Situational Awareness

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    • #76044
      First Sergeant
      Moderator

      Some of you that have attended DHC may remember me discussing this particular incident.

      In 2014 two cops were killed in Las Vegas. What you don’t here much about is the man that was killed trying to stop the bad guys. He had a concealed carry permit and got involved and got killed because of his lack of situational awareness.

      The man and woman had shot the two cops, left the scene and then entered a Walmart. The man came in with his gun out and started doing bad guy things. This alerted the concealed carrier. He drew his gun and attempted to stop the bad guy. He failed to realize that the bad guy was not alone. The woman approached the concealed carrier from behind and killed him.

      He was a brave individual, but he paid for his mistakes with his life.

      Watch the video.

      As I have said on numerous threads and at class, you never know when it may happen. It could be your front door, while you are out shopping or going out to eat with the family. You don’t get to choose when it happens. When it does, you need to be prepared for it.

      The mistake this guy made was target fixation, also known as tunnel vision. He was so intent on the male that he failed to scan around to see what was going on around him. If he was paying more attention, he may not have been killed.

      I am not going to tell you how to react to a situation. The way you react to the attempted robbery of your local stop-n-rob should be different than an attempted mass murder. Yeah, you’ll know the difference, OSU a few weeks ago. If I am out with my wife, how I react to a situation will be completely different than if I am by myself.

      My point with all of this is, you need to be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to what is going on. Get out of your phones and get your family members out of their phones and pay attention.

      FILO
      Signal Out, Can You Identify
      Je ne regrette rien
      In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

    • #76045
      hellokitty
      Participant

      Clint Smith would say many times, “wolves run in packs”. Always assume there are multiple bad guys.

    • #76046
      Max
      Keymaster

      “Get your head out of Ivan!”

      “Scan, Scan SCAN!”

      “Get your head out of your weapon!”

      Familiar?

    • #76047
      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
      Moderator

      He was a brave individual, but he paid for his mistakes with his life.

      His sacrifice has given us a excellent means to reinforce the value of Situational Awareness.

      Even though I know how unaware most are of their surroundings.

      It still amazes me that two people carrying handguns in their hands (at their sides) can walk in plain view down the sidewalk with virtually no reaction by people present.

    • #76048
      Corvette
      Participant

      It still amazes me that two people carrying handguns in their hands (at their sides) can walk in plain view down the sidewalk with virtually no reaction by people present.

      And what would you suggest people do if they do see “two people carrying handguns in their hands (at their sides) can walk in plain view down the sidewalk”…….????

      Would you draw your concealed weapon…..???

    • #76049
      SeanT
      Keymaster

      “Would you draw your concealed weapon…..??? ”

      Many more details required to answer this question. Are they looking at ME, walking toward ME?
      Then yes or no… It depends, it always depends on the immediate situation.

    • #76050
      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
      Moderator

      Would you draw your concealed weapon…..???

      Your a fucking idiot!

      We’ve been over this before and you really need to get your attitude and paranoia in check!

      No one here has ever advocated such nonsense!

      I think any reasonable person seeing a person(s) walking into Walmart with a pistol in hand should see this as something to monitor at the very least.

      It’s based on baseline behavior in your AO, in Las Vegas this is clearly outside of the normal behavior.

      I wouldn’t “draw down” on such person due mere presence of weapon, I didn’t on armed Afghani’s outside the wire either.

      It’s about context.

      So stop acting stupid! ;-)

      Note: For those unaware, Albert and his many aliases has a long history of trying to screw with a legitimate topic to create drama for his own motives.

    • #76051
      hellokitty
      Participant

      Alert! Violation of 5th principle of patrolling! Alert!

    • #76052
      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
      Moderator

      …with virtually no reaction by people present.

      Possible reactions could include:

      Visible double take.
      Movement away from them.
      Video/pics of them (crazy in my opinion, but many people start videoing with no regard for their own safety or probable ignorance).
      Call 911.
      Shouted comment/warning.
      Sudden crouch.
      Run

      There is no visible reaction and it’s reasonable to assume this is because they never saw anything.

      From the video there is no reaction until after yelling, then a gunshot, then we see many of the listed reactions.

      Certainly we have a short time period and limited field of view, so it’s possible there were reactions not recorded.

    • #76053
      Corvette
      Participant

      Another thing to be aware of…when they police arrive they’ll be responding to “A man with a gun” call. If you’ve detained the bad guy safely who are the police going to see with a gun? If at all possible a good action might be to put your weapon done and follow their commands until it can be sorted out.

    • #76054
      Thomas
      Participant

      Joe,

      Thank you for spanking Albert!

      Most people aren’t trained and never think to look at what hands are doing. They are looking at faces if they are looking at all.

    • #76055
      First Sergeant
      Moderator

      Another thing to be aware of…when they police arrive they’ll be responding to “A man with a gun” call. If you’ve detained the bad guy safely who are the police going to see with a gun? If at all possible a good action might be to put your weapon done and follow their commands until it can be sorted out.

      Best thing is to not even have one in your hands when they show up.

      FILO
      Signal Out, Can You Identify
      Je ne regrette rien
      In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

    • #76056
      First Sergeant
      Moderator

      It still amazes me that two people carrying handguns in their hands (at their sides) can walk in plain view down the sidewalk with virtually no reaction by people present.

      You know as well as I do just how utterly clueless people are.

      The odds of you getting made while carrying a concealed pistol are very slim due to this phenomenon. The only ones that are going to notice are switched on gun guys, maybe.

      FILO
      Signal Out, Can You Identify
      Je ne regrette rien
      In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

    • #76057
      hellokitty
      Participant

      I learned the mantra when looking at people, “whole person, hands, waist”. That is your scanning process with people around you. Practice this when you go into a public place, like Walmart. I make it a game. Whole person, hands, waist… after a while you get into a habit. You will pick up on a shady character, any weapons in hands, bulges under clothing at waist. You can pick out just about every CCW you see this way. The whole person can tell you a lot. Some LEOs get good at this too. They look at your clothes and shoes. But also smart experienced criminals do the same, they are looking for plain clothed LEO.

      BTW, I love 5.11 pants. But they are a dead giveaway, your either carrying or LE.

    • #76058
      Groundwork
      Participant

      First Sergeant thank you for the post; this one lesson was worth more than the $25 for the forum subscription, and there have already been many other valuable training lessons just in the three months since I’ve joined.
      NEVER did I think to look for a trailing bad guy!

      My father is a retired Sgt Major, highly decorated, and saw a lot of combat. Between deployments and TDYs he was gone a lot, so when he was home I maximized my time with him. Consequently, I picked up situational awareness from him at a young age, as I noticed how he was always aware of people around us: at the gas station, in the grocery store, at my softball games etc.
      Later on, my Air Force job gave me further training in it, and then I just continued to be aware of the need for increased vigilance as the mass shootings increased.
      Mr. Groundwork and I always have one of us sit facing the door in restaurants, we note all exits, and areas for potential cover.
      We never carry packages in the parking lot in our dominant hand, and we keep about 8-10 feet of separation between us as we’re walking and scanning.
      Lastly, we both know if either of us ever do need to draw, we darn sure want the other one to call in to 911 that a “good guy/gal” is armed and give a detailed description for responding police officers!

      If we’d seen those two outside walking in guns out? We’d have hauled butt a very safe distance to cover, called 911, and probably tried to keep other shoppers from entering the store. We definitely wouldn’t have drawn down and engaged, one reason being all the innocents in the line of fire. :negative:

      But still…trailing bad guy. *mind blown*

    • #76059
      First Sergeant
      Moderator

      Do you know why we teach scanning?

      It’s not some kabuki theater, range theatrics crap.

      This is why.

      FILO
      Signal Out, Can You Identify
      Je ne regrette rien
      In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

    • #76060
      JohnnyMac
      Participant

      Do you know why we teach scanning?

      It’s not some kabuki theater, range theatrics crap.

      This is why.

      It also drives me nuts in classes where fellow students look both ways like they’re about the cross a street, after a drill, and it’s obvious they aren’t actually SCANNING, just going through the motions. :whistle:

    • #76061
      Max
      Keymaster

      Did Albert leave?
      :scratch:

    • #76062
      First Sergeant
      Moderator

      Do you know why we teach scanning?

      It’s not some kabuki theater, range theatrics crap.

      This is why.

      It also drives me nuts in classes where fellow students look both ways like they’re about the cross a street, after a drill, and it’s obvious they aren’t actually SCANNING, just going through the motions. :whistle:

      That’s because they have never been taught the why. They have just been taught that this is what you do or they copied it from youtube.

      FILO
      Signal Out, Can You Identify
      Je ne regrette rien
      In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

    • #76063
      Suppra1
      Participant

      Hello, first time commenting here, all the expertise surrounding the MV roster is highly appreciated. I had a question regarding the proper way to conduct scanning. As of late, we are all aware that in a lot of “tacticool” classes, and secret squirrel ninja tactical videos, it seems the way they teach “scanning” or “assessing” is literally limited to directing our view to the left and to the right, moving the head in a very robotic, monotone way in a matter of seconds while having the weapon in the “compressed ready” (assuming this was a handgun) and staying still potentially still in the X. This, according to those tacticool instructors, is suppose to take place right after an engagement. My question would be, what would exactly constitute a proper way to conduct and in depth scanning in the context of combat or even during an engagement in a CCW scenario. How would it differ to the previously mentioned “technique” being taught? which is clearly deficient. Thank you.

    • #76064
      Max
      Keymaster

      Good question Suppra. I’m currently mobile but will answer from my desktop soon as I am able.

    • #76065
      Andrew
      Participant

      Something I learned a long time ago is that most people don’t look up. Not good inside large buildings or out where there are trees big enough to support a human.

    • #76066
      Max
      Keymaster

      @Suppra1: Yes, the discussion of the latest tacticool flat range stuff never gets old. I have noticed that recently there are several back-to-front-baseball-cap-wearing alleged ex-SOF types who are selling themselves as bringing the latest cool stuff back from the GWOT, but what in fact they are offering is nothing more than same-old-same-old flat range tacticool. Leveraging that DD214 for classes, I guess.

      There are several nuances / aspects to this. If you are reacting to contact, then you should have already performed the RTR drill as part of the engagement, and thus should already be in cover. So this sets us apart from the standard standing in place thing.

      There are of course ways to actually conduct a scan, which is left/center/right / near/middle/far (like a snake). But suffice to say with the ‘it depends’ you need to take a good look around, and actually look. Like the video in the OP, have a look back down the isle in the WalMart!

      You may of course actually move position to better cover or better vantage point as part of a scan.

      Now, when we conduct flat rage training it does become a little of a facsimile of this, because we are running drills over and over. We may even be at the part of the training where we have not yet taught RTR, and we may even initially still be standing. So we may be running engagements of pairs of shots which are being used to train another drill such as combat reloads, or whatever. So there are layers. The nuance is that after the engagement, whatever we say it is, you need to get your head out of the sight and scan. Scan the enemy you put down (targets), and the area. For this, keep the weapon up but look over the sight, in case you are not actually done and need to follow up. Then, bring the weapon down to the patrol ready, check the ejection port, and conduct another scan, of the whole area and in depth. This is the nuance.
      Drills will often cut this scan short as they go on and on a bit.

      Once out in the wild, scanning never stops. It is important to get your head out of your sight and also from staring just at where the targets were. We have this problem all the time, whcih is why people are caught out when we put up an Ivan at a different place. They are just looking at where Ivan was.

      Once you have got past the initial part of flat range training, you are at least going to a knee as part of reaction to contact, and this gets us away from the robot scan you refer to. We are reacting, moving to cover, carrying out the drill as described, and then conducting the scan, including checking on buddies / the flank. .

    • #76067
      First Sergeant
      Moderator

      @Suppra1 – I will let Max cover the combat engagement part. I’ll give you the why of what I teach at DCH.

      There are two major reasons to conduct a scan after an engagement. Number one is to scan for other threats, as seen in the video above. Sometimes bad guys run in packs. So you have to look and see if there may be more around.

      Number two is to break tunnel vision. Until it has been trained out of you, tunnel vision is a by-product of an adrenaline dump. You have to break it.

      I teach to scan from the compressed ready. Two reasons for this. First is weapons retention and I can shoot from that position if the bad guy I originally engaged continues to do bad guy stuff.

      The scan has to be a deliberate action. You have to actually see what is going on around you. Is there another bad guy coming after you? Is there a cop responding to what just happened? It can’t be a quick whip of the head from left to right. You also have to look behind you. You can look over both shoulders to accomplish this.

      One of the techniques I was taught was to turn my body 360 degrees. There is no reason for that. Never turn your back on a threat. That was the guy you just engaged. Until you have ID’d another threat, your primary focus needs to be on the bad guy you just engaged. But you have to aware that another threat could be coming from a different location. That’s the reason for the scan.

      Yes you need to get off of the X. And if possible, seek cover. The problem with cover is that most of the stuff we interact with on a daily basis is not cover, it is concealment. Th other problem is you may not be able to get off the X due to circumstances. Convenience store bathrooms, elevators, in a checkout aisle at Walmart or you have your kids or your wife with you.

      After it is over you don’t need to keep moving around like it’s a tap dancing contest. Once the threat is over you need to concentrate on the aftermath. Call 911, treat any injuries and don’t have a gun in your hand when the cops show up.

      Hope this helps.

      FILO
      Signal Out, Can You Identify
      Je ne regrette rien
      In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

    • #76068
      First Sergeant
      Moderator

      Something I learned a long time ago is that most people don’t look up. Not good inside large buildings or out where there are trees big enough to support a human.

      Yes. Trees or open second floors in malls or houses.

      FILO
      Signal Out, Can You Identify
      Je ne regrette rien
      In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

    • #76069
      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
      Moderator

      You can see the progression that First Sergeant and Max are explaining…

      There are several nuances / aspects to this.

      But suffice to say with the ‘it depends’ you need to take a good look around, and actually look.

      The scan has to be a deliberate action.

      …and this progression continues beyond just people, depending on situation.

      Terrain obstacles such as holes, ditches, casualties, etc…you know how many people have falling/tripped while focused targets elsewhere.

      Damaged structures and infrastructures in urban environment.

      IED’s and other booby traps.

      What about dangerous species such as poisonous snakes and others creatures depending on AO.

      Is your eye protection limiting target/hazard indicators such as reflective glints? See First Sergeant’s post on this.

      Have you developed your ability to take in visual information quickly and with detail such as when a quick look around cover/concealment? See Kim’s Game.

      Remember your hearing is part of your situational awareness.

      You can see it gets complicated and takes training to develop in appropriate blocks, each building on the next.

    • #76070
      Suppra1
      Participant

      Max, 1st Sgt, Joe, this definitely opens up the intricacies of scanning, assessing, and I guess having a good overall approach to this important part of combat/training. Thanks for the time to respond, this had indeed been bothering me for a while and sadly it seems no one else wants to take the time and effort to teach and explain this properly as MVT is doing.

    • #76071
      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
      Moderator

      Friendly reminder! ;-)

    • #114039
      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
      Moderator

      Very important giving current events!

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