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Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

58th Rescue Squadron Resiliency Weekend

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a Resiliency Training offsite with the 58th Rescue Squadron, stationed at Nellis AFB, Nevada. Led by Lt Col Stephen C, the 58th is made up of Combat Rescue Officers, Pararescuemen (PJs), SERE Specialists and support personnel from 14 different careerfields.

Squadron members and their families made the short trip from Las Vegas, to nearby Saint George, Utah, to learn about how to better deal with the stresses of combat operations, and military life in general. Pioneered by USSOCOM, resiliency training is officially known as Preservation of Force and Family. More recently, Air Combat Command, as the responsible USAF command for the Guardian Angel Weapon System, instituted a similar program for their Battlefield Airmen. Last weekend’s event is a result of this initiative.

In addition to advances in nutrition and physical training, one of the goals of the program is to provide training to recognize stress and reduce the stigma of getting help for mental issues. Stress inoculation is key in training, but preparation and awareness of what one should expect, are also crucial. Those last bits were the focus of the weekend’s agenda.

As families accompanied them, the location was a perfect way for everyone to get away from Las Vegas for a few days. Saint George offers some great opportunities for outdoor recreation and bonding. The Squadron’s various elements also had ample time to accomplish mid and long-term goals, including planning on how to make them a reality.

The first day, Operational Psychologist Maj Richard S, 432nd Wing Operational Psychologist discussed adjusting to life after deployment and how to turn the switch off from operational life when you get back home. The next day, Lt Col Richard B is the lead SERE Psychologist at Fairchild. Having served in AFSOC at Cannon AFB, NM, Lt Col B concentrated on warrior mindset.

That evening, the 58th Rescue Squadron Booster Club presented a banquet for the unit and its families. While the active duty members were TDY, the families’ meals were made possible thanks to the sponsorship of Air Rescue Concepts and Soldier Systems Daily.

The next morning, Steve Tarani presented an interactive seminar for the Squadron members and their spouses. The topic was perfect for the weekend’s focus; Resiliency training, mental toughness and preparedness.


He has been teaching for over 30 years, concentrating on protection, of people, assets and facilities. These days he usually concentrates on train-the-trainer but he also offers seminars like this to improve the safety and security for high risk audiences.

Steve is a very engaging speaker. The talk was excellent and applicable, to the military participants just as much as their families. Mindset, awareness and threat mitigation were key points of his talk. Steve tied recent real world events into the training, including last week’s vehicle and knife attack in Ohio. The talk was especially important for family members, who often find themselves alone while their spouse is deployed because Steve discussed situational awareness and how to become a hard target.

After a team lunch, Maj John T gave an engaging talk about Fatigue Management and Performance. Rather than putting all of us to sleep after lunch, he offered fatigue countermeasures and the important of understanding circadian rhythms and adjunct medications. I also now understand the difference between snuggling and cuddling. Last but not least, Lt Col Stefanie S wrapped up the day with a discussion on the importance of nutrition for Special Operations Forces.

Patrick Van Horn author of ‘Left of Bang’ wrapped up the presentations on Sunday afternoon. Patrick is the author of, “Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life” and the CEO of The CP Journal, a behavioral analysis training company.  His presentation centered around Combat Profiling, which is a method of proactively identifying threats based on normal behavior and other cues from one’s surroundings.  Patrick explained how the foundation of combat profiling is that there are universal similarities in humans, despite cultural differences. The idea is to take a proactive approach to combat profiling by establishing baselines, identifying anomalies from that baseline and then acting on them.

All of the presentations were excellent and discussions with the members of the Guardian Angel community indicated they agreed.

The good news in all of this is that the military has become much better at recognizing and treating physical, emotional and mental stressors. Programs like this help to inoculate military personnel and their families toward these conditions, in order to help mitigate their effects. What is most important, is that personnel understand that these organizations continue to invest in their well being. Their units are there to help, and the stigma of seeking assistance is no longer there. The goal is to keep these warriors in the fight.

I want to thank the Airmen of the 58th Rescue Squadron for their hospitality. It was a joy to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and speak with Airmen and their families.

SureFire Field Notes – Bill Murphy

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

SureFire Field Notes is a multi-segment informational video series with tips and techniques from subject matter experts of all backgrounds. In this episode, Bill Murphy discusses the importance of having a tourniquet with you at all times.

Bill has been a police officer for over 37 years, currently working as a Reserve Deputy with Los Angeles County Sheriff Department. Bill was also a Senior Police Officer assigned to Patrol /SWAT with the Huntington Beach PD in California, where he was also a Firearms Instructor/Armorer, Use of Force Instructor, and a member of the Range Advisory Committee, Gunsite Training Center Rangemaster, a Police Academy Instructor, an NRA, FBI, and an Adjunct Instructor for the U.S. Air Force Pararescue Advanced Weapons School. Bill serves as Lead Instructor for low-light and firearms courses at the SureFire Institute.

American Gunfighter Episode 7 – Instructor Staff, Northern Red

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Episode 7 of BCM’s original series, American Gunfighter, is streaming. Episode 7 features Northern Red Instructor Staff and US Army Special Operations Combat Veterans Chris Kovacik, John Ellison and Zach Harrison, discussing their motivations for training in both their roles as Special Operations Soldiers and as instructors of active duty military and counter terrorism professionals.

Directed and produced by Jon Chang, American Gunfighter is an ongoing series produced by BCM featuring elite law enforcement and military personnel sharing their thoughts and stories about their profession and craft.

Northern Red is a Private Military Firm specializing in training elite military and law enforcement units for counter terrorism, hostage rescue and close quarter battle missions. The Instructor Staff consists entirely of US Army Special Operations combat veterans with multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

BCM (Bravo Company Manufacturing) was founded in 2005 by a veteran United States Marine in Hartland, Wisconsin, where the company maintains its HQ today. BCM builds weapon systems that are manufactured, reinforced and tested to meet the unforgiving needs of law enforcement, military, security and peace keeping professionals in some of the most high stress environments and situations in the world.

bravocompanymfg.com/american_gunfighter

Defoor Proformance – Firearms Freedom February!

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Just got a note from Kyle Defoor:

With multiple requests from both states, we are adding a California carbine & combatives class in the bay area on February 20-21, 2017 as well as a New Jersey Pistol & combatives class on February 23-24, 2017.

Coast to Coast in one week to help those in these states exercise their 2A right and get some good training at the same time.

I am really excited about this! Help spread the word any way you can. I don’t think anyone has done this before in these states. We are expecting sellouts in both locations.

defoor-proformance-shooting.myshopify.com

Aaron Barruga – Enough Is Enough: A Tactical Training PSA

Monday, November 14th, 2016


(Author’s photo circa Afghanistan 2012. The stretcher held a patient fighting for his life after an ambush. The red markings on the floor are his own blood)

I get it, the cargo pant commando training culture of the 90’s and early 2000’s just isn’t compatible with the current generation of tech savvy tactical shooters. Millennials–who aren’t just teenagers and can be adults in their 30’s–are accustomed to a simple message they’ve heard their entire life “mainstream isn’t cool.”

I understand the frustration with legacy Special Operations instructors that are elevated to celebrity status, despite their complete inability to articulate a thought, or present information in a non condescending manner. There is nothing more painful than watching a commando, rich with experience, fumble through talking to a camera to convey a point, or interact on Instagram in the same manner as our grandparents.

This is why audiences gave hope and promise to the mediocre instructor–with no experience–made popular by social media. His neglect of tactical cargo-panted-velcro everything signaled a direct message, he is relatable, he is like me. It is also intoxicating to watch these individuals challenge conventional wisdom. When a mediocre instructor with no credentials whips a sarcastic quip at a career commando, it causes audiences to applaud in uproar of a counterculture instructor that has “beat the system”.

Although this might be clever marketing or culturally punk rock, it is dangerous for the transfer of knowledge. Despite any legacy SOF instructor’s inability to speak in front of a camera, or generate viral social media content, his lessons are hard learned in the real world with real blood and the real loss of brothers and sisters in arms.

What he lacks in social media charisma, he makes up for in battle hardened intestinal fortitude. His scars are both physical and emotional, not “training scars” from shooting at cardboard. So proceed forward shooters, elect your “instructors” because of their cool factor, just don’t expect them to have any answers for you when you pay hard prices in the real world.

Aaron Barruga is Special Forces veteran with deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Pacific Theater of Operations. He has trained foreign commandos, police officers, and militia fighters. He is the founder at Guerrilla Approach, LLC, where he consults law enforcement officers on counter-terrorism and vehicle tactics.

Urban Operator – Wrist Wraps

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Urban Operator’s Wrist Wraps provide additional wrist support for lifting. These affordable, but durable wraps are made from a 2″ Mil-spec webbing. 

Specs:
-Sold in Pairs
-Width: 2”inches by 22″ inches long
-Hook and Loop velcro closure
-Elastic loop for thumb placement

Available Colors: Black, Coyote Brown, Foliage Green, Multicam, Kryptek Highlander, and Kryptek Typhon.

urbanoperator.net

ARC’TERYX Partners with Exum Mountain Guides

Monday, November 7th, 2016

New Relationship Includes Official Apparel and Mountain Guide Development Programs

North Vancouver, BC (November 3, 2016) – ARC’TERYX, the technical leader in outdoor performance apparel and equipment, is proud to announce a new partnership with Exum Mountain Guides, the year-round mountain guiding service that specializes in rock, alpine and ski mountaineering. Effective immediately, ARC’TERYX will serve as Exum’s exclusive apparel partner for the 2016/17 winter season and into the future.

Along with outfitting over 70 of Exum’s professional guides with the latest ARC’TERYX apparel, the partnership is underscored by a scholarship program that has been designed to offer next level support for Exum’s guide development, assistance that goes beyond traditional product sponsorship. This fiscal support will allow for the continued development of Exum Mountain Guides with regard to mountain safety, judgment, risk assessment, and critical leadership skills through further education and training.

“ARC’TERYX has a long history serving the international guiding community and since its inception, the company has been committed to creating the world’s best gear for the world’s best guides,” said Kyle Goertzen, Manager of Global Commercial B2X, Professional & Industry Sales for ARC’TERYX. “Similar to our company, Exum places a very high priority on the professional development of their guides and creating a positive work environment. This new partnership speaks genuinely of our shared commitment to the guiding community and we’re excited to create programs that provide opportunities for a guide’s personal development and evolution.”

With over 80 years of experience, Exum Mountain Guides are some of the most experienced and respected guides in the world. Exum is an AMGA (American Mountain Guide Association) accredited guide service with the highest number of certified guides of any mountain guiding service in the United States. Based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Exum Mountain Guides not only offers their clients unparalleled service, they also offer avalanche education courses and provide pre-deployment mountain training to various military special force units and private security firms.

“We are very proud of this new partnership. ARC’TERYX is the true leader in mountain apparel, and we’re excited to provide our guides with the most innovative, functional and dependable products that exist for the mountain environment,” said Nat Patridge, President of Exum Mountain Guides “Moreover, ARC’TERYX’s commitment to the development and continued education of the guiding community made this agreement absolute. We couldn’t have chosen a better, more appropriate partner to share the future with.”

For the 2016/2017 winter guiding season, Exum Mountain Guides will be outfitted in a core assortment form ARC’TERYX’s alpine oriented Ascent Collection, including the Alpha AR Jacket, Proton LT Hoody, Procline AR Pant, and Nuclei AR Jacket.

Offering mountain experiences for all abilities, ages, and areas, for more information on Exum Mountain Guides and any of their programs, please go to www.exumguides.com.

Arc’teryx Equipment is a technical high-performance outerwear and equipment company based in North Vancouver, Canada. Our relentless commitment to design, craftsmanship and performance delivers breakthrough experiences. The company’s industry-leading design and unique in-house manufacturing center creates technical products that can be trusted to perform in moments of extreme need.

Arc’teryx distributes its products through more than 3,000 retail locations worldwide, including ten branded stores in Europe, North America and Asia. www.arcteryx.com

Arc’teryx is named for the Archaeopteryx Lithographica, the first reptile to develop the flight. Evolution in Action.

BE Meyers & Co Announce Training Partnership With Bill Blowers And Tap-Rack Tactical

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

SSD sponsor and makers of the MAWL, BE Meyers & Co have announced a training partnership with Bill Blowers and his company, Tap-Rack Tactical.