TNVC recently completed another Nightfighter 101 class in Great Falls, MT on May 22-23. This was a sold-out class, and we really enjoyed having that many students. The class had a healthy mix of law enforcement and civilians in the class; while the weather was challenging (more to follow on that), we had a super time teaching this class and the students performed well in demanding conditions.
TNVC enjoys a superb relationship with the Great Falls Police Department and the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office. They are amazing hosts and go out of their way to help with all aspects of getting the class together. This is another solid location for us, and we will continue to train here for the foreseeable future.
This weekend of training was a bit of an experiment for us. The demand, and capability, for both Nightfighter 101 and Armed Professional existed, but how could we do both? We ultimately decided that since the live fire portions of the class could support simultaneous training, we would conduct both classes on the same weekend. AP went from Friday to Sunday, and NF101 Saturday and Sunday night. It worked out better than expected, and we plan to utilize this model in the future at locations that can do both classes logistically.
The weather was not amazing. We expected it to be—Montana in late May SHOULD be gorgeous. Instead, we faced temperatures in the high 30s, with rain and some wind. It was a bit disappointing, but students were prepared for the most part, we had solid plans in place to watch for cold weather injuries, and we pressed on with the training. Day night, all weather!
We saw a wide spread of night vision devices and student experience in class. I can say that this was one of the more novice classes we have taught—which really shows the value of Nightfighter 101. We did not experience any night vision gear related issues on the class.
One of the interesting observations from the class was the almost complete lack of goggle retention devices in the class. Much of the class did not have any goggle retention method on their helmet (hooks, bungees, clips, NERDs, etc) at all. We made some attempts to help where we could, but in the end, most students left having already ordered something, or at least a plan on how they were going to retain their goggle. It is a real problem, and one that may not necessarily rear its ugly head until it is way too late. Goggle retention devices are out there, and they vary in both price and methods. We run the Kinetic Consulting N.E.R.D. on our rental gear, and I personally use it as my choice for goggle retention. For the price, it is cheap insurance.
Accuracy in the class exceeded expectations. Students shot well above what we have seen in most classes, and it was even more impressive in the conditions we faced. Regardless of distance or method (light, IR laser, passive) we saw serious effort made to pay attention to offsets and account for the differences. It was enjoyable to observe.
Additionally, we saw little impact from the weather on the students. They brought appropriate clothing for the conditions and were able to perform in the tough and challenging conditions. Investing in quality range attire is often overlooked until it is too late, but this class was prepared for the weather.
We will return to Montana in the fall for our Try Before You Buy event and another Nightfighter 101. Both are currently sold out, but we do have a waiting list available for them, and you can email [email protected]
to get on the list. Students drop from classes all the time, and we are constantly adding waitlisted students to our classes.
We cannot say enough about the hosts. Super friendly, eager to make sure that training was going right, and opened their amazing facility to us and our students.
Additionally, several companies stepped up to offer students swag and such for their attendance. We really appreciate their generosity and are proud to have them associated with our classes.
Rite in the Rain
Phokus Research Group
Blue Force Gear