Although B-12 Pershing Rifles is based in ROTC, much of our training touches on areas that ROTC does not have time to investigate thoroughly. The intent of these classes and events is not necessarily to teach expertise in the given topic, but to illuminate some of the challenges and parameters that might be common to that particular situation. Members use these experiences to help them develop the critical and operational thinking capabilities that they will use in all aspects of their careers.
The B-12 staff has a mandate to come up with interesting and relevant training events and classes, even if they are unconventional, for the purpose of better preparing a B-12 member to handle any potential situation that may be faced in the miltary. Here are some examples:
URBAN ESCAPE & EVASION
The Urban E&E class is more of an intellectual exercise than a formal teaching and learning experience, originally created by a member who took the initiative to extensively research the topic. Members discuss various techniques that might be used in four potential escape and evasion scenarios:
- Your aircraft crashes in a hostile foreign city.
- The foreign city you are stationed in suddenly becomes hostile due to a revolution or civil war.
- You are accidentally separated from your unit during urban combat operations, after an ambush.
- You must survive and escape to safety after a major natural disaster destroys all civil functions in your city, whether foreign or domestic.
Each scenario presents certain challenges and requires certain actions that might be detrimental in a different scenario. In the first part of the class, members discuss the unique aspects of each scenario, and brainstorm about how to best approach each possibility.
The second part of the class focuses on techniques for preparing the area ahead of time if possible. Members learn about concepts such as choosing supplies & setting up caches, planning escape routes, creating a network of contacts, and identifying safe locations & danger areas.
In the third part of the class, members look at the actions that an evader would have to take once they initiated their E&E. Special emphasis is placed on techniques for obtaining emergency food & water, obtaining & using transportation, obscuring your ethnicity & language/accent, finding emergency medical supplies, preventing & treating common illnesses and injuries, communicating secretly, accessing previously prepared supply caches, and escaping from restraints during captivity.
B-12’s major field exercise, Operation STEADFAST LIGHTNING (OSL), is based on the US Army Special Forces’ ROBIN SAGE guerrilla warfare exercise. However, rather than attempting to teach guerrilla warfare as is done in the Army, its objective is the development of operational mentality and competence through the presentation of a simulated operation which must be carefully planned, prepared, and executed by both candidates and members. Click here to read about OSL.
This class was developed by a member who had a great deal of interest and experience in wilderness survival techniques. Members learn the basics of finding and creating shelters, fire starting with little or no equipment, hypothermia prevention, water collection and purification, food procurement and cooking, signaling, wilderness first aid & self aid, dealing with animals, and how to maintain an appropriate mental attitude and focus. Also emphasized is what to do during the pre-survival preparation phase, including what to put in a survival kit and how to mentally prepare for a sudden survival situation.
Land navigation, which B-12 teaches and practices in the Land Navigation & Endurance Course, is another key wilderness survival skill. During the survival class, the members are taught various techniques for navigating without the standard map and compass kit, and for predicting where populated areas might be located based on terrain study.
An alumnus who had a great deal of experience in radio systems and radio usage created this class, with the objective of giving members a general overview of how radios and radio systems work. Since Pershing Rifles events sometimes occur in areas where other communications don’t work, it is important for B-12 members to know how to perform a radio survey and how to successfully plan the implementation of radio communications during an operation, before going out into the field where they will need to rely on that network.
Members learn the differences between the performance of radio frequencies in the HF, VHF, and UHF bands, as well as the specifics of simplex vs. repeater operation. They also learn about the various squelch and privacy methods, including PL, DPL, encryption, and frequency-hopping.
In addition to the technical aspects of radio usage, the class also focuses on the strategy and tactics of using radios in an operational environment. Members learn about concepts such as identifying and locating the source of a radio signal, eavesdropping on radio traffic, jamming, and radio network usage analysis.