Student Review: Texas Alumni Class 2023 – Chad
Notes from Max:
The Texas Alumni Class is an annual class taking place towards the mid / end of February. This was our 9th year training at the ranch. It is an alumni class so you must have at least completed HEAT 1 to attend. We have a HEAT 1 class scheduled (West Virginia) on the following dates:
20 – 25 April
Please email me (email@example.com) to book this class.
After Action Report (AAR), Texas Training (week 2) – by Chad.
GENERAL CLASS INFORMATION
The 7 day class focused on live fire combat patrol tactics and training.
The following is information regarding the training itself:
Location: Ranch just outside Brady, Texas
Trainers: Max (owner of Max Velocity Tactical) and William (TCCC instructor)
Duration: Began 26 Feb 23 and ended 4 May 23 (6 days)
Purpose: To learn and train on combat patrol tactics and to improve individually as well as with the Colorado crew to sharpen our
level of awareness, mindset, and skills.
- Learn and train in a live fire setting on planning, team assault, cover shoot, break contact, squad fighting attack, squad raid,
satellite patrolling, and squad ambush.
- Learn and train under NVG’s with a jungle walk, team assault drills, night raid, and night ambush.
- 8-hour TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care) including in the field medical scenarios.
Observation: In the lodge, which is incredibly comfortable and accommodating, Max would teach the class whichever patrol tactics we were to perform. After which the class would rehearse what we had learned and as soon as Max felt everyone understood the training exercise, we would go do it, live fire.
Discussion: I feel that Max’s approach to planning and teaching the tactic’s is very good. His explanation of each individual tactic is explained in detail. By use of a white board and magnets he does a great job of showing where each team needs to be and what the role of each individual in the team is. The rehearsal is also helpful not only to understand the drill but to dial in a team’s communication, individual movements, and self-awareness. These are live fire drills, so it’s imperative that everyone has good situational awareness and understands where they are supposed to be at all times. Before we go do the drill live fire Max always asks if everyone understands and does anyone have any questions.
Recommendation: None. I feel that Max does a great job getting everyone focused and dialed in on what needs to happen.
COMBAT PATROL TACTICS:
Observation: Over a 6-day period the students perform multiple combat patrol tactics in a live fire setting. Max, with the help of the students sets out targets and mannequins to simulate whichever tactic we were drilling on. We also built the Hobo village out of pallets and tarps that would notionally house the enemy. The areas we trained in is very unique. Old Live Oaks are scattered about the rolling hills with large patches of hawthorne, thistle, and cactus that make up the landscape. Dry rocky creek beds offered some good training opportunities and helped with navigational awareness. There were issues day 1 with some students staying online while bounding forwards or back but, they improved as the week went on.
Discussion: For me, live fire changes everything. I have done these drills a lot with air soft in the past, and doing them live fire increased my situational awareness, amplified the madness of what a fire fight might look like, stressed the importance of good team communication, stressed the importance of knowing my individual job, and increased the heck out of my heart rate.
The training was harder than I expected, physically and mentally. After essentially doing 300 kneeling squats day one in full gear my thighs were done. The rocky and rolling terrain also physically tested everyone. Also, there is a lot that goes into this training mentally. There are a lot of moving parts especially with team assault drills and the squad raid. As a student you have to pay attention and completely grasp the concepts and movements, especially when live bullets are in play.
I feel like our team of four “Colorado Crew” gained a ton about the importance of good communication and individual job responsibilities. Max did a great job setting up the drills and target placement, making sure everyone was safe at all times ensuring safety angles didn’t get compromised. Combat Patrol Tactics for the most are not difficult to grasp and understand. They’re comprised of basic rules and movements that don’t really change regardless the drill or tactic, but it was fascinating to see how easy things can get completely messed up if good communication and good situational awareness is lacking.
Recommendation: In the future it might be a good idea to recommend to students attending to get their butts in shape prior to attending. Air squats, lots of them! Also, it might be beneficial to suggest to students prior to showing up that if they have a team or the capability to practice with others on the communication and movements to do so.. That way there is not a learning curve day one and two. If everyone is dialed in before day one starts, I feel Max could do more, or at least trust that the students can do more.
Max adds: Check out the functional fitness test on the website, for a BASIC level of fitness prior to attending a live fire class at MVT. LINK HERE. The class is an alumni class and requires attendance on HEAT 1 Combat Tactics. It would be beneficial to periodically train up the skills learned on HEAT 1 to prevent skill fade and get yourself / your team up to speed for this class.
NIGHT VISION TRAINING:
Observation: We had two nights of training under night vision. All the students were pretty well dialed in with their gear, which was good to see. It became very apparent the first night how heightened the safety aspect goes up under night vision with live fire. Max set up the courses before training and placed light sticks at the base of the targets so the students could pick them up easier. He also hung light sticks on trees to help with our direction of travel and to establish the ORP. As soon as the helmets went on and NVG’s dropped all the students dialed in their focus and we had a lot of fun with it.
Discussion: If you haven’t drilled under NODs before it is a whole different world, especially with live guns. I feel that Max did a
phenomenal job of making a few tweaks to the night training courses in order to keep everyone safe but still keeping it intense. There are not a lot of places you can train live fire at night, and not a lot of instructors that have the stones to put it on. The jungle walk was especially cool. It gave Max the opportunity to see how each student performed individually under night vision before we did team assault drills. I personally have not done much night vision training, but after the two nights in Texas, if I had to do it under stress in a real-world scenario, I feel this training would be incredibly beneficial.
Recommendation: Anyone attending should spend some serious time under NODs before coming to Texas. As far as the courses, drill setup, and training received, I wouldn’t change a thing. Well done Max!
TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care):
Observation: Students were given the option to attend an all day TCCC training course on Sunday before we started live fire training the following day. All the students were present, which I thought was good. The instructor William through a set of videos and hands on training taught us M.A.R.C.H. The last couple hours of the class Max took over to perform some more hands on training.
Discussion: It was clear from the beginning that William’s career in the medical industry was extensive, and I thought he did a great job teaching the information and then putting it into context of what it might look like in a real-life combat scenario. He had really cool training props that allowed students to practice using tourniquets, packing wounds, inserting a nasopharyngeal, and how to insert a needle chest decompression. When Max stepped in, he did awesome job on how to properly check someone wounded for any other injuries and how to work through M.A.R.C.H.
Recommendation: None. Great knowledge, good instruction.
I would like to thank Max and William not only for organizing the class but also for their commitment and dedication to passing on their knowledge to civilians. In today’s crazy times, the more training that civilians can learn to protect their families, their tribe, and themselves in extremely valuable. I would highly encourage any alumni members of Max Velocity Tactical to attend the Texas training. We had students from Connecticut, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Colorado so, the excuse of “it’s too far” shouldn’t be a factor. The class will most certainly test you physically and mentally, and the training you receive in my opinion is unmatched. The ranch and lodge are awesome, with the lodge having multiple rooms to accommodate all the students. Also, if you attend in 2024 it is worth the extra money to participate in the TCCC and night vision training, they were both very valuable. Personally, I plan on attending every year from this point on to improve on my individual skills and team skills as well.