Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Schooled in Self-Defense.(Final)

Byline: Miguel Navrot Journal Staff Writer

Training prepares N.M. soldiers to ward off ambush tactics in overseas deployments

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE -- Todd Buzzard carefully paces through an arroyo, bent at the knees slightly and working to keep his drawn 9 mm pistol still while firing at small, steel targets. An instructor hovering over his shoulders pops off one order after another, directing Buzzard what to shoot at and how to do it.

"Stay low. Stay low. Keep moving. Keep steady. Stay low," Sgt. 1st Class Jason Riley tells Buzzard, a National Guard chief warrant officer, as he walks and fires slugs at the metal targets. A "ping" sound is the bullet-on-steel hit. A "whizz" means, well, a miss.

"It's not as easy as it looks," Buzzard tells his fellow soldiers from the 717th Medical Company after going through the course, named "the Donga. …

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