Hand-to-hand combat training back on Fort Sill

KSWO 6pm Newscast- First Half - clipped version

FORT SILL, Okla. (TNN) - Fort Sill welcomed back a critical part of Field Artillery basic combat training.

Pugil Training is back on post. It was temporarily stopped once the Coronavirus hit the area.

Colonel Daniel Blackmon said though it was suspended for several months the training was too important to completely exclude.

“What we found was is overtime that we missed a vital aspect of the training and that vital aspect of the training is there. Its something about the fire fight response getting tested while you’re in basic combat training and that is an important thing for a warrior to have," Blackmon said.

Blackmon said pugil training was pushed until the very end of basic combat training, which added another aspect of safety since the soldiers have been together for the last two months.

“We created an environment where we don’t necessarily call it a bubble but it’s like a bubble that’s a little bit safer. The jobs that we do require us to be within six feet. They require us to be working very closely together for an extended period of time, so we do a lot to make sure we have that," Blackmon said.

Delaying the training has prevented a lot of injuries and allowed soldiers to be coached up on other things they usually don’t learn until they graduate from basic combat training.

Some soldiers were unable to train with pugils but Blackmon said they’ll get their chance.

“I think it’s an important part of the program. I will stand by that, the ability to look at somebody, look them in the eye know they want to do something bad to you and you got to do something bad to them is an important thing to teach to any young warrior no matter what their MOS is," Blackmon said.

Carmen Salt is eight weeks into basic training right now.

She hopes to use the techniques she learned in pugil training out in the field.

“Just to get a taste in it, some of us won’t ever be seeing combat like this. But just to have an ideal of what is like and what we would need to do is always good to know and always good to have," Salt said.

Salt said she learned some valuable lessons about what to do and what not to do.

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