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Posted: 9/29/2015 8:58:02 AM EST
Part 1:

Originally posted on the Max Velocity Tactical blog in July: http://www.maxvelocitytactical.com/2015/07/buddy-position-awareness/



Buddy Position Awareness:


After running a Combat Team Tactics (CTT) class this weekend, I wanted to put this information out there. The reason being that there is plenty of talk out there about 'training,' but unless you are incorporating professional live fire training into your overall training plan, you will probably not understand, in a practical sense, what I am about to discuss. In the same way that it is easy to talk about 'shoot, move and communicate' on the internet, but harder to actually conduct for real. You need to be building real operant conditioning via the right training.

What I am going to talk about, namely buddy awareness and scanning, seems so simple. However, on training classes we spend a deal of time drilling this into people, and first drilling bad habits out of them. Unfortunately some of these bad habits come from individual focused training on basic shooting and weapons manipulation on the square range. When it's all about 'driving your AR' and your INDIVIDUAL shooting skills, scans can become notional, robotic. This is one of the chief problems with training when it never makes it off the square range: it is an individual sport, not a team activity. This causes big problems when trying to operate as a team in a live fire environment.

Link Posted: 9/29/2015 8:59:11 AM EST
[#1]
Part 2:

At MVT, we run live fire training with movement. This means that shooters are not always 'on line' - something that is alien to many who have grown up on ranges run by range nazis. We have specific safety procedures that will not translate well if I try and describe them here in writing. Suffice to say, there are safety angles and procedures that include mantras such as 'head-body-weapon,' ways to move (absolutely no pirouetting, ever), safety angles off your muzzle, and active muzzle awareness. The way weapons are carried and movement is conducted is operational safety, i.e. it translates to real situations when you are on patrol, or moving with weapons. Not  'over safe' procedures such as seen on many ranges, which actually end up being less safe (such as moving backwards with weapons). Patrol ready, active muzzle awareness, finger outside trigger guard, safety on at all times except when not engaging the enemy.

Buddy awareness:

This is vital. If a target pops up, the important thing is not to engage the target, but to know where your buddies are before engaging the target. You are always scanning and conducting a version of 'head-body-weapon.' The weapon part of the mantra applies equally to 'ready ups' when bringing the weapon on to target prior to firing, such as with an RTR drill, or equally to active muzzle awareness if you are conducting the mantra as part of a move from one piece of cover to another.

Link Posted: 9/29/2015 9:00:35 AM EST
[#2]
Part 3:

When running training and safety, we are always fighting tunnel vision and students being glued to their sights. It is important to pull your head away from the sights every couple of rounds, to locate your buddies and maintain spacial awareness. This is a hard thing for new shooters to grasp. You need to turn your head towards your buddies and yell in their direction when yelling is needed (i.e. MOVE!) otherwise your yell will be lost into the stock of your weapon. Is your buddy moving to the next cover? Is he beating at his weapon because he has not yet grasped the muscle memory to conduct weapon manipulation under stress? Is he writhing on the ground, bleeding? Is he laying there silent?

Imagine you are lined up with your buddies on the firing line on a square range. Weapons will all be aligned facing down the range to the targets. Shoulders will be roughly aligned, assuming we are adapting dynamic shooting positions, and not 'blading off' to the targets. You are now 'on line.' Now, in a realistic combat environment it would not matter if you and your buddies were a little misaligned, perhaps due to the positions of cover, and the line was  not exactly straight. So long as no one was inside the muzzle safety angle of each others weapons, we are good to go. That's what happens in fire and movement.

Link Posted: 9/29/2015 9:01:20 AM EST
[#3]
Part 4:

Now, take that target away straight down the range and put one up half-left to the firing line. Because the enemy gets a vote, and will try and flank you. Now, everyone's weapons and shoulders swing (although they wouldn't swing, like a turret, they would scan and acquire the target and then go 'head-body-weapon') to the left by 45 degrees. This may have an impact on the safety angle. If there are two of you, and you are the right hand guy, then when you acquire the target with 'head' and scan, then you will also need to note the location of your buddy. As the angle of the target moves more to the flank, it may be that you cannot bring your weapon up to engage, because your buddy would be within the safety angle of your muzzle. This would mean you would have to 'push right' or 'push up' depending, in order to clear that safety angle and safely acquire the target. In a  dynamic situation, it is always important to note your buddies as you acquire a target, keep both eyes open, and also be ready for when they may make an unpredictable movement, perhaps to adjust their position of cover. If they do this, be ready to drop your muzzle. The key is simply to avoid the herd mentality and keep spread out from your buddies, in order  to open up the safety angle. Do not, and we do not allow, people to be firing past each others ears!

Watch the video below for the first few seconds, and realize how close it came to a friendly fire incident, as the soldier runs across from right to left. After that, there is no safety angle as the helmet cam guy fires over the top of his buddies taking cover behind the low wall. Be prepared for random acts in combat!

[youtube]ZkEmGOVBeXc" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen[/youtube]

Link Posted: 9/29/2015 9:01:52 AM EST
[#4]
Part 5:

It is vital to always maintain awareness of where your buddies are, and to keep the scan going throughout the engagement as positions move and the team fires and moves. If you do not have a shot angle that is not going to potentially kill your buddy, then you need to move.

Scanning:

As alluded to above, scanning is a constant activity. You are looking for cover, for the enemy, for your buddies. It is more important to know where your buddies are than it is to get that shot off. We struggle with 'square-range-isms' at MVT, otherwise known as re-training the training scars out of people, acquired from tacticool training. We notice the tendency to try and scan with the weapon glued to the eyeball, or to perform that fake-robotic-square-range-scan. Or to not scan at all, or to just take quick tunnel glances, like to the left, to the center, to the right, down a 'tunnel' in the trees.

To Scan:

- Lower the weapon out of your face.
- Get your eye out of the optic.
If you have a magnified optic, it is OK to use it as a monocular to check out an item of interest, but don't be glued to it.
- Scan by looking THROUGH the vegetation.
- Scan in a 'S' near-middle-far left-center-right.
- Cover your sector!
- Look from your buddy on one side to your buddy on the other side, particularly after an engagement. What is their position and are they OK? Does anyone need to move, including you?

As you move towards the enemy position, or away from it in a break contact drill, you are always looking for your next position of cover. You are always running 'head-body-weapon' and practicing active muzzle awareness. You are scanning for your buddies and moving your position as necessary in order to engage the target safely. As you locate your next cover, locate your buddies so that you don't run the wrong way, into their safety angle. Communicate if necessary - "I'm on your left!"

Link Posted: 9/29/2015 9:02:37 AM EST
[#5]
Part 6:

It is always better to run the lanes slower and under control, than faster and out of control/unsafe. It is better to maintain a steady momentum of fire and movement on the enemy, as you press closer and closer to his position, that it is to run about the woods like headless chickens, causing a safety STOP.

And here is the kicker: those students who train at MVT learn this all under controlled conditions. It is vital that you learn these things at a reputable school that conducts actual live fire movement training. Otherwise you really don't know what you don't know. We have an expression at MVT which is students 'going bluescreen.' By attending battle inoculation live fire training with movement, under controlled and safe conditions, you are pushing back the point at which you will become exhausted and 'go bluescreen.'

I had this conversation this weekend: I get it that some groups want to send one guy to training, so he can train the others. I hear all sorts about little afternoon training sessions going on. I even heard about one where it was 'break contact drills bolts out.' I hear that "Yeah, we are training." Well, I call BS.

Sorry.

Link Posted: 9/29/2015 9:03:42 AM EST
[#6]
Part 7:

I mean, it's hard enough for us to get people to a level with a professional training facility over three days, and students benefit by multiple return training sessions to reach a level of actual competence. If you are serious about learning to operate tactically, then you need to get you and your people to a professional trainer. You will then have an idea of what tactically right looks like, and have a clue how to safely conduct follow up training at your own place. You will probably still need to email them/me (as many do) to clear up disagreements where limited experience stops. You will then benefit by routinely returning, as a group, to repeat classes and do more advanced classes.

There are so many training scars out there, and so many bad habits imbued by 'tacticool' schools that focus purely on the individual, that it takes real skill to train people to actually function as a team.

"Shoot, move and communicate" sounds good on the internet. It's not so easy to practice in the real world.

For those a little wary of attending CTT straight up, or needing to coax someone to training, we have the Combat Rifle Skills classes, that will keep you on the square range but teach you these things the right way.
Link Posted: 9/29/2015 3:31:44 PM EST
[#7]
As you say all these things I can see myself out there, doing exactly what you described here.  It makes so much sense now, after I've actually done it.  But I also realize that this is hard for some to imagine.  And that's the reality of getting off the square range and getting into a realistic natural environment and seeing how these things change.

So let's look at a typical square range drill, and then compare it to a VTC (Velocity Training Center) drill.  On the typical square range, your target is exposed, right in front of you.  You get a command that tells you, oh, there he is.  So you act like he just appears.  Now you shoot.  You may be standing still or let's say you try and add some movement into the mix.  So you move a few feet, over a nice, relatively level field.  Maybe you get to work out with a buddy.  Ok, so now hit that target, and watch out for that buddy.  Which is pretty easy to do, cuz the target angle doesn't change; neither does the angle to your buddy.   You are both on line, and at a constant 90 deg angle to the target.

Now compare that to a typical drill at VTC.  You are walking the "jungle trail".  You don't know where or when targets will appear.  So you patrol, at a speed you can scan your sector with, no more, no less.  Up pops a target.  You were scanning properly so you see him right off.  He is off at an angle, about 11 o'clock.  You quickly return fire, and dash for cover.  The nearest cover is off the trail to the left.  It is hilly, rocky terrain.  Anything but smooth.  You find a deadfall to prone out behind.  You have to raise up just slightly to get eyes on the target.  You now hit it with controlled, aimed fire.

Meanwhile, what's your buddy up to?  He was right behind you in patrol file.  When you made contact, and he saw you break left, he immediately starting moving and pushed out right.  Why?  Because he has no shot right now, you moved left, and the target is slightly to the left.  So he moves to a position, roughly on line with you, and prones out.  You now both have a good, safe angles of fire.  When you hear him firing you yell: "Move!"  At the same time you are suppressing the target with your own fire.  He moves up and slightly to the left.  Finds cover, and prones out again.  As soon as he fires, he yells back to you: "Move!".  You now get up and move.  This continues to the last bound, where one man "covers" to the flank, while the other assaults the position, and finishes him off.  When clear you call your buddy up.  Check each other out.  Wounded?  Need a reload?  Once you're set, "burst" out of cover, resume patrol.

Now what's the big deal you say?  Well, for starters, you don't get any gimmies in this game.  You gotta FIND the targets.  It's not that easy finding a green target in the woods.  At the beginning, you miss them, so Max "bounces" them up a few times, until you get the point.  Once you stop daydreaming and start really scanning, you will pick them up.  So important point.   You are starting to work on your SCAN, which you might find yourself doing when you get back home.  Not a bad habit, eh?  

Next, you gotta get hits before the target falls down and resets.  No more paper targets which may or may not have been hit.  No hiding in the herd on line.  You either get a hit and knock it down, or you don't.  For those of you with lots of blank fire training in the military, this forces you to apply BRM and get solid hits, not just make noise.

And the angles are different, from a constant 90 deg, just like the real world.  In this case your target is at 11 o'clock.  Notice the first giuy re-orients himself to the target, and takes the shot.  The second guy must now re-orient himself, so he's roughly on line with his buddy.  This is no longer a gimmie either.   Every time you move, it changes.  So you have to constantly be aware of the angles.  As Max has said, you have approx. 33 deg angle to work from.  Just like your sector of fire in a static defensive or ambush position, but constantly changing in a dynamic battlefield, with maneuver.  And remember, the enemy gets a vote.  He may be maneuvering on you as well.  This is simulated by popping up targets in different positions, moving down your flank.  Just imagine the positioning of your square range changing every few seconds.  And you having to constantly adjust to it.  There you go.  

And then there's the terrain.  It's no longer a nice, level playing field.  The ground may be slopping up to the enemy's position.  It may also be slopping up on your right.  You may have trails and creek beds.  You may have bushes, logs, and rocks.  No more blue barrels.  Now you gotta figure out how to really use the terrain.  You may be tuning up the target and getting no hits.  But you see dirt kicking up between you and the target.  There was a little rise in the ground, between you and the target.  Just enough so the muzzle-sight off-set sent your rounds into the ground.  You have to re-adjust your position to get effective fire on the target.  Betcha never thought of that.

The list could go on and on, but I hope this illustrates the point.  You have to get off the square range and into the real terrain before you really understand this stuff.
Link Posted: 9/29/2015 8:06:11 PM EST
[#8]
Link Posted: 9/30/2015 6:36:38 AM EST
[#9]
The square range picture above is what you start doing on Day 1 of his Combat Team Tactics class. For the next two days, you leave the square range and go to the woods on patrol and react to contact (pop up targets, sometimes multiple). Then there is no more static line. Buddy pairs and four-man fire teams are then either advancing to contact in bounds or breaking contact.

That's where buddy awareness is so important. There are folks ahead of you, though the instructors always keep the angles safe. You really have to get your head out of the rifle to scan for both buddies and targets.

These classes were a huge eye opener for me. Once you experience the momentum and dynamics of even a four-man team, you really get a feel for what light infantry tactics can accomplish. The 8-man squad attack on the last day is whole next level with fire support team and flanking element.
Link Posted: 9/30/2015 6:45:10 AM EST
[#10]
Perhaps this video will help, from the Texas Class last February.  no pop-ups here, but it the concept:

Link Posted: 9/30/2015 8:11:17 AM EST
[#11]
Tony F:  Well good on ya mate.  Nobody is claiming to have invented this stuff.  We are just trying to do the best training as we see fit.  It's good to know someone else is doing something similar to help armed citizens prepare for uncertain times(?)  

Link Posted: 9/30/2015 8:46:30 AM EST
[#12]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Perhaps this video will help, from the Texas Class last February.  no pop-ups here, but it the concept:

https://youtu.be/DVwJOv6CERA
View Quote


Your link didn't work for me, but I think this is the one you were trying to post -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVwJOv6CERA&feature=youtu.be
Link Posted: 9/30/2015 10:13:47 AM EST
[#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Your link didn't work for me, but I think this is the one you were trying to post -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVwJOv6CERA&feature=youtu.be
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Perhaps this video will help, from the Texas Class last February.  no pop-ups here, but it the concept:

https://youtu.be/DVwJOv6CERA


Your link didn't work for me, but I think this is the one you were trying to post -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVwJOv6CERA&feature=youtu.be

You have to remove the "s" from "https" in the start of the url.

Link Posted: 9/30/2015 10:19:57 AM EST
[#14]
Thanks bud. Good catch.
Link Posted: 9/30/2015 9:11:30 PM EST
[#15]
Link Posted: 10/1/2015 6:32:13 AM EST
[#16]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I think it's unfortunate the other threads were locked as this is an important issue. Not so much the drill as the concept and context of the curriculum. While we don't run this type of drill specifically in the context of team tactics, at least not to the extent that MVT does, nevertheless, breaking tunnel vision on the threat (target) and maintaining awareness of one's immediate surroundings is an often overlooked aspect of training.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Tony F:  Well good on ya mate.  Nobody is claiming to have invented this stuff.  We are just trying to do the best training as we see fit.  It's good to know someone else is doing something similar to help armed citizens prepare for uncertain times(?)


I think it's unfortunate the other threads were locked as this is an important issue. Not so much the drill as the concept and context of the curriculum. While we don't run this type of drill specifically in the context of team tactics, at least not to the extent that MVT does, nevertheless, breaking tunnel vision on the threat (target) and maintaining awareness of one's immediate surroundings is an often overlooked aspect of training.


Too true: breaking tunnel vision and scanning are something that we reinforce constantly. It really comes into play on the tactical ranges. For example, when we get to day 3 of CTT, the break contact drills get a little more complex: you may be breaking contact to the front against a couple of pop-ups. Then, as you bound back, they go away (not to make it too complex and have multiple firing positions all up at the same time) but students, despite being told beforehand, invariably continue to focus on the original target pits,. They may then try to go into bounding overwatch and continue the move to the rear, but all the while those front targets were replaced by a target half left, signifying another enemy firing position on the flank. They will not look and scan properly unless prompted.

Yes, shame the other threads were locked. Wasn't you? Too  much static getting in the way of constructive conversation.
Link Posted: 10/1/2015 4:57:36 PM EST
[#17]
Having watched from a safe distance as the original thread developed, devolved, and self-destructed, Let me just chime in and say I find what you're doing valuable. The content of this post, specifically, is great for those of us who don't know shit. I have zero mil or leo background, yet I am responsible for the safety of my family and community. A severe winter storm within the last few years showed many of us how much we truly need to rely on each other, not so much local/state gov.

Granted, that wasn't a full grid-down, roving-raiders sort of thing where SUT training would come into play. Nonetheless, I find that scenario more likely than many on this board. Plenty of threads on that in the Survival section, so I'm not sure it's worth arguing about here. The point is, some of us learned that the safety and well-being of our community *IS* our responsibility. Not the Police. Not the SO. Not the troopers. Not the Feds. They have their place of value and their important roles. But so do we.

All that to say this: If I think SUT training is valuable to me and my ability to keep my family and neighborhood safe and secure regardless of the scenario, then I should be able to have that training. It pisses me off that so many outfits market their training only to mil/leo. What short-sighted thinking. Or is it?

Anyway, I recently took a class from Mosby. It was a great experience, and I hope to do more in the same vein. Thanks for what you do.
Link Posted: 10/1/2015 7:34:11 PM EST
[#18]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

1)
Granted, that wasn't a full grid-down, roving-raiders sort of thing where SUT training would come into play. Nonetheless, I find that scenario more likely than many on this board. Plenty of threads on that in the Survival section, so I'm not sure it's worth arguing about here. The point is, some of us learned that the safety and well-being of our community *IS* our responsibility. Not the Police. Not the SO. Not the troopers. Not the Feds. They have their place of value and their important roles. But so do we.

All that to say this: If I think SUT training is valuable to me and my ability to keep my family and neighborhood safe and secure regardless of the scenario, then I should be able to have that training.

2)It pisses me off that so many outfits market their training only to mil/leo. What short-sighted thinking. Or is it?

3) Anyway, I recently took a class from Mosby. It was a great experience, and I hope to do more in the same vein. Thanks for what you do.
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1) Great Summation!

2) I coulnd't agree more. I will not take open enrollment courses at any trainer that limits many, or even just some, of his courses, to "LEO/mil" only. This coming from a 20+ yrs .mil, who could have gone to those until just a few months ago, but for principle, I feel limiting any firearms course to .govs only is unamerican.

3) Mosby also does a great job by all accounts. Have never taken a class with him yet though. I have taken classes with Max and find them outstanding.
Link Posted: 10/1/2015 10:34:14 PM EST
[#19]
Link Posted: 10/1/2015 10:37:57 PM EST
[#20]
Link Posted: 10/2/2015 4:02:40 AM EST
[#21]
Looks like a great time!

Catching up here and having read the original post and subsequent spin off threads, I think the train jumped the tracks when it was claimed that the MVT 5-6 day training course involved more small unit tactics training and live fire then most combat arms units get. Even with my limited military experience that seems exaggerated, but I'll give you that every unit is different. From what I've read it sounds like you folks have a good program going. Wish we had more like it on the West coast.
Link Posted: 10/2/2015 8:17:13 AM EST
[#22]
The original discussion was that A LOT of guys who served in combat arms, in the military, including myself, commented that they got more live fire training, AT THE FIRE TEAM LEVEL, in 5-6 days at MVT, than they got in an annual training schedule active duty, where most live fire training was conducted at the platoon and company level.  What we were trying to convey was that you get more live fire runs at MVT, as a small unit (fire team or squad), than you did active duty, where the whole platoon or company was maneuvering, and you (as a FT or Squad Ldr) had little say about what was going on.  You were just following the herd.  As hard as that is to believe for some, it's actually the truth.  It was my experience, as a cold war jarhead, and I talked with both an Officer and a NCO with current combat experience, who attended MVT, who said the same thing.

We also added the caveat that those at Ranger Batt, or above (SF, NSW, PJ's, and MarSoc) were not included in this comment.  Because the first thing someone is gonna drag out is: my buddy was with ----- and they shot a lot more live fire than that.  Well, yeah, that's true.  But the average Joe in a combat arms unit oftentimes will not get as much specific live fire training, where he is actually maneuvering and calling his own shots, as the training you can get at MVT.

The live fire ranges we did active duty, were just an extended square range.  You always stayed oriented directly forward, in your own lane, as you leap frogged forward.  At MVT, you have to actually maneuver to align the team back up to where the targets appear, to your right or left front.  On more advanced drills, you get hit form the flank, as you maneuver back, simulating the enemy trying to flank you.  Now you have to change from bounding back, to a peel maneuver.  I never did any of this active duty.  Not live fire.  This kind of free play was exclusively reserved for blank fire training.  

So on the face of it, it sounds like a pretty bold statement.  But in my case, and several other guys, it was actually the truth.
Link Posted: 10/2/2015 3:47:18 PM EST
[#23]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

Yo have to be careful with your criticism. Some classes are ".mil and LE only" not because they don't want civilians learning those skills, it's because the .mil and LE clients are imposing the restrictions because of various legal, political and liability reasons.

Some may do so, but in my experience it's typically not the instructor who is imposing the restrictions.
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Would you mind answering a clarifying question?

If a training class is offered for a fee to the participants BY a training organization, why would  customers have a say as to whether or not that training facility offers the same training to other paying customers?

I can clearly understand that the individual classes may be unavailable for open enrollment because .mil or .gov has it filled and they don't wish to have a mixed class. I can also imagine that there may be some " If you offer that to open enrollment, we will take our endless pile of taxpayer money someplace else" and if that is the case that would be a business decision by the training company and the facility should be honest about it and say so.

It may also be useful to differentiate between the owner ( private or corporate) of a training organization and any persons employed by that organization for the purpose of providing services to the customers. I am pretty sure that in most instances, the employees are not making the business decisions.
Link Posted: 10/2/2015 4:01:11 PM EST
[#24]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

Very often the reason is economical. They fill their schedules with .mil and LE clients because they typically get paid by the .gov and the payoff is typically always more lucrative than offering the same class to the private sector (e.g. open enrollment for civilians)...
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This is an interesting statement....
Charging .gov or .mil more than individual citizens for the same class offering is ripping off the taxpayer and I think this is where you will find the crux of this debate. Businesses that are contracting for training to the cash cows  aren't necessarily going to be interested in derailing that gravy train to take in students willing to pay their own way. On day of a contract, the business development team is already working hard to get the next one signed. Anyone involved with providing contract services to the .gov knows this and those that don't know, this is how it goes.... Mergers, subcontracting, finding a partner with something like Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business classification can be a ticket to the .gov money fire hose. That is not a knock against those who have built businesses and provide services, nor is it in any way to disparage any Veteran in any way. It is the simple fact of how the contracting process works.
Link Posted: 10/2/2015 9:40:10 PM EST
[#25]
Link Posted: 10/2/2015 9:44:09 PM EST
[#26]
Link Posted: 10/2/2015 10:06:53 PM EST
[#27]
For the naysayers, just go take a class and see for yourself.
Link Posted: 10/2/2015 10:28:34 PM EST
[#28]
What citizen will pay for a 42 day course for $55K +?   Let alone where do we find an entire class of them?  It's not that its lucrative, but shoot houses, villages, on and off road vehicles, role players, force on force equipment, live tissue animals, weapons, ammo, gear, pyrotechnics/explosives, and competent & experienced instructors all cost money.

Even a 1 week course is around $800-1K, depending on the course taught.  Civilians won't pay that. I've been in the civilian training sector and the common response is to look for the cheapest route possible as "the certificate is the same."
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 5:58:54 AM EST
[#29]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
What citizen will pay for a 42 day course for $55K +?   Let alone where do we find an entire class of them?  It's not that its lucrative, but shoot houses, villages, on and off road vehicles, role players, force on force equipment, live tissue animals, weapons, ammo, gear, pyrotechnics/explosives, and competent & experienced instructors all cost money.

Even a 1 week course is around $800-1K, depending on the course taught.  Civilians won't pay that. I've been in the civilian training sector and the common response is to look for the cheapest route possible as "the certificate is the same."
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I dont think "cheapest" is the proper term here, as I do not agree with the blanket statement to the civilian mindset that "certification is the same." I think a more accurate term is cost-effective.

MY wife and I are looking into getting into the official training aspect of things, but we are trying to gain knowledge of all options around us, and trying to find the best option that would best apply to our situation, but would also not bankrupt us. I actually emailed TonyF, with no reply yet, about a post he made that promoted couples attending with a lot of blue gun work.

With that being said, we are not trying to find training from someone who has little to no experience, is just out to make a buck, or thinks they are rambo.
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 6:58:16 AM EST
[#30]
Prices at MVT are not cheap, because of the costs relayed to laying on such training. But they are competitive compared to many tacticool instructors out there. And that is for tactical live fire training with electronic popups!

For example, the basic price point is $200 per day. So a three day class is $600, and they run full or nearly so (capped at 12 students for quality of training). We do curently have some discounts and alumni receive a discount - many return for multiple classes, due to the quality of the training.

We run 6 day combined classes at around $1000 and they are popular because students will travel from all over the States to get it done while reducing overall travel costs.

We filled a 5 day combat team tactics / mobility class (vehicle drills) with 16 students last February in Texas. This coming February we are running two classes: the 5 day again, which still has a few spaces left, and a 6 day team tactics / combat patrol class which is already full. This year I am taking the electronic pop up targets.

So although it's money, it's competitive with big name tacticool classes, yet it is real tactical training. And those who understand the need for this training are attending!

They may have to pay their own way, because they are not on the .gov tit, but the other side is that the private sector will not tolerate waste, poor quality, or ineffective training.
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 7:38:49 AM EST
[#31]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Prices at MVT are not cheap, because of the costs relayed to laying on such training. But they are competitive compared to many tacticool instructors out there. And that is for tactical live fire training with electronic popups!

For example, the basic price point is $200 per day. So a three day class is $600, and they run full or nearly so (capped at 12 students for quality of training). We do curently have some discounts and alumni receive a discount - many return for multiple classes, due to the quality of the training.

We run 6 day combined classes at around $1000 and they are popular because students will travel from all over the States to get it done while reducing overall travel costs.

We filled a 5 day combat team tactics / mobility class (vehicle drills) with 16 students last February in Texas. This coming February we are running two classes: the 5 day again, which still has a few spaces left, and a 6 day team tactics / combat patrol class which is already full. This year I am taking the electronic pop up targets.

So although it's money, it's competitive with big name tacticool classes, yet it is real tactical training. And those who understand the need for this training are attending!

They may have to pay their own way, because they are not on the .gov tit, but the other side is that the private sector will not tolerate waste, poor quality, or ineffective training.
View Quote


I didnt say your prices were outrageous, and i in no way said it was not worth it. I addressed an above post from COLO that I just didnt agree with. I understand the desire to obtain the type of training that you offer, and I am not comparing it to anyone else's offerings. but what YOU offer, may be different from what MY life and MY situation demands. nothing negative, just alternative. Once we build on our foundations, there may be an option to go another route.
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 8:31:41 AM EST
[#32]
MrfrZZ: I get it. I wasn't addressing you directly. You do what you need to do. There was something in the thread about civilians not willing to pay for a weeks class, which is exactly what they do with MVT.

In general, I see a lot of errors and (deliberate?) misstatements by certain elements, so that is an attempt to correct.

I notice on ARFCOM a tendency for elements to aggressively troll. It's not helpful at all, and it hinders intelligent conversation. Getting info and training out to those receptive to it is what we are about. I certainly don't want to argue on here, it is a little trying
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 8:51:30 AM EST
[#33]
As a life long student, I've paid for classes that were just a 2 hour "drive through" on a subject up to week long courses. None have been free, damn near all were worth the price of admission.

One thing I look for is does the instructor/school seem to be improving. Not just in infrastructure but in training method, cadre, etc.

When you go someplace, then go there again 5 years later and nothing has changed, yet the classes are always full, they are not re-investing in the business.

When you go someplace, then go again not even a year later and MAJOR improvements have been undertaken, you know the owner is putting money back into the business and is putting in for the long haul. If they are doing that AND not jacking up prices dramatically, that's a great sign to me that the business is highly viable and will be around for a while.

I plan on taking my grandkids to some of these places.
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 8:59:35 AM EST
[#34]
Concerning "contract" training, for whatever the reason, it pisses me off.  There should not be this wall between what government employees can have access to, in the way of weapons, equipment, and training, and what a competent, law-abiding, citizen can have.  It fosters this "us versus them" mentality, which is driving a wedge between the government and the people.  I know this is a complex issue, what with all this contract bullshit and whatnot, but the perception you are left with is this elitist attitude of this is strictly for Mil/LEO only and you pissants don't rate.  

I find it interesting that various units, both mil and LE are making the decision to contract out for this training versus providing it in-house.  I find this very interesting.  Years ago, most units would do their own thing, in-house; nowadays it's pretty common for all this stuff to be contracted out.  Don't know if that's an end run around all the traditionalists who refused to change, or just the trend, same as food service and so forth.  

So if it's an issue of just contracting out, well yeah, I get it.  But what I don't get is the vendors then crowing about training all these high-speed guys, and the elitist attitude you get from them.  Maybe that's just human nature, but they can kiss my ass.

That's why I'm glad there are outfits like MVT, who are focused on training armed citizens.  I can go there for any class, and not get turned away, cuz I don't rate.  Or be treated like some second-class citizen, just lucky to be there.

This is a problem these companies should address.  Instead of just ignoring us, maybe explain why these classes are closed to us, for contractual reasons, not because we don't "need to know" the material.  Because that is the perception.  And a lot of these dickheads will write articles and gloat about it, thinking we will admire them for being so high-speed, while they pimp their buddy's products.  You can pack all that shit in your kit bag and jump it too.

Concerning length of courses and price points.  Well, obviously if you want .gov picking up the tab, you join up to get the courses.  When it's on your own dime, then yeah, you have to figure in costs as well.  Now this is a choice, not a contract award, so the market will drive the price point.  Of course there is balance between competency and cost.  Billy Bob's rifle class on one end, and some over-marketed high-speed dude on the other.  Again, this is why I appreciate a guy like Max (or Mosby) who strike a good balance between the two.

In a way, this is like comparing apples to oranges.  What a soldier or LEO would get, versus what an armed citizen can.  The fact that these course are being conducted by outside vendors for government employees muddles the issue.  The perception is, here is a company offering it's services, on an open market, as it were, but then it's restricted to mil/LEO only.  If this training was being conducted in-house, then there would be no questions about who can attend.

I seem to recall, back when I was checking these things out, that guys had to pay their full "tuition" to Blackwater, to be trained as a contractor.  You could finance it, but then they took it out of your first paychecks to pay it back.    So it was still an out of pocket expense, but at least you were provided with a lucrative job to pay it back.  My assumption is things have changed since those days.
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 9:18:58 AM EST
[#35]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
MrfrZZ: I get it. I wasn't addressing you directly. You do what you need to do. There was something in the thread about civilians not willing to pay for a weeks class, which is exactly what they do with MVT.

In general, I see a lot of errors and (deliberate?) misstatements by certain elements, so that is an attempt to correct.

I notice on ARFCOM a tendency for elements to aggressively troll. It's not helpful at all, and it hinders intelligent conversation. Getting info and training out to those receptive to it is what we are about. I certainly don't want to argue on here, it is a little trying
View Quote


Perhaps you didn't notice, the troll is you...  You're not here to contribute, only to make sales pitches for your fantasy camp.
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 9:22:25 AM EST
[#36]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Concerning "contract" training, for whatever the reason, it pisses me off.  There should not be this wall between what government employees can have access to, in the way of weapons, equipment, and training, and what a competent, law-abiding, citizen can have.  It fosters this "us versus them" mentality, which is driving a wedge between the government and the people.  I know this is a complex issue, what with all this contract bullshit and whatnot, but the perception you are left with is this elitist attitude of this is strictly for Mil/LEO only and you pissants don't rate.  

I find it interesting that various units, both mil and LE are making the decision to contract out for this training versus providing it in-house.  I find this very interesting.  Years ago, most units would do their own thing, in-house; nowadays it's pretty common for all this stuff to be contracted out.  Don't know if that's an end run around all the traditionalists who refused to change, or just the trend, same as food service and so forth.  

So if it's an issue of just contracting out, well yeah, I get it.  But what I don't get is the vendors then crowing about training all these high-speed guys, and the elitist attitude you get from them.  Maybe that's just human nature, but they can kiss my ass.

That's why I'm glad there are outfits like MVT, who are focused on training armed citizens.  I can go there for any class, and not get turned away, cuz I don't rate.  Or be treated like some second-class citizen, just lucky to be there.

This is a problem these companies should address.  Instead of just ignoring us, maybe explain why these classes are closed to us, for contractual reasons, not because we don't "need to know" the material.  Because that is the perception.  And a lot of these dickheads will write articles and gloat about it, thinking we will admire them for being so high-speed, while they pimp their buddy's products.  You can pack all that shit in your kit bag and jump it too.
View Quote


Perhaps you don't go because you didn't apply for the jobs that require those courses. If you can't meet the requirements, then you don't get to go. This is not a place for participation awards.
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 9:24:49 AM EST
[#37]
Quoted:
But it is often the case that the "contract" is for a series of classes and "lucrative" doesn't necessarily mean the clients pay more for the class, it is more lucrative for an instructor because there are more classes taught (e.g. volume).
View Quote



If lucrative in this example stems from more volume, then offering open enrollment would increase that volume.
The premise here was that certain training facilities will not 'allow' an individual citizen to enroll in a standard ( maybe even basic) course offering from their training catalog and that is the complaint I am seeing and responding to.

Edited t o fix the quote.
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 9:34:38 AM EST
[#38]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



If lucrative in this example stems from more volume, then offering open enrollment would increase that volume.
The premise here was that certain training facilities will not 'allow' an individual citizen to enroll in a standard ( maybe even basic) course offering from their training catalog and that is the complaint I am seeing and responding to.

Edited t o fix the quote.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
But it is often the case that the "contract" is for a series of classes and "lucrative" doesn't necessarily mean the clients pay more for the class, it is more lucrative for an instructor because there are more classes taught (e.g. volume).



If lucrative in this example stems from more volume, then offering open enrollment would increase that volume.
The premise here was that certain training facilities will not 'allow' an individual citizen to enroll in a standard ( maybe even basic) course offering from their training catalog and that is the complaint I am seeing and responding to.

Edited t o fix the quote.


There is a point of diminishing return where adding more volume in the class actually increases the costs (more materials, instructors, multiple lines & increased times, etc...).
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 9:38:12 AM EST
[#39]
Private Nuthin: Yeah, this is what I'm talking about as well.  These companies are using the fact that they train high-speed guys as a marketing ploy for prestige in the community.  It's like they want to put the product on display, for all to see and admire, but look, don't touch.  And then you add in all the product marketing that dove-tails onto it.  You can't attend our class, but look at our buddy's gear, see what all the high-speed bubbas are using, and go buy some of that.
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 9:50:59 AM EST
[#40]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
What citizen will pay for a 42 day course for $55K +?   Let alone where do we find an entire class of them?  It's not that its lucrative, but shoot houses, villages, on and off road vehicles, role players, force on force equipment, live tissue animals, weapons, ammo, gear, pyrotechnics/explosives, and competent & experienced instructors all cost money.

Even a 1 week course is around $800-1K, depending on the course taught.  Civilians won't pay that. I've been in the civilian training sector and the common response is to look for the cheapest route possible as "the certificate is the same."
View Quote


There are  civilians that can afford 55K, that is about what a pretty nice pickup truck might cost and people pay cash for those all the time. Can you provide a link to where someone may review that curriculum and register?

It was pretty silly of you to use that as an example because that is an extreme outlier in the offering of training courses. I would be guessing that a class like that would be for PMC's to train up for a mission. How many local LE agencies have sent people to that class you are describing? There is no dispute that providing good quality training requires the appropriate infrastructure and staff and that is overhead in a business. Cover the costs and add on a reasonable profit and you come up with the retail cost of the offering. To be continued...
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 9:53:40 AM EST
[#41]
Continued....

Based on your username, one can expect that at some point you were offering the state required curriculum for citizens to to get their permission slip to exercise a constitutionally recognized right and within that context, the certificate IS the same. The certificate is require to appease the state, not necessarily to improve the skills of the student. It appears that you have moved beyond providing that type of training. If you are employed as a trainer now, it is assumed that you are no longer active duty. Where have you been able to receive the training to be a trainer in a 55K, 40+day course? Is you qualification based solely on your prior service ( thank you for serving, BTW) as a ranger or have you been able to find and purchase 'continuing education' commercially?

Receiving professional instruction in a lot of disciplines can be obtained in the 200-300 dollars/day as you pointed out.
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 10:09:47 AM EST
[#42]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Perhaps you didn't notice, the troll is you...  You're not here to contribute, only to make sales pitches for your fantasy camp.
View Quote

If that is your belief, why do you keep 'feeding the troll'? You are coming across as a pretty negative dude. Your condescension shown in your juvenile internet forum responses like " you don't read well..." etc diminishes whatever productive information you may be able to offer. Perhaps due to your language arts skills, you may consider contacting rif.org and volunteer.

Link Posted: 10/3/2015 10:13:10 AM EST
[#43]
Diz, Fizz, lowdown, private, Tony and Max.

Great points made by all of you!!

Why do I always find these kind of threads too late + everyone else already made all the good points?

PS: I wouldnt bother replying to the shill, just ignore him and he will go away
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 10:25:08 AM EST
[#44]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

If that is your belief, why do you keep 'feeding the troll'? You are coming across as a pretty negative dude. Your condescension shown in your juvenile internet forum responses like " you don't read well..." etc diminishes whatever productive information you may be able to offer. Perhaps due to your language arts skills, you may consider contacting rif.org and volunteer.

View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:


Perhaps you didn't notice, the troll is you...  You're not here to contribute, only to make sales pitches for your fantasy camp.

If that is your belief, why do you keep 'feeding the troll'? You are coming across as a pretty negative dude. Your condescension shown in your juvenile internet forum responses like " you don't read well..." etc diminishes whatever productive information you may be able to offer. Perhaps due to your language arts skills, you may consider contacting rif.org and volunteer.



Yes, I'm very blunt and say exactly what I mean.  I also expect others to come to the table with information, not accusations. If I don't present accurate info, I don't get a cuddling response therefore I don't give them either. Gunfighting is not for those who cannot take criticism nor for those who cannot back up their words. I've seen both of those traits consistently from the MVT crew, this my responses are tailored in that manner towards them.
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 10:43:06 AM EST
[#45]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

Yes, I'm very blunt and say exactly what I mean.  I also expect others to come to the table with information, not accusations. If I don't present accurate info, I don't get a cuddling response therefore I don't give them either. Gunfighting is not for those who cannot take criticism nor for those who cannot back up their words. I've seen both of those traits consistently from the MVT crew, this my responses are tailored in that manner towards them.
View Quote

What is the inaccurate information that someone brought to the discussion that you don't with to cuddle with? What seems to be inaccurate is your assessment of a training offering that the only information you have about it comes from the internet. I see Mr. Velocity attempting to provide a level of detail about what his training offerings are so that the readers of this forum can make their own decisions. Hopefully you are not so arrogant that you believe that your opinion translates to fact.
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 11:09:35 AM EST
[#46]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Continued....

Based on your username, one can expect that at some point you were offering the state required curriculum for citizens to to get their permission slip to exercise a constitutionally recognized right and within that context, the certificate IS the same. The certificate is require to appease the state, not necessarily to improve the skills of the student. It appears that you have moved beyond providing that type of training. If you are employed as a trainer now, it is assumed that you are no longer active duty. Where have you been able to receive the training to be a trainer in a 55K, 40+day course? Is you qualification based solely on your prior service ( thank you for serving, BTW) as a ranger or have you been able to find and purchase 'continuing education' commercially?

Receiving professional instruction in a lot of disciplines can be obtained in the 200-300 dollars/day as you pointed out.
View Quote


Glad to see someone interested in actual discussion.

Yes, there are some civilians that have the means to attend courses like that. Some have from other places that doesn't require gov/agency sponsorship. Yes, we get quite a bit of LE through the courses as it directly relates to one of their roles on a SWAT team.

You are also correct in that I worked on the civilian side as an instructor, and one of the courses was a basic CCW course, as indicated by my username. I've moved on since then and should probably change that username. Yes, a CCW cert is the same as any other according to the state. The mentality of shopping for "best value," i.e. lowest cost that meets the standards, is a plague in the training community. Not from a trainers point, but it encourages the promotion of products that just meet the standard at the lowest possible cost to the student. While not all training needs to be expensive, cheap training deprives the student of actual knowledge outside the power points or handouts. For example, a basic pistol course could be taught with just classroom lecture and little live fire (NRA basic pistol) but are you really learning how to use the pistol?  Only what is needed to meet the standards, nothing more. Can you get the same information from Larry Vickers or Pat Mac in their basic course? Yes, but you get more than the standard requirements. They cost more, but the cost is for their EXPERIENCE. Not just operational experience, but hundreds of thousands of hours on the range working fundamentals, running runs past their breaking point, lessons learned from mistakes and how to solve those problems. This is what makes good courses cost money. Experience is not cheap. Experience, especially in gunfighting, best comes from doing things live. Paul Howe put in his book Leadership & Training for the Fight, that the instructor that has a bunch of certificates but no experience is a questionable instructor. Fieldwork must accompany class work. Would you take driving lessons from a kid who has only played GTA and never driven on the interstate?

Where can a civilian take some of these classes? Do research. This forum is not the best place for it as they let anyone in. Go to a forum where instructors are actually vetted, tactics are discussed (almost brutally) and there are AARs posted by people other than the cadre.  Here are some:

http://www.darc1.com/courses.shtml      

http://www.greeneyetactical.com/training/training.html   (He is the member Do Push Ups on this forum.)

http://aliastraining.com

http://tacmedics.com/cms/index.php/training/military.html

The classes aren't cheap but the experience you are learning from is invaluable.

Regarding my ability to teach the courses I do:  My experience in Ranger Batt was a foundation. That foundation allowed me to start teaching up to that level (after taking some basic instructor courses). As I continued teaching, I also took more classes, some very basic and some "high speed."  I went back overseas for more experience working as a PSS & team lead (which required me to attend more and more training). I happened to be referred by a former coworker who knew my qualifications to teach for the DoD as an urban warfare and tactics Instructor. This was due to both my training and my experience. Teaching for DoS came about the same way.  As I has attended thier courses and performed the duties for several years, I was approved and vetted to teach their courses. Again, classes AND experience.  I am not going to list my "training resume" because a) who f'ing cares if I'm a explosive entry instructor if you're considering me for a Basic rifle class (most "training resumes" are nothing but over inflated egos) and b) show only what you've been told, not what you can do or effectively teach.
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 11:34:44 AM EST
[#47]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Diz, Fizz, lowdown, private, Tony and Max.

Great points made by all of you!!

Why do I always find these kind of threads too late + everyone else already made all the good points?

PS: I wouldnt bother replying to the shill, just ignore him and he will go away
View Quote


You should look up the definition of a word before using it. If calling out shills then Diz, Lowdown and yourself fit the definition perfectly.
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 12:20:12 PM EST
[#48]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


There are  civilians that can afford 55K, that is about what a pretty nice pickup truck might cost and people pay cash for those all the time.
View Quote


And those people are paying for that single vehicle over a 5-7 year time span


Link Posted: 10/3/2015 12:23:10 PM EST
[#49]
And there are indeed times that a LE only or Mil only class is appropriate.


BTW why does it seem all of these threads always seem to trend back to claims of people saying that certain people shouldn't have training and a general sales pitch for MVT complete with new accounts chiming in constantly?
Link Posted: 10/3/2015 12:28:08 PM EST
[#50]
@ Coloccw:

So I presume that anytime I post something on this forum, you will be along to trash it. Why? Given that you seem to know nothing about both my personal experience or my ability as an instructor, or about what we do at MVT, what is your justification?

The thread already seems suitable derailed that no one is usefully talking about the OP: buddy position awareness. Do you have anything to add on that?

I find it curious that given your response about training above, you don't recommend MVT? I know you have no actual knowledge about it, but if you were to read about us and see our results, you would know.

I know that you stated in that original 'Max Velocity Tactical' thread something about having 20 years with SOF. But please clarify, because weren't you in the military from 2000 - 2004, with 3 years total in Ranger Batt, a couple of deployments as a forward observer? Close? You've been a civvy since then? My time in Iraq/Afghanistan as a paramilitary contractor was longer than you military service? E4 maybe?

You should probably show a little more respect to those older, more experienced and better qualified that you. Are you a southerner? I guess not. Where are your manners?

Or perhaps it's just that I am a naturalized Brit and I cut my teeth in BritMil? Your hubris just can't get around that?

It would be great if you would just participate and add useful content to these threads.

How about it?

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