Combatives in Iraq
(Top to bottom) Pfc. Jeremy Rivera, 29th Combat Aviation Brigade, and Sgt. Tomes Weekes, 8th Ordinance Battalion, practice combatives drills on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Sept. 1.

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq, Sept. 9, 2011 -- "This isn't a class for people who want to go and become UFC fighters," said Sgt. Isaac Cadena, a Modern Army Combatives Program, or MAPC, basic course instructor with the 4th Sustainment Brigade.

Cadena said the purpose of MACP is to train service members to defend themselves and share that training with their unit. Soldiers of the 4th Sustainment Brigade have been teaching combatives courses to service members during their deployment on Contingency Operating Base Adder. The instructors have taught 17 classes of basic and tactical-level combatives to more than 200 students, improving their combat sharpness and skills.

The courses cover the techniques and drills available to service members when encountered with a hostile enemy. The training isn't just hand-to-hand combat, but includes enhancing overall combat readiness and confidence and the history of MACP according to Army regulation 350-1 that governs Army training.

To earn certification in basic-level combatives, the service members taking the course are required to demonstrate to the instructors that they aren't just proficient in the drills they learn, but that they are also capable of training others the moves and proper techniques.

"They have to teach the instructors back the techniques they were taught to prove they are proficient enough to teach soldiers back home what they've learned," said Cadena.

The students did this by calmly explaining, in detail, each step of the drill while performing the chokes, holds and mounts on their fellow pupils.

The skills students learned here will go back home with them.

"Even back home in America it isn't always safe," said Cadena. "These skills aren't only for the battlefield."

For example, in May 2011, Staff Sgt. Eddie Peoples, 386th Movement Control Team in Vicenza, Italy, subdued a bank robber while on leave, crediting combatives training he received in the Army.

Soldiers who attended the courses on COB Adder walk away feeling more confident in combat readiness. Sgt. Tomes Weekes said he was convinced to take the basic level course by others in his unit who had already gotten certified.

"Most of my detachment has already done the class, and I'm the last one to go through," said Weekes, who is deployed with the 8th Ordnance Battalion here.

"What I've learned so far is that no matter how strong you are, it's more reliant on technique than on strength," said Weekes. "It makes you disciplined because you have to rely on what you've learned and use your mind."

Page last updated Fri September 9th, 2011 at 00:00