Student Review: HEAT 1 Combat Tactics August – ‘Headshot’

Day 2: Hammer Pair / Stream Fire Drills

MVT HEAT 1 Student Review

The HEAT 1 course is designed to be the building block for anyone who desires to learn the AR platform and become a confident, team oriented riflemen.The structure of the course supports those who don’t have a lot of previous experience with carbines as well as advanced shooters. Both the flat and tactical ranges were well kept with lots of space between lanes. It was refreshing to have instructors that were professional but personable, the 1SGT (Scott) always sat with us during breaks which really impressed the entire class. There was a ton of thought put into this course, so much so I plan to retake the course once a year just because it was THAT amazing. For anyone on the fence about training with MVT, the most important things to bring are as follows:

  • The willingness to learn
  • A good attitude
  • Proper gear for the course (Read Forum Posts)
  • A reasonable level of physical fitness (as outlined on the Forum)

The first two days on the flat range set the pace for the course, as well as the high level of safety standards expected by the instructors. While their safety expectations are very high, they are easily obtainable for those willing to follow instruction.  For experienced shooters the flat range may not sound very exciting, but there are a number of topics covered in great detail you won’t get from other classes. Weapon manipulation SOP’s, body positions, movement, malfunctions, rates of fire, use of cover/concealment, proper position, use of elevation, are just a few of the items covered at length. As a bonus for those of you who are gear junkies there are mini talks and seminars included in-between drills on day one and two. These were extremely useful and by far one of the only times I’ve ever had an in-depth discussion with an instructor about non shooting topics. Examples of talks from the class I attended:

  • Discussion on Spare Parts
  • How to properly oil your AR-15
  • Malfunctions and how to deal with them efficiently
  • Body Positions and movement

After the completion of the flat range drills the students move to the two tactical ranges. It’s important to note that these are REAL tactical ranges, tucked back into the deep woods on uneven, highly challenging terrain. The reason I said its a good idea to have combat fitness is you might have to react to contact and climb a very steep hill, then bound / assault for ~100 yds. At the start of each day the teams met with the instructors at the main pavilion, and it was at this point Max and Scott broke out the white board and we started to talk about tactics and the drills and what we are going to be doing over the next two days. In my opinion if there is not a team area, with a white board, it’s not a real tactical training course. The instructors made it very clear to class to the students what was expected and gave the class ample time to ask questions. The instructors spent every single lunch with the students (teams) and were accessible for off topic discussions and mission based questions. The ranges are very realistic and even challenge a seasoned shooter. This is why I feel it’s important to take this class serious, and train ahead of time so you’re not so smoked you hold your team back. My advise is to practice the fitness test in your kit, have that confidence going in and you will be OK. The better shape you’re in, the more you will get out of the class.

As far as the topics covered on the tactical ranges, I don’t want to give too much away. The amount of information transferred is almost unbelievable, so bring a notepad, a humble attitude and lots of water. Every single student was completely immersed in the training, regardless of how tired we were after each drill. What I can say for sure is you will be moving, shooting and communicating (very safely) A LOT. You will sweat A LOT. You will learn to be a good team mate on a 2 and 4 man team. You will need to use all the skills taught to you on days one and two. You will learn to operate in realistic woodland environment. But most importantly you will have a blast working through all the scenarios, gaining confidence in yourself as a riflemen and a team member along the way.

In summary, when I signed up for this course I wanted to challenge myself and learn how to be an asset to a rifle team. If you want the same confidence in yourself, this is the class to start with. It lays the proper foundation to progress into the high speed SoF specialties that require this knowledge and experience. If you’re really lucky you might even get a sweet nickname like I did!



(nickname unrelated to my skill set)

Note: due to changes, you must be a registered FORUM member to view and book training opportunities.