By Pfc. Garett Hernandez and Capt. Thomas Cieslak, 16th MP Bde. PAOJune 11, 2009
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Soldiers gathered on gym mats June 1 to conduct some of the most dynamic training of their Army careers and to prepare for upcoming deployments.
Instructors from the 82nd Airborne Division's Special Troops Battalion (Airborne) closely monitored students in their Combatives Level 1 course as they grappled and trained to subdue attackers.
"The goal of Army combatives is to teach you a new fight strategy, rather than try to stand and bang it out, it's to close the distance with the enemy, gain a dominant position and then finish the fight" said Sgt. 1st Class Paul Haber of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, STB, 82nd Abn. Div. "What we're doing now is teaching the drills to gain a dominant position."
The course certifies Soldiers as Army Combatives Level 1 instructors.
Equipped with the knowledge from the course, the Soldiers return to their units capable of teaching Army Combatives
Level 1 to their peers and better prepare them for upcoming deployments.
One of Haber's assistant instructors is 1st Lt. Erika Chew of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne).
Chew volunteers her time at the training to hone her skills in combatives and to share the knowledge she's gained after attending the course.
"What lieutenant Chew does, she comes down here and she helps us instruct and it gives her a little more time instructing which makes her a little more competent and a little more confident as an instructor," said Haber when asked about his assistants.
Haber, Chew and other instructors demonstrate proper combatives techniques in front of their students.
The instructors often answer questions on proper positioning of legs, arms and hands in order to gain dominance over an opponent.
When students are released to practice, the instructors walk among them, often getting down onto the mat to observe and correct Soldiers.
"When it comes to drilling, keep it just that, just a drill," said Spc. Carl Miller of Headquarters, Headquarters Company, STB, 82nd Abn. Div., as he demonstrated proper technique to combatives students.