This was my second year taking a class from Max. I attended Combat Rifle Skills and Combat Team Tactics (4-day class, which is now HEAT 1) in 2017, learning about a rifle platform I had almost zero knowledge of and how to work as a team. I was impressed enough that I had already decided to attend 2018 before the 2017 class was even finished. Max runs one of, if not the safest range (static and dynamic) that I’ve ever been on (public or local/state government). This also made my early decision easy.
If HEAT 1 is about learning to crawl and stand up, HEAT 2 is about walking. We spent the early mornings learning how to apply team concepts in varied situations through discussion, whiteboard, and going through the movements without our gear (adhering again to the crawl, walk, run concept). Once we felt comfortable with this, we headed to a pre-determined location that Max had setup for the drill. (Another conversation can be had on Max’s ability to use specific parts of a >3K ranch to enhance the experience – the terrain chosen always lends itself to the lesson he’s conveying). During these drills, some of the more experienced students were given the responsibility of leading. Different teaching styles and working with a group absent egos resulted in positive learning experiences.
CQB and FonF were also introduced. This was one of my biggest learning challenges. While SWAT has changed over the years, this isn’t SWAT. Suppressive fire?? WTH?? And yes, I was that guy. I died multiple times, thankfully it was in training and I learned a little bit more each time. Am I competent? No, but I’m aware of my limitations and some realizations.
Lessons Learned –