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Gunfighter Moment – Daryl Holland

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

I was reading LAV’s Gunfighter Moment on Soldier Systems Daily the other day because I’m the new guy at Alias trying to keep up, and I realized that Larry & Mike see the same stuff I do… only ten times more.

I’d like to elaborate on a common term that echoes in this community, “outrunning your headlights”. This analogy is useful for a Special Forces Team training our Allies, as lesser trained foreign soldiers always want to jump into the advanced training. It’s called Foreign Internal Defense (FID) and a large part of the SF Mission around the world. Anyway, to prevent our foreign friends from going faster than they are ready, we always told them that advanced training is simply the basics done well. ‘Crawl, Walk & Then Run’, this is never more important than during marksmanship training.

Slow down and perform the perfect repetition to build perfect muscle memory. Speed will come naturally, and accuracy is a must before speed, or you’re just slinging lead on a range, much like when you go to hit golf balls at the driving range without ever receiving a golf lesson.

I still see Military & Law Enforcement spending their budgets on the latest and greatest equipment, but they only check the block with marksmanship training and tactics a couple times a year. If it’s your life, or bread and butter, then training should be first to alleviate bad outcomes and fill the gap with equipment shortages, as the training will recognize short falls. Owning the most expensive piano doesn’t make you Mozart.

As it was explained to me 20 years ago when I would follow Larry to IPSC matches with other unit shooters, “You learn to shoot the gun you have and as you outperform your starter gun, you replace pieces with tricked out/high end parts to shave a second here and there”.

With long gunners, I’ve seen 25 power scopes on a .308 Remington 700 style, when a fixed 10 power is plenty for that rifle system, and for finding targets more quickly at ranges between 100m-800m. If you can afford the glass for a Leapold x25 or Schmidt & Bender x28 scope, then you can afford a .338 Lapua Magnum and enjoy dropping that Mule Deer a mile away. Make your optic fit your gun.

Sometimes, I just don’t get the shooting industry. By the time Jethro has figured out, “It’s not as easy as it looks and could use a little help”, he has already developed bad habits and the reason why women are usually better marksmanship students…

Yep, I said it!

- Respectfully, Daryl Holland

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Daryl Holland is a retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major with over 20 years of active duty experience, 17 of those years in Special Operations. Five years with the 1st Special Forces Group (SFG) and 12 years in the 1st SFOD-Delta serving as an Assaulter, Sniper, Team Leader, and OTC Instructor.

He has conducted several hundred combat missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Philippines, and the Mexican Border. He has conducted combat missions in Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush Mountains as a Sniper and experienced Mountaineer to the streets of Baghdad as an Assault Team Leader.

He has a strong instructor background started as an OTC instructor and since retiring training law abiding civilians, Law Enforcement, U.S. Military, and foreign U.S. allied Special Operations personnel from around the world.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Larry Vickers

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

I was on the phone the other day with Mike Pannone, a fellow Alias Instructor and former Delta Force Operator like myself. When the topic of shooting fast came up, Mike nailed it: “If you can’t shoot slow and straight then you have no business trying to shoot fast and straight.” Spot on.

Everyone wants to outrun their headlights these days and spray rounds all over the range in ‘Tacticool Ballistic Masturbation’ drills – that is way off base and unless your goal is to burn a bunch of ammo, and it’s also a complete waste of time.

Slow down and work on mastering the fundamentals – it ain’t sexy but it works. Period.

-Larry Vickers
Vickers Tactical Inc.
Host of TacTV

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Larry Vickers of Vickers Tactical is a retired US Army 1st SFOD-Delta combat veteran with years of experience in the firearms industry as a combat marksmanship instructor and industry consultant. In recent years he has hosted tactical firearms related TV shows on the Sportsman Channel with the latest being TacTV of which Bravo Company is a presenting sponsor. Larry Vickers special operations background is one of the most unique in the industry today; he has been directly or indirectly involved in the some of the most significant special operations missions of the last quarter century. During Operation Just Cause he participated in Operation Acid Gambit – the rescue of Kurt Muse from Modelo Prison in Panama City, Panama. As a tactics and marksmanship instructor on active duty he helped train special operations personnel that later captured Saddam Hussein and eliminated his sons Uday and Qusay Hussein. In addition he was directly involved in the design and development of the HK416 for Tier One SOF use which was used by Naval Special Warfare personnel to kill Osama Bin Laden. Larry Vickers has developed various small arms accessories with the most notable being his signature sling manufactured by Blue Force Gear and Glock accessories made by Tangodown. In addition he has maintained strong relationships with premium companies within the tactical firearms industry such as BCM, Aimpoint, Black Hills Ammunition, Wilson Combat and Schmidt & Bender.

Larry Vickers travels the country conducting combat marksmanship classes for law abiding civilians, law enforcement and military and has partnered with Alias Training to coordinate classes to best meet the needs of the students attending the class.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

    Scan and Assess, Checking 6 and Other Gun-Foo Shenanigans

The following two definitions are crucial to an honest appreciation of this topic.

Webster’s-Merriam Dictionary

Look
Verb: to direct your eyes in a particular direction
See
Verb: to notice or become aware of (someone or something) by using your eyes
Aware
Adjective: knowing that something (such as a situation, condition, or problem) exists

I see far too often folks that conduct all kinds of movement and posturing after a non-scenario course of fire that is called “tactical awareness” but is probably more precisely called “gun-fu” or a “tactical kata”. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about tactical awareness and keeping your “head on a swivel” but what I am not about is looking like you are doing something but you’re really not. My big three are
1.) scan and assess
2.) checking 6
3.) looking at an AR ejection port after every string of fire

Scan and assess and checking 6 are both billed as giving you critical information and done correctly they actually do. The problem is that in the conduct of both, people overwhelmingly “look” in a direction but don’t “see” anything. They look at this as a way to condition themselves under stress to be aware but what they are actually doing is the exact opposite. By “looking” and not “seeing” they are conditioning themselves to move their head left and right and not properly process anything they did look at. By not processing your surrounding with specificity you are conditioning yourself to make the requisite amount of motion and movement and falsely convince yourself that you are “aware” of your surroundings when actually you are overwhelmingly not.

In the case of looking at an ejection port every time a string of fire is complete even though there is no specific stimulus, in doing so you are convincing yourself you saw more than you actually did. I see it as wasted motion that gives very minimal and incomplete information unless a physical stimulus was perceived. My issue is two-fold: it can’t be done at night with any legitimate effect in any reasonable amount of time and if you look and actually have enough light to see the bolt in battery the only thing you genuinely know is the bolt is in battery…nothing more! If the bolt locked to the rear then you would have felt the energy transfer to the rear but not back forward and that stimulus would have told your body through repetition and subsequent learned patterns of response (muscle memory) to reload your rifle. The input on the rifle gives you feedback so if I am getting the right feedback (the gun is running) why spend time and awareness getting minimal or incomplete information? If you are going to look then do a quick press-check (which can be done day or night) but if you don’t, the only thing you genuinely know is the bolt is in battery. If the magazine was bad and didn’t lock back or feed another round then a press-check is the only way to positively identify the status of your rifle.

Scanning and assessing, checking your 6 and knowing the status of your rifle or any weapons system for that matter is not done through the physical repetition alone but through mental repetition in conjunction with physical cues. Different levels of experience allow some to be vigilant when vigilance is required but not on a drill where it is unnecessary. Less experienced people cannot differentiate between when it is a necessity and when it is not so that makes them feel compelled to do the dance every time they complete a drill. One’s ability to differentiate between the requirements of a situation speaks to how they train. Rote memorization of a “tactical dance” does not make you genuinely tactically aware. In reality it will make you less aware because you are conditioning yourself to physically act out the right answer but not get the benefit cognitively of the information it provides.

If you want to scan and assess or check your 6 after every course of fire and ACTUALLY SEE WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING AT then you are good to go in my book. If you press-check after every course of fire (and I do if there is any gap in time available along with pulling the magazine out and assessing by experience and weight if I think I am prepared for the next task) then I’m your advocate as well. Where I part ways with many is when the “gun-foo” starts and people are moving all around and looking all around and seeing almost nothing.

Looking is directing your vision…seeing is processing what you looked at. Don’t just look, see what’s there! Done properly you will genuinely be tactically aware…not just dancing around the firing line.

-Mike Pannone

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Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.


www.ctt-solutions.com

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Shooting, Sights and Steel

Steel is an incredible tool for marksmanship training due to the instant feedback and (other than an occasional repainting) because it removes the requirement to go downrange and score or service (read “paste targets”). One problem I frequently see that leads to bad or sloppy habits is poorly chosen sizes of steel. I constantly see people at ranges or in videos shooting speed drills using steel that is very large, giving the shooter and viewer a deceiving appearance of skill and or speed. For example, if you do a one-shot draw at 10 yards on a B/C zone plate as opposed to an A-zone plate, there is a completely different level of precision and skill required.

I demonstrated this concept with a Glock that had no sights at all and performed 1-shot draws on a B/C-zone steel in 1 second or less from 10 yards with ease. This drill demonstrates the benefit of good body mechanics, proper presentation, and is actually very easy to perform. This drill emphasizes the point that at combative ranges, that body position is where the speed comes from: proper use of large steel. Now change the steel to an A-zone (60% smaller surface area), and it becomes far more problematic and really a function of luck for the same 1 second shot. The point being, if you want to get faster and more accurate, doesn’t shoot targets of a size that allow hits with little to no sight picture. Work your draws on an A-zone steel or smaller. I frequently do my reload drills on a 6” round steel to force me to follow that front sight 100% of the time or miss. The benefit is continuous reinforcement of the requirement to follow the sights to get the hits…come off the sight—come off the target. The gun will follow the eyes every time so keep the eyes where they should be! I recently did a drill called “Sight Tracker” that reinforces this very concept. You can’t make the hits if you don’t watch the sights.

Take a look at it here:

The takeaway is that everybody looks like a superhero shooting big steel. Often times the result is a reinforcement of sloppy habits and bad technique along with a false sense of the speed at which you can reliable shoot and hit. Use steel that GENUINELY makes you aim and forces you to see those sights every time you break a shot and then follow them to the next shot or next target.

If you choose steel that lets you get away with little or no sight picture, that is what you are practicing…if you use small steel that makes you follow the sights every shot and work for every hit, that is what you are practicing.

In conclusion, you should choose your steel wisely!

For reference here are some numbers all in square inches to help evaluate relative difficulty:

• 6” round- 28.27 sq. in.
• 8” round- 50.26 sq. in.
• 8” square- 64 sq. in.
• A-Zone- 66 sq. in.
• ¼ size IPSC- 110 sq. in.
• A/B/C-zones – 220 sq. in. (approximate)
• Full size IPSC 430 sq. in. (approximate)

- Mike Pannone

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Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.


www.ctt-solutions.com

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Being able to perform focal shift is a skill we sometimes neglect to practice on the range. I call this being omni-cognizant. Learning to see things full spectrum while performing a focal shift is a necessary skill and easy to neglect as we get sucked into the flat range training mindset. We should train ourselves to train our eyes. At a minimum, to perform a focal shift from our sights to the fight and from the fight to reference points beyond the fight. A way to exercise our eyes is by using a Brock String (easy to find instructions on the web). This is easy to build and easy to use. A Brock string (named after Frederick W. Brock) is an instrument used in vision therapy. It consists of a white string of approximately 10 feet in length with three small wooden beads of different colors.

The Brock string is commonly employed during treatment of convergence insufficiency and other anomalies of binocular vision sometimes developed by those of us who work strictly one eye on the range. It is used to develop skills of convergence as well as to disrupt suppression of one of the eyes. It is worth the few dollars on wooden balls, spray paint and string.

Patrick McNamara
SGM, US Army (Ret)

McNamara_pistol
Patrick McNamara spent twenty-two years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. When he worked in the premier Special Missions Unit, he became an impeccable marksman, shooting with accurate, lethal results and tactical effectiveness. McNamara has trained tactical applications of shooting to people of all levels of marksmanship, from varsity level soldiers, and police officers who work the streets to civilians with little to no time behind the trigger.

His military experience quickly taught him that there is more to tactical marksmanship than merely squeezing the trigger. Utilizing his years of experience, McNamara developed a training methodology that is safe, effective and combat relevant and encourages a continuous thought process. This methodology teaches how to maintain safety at all times and choose targets that force accountability, as well as provides courses covering several categories, including individual, collective, on line and standards.

While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, he developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations. Mac ran monthly IPSC matches and ran semi annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army.

He retired from the Army’s premier hostage rescue unit as a Sergeant Major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting). He also served as the Principle of TMACS Inc.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

I tell every group I work with that shooting is science and math and the key to progressing and facilitating peak performance is a logical and cohesive training strategy emphasizing efficiency. By this I mean efficiency both physically and mentally so that no efforts are wasted. The strategy I use is based on how Olympic athletes are coached and train to reach their goals. I call it the component based approach and to illustrate it I’ll use the components of shooting while moving.

First we must identify the components of walking:

• Posture (the way we configure our body for a specific task)
• Gait (the length of our steps)
• Pace (the speed at which we take step)

These three components are essential to maintaining a high degree of balance which is defined as the equal distribution of weight over a center axis. By doing this we can describe with the appropriate level of specificity each component and then evaluate the interrelation of each as it is applied. With this approach, correction can be made to a specific component while allowing the other appropriate actions to be left alone.
The next evaluative action will be engagement speed i.e. “how fast do I shoot.” I’ll often here “shoot the sights” meaning shoot if the sights are on target or “only as fast as you can effectively engage.” These are far too obvious and far too vague to assist a shooter or to self-correct.

Second we must identify the criteria for appropriate speed:

• Proximity to the target (how far am I?)
• Level of skill (how good am I?)
• Target exposed (what effective target are can I see and engage?)

Shooting while moving is one specific example but the methodology is a common theme in my personal training as well as the training I provide. It is an efficient method of evaluation which leads to an efficient technique when coupled with two other critical component concepts:

Functioning within the physical triad:

• Strength (power)
• Dexterity (control)
• Visual acuity (vision)

Know the following critical evaluation criteria with a high level of specificity:

• What you do (establish the task)
• Why you do it (desired end state)
• How it works (i.e. the mechanism of success. What specifically makes this technique succeed?)
• Identify the most likely failure points or mistakes
• Precede those with proper training

Efficiency from Webster’s Dictionary- “the measure of the effectiveness with which a system performs.” Is your system performing as efficiently as it can? Refine the process and the answer will more often than not be a resounding YES!

- Mike Pannone

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Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.


www.ctt-solutions.com

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Social media has informed me that lots of people do not like LEOs. I have been bombarded by film clips of cops tuning up some POS. Sometimes the clips have subtitles or are put to music or include a narrative. A recent one was narrated by that pinko douche nugget Bill Maher. In his lefty diatribe, he pissed and moaned about how abusive LEOs are and referred to them as Jack Booted Thugs, because they wear assault kit. His rant included video clips of ass whoopings. As I watch these clips, one thing comes to my mind… 95% of the time, that is: “That shit licker deserved it.”

If I ever put my cops in a position where they have to question whether or not I am hostile, or compliant, because there is a clear distinction, I deserve to get throttled. If I am resisting arrest, and if I am not beaten to within an inch of my life by my LEOs, I will think of them as pussies.

Patrick McNamara
SGM, US Army (Ret)

McNamara_pistol
Patrick McNamara spent twenty-two years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. When he worked in the premier Special Missions Unit, he became an impeccable marksman, shooting with accurate, lethal results and tactical effectiveness. McNamara has trained tactical applications of shooting to people of all levels of marksmanship, from varsity level soldiers, and police officers who work the streets to civilians with little to no time behind the trigger.

His military experience quickly taught him that there is more to tactical marksmanship than merely squeezing the trigger. Utilizing his years of experience, McNamara developed a training methodology that is safe, effective and combat relevant and encourages a continuous thought process. This methodology teaches how to maintain safety at all times and choose targets that force accountability, as well as provides courses covering several categories, including individual, collective, on line and standards.

While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, he developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations. Mac ran monthly IPSC matches and ran semi annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army.

He retired from the Army’s premier hostage rescue unit as a Sergeant Major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting). He also served as the Principle of TMACS Inc.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Ken Hackathorn

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Ken with a Carbine

Make no mistake, the issue of magazine capacity and ownership is not over. We may have won the last battle, but only a fool will believe that it won’t come around again….look at the states that have imposed magazine capacity bans. Right now magazines are back in great supply, prices have pretty much returned to the pre-Sandy Hook era. Stock up now. don’t wait until the country is in another panic cycle. Whatever your primary small arms inventory includes should be dealt with right now. AR15/M4 magazines should be considered as semi-disposal, so while 8 or 10 may seem like a lot, with use they go South pretty quick. If you leave them loaded, they will either swell or the springs will relax to the point that the bolt may not lock to the rear every time when empty.

Bolt over base malfunctions are typical on the last 2 or 3 rounds left in the magazine because of weak springs that do not have enough tension to raise the cartridge base fast enough. Pistol magazines get stepped on, ran over, and abused in many ways. Any autoloading pistol should have at least 5 magazines, 10 is better. OEM magazines are generally best, with the exception being 1911 pistols. After market magazines from companies like Wilson Combat and Chip McCormick are highly recommended. Mecar magazines have proven to be excellent…I use them a lot. Many people clean and lube their sidearms regularly, but never make any effort to service their magazines. Number your magazines so you know which ones are bad and which ones are good. I prefer to have training/practice magazines, and other mags that are used for carry. Rotate magazines regularly….I do so about every six months. Remember, with any magazine fed firearm, the magazine is the weak link…have plenty in storage, maintain and take care of the ones you have.

-Ken Hackathorn

Ken Hackathorn has served as a US Army Special Forces Small Arms Instructor, Gunsite Instructor, and NRA Police Firearms Instructor. He is currently an FBI Certified Firearms Instructor, Certified Deputy Sheriff with Washington County SO, Ohio, and a SRT member and Special Response Team trainer. Ken has trained US Military Special Operations forces, Marine FAST and SOTG units and is a contract small arms trainer to FBI SWAT and HRT.

Ken has provided training to Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies and been active in small arms training for the past 25 years. He has written firearms related material for Guns & Ammo, Combat Handguns, Soldier Of Fortune, and currently American Handgunner and contributed to at least six other gun/shooting journals. Ken was also a founding member of IPSC and IDPA.

To see Ken’s Training Class Schedule visit aliastraining.com.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer SSD readers hard earned words of wisdom.

Alias Goes International

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Alias Training and Security Services has teamed up with Elite Defense to introduce their lineup of instructors to the international community. Both companies have been working on this for some time in order to comply with US State Department ITAR regulations. They’re not only going international, but they’re doing it right.

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For details, visit aliastraining.com/internationalclasses.

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

The educated shooter is invariably the best shooter he or she can be, or at a minimum is on the right track for success. I often hear people in classes or read on the internet comments about how this drill or that one is “not realistic” or “would be meaningless in a real threat situation”. The problem is they don’t understand the difference between a drill and a scenario.

The definition of a drill as per Merriam-Webster is “a physical or mental exercise aimed at perfecting facility and skill especially by regular practice”. I articulate it in my classes as “the exercise of a component skill or technique for refinement and evaluation.” A scenario as per Merriam-Webster is “a sequence of events especially when imagined”. In classes, I define it as “a situation created to evaluate judgment and the selection and application of component skills or techniques.” A drill tests a technique and a scenario evaluates both judgment and the application of techniques. How you assemble a certain sequence of techniques is called tactics. Don’t confuse drills with tactics.

In summary, selected techniques are used to create and employ tactics within the guidelines of established principles of a given system or doctrine.

Training is science and without a logical approach it is sabotaged from the start. Be smart and train smart. That’s how the best at any skill have gotten there!

- Mike Pannone

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Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.


www.ctt-solutions.com

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.