TYR Tactical

Posts Tagged ‘Northern Red’

Gunfighter Moment – Northern Red

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

OPPOSITION BASED TRAINING

Those who have attended a Northern Red CQB course fully understand our philosophy on Opposition Based Training. We incorporate Force-On-Force iterations throughout our curriculum because we are acutely aware of the vast benefits it provides. Northern Red only concerns itself with TTP’s that address, and defeat active resistance. This is reflected in all of our marksmanship and tactics based programs of instruction. Using live role-players who will fight back is the means in which we apply this ideology during Close Quarters Battle training. Today, we are going to discuss the purpose and benefits of utilizing force-on-force training. We will also identify several key elements that will ensure the desired end state of opposed training is continuously met.

Mike Tyson said it best when he stated, “Everyone’s got a plan until they get punched in the face.” This is an outstanding quote from a professional in a combat sport that directly correlates to the main reason we stress the use of opposition based training; Vetting Tactic’s, Techniques, and Procedures. How many fighters that faced Tyson during his prime had the perfect fight plan? They trained and implemented what they thought would work against him, only to find themselves on their backs staring at the ceiling. So what went wrong? Was their plan wrong? Were their tactics inferior? Were they simply overwhelmed by superior skill and ability? The answers to these questions can be debated, but we feel the main reason they were unsuccessful is crystal clear. They did not train against someone that resembled the speed, power, and style of fighting that Tyson possessed. Once they got hit with that type of power, it was overwhelming and usually led to a quick and painful demise. Just like combat sports or hand-to-hand fighting, the only way to truly vet a combat based TTP is to test it against strong and consistent resistance. If no one fights back, you can literally employ any technique you wish and come out on top. From one man clearing techniques, to overly complicated ways to navigate through hallways and intersections; if you do not encounter real resistance, you will always “seem” to be successful. This non or passive resistance style of training breeds a false sense of confidence in TTP’s that have never been truly vetted. Many TTP’s brief well, but the true test is if they consistently work against a ready, willing, and committed opponent.

Another reason for implementing this type of training is the real-world atmosphere it provides. Fundamentally, force-on-force training is the most accurate representation of combat that can be administered in a safe and controlled manner. Opposition based training induces stress, allowing assaulters and leadership to understand how they as individuals, or as a team, handle dynamic and chaotic situations. Very few people become overwhelmed when shooting paper targets. This is obviously the optimal setting used to instill the fundamentals of any TTP. However, if we constantly stay in this comfort zone, we are setting ourselves up for failure. We must provide an environment that will induce the physiological effects of stress, and provide it as often as possible. Through mental preparation and the proper training, we can learn to cull these effects, catching their onset and having the means to deal with them accordingly. Furthermore, fighting a person has a completely different feel than encountering static targets. Dummies and paper do not shoot, move, or communicate. We have rarely seen students shoot paper targets without acquiring their sights. They shoot these targets the same way they do on the range. On the other hand, we frequently see students engaging live role players looking over their aiming device. Why? Seeing a human behind your sights is different than seeing a two-dimensional piece of paper. Force-on-force training is the only way to attain and understand the sensation of acquiring your sights on a real person and deliver enough rounds to the right location in order to eliminate the threat in a non-lethal environment. In our opinion, simulators are a waste of time and money. Although they can be fun to train on, they do not produce the necessary end-state that live opposition does. Training and range scars will rear their ugly heads if opposition based training is not consistently put to use. These scars are ultimately paid for in blood.

Here are some common mistakes encountered when using Force-on-Force training and suggestions from the Northern Red crew to maximize this incredible training tool:

1. Setting up the same layouts.

People all too often use the same facility, with the same layout, and same positions for the OPFOR. We understand that training sites are, and can be limited, but you can still give different looks to the trainees. Mix up the layouts and position of the role players as much as possible. You do not want assaulters “gaming” the run. You’re not training for an IPSC match, where competitors get to walk through stages before shooting, so attempt to provide a wide variety of looks as often as possible.

2. Failing to strategically emplace OPFOR.

We use OPFOR to drive home key learning points such as: looking deep, simultaneous clears of opposing threat areas, proper clearance of sectors of fire, etc. If you just set role players somewhere and do not have a valid reason for them being in that location, training can de-rail quickly. If you are trying to drive home the point of sectors in depth, then set up the OPFOR deep in the next room ensuring the assaulters are seeing deep through the open door. Always have a purpose for the location of role players.

3. Not briefing role players for their particular job.

We suggest that OPFOR be individually briefed for what their role is during that particular iteration. When we emplace OPFOR, we provide them with detailed instructions and specifically describe what we want them to do or look for. In addition, we instruct OPFOR to stay in an engagement until they are accurately engaged multiple times. Allowing OPFOR to quit the fight too early does not provide a realistic encounter to the assaulters, it builds a deadly training scar. After all, we are training for the people who will fight us to their last breath, right?

4. Not using new guys as OPFOR.

One of the best ways for a new assaulter to understand the consequences of their mistakes is to use him as OPFOR. The learning point will be evidently clear to him when he sees someone makes a similar mistake. He will now see from the enemy’s perspective, which is worth its weight in gold. This will intensely reinforce the “why” behind the TTP’s, and limit the amount of times they repeat the same mistake.

5. Playing the SIMMS game.

This is the biggest pet peeve that Northern Red has regarding opposition based training. Assaulters hanging out in front of closed doors, seeking cover behind couches, or doing things they, and we, know they would never do during a real gun fight. If you wouldn’t do it with live ammo, you probably shouldn’t be doing it with non-lethal ammunition. We all know the consequences for getting shot with marking rounds. If we follow the proper safety procedures, at most they can cause some discomfort. With that being said, we must not allow ourselves or our students to play the game. It’s extremely counter-productive and highly detrimental to mission success.

We suggest that you utilize opposition based training into all of your required skill sets. Certainly, they must be used at the appropriate time and place in the learning cycle. There must be a solid foundation in the basics before you dial up the stress level. Once the foundation is set, we reinforce it with this training methodology based on the reasons we discussed. We used CQB as the main platform in this post, but you can use this type of training in many different ways. From hand-to hand, to any and all tactics, the perks of encountering human beings in training are far too important to neglect.

Gunfighter Moment is a feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Zack Harrison

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

Skills and Drills

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To get the most out of training, it’s important to understand the purpose and intent behind drills. A drill can be defined as the repetitive practice of a skill, or a set of skills, in order to become increasingly proficient in the targeted action, while becoming more knowledgeable in the purpose of its implementation. All drills should be purposeful and relevant to what the end user is attempting to achieve. From a shooting perspective, it’s critical that we understand the “why” behind the drills we use on the range.

Let’s take a look at the “Target Transition” drill for pistol. We set this up with three IPSC or VTAC targets spread out one meter apart. The shooter is 8-10yds away facing the target line. Starting positions is pistol holstered and both hands above the shoulders. On command, the shooter will draw and shoot two shots on each target, attempting to place all rounds to the A-Zone in the body. This is a great example of a drill that works multiple skills. The draw, controlled pairs, recoil management, proper trigger reset, leading with the eyes to the next target, and driving the gun in recoil are the applied skills for this course of fire. The primary concept to comprehend is that most of these skills should be isolated and trained prior to running a drill such as this. The new or previously untrained skills for this drill should be leading with your eyes to the next target and driving the gun to a new location in recoil. For the shooter to get the most value out of this drill, they should have a thorough understanding, and a solid foundation of the other skills required. If the shooter has a weak or inconsistent draw and does not understand the concept of resetting the trigger in recoil, they will not be focused on the “new” skills that target transitions provide. We build up to complex drills such as this, ensuring the baseline is established for each individual skill before adding more to the plate.

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Target Transitions is one of Northern Red’s favorite combat marksmanship drills. As previously discussed, it works a large spectrum of shooting skills. Putting all of these skills together consistently will drastically improve a shooter’s weapons handling. But more important than the skills it trains, is the realistic transfer of those skills to a combat situation. This is the “why” behind it. Some may say that this drill is primarily training the shooter to deal with multiple threats. We agree that is one reason why target transitions are important, but we believe there is a greater and more plausible purpose. Humans will move when engaged with firearms. This happens to be the most predictably thing encountered during a gunfight. The main reasons, in our opinion, to become proficient on this drill is to practice shooting a moving target and training our eyes to move and see faster. These skills directly correlate to all engagements, and should be trained consistently. The likelihood of needing these skills in a real-world situation is high. That, fundamentally, is the main reason this drill is so important to understand and master.

If you find yourself struggling on a certain shooting skill, we suggest you break the skill down and run drills that specifically target that area. A perfect example is someone who has trouble consistently finding their sights on the draw. If the proper mechanics of coming down to the gun and clearing the holster are not the issue, then isolate the problem area. In this example, the shooter should work on the presentation from the ready position, which is the second half of the draw-stroke. Rep that out until you are finding your sights in the same spot consistently and watch what it does for your draw.

Training should be fun. If you are not enjoying it, you’re less likely to continue putting in the time and effort to get better. We are not saying run boring drills, we are suggesting utilizing the drills you or your unit needs. Make sure they are targeting specific skills that are relevant to your job, or emulate situations you may encounter. As always, never shy away from your weaknesses, especially if you are deficient in a skill needed to perform your duties. Additionally, make sure you, your teammates, or your students understand the “why.” This final point is vital for information retention and application of the skill on game day.

Gunfighter Moment is a feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Zack Harrison

Saturday, April 7th, 2018

In today’s post, we are going to dive into the discussion of physical readiness. The purpose of this article is not to describe which physical training program Northern Red thinks is the best; it’s to discuss the importance of keeping our bodies physically prepared. We will examine why it’s imperative to maintain a high level of physical readiness in order to succeed.

Why is it important to maintain a high level of physical readiness? We are going to break this down into two categories: Job performance and cultural aspects. If you carry a gun for a living, you have many additional duties you need to perform other than shooting. Many of these require physical exertion. Running, climbing, combatives, etc.…. If you fail to maintain a state of physical readiness you are setting yourself, your partner/team, and those you’ve sworn to protect up for failure. Being physically fit is, unarguably, crucial for optimal performance.

It’s very difficult to make good decisions or shoot well when your heart rate is through the roof. It’s impossible to make entry if you do not possess the ability to climb over the wall that separates you from the residence. All of your others skills go right out the window if you cannot physically make it to where you need to be. Ineffectiveness comes on rapidly in those who do not train properly. Your body must be acclimated to physical stress in order to conduct the tasks you are required to perform.

From a cultural perspective, physical readiness is a gateway into every combat arms SOF unit. From Ranger School, to SFAS (Special Forces Assessment and Selection), and BUDS, they all have must pass physical fitness requirements just to begin the course. This is the initial thinning process, which continues as these courses progress. The ideology behind it is if you cannot show up physically ready to go, then you do not deserve to even try out. Everyone of Northern Red’s instructors have worked in places where you give everything you’ve got just to be average. That’s one aspect of the culture, and everyone is held accountable. It was not uncommon for us to show up for work in the morning and have a PT test without warning. Whether that be running an Obstacle course, a ruck march, or some grueling event your TL came up with the night prior. You had to be ready for Performance on Demand. No warm up, no re-test. What you brought that day is all you have, and no one cared about what you did last week. This is the environment and culture that kept people from becoming complacent. Everyone on the Northern Red team keeps themselves in shape, and none of us are on Active Duty anymore. Why? We keep a high level of physical readiness because we know that we could still be called upon to perform on demand, and we refuse to allow laziness and complacency to keep us from succeeding.

There are many other positive effects that fitness provides. We can say we don’t judge people based on our initial assessment of them, but in reality, humans are extremely judgmental. The first thing most people notice in others is physical appearance. If you take care of yourself, bad people are less likely to do bad things to you. Physical readiness shows that you have a high level of self-respect, which leads to many other sought after traits. There is also indisputable evidence of the positive mental effects of staying fit. The old saying of “sound body, sound mind” may not always be accurate, but for the most part, this adage is more true than not. From first impressions, to self-confidence, performance, and stress reduction, consistent physical training has too many valuable attributes to neglect.

With all of our combined experiences, we’ve probably done every fitness program invented. It’s very hard, if not impossible to be incredibly good at everything at the same time. If all you do is power lift, then you probably are not running or conducting High Intensity Training. We believe that you must be well rounded in regards to physical fitness. You need to be able to run up 10 flights of stairs with kit on and the next minute you need to be strong enough to casualty carry your buddy back down. Think about a Strong Safety on an NFL team. He’s fast enough to cover people and he’s strong enough to take on blocks from lineman. He is quick, agile, and highly explosive. That, is a complete physical specimen. There are plenty of excellent, well thought out programs that will advance your overall physical capabilities. Our suggestion is that you ask yourselves two questions when deciding on a program: 1. Is this functional and applicable to my job and its requirements? 2. Am I willing to commit to doing it? If your answer to question 1 is no, then find another one that better suits your needs. We cannot provide any insight if you answer no to question 2. That’s an individual issue that must be figured out from within.

What could the consequences be for failing to maintain a high level of fitness? We could give examples and “what if’s” for another five pages. We will provide one and the rest is left for you to decide. Your buddy is shot and needs to be moved to a position of cover to receive medical treatment. You get to him, but you do not possess the strength to pick him up and carry him. You’re weak, winded, and have made the conscious decision to blow off PT for God knows how long. He succumbs to his wounds. Now picture yourself watching his grieving wife being handed a folded flag. Let that sink in for a minute.

Gunfighter Moment is a feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – John Ellison

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

Scoped Combat Carbines
Urban/Suburban

Close Quarter Battle is the most dangerous mission that anyone can undertake, so it is important to mitigate risk en route to an objective and to gain every advantage possible before committing to a fight. Above all else, maintaining surprise is paramount. There are configurations and components that will help end users retain this advantage in the field.

The weapon system can run as short as an 11.5” 5.56×45 given the 50-200 meter range that most engagements will occur, but typically a 16” barrel is the maximum length manageable without potentially degrading shooter performance.

Fired from a 11.5” BCM carbine, the Barnes VOR-TX 70 gr Triple-Shock X(TSX) bullet delivers an average muzzle velocity of 2500 FPS. Barnes internal testing has demonstrated repeatedly that the 70 gr TSX performs as designed at velocities down to 1800 FPS. That means when fired from an 11.5” upper, reliable terminal performance can be expected out to 220 meters.

When employing a defensive marksman type rifle, ie a 16” BCM, a 77 gr SMK Sierra Match King delivers a muzzle velocity of 2671 FPS. Ballistics testing performed by Crane indicate that the round will yaw and fragment as designed reliably out to 300 meters. The match characteristics of the round improve hit probability on targets out to 600 meters.

Suppressors both reduce visual signature from a shot and give the bullet a potential 15 feet per second(+/-) bump in muzzle velocity (which is essential for lethal effect on target out of short barreled rifles). There are also shorter CQB suppressors(4” +/-), built specifically for 14.5” carbines, that will reduce the visual signature of the weapon, but will have less of an effect dampening the report.

Variable power scopes can look into buildings, through windows, sometimes 1-2 rooms deep depending on the layout of the structure. This means seeing who is present inside a structure and if they are armed. Gathering this information before the element enters a building allows them to plan and prepare detailed first hand data about an area before they commit to owning it.

Today, there are 1-6 scopes that are compact enough to work on a short carbine with an eye box generous enough at 1x to be employed as fast as a red dot with some good training reps. Adding a Throw Lever – referred to colloquially as a cat tail – to a scope will allow the end user to quickly cycle from 1x to max magnification and back, giving the shooter the best platform for their situation as it evolves.

Today’s raids are often conducted from an offset position, requiring the element to patrol into the target from as far out as 10 kilometers. This adds to the likelihood of maintaining surprise, and allows for a continual reconnaissance with scopes, gathering detailed information on nearby structures as the element approaches. If a threat presents itself, suppressed weapons do not produce sounds typically associated with gunfire and reduce the likelihood of alerting the local population.

Once at a target structure, commandos will often spend only 60-90 seconds inside clearing and capturing the building before establishing and maintaining security in and around the location. This can take the form of both rooftop overwatch or blocking positions on the street itself. Time on target can range from 10 minutes to 48 hours, depending on the objectives of the raid.

During this time, it is not unusual for nearby neighbors to observe the scene from their rooftops or leave their homes entirely, and approach the target on foot to further investigate. With variable powered scopes, security teams can quickly and accurately scan for the presence of weapons, web gear, radios, phones or threatening actions and respond to them before they can be employed against the element. There are also clip-on thermal and night vision scopes that can be added to a carbine that will allow the user to collect this information even in low light/no light settings.

There is no one-size-fits-all weapons system. Optics and carbine should be tailored to your setting and objectives to increase your performance and survivability in situations the user is most likely to encounter in that setting.

John Ellison
Instructor – Marksmanship, CQB
Northern Red

John is a Special Forces Combat Veteran With Service in 3rd Special Forces Group’s Commanders In Extremis Force. Currently, he’s a Marksmsnship and CQB instructor with Northern Red, a Private Military Firm specializing in training elite military and law enforcement units for counter terrorism, hostage rescue and close quarter battle missions.

Gunfighter Moment is a feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and they regularly bring us different trainers to offer words of wisdom.

Northern Red – 2018 Open Enrollment Schedule

Friday, September 1st, 2017

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Northern Red has just released their 2018 open enrollment schedule. View the full schedule and sign up at www.northernredtraining.com/training_schedule.php

The Capability – An Original BCM Production

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

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The Capability is a brand new series from Bravo Company, directed by Jon Chang of American Gunfighter and Black Powder Red Earth fame. You can view the first episode by clicking the image above.

Check out the official release at soldiersystems.net/2017/08/31/the-capability-an-original-bcm-production.

The Capability – An Original BCM Production

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

BCM

Hartland, WI – August 31, 2017 – BCM is proud to announce, The Capability, a new series produced by BCM and created and directed by Jon Chang (creator/director of the American Gunfighter documentary series and the Black Powder Red Earth™ graphic novel series).

The first chapter of The Capability is a demonstration showcasing instructors from Northern Red working side by side with students from a counter terrorism unit, executing a multi-breach multi-team hostage rescue mission.

Staffed exclusively with US Army Special Operations combat veterans, Northern Red specializes in developing core skills, the application of those skills and internal cultural transformations of law enforcement and security forces at metropolitan and national levels. BCM provides Northern Red the most capable and reliable weapon systems possible, required for high-risk zero fail missions such as hostage rescue, combat raids and high threat dignitary protection missions domestically or abroad.

The Capability is a celebration of the men selected to preserve our nation at tip of the spear.

Stream the episode on YouTube here youtu.be/3yReIGUV9UE

Learn more about Northern Red’s services at NorthernRedTraining.com and BCM weapon systems at BravoCompanyMFG.com

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