Review: HEAT 1 June: Steve
I just wanted to take this opportunity to post a quick review on the HEAT 1 class I attended at the MVT Training Center in Romney, WV. My background includes 4 years USMC Infantry/Security Forces (’89-’93), as well as 24+ years in law enforcement, which includes time in corrections, patrol, SWAT, DB/investigative task forces, and firearms instructor (handgun, rifle/shotgun, SMG, & active shooter). All I can say is if you are on the fence about coming to train with Max, you need to step up and take one of his classes, you won’t regret it! I was thoroughly impressed, not only with the level of instruction, but with the facility as well. Max and his counterpart Scott (1st Sgt), delivered a professional and comprehensive course of military instruction which was nothing short of top notch.
Granted, this class is not for the weak willed, or the hot house orchid with an easily bruised ego. These guys will prepare you to work in a team environment, where proper tactics and safe gun handling skills are paramount. Be prepared to be “corrected” if you make a mistake. The corrections will be immediate, to the point, and above all constructive and in the best interest of the entire class and yourself. Max and Scott are consummate military professionals, who understand the importance of range safety and overcoming inherent training scars. Despite the dynamic nature of the training scenarios, I never felt that I was in any danger from my fellow classmates or the training. Max and Scott always maintained safety and control over the class, while providing positive and constructive instruction.
The training was conducted in a progressive nature, always within the theme of crawl, walk, run. The first two days were spent on the flat range. We started off making sure everyone’s rifle was zeroed at a given distance. Then we progressed into malfunction drills and ensuring that everyone was capable of keeping their gun up and running in the fight. The training progressed into individual marksmanship skills, then being able to operate in a team environment. All of this is designed to prepare you for the the next two days on the live fire patrol ranges. The mantra that in combat you don’t rise to the occasion, but fall to the lowest level of your training, definitely rings true in this class!
The last two days are spent on the patrol ranges, where the real learning begins. I’ve been to a number of training venues over the years, and I have to say that I have not found a better training facility outside of a military installation than at MVT. The targets are hidden and interactive, meaning that when they pop up randomly and drop when they are sufficiently hit. They provide the all important visual stimulus when engaging targets in a combat training environment. This will take your training well ahead of the audible stimulus of either the beep, whistle, or “up” that usually initiates a course of fire on the flat range. At MVT, there are multiple targets that emerge, react to accurate fire, and reemerge at various times. Most real life encounters are triggered by visual encounters (guy with gun, visual threat, etc), and not by an audible signal telling you when to shoot. This factor alone is worth the price of admission, which is pretty damn reasonable considering what other instructors are charging.
All I can say is if you are serious about training and want to bring your skills to the next level, make the commitment and schedule a class with MVT, you won’t regret it. I definitely plan on coming back, hopefully before the year is out. Oh, and be sure to take the physical fitness requirements seriously. The terrain alone will wear you out, and the better shape you’re in the more you’ll get out of the training. I also want to give a shout out to my fellow classmates, who were an excellent bunch of guys! There wasn’t a slouch in the bunch and I was equally impressed with the skill level brought forth by “average” citizens, there is hope! God Bless America!!!