TNVC recently completed our final Nightfighter 101 class of the year at The Sawmill in Laurens, SC. This was another sold out class and culminated a great training year for us. The class had a healthy mix of law enforcement, military, and civilians in the class; this class immediately followed a sold out Try Before You Buy the preceding night.
The Sawmill Training Complex is a great place to train. The facilities are amazing and you can literally eat off the grass on the range. We really enjoy coming to this location, and it remains a stable venue for us for the foreseeable future. They offer several classes there and it is worth checking out for sure.
Our weather for this class was pretty good—in the 60s during the day and high 30s at night. We had LOW illumination, but it did not affect the class nor the students. We did see a little bit of fogging of glasses and goggles, especially on night two as it got a little colder, but nothing that affected training. This was another class where we did not get wet; the fall training classes worked out well for that!
We saw a wide spread of night vision devices and student experience in class. The varying experience was fun to work with—from novice to very experienced users I think that everyone got something out of the class. We did not experience any goggle or any other night vision related gear failure in the class.
This class in particular had a lot of students talking about changing their gear setups and one of the most common points made during the hotwashes and AARs was about previously purchased equipment. Several students had spent several hundred to thousands of dollars on gear that they did not like or did not find useful. Commonly mentioned items were tape switches, close focus devices, lasers and even external battery packs. While not one product nor item stood out in particular, the gear shakedown through use in the class was valuable for students to see what they need, or don’t need, for their optimal performance.
We continue to recommend that the best pre-class purchases are:
A high mount for your optic
Red dot for your handgun (with appropriate level 2 duty holster)
A good 2-point sling
After that, we will help you get the most out of your existing setup. From there, you can make better informed decisions about the gear you want and need to make yourself more effective at night.
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. There are some neat things we can do there than we cannot at other locations. The Sawmill hosts a lot of great training and events—if you are local we encourage you to get on their website and check out what they have going on out there.
Additionally, several companies stepped up to offer students swag and door prizes (again, everyone won something!) 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