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Left Of Bang: How The Marine Corps' Combat Hunt...

Brett McKay: All right, so your book is about the marine combat hunter program. Before I read your book, I had no idea this existed. So, can you tell us what the combat hunter program is, why it was developed and how it came about?

Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps' Combat Hunt...

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Brett McKay: Got you. All right so the book is called Left of Bang which I think is just an awesome title. When I first saw the book I was like this is awesome, but you know what it meant. Can you tell us what left of bang means in the combat hunter program?

Tracking. Armed with the knowledge of how to properly observe, we could begin tracking. As a complete novice to hunting, my pop-culture-based expectations of tracking included sniffing dirt and being able to immediately determine any number of facts about my quarry from that. In reality, tracking is a blend of gut-driven art and tedious science. While tracking is generally associated with actively pursuing your quarry, even gathering evidence from a trackline that has gone cold can prove instrumental in generating useful intelligence. A size, activity, location, unit, time, and equipment (SALUTE) report is usually given when the enemy is under visual observation. However, a trained combat hunter can provide similar information strictly from what the enemy leaves behind. The number and shape of tracks, the outline of weapons in the dirt at ambush sites, and the evidence left by patrols can all contribute. Before I received instruction in observation and identifying foreign weapons, I would likely have missed a PKM cartridge belt left behind after an enemy ambush. PKM belts are reusable (unlike U.S. machine guns, which primarily use disintegrating links) often leading forces that employ Soviet-patterned light machine guns to retain spent belts. Crucial pieces of evidence such as these can be relayed back to commanders to help build a better profile of the enemy nearby: They are armed with light machine guns, but they may not be well-trained, because they lacked the discipline to recover their equipment. 041b061a72


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