I attended the HEAT I class last week. It was my third HEAT 1 class (CRCD 2014 & CTT 2015. Link to my AAR from 2014)
It had been awhile since my last class (life happens). Wow. Besides being total fun, I learned a lot – or relearned what I should have remembered. One thing I relearned was just how essential training at MVT is!
I train locally of course (on a rural, private range), but it does not provide the same level of training/experience you receive at MVT.
The biggest difference is local training tends to be individual reaction to contact. Facing drills, muzzle control, safety manipulation, and effective scanning are all essential and prerequisite skills. As are the ability to clear weapon stoppages and malfunctions.
But the bigger lesson from MVT is it is not about the individual – it is about the team. This is the big disconnect with just about every other “tactical” training class you will take. They teach individual skills. MVT also teaches individual skills – but they then take it to the next level and teach working as a team under contact.
An effective team is a force multiplier! A team working together has an exponentially better chance of mutual survival. Many of us know this – but the truth of that tends to get pushed to the back of our minds because if you do not practice maneuvering as a team, you forget how hard it is! We tend to think that because we have had some training, we will be able to “make it happen” in an emergency. I am totally guilty of this.
But damn, working as an effective team, while under contact, is really, really hard! It is very difficult to get individuals to properly and effectively communicate, to move as a unit, to react as a team to contact, to maneuver as a team when going from one formation (such as extended line) to a different formation (the peel for example), to change the orientation of the line when the contact goes from the front to a flank, to move as a line, etc.
Working as an effective team takes training. Lots of regular training. Without that training you have as good a chance of killing each other, as you do of being killed by the enemy.
Effective & correct training = experience. Experience = force multiplier.
The best way to get that (effective & correct) training is at MVT. Max and Scott are professionals. SUT is one of their core competencies. Training is another. They are dedicated to providing the most tactically sound training possible. And the range Max has constructed is unique and exceptional. As a civilian you will not find this level of realism anywhere else. If you are serious about this, you will train at MVT.
As a side benefit, MVT is also an excellent place to meet individuals who are like minded. Thanks to training at MVT, I have met several lifelong friends.
I plan to go again next year. I’ll see you there!