DAY TWO | Monday, December 6
Day two kicked off with Ryan Chin giving a brief presentation on IRTactical Training Systems. IRTactical offers state-of-the-are projectile-less training weapons that allow for safe and effective tactical training that can be conducted literally anywhere without the limitations of projectile-based simulations such as paintball, simmunitions, and airsoft.
After this short but energizing presentation, the instructors ran the students through a 30-minute full review of day one training with Level 1 Combined Drills. From there, the instructors moved into Level 2: Survival Force Reactionary Defense. Level 2 is designed to teach first responders how to survive a surprise attack and then transition to control tactics or escalate force as needed.
The objective of day two training for Toby Flaget and the Master Instructors to achieve was to complete the certification categories of Level 2 in approximately one hour each. While the main group of students worked through Level 2, those attendees participating in the Level 1 Instructor Certification Fast Track were taken to a separate room to complete Level 1 instructor development.
Level 2 training started with Lead Hand Protection / Disruption Drills. These drills are designed to help the student identify positioning and movements to minimize damage from a surprise attack, and build eye/hand coordination to be able to disrupt an attack and gain a position of advantage. Once the students had a handle on these drills, the instructors incorporated the baton.
Baton Protection / Disruption Drills re-emphasized the concept that the baton (or any object that can be used by you or against you as an impact weapon) should be thought of as an extension of your hand. Following this concept, the instructors showed the students how the empty hand techniques work the same with the baton - the baton just provides added leverage for better control.
Following lunch, the instructors ran the students through 20-minutes of Level 1 Combined Drills and then moved right into Knife Awareness and Defense. The purpose of this portion of the training was simple: to minimize damage from a surprise knife or shank attack, create distance, and escalate force as needed.
Once students had a handle on Knife Awareness and Defense, they moved on to Ground Defense and Escapes. This portion took an hour and a half because it introduced techniques that were slightly more involved due to the dangers of being on the ground. For this very fact, the instructors showed students how to use a few simple, basic techniques to get out of a bad situation and get back to their feet as quickly as possible.
Moving on, the instructors addressed one of the most alarming situations an officer could be in, that of someone grabbing your drawn sidearm. For Out-of-holster Weapon Retention and Weapon Disarms, instructors used common denominators that had been incorporated throughout the training (such as “elbows up,” “drop center,” “angles,” and “keep moving”) to teach students how to capitalize on their own natural reactions to a weapon grab to maintain control of the weapon and gain a position of advantage through escalation of force or disengagement.
To help underline the need to be mentally prepared for the possibility of having someone grab your weapon, Tony Grano, Don Roberts, and some of the Master Instructors discussed several real incidents where officers used these weapon retention techniques to stay alive. These accounts demonstrated the intensity of that kind of situation and the potentially devastating effects of the techniques.
At this point, David Anderson gave a brief presentation on Secure Innovations. Secure Innovations offers mobile weapons storage systems for a variety of weapons and vehicles. This presentation was followed up by Darlene Manczak, who presented on Market America. Market America offers a range of health and nutritional products to help first responders stay healthy and alert.
With the full conference attendance having completed Level 1 and Level 2 training, the students split into two groups: Security and Law Enforcement / Military. The reason for separating these two groups came down to job function. If you do not carry a weapon you went in the Security group. If you do carry a weapon and would be reasonably expected to respond to an active shooter threat you went in the Law Enforcement group.
The Security group broke off to discuss use of force issues in the security operating environment and begin working on instructor development. The Law Enforcement group started working tactical movement, room scans, and dynamic entry. These tactics were part of the F.O.R.C.E. Critical Incident / Active Shooter Response training. Students worked the drills individually then building up to 6-man teams. The purpose of this training was to teach front line officers how to work and move as a team toward an active threat.
While the Law Enforcement group was working on team movement, officers rotated through the first round of the Tactical Competition. The objective of this round of the Tactical Competition was to move through a hallway as a lone operator and take out 10 targets using IRTactical equipment, including the irM4 and irVest as targets. Competitors were judged on time and number of targets hit.
All official day two training wrapped at 4:30. Everyone in the Level 1 Instructor Certification Fast Track submitted their written tests, and all Law Enforcement group participants were invited to stay for a taster of Level 3: Combative Counter Measures. Don Roberts led a group of about 30 dedicated trainers in M.A.C.H. 6-10 Subject Control training. Don showed the students how all the material they covered in the first two days provided them with a platform to springboard into more advanced techniques for dealing with more hard core scenarios.