How is Tactical Training Constructed?

As I make my way from Missouri to Idaho classes, a number of comments make it seem worthwhile to put up a clarification post about how tactical training works. I say this because I occasionally come across a misunderstanding about what we are doing at Max Velocity Tactical. It is true that this often comes for the keyboard experts who have no real understanding and probably do not, or have not ever, trained. By training I mean real professional structured training. But it is worth the time to clarify.

The classic example of this is where there may be an MVT YouTube video of, usually, some sort of break contact drill. The guys are on some sort of road or linear feature and performing the training objective, perhaps a peel out of contact. And then you get the guy who calls me, literally, some sort of idiot, because for example there is a wood line (or similar) they could be in, somewhere left or right of video shot. This shows a fundamental misunderstanding about training. Clearly if you look at what I put out in books, videos, training, you will see me talk about avoidance and threat mitigation. You will note that I train patrol techniques and route selection. I have a complete pedigree as a selected high level professional soldier, trained and operationally experienced to do these things. I did not make this up. You can be assured that I spent a deal of my career as both a professional soldier and a contractor playing cat and mouse with various threats, and I know all about where to be and not to be. Yet people have actually called me a ‘FUCKTARD’ over my videos. Wow. Welcome to the internet.

Where to begin?

First, one thing that MVT excels at, is using real terrain to conduct training on. We conduct a  progression which often starts on the flat range and moves to tactical ranges on real terrain. This is either at the VTC in Romney WV, or at mobile classes, such as Texas, Missouri and Idaho. Points about this:

  • Terrain is selected specifically for the training objective, within what is available at the training site.
  • Backstops for live fire are a consideration, so for example training will usually not be conducted on the high ground, but with backstops in play.
  • When a live fire scenario is set up with targets, it is to train a certain technique at that point in the training. If we are doing a break contact drill, we have to put people in contact, and then have them fight out, within the limits of the range and live fire safety / backstop considerations. Therefore you cannot just run off to the wood line, or creep about, because that would void the training objective.
  • For example, when conducting break contact drills, each day they will get more complex, with the terrain used to simulate things such as a break to a flank, or a follow up enemy to a hasty ambush / rally point. But all within the training objectives and limits of the live fire range.

Second, we have the actual progression of training, and the teaching and building of techniques from basic to more complex. The keyboard commando, if he ever showed up to training which if course he will not, cannot just go all out showing us his super secret squirrel techniques because he would end up off the range and learning nothing, and endangering others. Don’t know what you don’t  know. Dunning-Kruger etc.

Thus we have a training progression, which is often termed ‘crawl- walk-run.’ How does this generally work?

  • We run classes concentrating on individual skills baseed on the flat range. Examples would be Combat Rifle Skills and the first day of Combat Team Tactics.
  • We the move to the tactical ranges, such as the second and third day of Combat Team Tactics. Here we move the individual to pair techniques and up to team, learning fire and movement and various techniques for break contact. We finish by putting this all together at squad level.
  • For example, the first thing students learn on the tactical ranges, is fire and movement forwards, how to bound towards and assault the enemy. This is not a squad attack, but a drill that is given context later. This is begun at a very basic level and then moved to a more complex scenario, before then moving up to team level. Everything is within bounds, conducted safely, and preceded by a lecture and rehearsals.
  • Combat Patrol / Direct Action takes the skills learned at Combat Team Tactics and builds on them further.
  • We now have a Close Quarter Battle 3 Day Course that is standalone and begins on the flat range and progresses to 2 days of UTM force on target and force on force training. This is another progression for people who are building their skills with classes such as Combat Team Tactics and Combat Patrol.
  • We also offer the Force on Force Team tactics, and now the annual Combat Leader Course. This is where you get a lot more towards ‘free play’ but it is not paintball. Each scenario has a training objective. These classes can be seen either as a progression to turn the live fire drills of the other classes into something much more dynamic, or also a way for people to enter tactical training by ‘challenging’ the system and showing up – where they will still learn an awful lot.

Much of what you see on MVT Ranges comes from a high level of professional training in how to design and implement live fire ranges for elements of various sizes, and how to achieve the training objectives. The specific TTPs taught come from a mix of experience in training and on operations – this is a blend of what to teach and how best to teach it.

So yes (for example), I am aware there is a wood line to the left, but that is not what we are doing in the video. That wood line features in another video, where we conduct an ambush from it onto the trail we are currently conducting break contact drills on!

As you may be able to see from what is written above, there is a great deal of training and experience that goes into the design and conduct of MVT ranges and training classes. It is a progression. This leads me to two final points:

  • Many people do not train, do not see the need for training, and ‘don’t know what they don’t know.’ Dunning-Kruger, all that, which is ground we have been over many times to little effect. So we focus on those with the strength of will and purpose to get off the couch and train.
  • Of those that do train, many do not realize what it takes to actually become effective. Showing up for one total weekend will give you a clue, but not make you effective. Alumni can testify to this. We have a number of live fire SUT classes that will set you on the road to progression, Insert Force on Force to that, and CQB, and then something like the CLC. You might finally get to a point where you can effectively shoot, move and COMMUNICATE as part of a team; where you can put your ego aside and DO YOUR JOB effectively in order to help the team succeed.

I refer to this review I posted yesterday: ‘Review: Combat Leader Course (CLC) April 2017: Jason.

For those of you who are not serious about training, or who went back to sleep after the election, that is a very special form of insanity. Watching videos and critiquing from the internet will not suffice. Training is an investment of time and treasure that you need to commit to in order to become effective. Someone will likely comment that I would say that, because it is my business. Well, I’m not in this business to become rich, and I don’t have to be doing this, but I am because I consider it important, and of course I find it very rewarding to have a hand in the training of good folks. If it helps you survive, then I take pleasure from that.

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