs with significant physical demands that require frequent or constant lifting of 41 to 99 pounds and occasional tasks involving moving up to 100 pounds.

To attain gray on the OPAT, the recruit or Soldier would need to achieve a minimum of 4 feet, 7 inches in the standing long jump; 13 feet, 1 inch for the seated power throw; 140 pounds for the strength deadlift; and a 10:20 minute mile over the course of 40 shuttles.

— “Gold” is for MOSs with moderate physical demands, such as cyber, that require frequent or constant lifting of weights up to 40 pounds or when all physical demands are occasional.

To attain gold on the OPAT, the recruit or Soldier would need to achieve a minimum of 3 feet, 11 inches in the standing long jump; 11 feet, 6 inches for the seated power throw; 120 pounds for the strength deadlift; and a 10:27 minute mile over the course of 36 shuttles.

— “White” is unqualified.

A recruit or Soldier who attains white has failed to meet OPAT’s minimum standards.

Sutton noted that if a recruit fails the OPAT, he or she can request to retake the test. If the recruit cannot eventually pass the OPAT color designator for his or her MOS, it may be possible to renegotiate the contract to allow the recruit to enter an MOS with a lower physical demand OPAT category, the minimum being gold.

(David Vergun can be followed on Twitter: @vergunARNEWS.)


ARNEWS reporter Todd Lopez contributed to this report.

82nd Abn Div Small Arms Master Gunner on New 25m M16/M4 Zero Target

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Recently, we told you about the 82nd Abn Div Small Arms Master Gunner Facebook page. This is the type of stuff they have going on over there and I’m very impressed. This example came from this week’s “Walk through Wednesday” and is definitely worth reading and the page is a must follow.

We have a guest post for Walk through Wednesday. Mike Lewis was the 82nd Airborne Small Arms Master Gunner before me. He worked with Ash Hess, John Brady, and Paul Meacham on developing the new zero target that will be discussed today….

Hello, shooters. I’m SFC (Retired) Mike Lewis and previously served in the 82nd Airborne Division SAMG position. Today’s Walkthrough Wednesday is on the new 25m M16/M4 zero target and zeroing. It is quite a bit different from the zero targets you’ve previously seen on Army ranges, for multiple reasons to be discussed below. It’s also a more useful multipurpose target. This is designed for zeroing the M16/M4 series weapon, use as a scoring target for conducting short-range marksmanship (SRM) training, and use as a scoring target for use in pistol training. It was designed in a collaborative effort between myself, SFC Ash Hess at the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE), SFC Paul Meacham at the 101st Airborne Division (AASLT), and SSG John Brady at the 10th Mountain Division (LI).

The first and biggest change is the pattern of the target itself. We did away with the silhouette previously used for decades. The silhouette was inserted years ago as a training tool to overcome the human predisposition against shooting other humans. However, zeroing isn’t training; it’s mechanically aligning the sights with the trajectory of the round at a given point. When zeroing the key is proper marksmanship through use of the Shot Process and Functional Elements, producing tight shot groups. Therefore, we should use the target that gives the best possible way to find the center of visible mass (CoVM) in order to use proper aiming then aligning the point of aim and point of impact. The silhouette doesn’t present that. A bullseye-style target was selected, but a circle is difficult for the human eye to find the exact center of; it is easy to find the center of a diamond, so one was overlaid on the circular bull.

There are two dotted rings on the zero target at CoVM, a 4 MOA circle and the legacy 4 cm circle. Using the 4 cm circle gives one a “minute of man” zero at 300 meters and is less than optimal. Shooters should easily be able to print 4 MOA groups on demand. The goal is zeroing within the 4 MOA circle, the tighter the group, the better for a precise zero.

The grid you’re used to has been changed. It was set up to work with the iron sights, and the grid was harder to use for optics that have a .5 minute of angle (MOA) adjustment (CCO or most RCOs) or a .333 MOA adjustment (some RCOs). The grid is now a 1 MOA grid making it much easier in zeroing the optic that has become the primary sighting systems. The odd adjustments of the irons require more math and understanding of the different sight radius of the M4 and M16.

There is a table at the bottom of the target showing adjustment values for each sighting system. Noticeably missing are the numbers formerly placed on the margins of the adjustment grid. The reason is knowing your equipment. You should know whether you have a .333 or .5 MOA adjustment value (optics) and be able to do the math of counting and multiplying by 2 or 3. It’s simple. You should also know your adjustment on the M4 irons are .75 MOA windage (rear) and approximately 1.75 MOA elevation (front) per click. The old target was made for the least common denominator, not knowledge of the weapon and its use.

Now that we’ve covered the target itself, let’s talk ballistics. A POA/POI zero at 25 meters does not a 300 meter zero make. The trajectory of the round crosses the sight plane at 36 meters as it would at 300. This is the reason the Marine Corps uses 36 in zeroing. The Army uses 25 as we know. To achieve a 300 meter zero at 25 one of two things must happen, either a ballistic offset or a mechanical offset must be used. Some of us remember the carrying handle iron sights being used on the M16 and M4. We remember that zeroing at 25 meters required adjusting the elevation wheel on the rear sight one click and then moving it one click back after zeroing; this is the mechanical offset. That method isn’t available on the backup iron sight or the optics currently in use, necessitating a calibrated ballistic offset. For a 300 meter zero achieved at 25 meters, the offset is .3 inches, or about 1 MOA low. This adjustment must be made for a 300 meter zero obtained on a 25-meter range and should be confirmed and refined at true distance (300 meters).

Any error in using the offset is amplified when using a bullet drop compensator (BDC) as in the reticle pattern of the RCO. Although the manufacturer specified the RCO is designed to be zeroed at 100, the Army’s doctrine states using a 25 meter zero for 300 is the method. Not using the previously described offset makes the entire BDC calibration invalid. My preferred method of zeroing the RCO is placing the tip of the chevron (the 100-meter aiming point) on the point of aim (CoVM) and using a point of impact 1.4 inches (about 5.5 MOA) low for a 100 meter zero. Again, this should be confirmed and refined at true distance (100 meters in this case).

Any aiming or other error in the shot process degrades the ability to achieve a precise zero. This has a detrimental impact on accuracy of your shots and lethality as a Paratrooper. Do some dry fire drills. Get out there and work your zero.

SureFire Field Notes – Mike Pannone

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

SureFire Field Notes is a multi-segment informational video series with tips and techniques from subject matter experts of all backgrounds. In this episode, Mike Pannone of CTT-Solutions discusses a technique for performing a magazine exchange with hand-held light in hand.

Mike Pannone is a former operational member of U.S. Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces (Green Beret) and 1st SFOD-D (Delta) as well as a competition USPSA pistol shooter holding a Master class ranking in Limited, Limited-10 and Production divisions. He has participated in stabilization, combat and high-risk protection operations in support of U.S. policies throughout the world as both an active duty military member, and a civilian contractor. After sustaining a severe blast injury Mike retired from 1st SFOD-D and worked as a Primary Firearms Instructor for the Federal Air Marshal Program in Atlantic City and the head in-service instructor for the Seattle field office of the FAMS. He also worked as an independent contractor and advisor for various consulting companies to include SAIC (PSD Iraq), Triple Canopy (PSD Iraq), and The Wexford Group (Counter IED ground combat advisor Iraq and pre-deployment rifle/pistol/tactics instructor for the Asymmetric Warfare Group). Mike was also the Senior Instructor for Viking Tactics (VTAC), and Blackheart International. He started his own consulting company full time in late 2008.

AFSOC Takes Delivery of Christini All-Wheel Drive Motorcycles

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

This photo if from recent New Equipment training by Fayetteville, NC-based Tactical Mobility Training for Air Force Special Operations Command’s recent purchase of Christini All-Wheel Drive motorcycles. 

TNVC Announces Week-Long Training Event, Dark Gulag

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

Dark Gulag is a 1 Week Joint Training Event designed to provide students with a full spectrum Special Operations experience. BAT Defense, TNVC, and Greenline Tactical have partnered to take students from the light to the dark side at the AMTEC Training Facility in Perry, Florida, and the Altair Training Facility in Naples, Florida. On-site lodging is available at both locations.

Dark Gulag is comprised of three individual classes that can be attended separately or as a package. Sign-up is done individually on each company’s website. Or, you can sign up for the entire package and use discount code: DARKGULAG for discounted tuition for the week. Each course has different gear requirements, but student prerequisites are the same: All students must be Legal U.S. Citizens. Proof of citizenship is required to train. Students must have basic tactical weapons handling skills and be able to provide proof of successful completion of previous tactical weapons instruction courses from vetted / reputable trainers or show Military / LE credentials. Safety is paramount in all firearms training – especially at night. Students will be expected to follow instruction. Failure to do so, leading to unsafe conditions, will result in immediate dismissal from class and forfeiture of tuition without reimbursement.

If you want to sign up for the entire event, you must do so at each company’s website:

www.GreenLineTactical.com for daytime Combat Carbine ($500) Feb 4-5, 2017

www.TNVC.com for Night Fighter: Armed Professional ($750) Feb 7-9, 2017

www.BatDefense.com for Aerial Target Interdiction: Night Fighter ($1,650) Feb 11-12, 2017

Range fees and UTM munitions are included in the prices. Signing up for all three will allow you to save $100 on each class.

82nd Abn Div Master Gunner Has A Facebook Page

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Not only does the 82nd Abn Div Master Gunner have a Facebook page, but you should be following it, whether you’re an All American, or not.

The Master Gunner is doing a good job of offering regular, relevant content and is soliciting feedback from the followers.

I like what I’m seeing.