Done with Army Combatives and on to Convoy Operations

We finished Army Combatives yesterday morning. We learned some chokes and submissions. At the end of the training session and the end of the other sessions we had we actually sparred against each other. We were supposed to apply what we learned. Some of the soldiers wrestled in high school and college and had to unlearn some bad habits. Last Saturday I won my match because my opponent got on all fours and turned his back to me. All I had to do is get him in the rear mount (getting on his back, wrapping my arms and legs around him) and hang on.

Yesterday I sparred against two people, one slightly older than me but is six feet three inches tall and the other sixteen years younger then me but about the same size. The first match was a draw. Because of his height advantage he got me on the ground first. I was able to get my legs wrapped around one of his (the half guard) so he couldn’t dominate me. He then started to put me in a chokehold. I ducked my chin and I started to put him in a chokehold. It was too funny. The referee broke the match before both of us passed out!

The second match was a real challenge for me. My sparring partner was sixteen years younger than me and quick. I tried to get him in a chokehold but he squirmed out of it and got me on the floor. He tried to go chest to chest and get me in the side mount but I kept squirming out of it. I was able to get one of his legs in the half guard and I tried to do a fancy move where I would flip him on his back (one of the maneuvers I learned Saturday past) but I ran out of gas. At that point, I was hosed. I had the dominant body position but no energy to take advantage of it. He got me in a hold that I couldn’t break and then it was game over. One of the buddies of my sparring partner congratulated me and said I put up one hell of a fight. I then found out he was sixteen years younger than me. At that point I felt good about lasting as long as I did.

We received another block of instruction in Afghan culture yesterday afternoon. We watched a documentary from TLC (The Learning Channel) called “12 Years of War in Afghanistan”. It was produced by the BBC in October of 2001 and talked about the fall of the communist government once the USSR pulled out through the Taliban takeover. It was pretty good despite the snide parting shot the commentator leveled at the US at the end of the show (typical liberal Brit). One of the points the documentary made was that once the Taliban restored order (which the people did want), they started to impose their belief system (a warped combination of extreme wahabi Islam and Pashtun mores). In cities that were Persian in character (Tadjik) where the women were educated, had jobs, and did not wear burkhas, all of a sudden they had to comply with the Talibans codes of behavior. That was when most of the people of Afghanistan wanted them gone. If you ever get a chance to see the documentary, please do so.

Today we started to train on running checkpoints, conducting searches, and convoy operations. It is highly unlikely that I will actually be doing checkpoints and conducting searches once I am in country (I am a staff officer). However, if I am ever in the position where I will have to supervise those operations I will need to know how they are done. EVERYONE does convoy operations. If you are in a vehicle, you are conducting a convoy operation. It doesn’t take a genius to know that many of our casualties over the last few years occurred during a convoy. I will be very attentive during the next few days!

All for now.

CPT NightHawk


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