Project Appleseed

After Action Reports! => After Action Reports => Topic started by: Earl on November 09, 2014, 08:01:33 AM

Title: Port Townsend, WA 8-9 Nov 2014 After Action Report
Post by: Earl on November 09, 2014, 08:01:33 AM
Ah, waking too early to head out the door, but still enthusiastic for the marksmanship and history to come today. Drove in the almost full moon's light to the range and waited for Yankee Terrier to open the gate, talked to Ralph about his hunting trip - he did see elk, just none that were legal for his tag. Talked with the range guy that had difficulties with one of our more trying instructors (ME!) last time I was here clearing a case from an AR. I made sure as he showed me the very nicely improved bay for the Appleseed that I knew were the Safe Table was and his procedure for moving a rifle off the line for maintenance.

Shoot Boss shows up and other instructors, a fire in the warm up shed, target line gets measured and set up. Well oiled Appleseed machine starts to meet and greet the shooters and the show it on! Four young shooters, five fine adults, and all the normal surprises - I haven't ever seen sights like those, what kind of a sling is this? Working through everything, is the texture and the flavor of a rifleman in the morning... Janer and MT Riser have family to fun over, but they are working the course of instruction and the talking targets, trying to fix one or two of seven or more steady hold factors. George is on top of everything and we shoot through the challenges and the course of fire. Did I mention how wonderful the cool to cold CLEAR day was for shooting? Yes, my last Appleseed we were prone in pools and puddles. This is better by far, and the range is really nice. The warm up club house for lunch and the first two strikes of the match. Thank you for those maps, Ralph. Make sure everyone gets one to take home. Well, it is about time for a cup of coffee and some hot breakfast before the two hour drive back to the range... we are going to have a great day, the weather man has been wrong before.
Title: Re: Port Townsend, WA 8-9 Nov 2014 After Action Report
Post by: Earl on November 10, 2014, 01:41:56 PM
Seems like only I am writing, sigh.

Still I was happy enough when I stopped shivering and was really soaking the heat up to post this on Tdow's blog ( post:

'Went into the warm-up shed at Port Townsend today, to see about scoring some very soaked AQTs and write the number down without shaking too much... love working on the edge of comfort and sanity. Yesterday I thought we should have pushed a bit more, today in the soak I was glad we hadn't and we were all still friends. The shooters, except for one, all will have to come back and shoot again, but I bet they will wait for warmer weather.'  He has a strong blog with following and still likes Appleseed.

Allow me to try and work the line:

Gabe, you have a wonderful future ahead of you.  You will grow into your rifles and your father will be struggling (happily) to stay just a step ahead of you.

Mike, dry practice - but certainly come back and show us that you studied your homework, for sure you are hitting all the marks in being a great father and man.

Val, it was an honor to loan you a rifle, and I enjoyed trying to get you zeroed on the one you first used yesterday, I discovered a new sight adjustment which I will have to work on some more. You have great patience and I think you should be a little more confident of your potential and ability. Study and dry practice, and range time without the clock and you will group... six steps work.

Derek, your energy is wonderful as you run down to the target line to mark your hits and see what the target tells you. Work on those six steps of making the shot, especially on the pause in breathing, focus and squeeze! Follow through.. I expect to see you return to the line in future Appleseeds

Martin sorry you had to leave early on Sunday, you missed some of the finest rain storms to soak up and chill out in, but seriously you were really bringing your best shooting to your rifle and the zip ties, pump action and tube feeding - with open sights - you were getting very good there, making me want to get my similar rifle out and take it to the range and work on what I could do... thanks for all your positive attitude

Chris, the only thing slowing your Rifleman score seems to be weather, shaking chills and just a bit of muscling your rifle and self through the conditions, in warmer relaxing weather it will seem so easy. Do keep relaxing, practice the positions and work with your daughter through the six steps of taking the shot. When every shot is muscle memory and sequence you will be on target all the time, no matter the weather.

Francis, wonderful patient attitude, accepting and inquiring when you didn't understand. Work on all the sequences of taking the shot until they become a part of calling your shot at the end of that brief period of breathlessness. Remember DRY practice is your friend, it never seems to rain inside the home.

Pascale - you adapted well, much more studying is called for as you grow, you are attentive, accepting and willing to try new things - all marks of a future Rifleman, in marksmanship there are many challenges, and many more ways to win through them. help your father with his shooting skills and you will be part of a fine team for a long time.

Madison - it was great to see you on the line again.  Good try to get closer to shooting Rifleman with iron sights. It is different, and you could say you brought the weather with you.  But that wouldn't be true. Thanks for your help with the Appleseed and checking my math on scoring targets.

Carrie, great shooting, and you take my teasing about not making 210 well when I told you that you had 211 and it wasn't 210.  But your 214 was higher and much more note worthy. I will remember to give you eight feet of space for your mat in the future. I hope to see you helping on many more Appleseeds as you get your family old enough to participate.

And the Appleseed crew:

George - shoot boss - thanks for bringing your skills to Port Townsend and running the show, will be working with you again.

Janer - Redhat Instructor - you are always a joy to work with, I will remember you making only one mistake three times in your line boss chant - but I wasn't confused just wanted to see how long it would take you to listen to what you were saying. Thanks for bringing Madison and not hovering over her.

Ralph - you can get that elk next year, maybe, but for sure it was good watching you one on one with the shooters - you have a great touch. I missed you at Coupeville, but there will always be more firing lines and Appleseeds in our future.

MT Riser - I expect you and your team mate to be a big part of the future of Appleseed as border jumpers and all around great people. Looking forward to working with you in better weather.

Yankee Terrier, Jay, as always a great range and hosting contact, but you do well in your IIT performance, just as in your own profession there are rules, and words and adjustments to conditions and people - Appleseed has all of that and I encourage your study and attention to detail - but for sure - remember Fred and his advice to keep it simple, brief and encourage inquiry in the shooters - they will always learn more as active seekers of the truth.

And to everyone - don't stop learning, caring and taking part to find solutions to those little obstacles slowing our progress. We can all become Riflemen and share our skills and caring with lots of new friends.  Oh, and 'Too Many Words' doesn't mean sitting in silence - just tell us what is happening, briefly.
Title: Re: Port Townsend, WA 8-9 Nov 2014 After Action Report
Post by: George Hacker on November 10, 2014, 09:52:05 PM
What a wonderful event. Shooters were teachable. Instructors worked like a well oiled machine. Appleseed people are some of the best people I continue to meet.

For the most part the weather was decent, but then it all fell apart on Sunday afternoon. Yankee Terrier, who lives in Port Townsend, said the downpour was unusual, that typically the sheets of rain that came down were more common in spring than in fall. Despite the extremely wet afternoon, the shooters persisted and improved their marksmanship.

Shooters, we taught you what you need to know to improve your rifle marksmanship. Dry practice in the comfort of your dry and warm living room (with ammo kept far away when doing so). Work on your steady hold factors, finding your NPOA, transitions, and magazine changes. If you spend a few minutes dry practicing each day, you will improve and time spent at the range will confirm your improvement.

We had a repeat riflewoman who knew very much what she is about. She stepped up to take an orange hat. Huzzah!

Instructors, it was a pleasure working with you all. You are a professional bunch who got in the dirt (or should I say mud?) with the students and their improvement showed. Your storytelling was excellent. Jane, you did a great job teaching KD. MTRisner, you are always welcome back to the western side of the state. Thank you, Earl, for getting the AAR started and for your helpful advice during the shoot. I am thankful for you all.

This was one of those events where the heritage really clicked with the participants. Some of them expressed thanks after the event and it was clear that the stories sunk in. I am sure they will exercise the boxes that our founders didn't have: the ballot box, the mail box, and the soap box.

Let me close with the words of Dr. Joseph Warren, Paul Revere's friend and a high Son of Liberty, "That it is an indispensable duty which we owe to God, our country, ourselves, and posterity, by all lawful ways and means in our power, to maintain, defend, and preserve those civil and religious rights and liberties for which many of our fathers fought, bled, and died, and to hand them down entire to future generations."

In Liberty,