After Action Report – 1st Bn / 3rd Bde – Training 12 August 2017
After Action Report – 12Aug17
Missouri Militia 1st Battalion/ 3rd Brigade
Rifleman Qualification Part 1
From: SFC Tade
Subject: After Action Report
Deployed Location: Area 51 Training Area, 4932 Old Hwy 40, Odessa, MO 64076
CO: Colonel R. Sumpter
Duration: 12 Aug 17 0730-1630
Purpose: To train and qualify the troops in the first step towards earning their Rifleman tab.
There were 18 unit members in attendance.
The day began with First Formation and training in Drill and Ceremony. The troops marched in column and practiced facing maneuvers.
After muster, Colonel Sumpter addressed the troops and gave the intelligence briefing. Among the topics was the “Black Sky” exercise that will be conducted on the 28th of August. This event will simulate an attack that knocks out the power grid in a large portion of the country. There will be multiple state and federal agencies involved. The Colonel recommended that this would be a good opportunity to review our personal preparedness for such an event. A solid preparedness plan for our families gives us the peace of mind and the confidence that they are taken care of when we deploy with the Militia to aid others in such an event.
CPT Felix reviewed the Commander’s Intent and described the training and activities for the day. The CPT then conducted a uniform inspection. He asked the troops to produce their everyday carry items. The recommended EDC items are: an analog or combination analog/digital watch, a knife, pen or pencil (x2), a Pad of Paper (“Rite in The Rain” preferred), a length of cordage (50’ of 550 Paracord), a way to make fire (3 ways are preferred) and a multi-tool. The CPT, accompanied by the SFC, then conducted a uniform inspection of the troops. The troops were generally squared away, with only minor items noted. One such item was name tapes on the back of the Garrison Cap missing or incorrectly placed. The name tape should be centered in the back and just above the rim of the cap. The CPT also advised the troops that they should have three sets of BDUs, one for public events such as working at the Gun Show and two for use in the field.
After the inspection, the troops moved out to the range. A 25 meter firing line was set-up with 6 firing positions. The troops received instruction on the seven fundamentals of good marksmanship. They are:
Grip – The grip on the rifle should be firm and as high up on the pistol grip as possible. This brings the trigger finger into proper alignment with the trigger. In this position the trigger can be squeezed straight back. This grip also helps isolate the other muscles of the hand so that only the trigger finger moves.
Body Position or Stance – a good stance allows the rifle to naturally point at the target. In the standing (Off-Hand) position the rifle has two points of contact, the stock in the shoulder and the hands on the grip and forearm. In the kneeling position, the rifle has three points of contact, the stock, the hands and the support hand elbow on the support side knee. It is important to use the support side knee as opposed to the weapon side knee as the former provides better stability.
Breathing – the shot should be taken on the natural pause in your breathing.
Sight Alignment – the proper sight alignment is with the front sight post in the middle of the rear sight aperture.
Sight Picture – the proper sight picture should have the front sight post centered in the rear aperture and the target sitting on top of the front sight post
Trigger manipulation – squeeze the trigger straight back while maintaining the proper sight alignment.
Follow through – maintain the sight picture and hold the trigger to the rear for a moment after the shot.
We then reviewed the five laws of gun safety.
- Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
- Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
- Never point your gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot.
- Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
Range safety officers we designated and the firearms training incident protocol was reviewed.
CPL McVey gave instruction on basic weapon manipulation, firing positions and how to reload the
weapon. He demonstrated the proper technique for:
Admin load – An Admin load is performed when you are loading the weapon for the first time such as stepping off from the FOB. With the weapon on safe and pointed in a safe direction, insert a full magazine and chamber a round.
Tactical reload – A Tactical reload is performed when there is a break in the fight and you have time
and cover. Keep your head up and the weapon in the workspace. Remove a full magazine from its
pouch and place it alongside the magazine in your weapon, gripping both magazines with your support hand. The magazines should form an “L” shape with the rounds of the fresh magazine facing forward and pointed down. Depress the magazine release button and remove the magazine, then rotate your hand and insert the fresh magazine into the weapon. Place the partially empty magazine back in a pouch or dump pouch.
Speed Reload – A Speed reload is performed when you are in a fight and run out ammunition.
Keep your head up, turn the weapon so that you can see the chamber and confirm that it is indeed an empty magazine and not a malfunction. Depress the magazine release and swing the weapon in an arc as if you are scribing a “J” with the magazine. This will eject the magazine and allow it to fall to the ground. With your support hand, remove a fresh magazine from its pouch and insert it into the weapon. Depress the bolt release to chamber a round. Get back in the fight.
CPL McVey stressed the importance of communicating with your fire team members during the various reload procedures. During a Tactical reload you should “ask” for permission by saying “CHECK”, other members acknowledge by saying “COVERING”. Do not reload until you get an acknowledgement from the other members of your fire team. When you have reloaded, indicate you are ready by saying “UP”. During a Speed reload there is no need to ask for permission, you’re out of ammunition and must reload to resume the fight. You say “RELOADING” and the other members acknowledge with “COVERING”. When you have reloaded, indicate you are ready by saying “UP”.
Afterward, the troops had the opportunity to warm up and check the sighting of their rifles. All troops performed the Disassembly, Assembly and Function Check drill under the supervision of CPT Felix. Each troop had to disassemble their weapon as far as possible without the use of tools. Then re-assemble the weapon and perform as function check. This was a timed drill and had to be completed in 60 seconds or less.
The unit broke for lunch at 1230.
After lunch, the troops assembled at the range and prepared for the 25 meter qualification. The targets used were the AQT simulated distance targets – 100 meter standing, 200 meter sitting or kneeling, 300 and 400 meter prone. Each troop was required to fire 15 rounds and perform one reload on each
target. A qualifying score of 35 or higher was necessary to pass this part of the qualification. After a full afternoon on the range, 11 of 17 troops qualified. They will move on to the long range part of the qualification.
Lessons Learned and Recommendations:
Shooting prone requires practice and good fundamentals.
Post Training Activities:
Several troops stayed behind to adjust their rifles and took the opportunity to fire a Swiss K31 military surplus rifle brought by SFC Tade. This rifle is chambered in 7.5 x 55 Swiss. The rifle is a magazine feed bolt action with an unusual straight pull back bolt.