Review: HEAT 1 March 2018: Dave R.

From: Dave R.
Re: March 2018, HEAT 1 class
Bottom line:  MVT March 2018 Romney, WV HEAT 1 class was outstanding!
My background:  I’m coming from a law enforcement tactical background to include several SWAT schools, basic law enforcement sniper school and basic carbine school, with a fair amount of urban mission/CQB-type experience and a little rural patrol training and experience mixed in.
Overview:  Max and Scott (‘First Sergeant’) made this experience worth every penny.  Their complementing personalities worked great together to convey the learning concepts, brief the scenarios, then with the utmost safety, implement the drills with measured, but authoritative feedback.  I really felt like I learned a ton in just 4 days!
Gun knowledge:  It’s expected that attendees at HEAT 1 know their way pretty well around their rifle.  That said, it’s clear that the cadre have an understanding of fighting rifles (and other guns) that is a combination of both gunsmith and experienced combat shooter …and they readily share this knowledge with the students as teaching points present themselves.  Translation:  I came away from the class with a much better understanding of my fighting rifle from the end of the buttstock to the tip of the muzzle.
Safety:  As good as or better than any LEO class I’ve attended, yet implemented with respect, i.e., treating us as adults.  Little micro mistakes made by students, including myself, such as bringing a rifle muzzle up to a less-than-perfect angle while moving on a mock assault, were quickly corrected by the cadre.  Not only are they focused in on every movement by the students but it was as if they could predict our movements before we did them.  Dry runs with no rifles were utilized effectively for good familiarization to achieve the necessary level of muscle memory for the upcoming drill.
Live fire:  As I said, I never felt unsafe whatsoever.  There is no replacement for live fire.  A little “good” stress and adrenaline make training more effective.
Classmates:  This was my first group training with Max so this class was my only reference, but I was very impressed with my fellow students.  A variety of backgrounds came to train with Max.  All were dedicated and serious at the training venues…very safe, yet were very decent and friendly and able to have a little fun at the proper times.  Max holds a class dinner at one of the local Romney restaurants one night…fun and team building for sure.
Scenarios and drills:  Crawl, walk, run was used to build to the lesson.  These were then very well broken down and briefed in the training pavilion via explanation and white board.  First the concept was briefed (why we’re doing it and where it fit into big picture) followed by the manner it would be achieved, the details of the maneuver, along with miscellaneous details to make it happen.  Safety was always briefed as well.  Dry runs were used as necessary.  Reps at the drill were done to run home the lesson.
Venue:  MVT Romney lies on beautiful rural terrain that is so very effective for training the tactics.  The layout of the structures and square and tactical ranges made the venue much more conducive to efficient training as compared to many conventional LEO training venues I’ve attended.  Max clearly had a good eye for this when he designed his training center.
Bottom line:  I am both a committed citizen of our wonderful, but imperfect country and still an “active duty” LEO with access to training through my organization, yet I will pay out of my own pocket to attend MVT…likely again and again. Yes, it was that good!!
Dave R.