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Haley Strategic Partners Disruptive Industries AAR

Disruptive Industries is a unique, invitation-only event bringing together Haley Strategic Partners’ industry affiliates with military and law enforcement representatives. Many in the defense sector do not have military or LE backgrounds and this event gives them a little taste of what it’s like. For industry, experiences like this are invaluable.

Disruptive Industries is designed to teach, inspire, build relationships, open communications and create new channels for innovation in the defense sector. Every experience has been devised to accomplish each of these tasks in one way or another, from training classes to meals and other organized social events. And they did all of that. Feedback from the participants was that the experience really opened their eyes. The operational side of things got to learn about what it takes to develop new products and the industry reps learned quite a bit about how their products are used and received direct feedback on what works and what doesn’t. Literally every company that participated walked away with with new thoughts on what and how they build as well as a new appreciation for who they build for.

During an ice breaker the first evening we went around the room introducing ourselves and Travis Haley set the tone. He talked about “why” he does what he does and explained that he is in the business of helping people. That really resonated with me seeing as how that is exactly why SSD was created. In fact, my original site, The Gear Guru was created for exactly the same reason. What followed was four days of learning, fun, friendship and inspiration.

The event was held in Montrose, Colorado located in the Western Rockies about 30 miles north of Telluride. Montrose is large enough to have a Walmart and a Target as well as a variety of local businesses. Generally, there is ample hotel space (at least in the Summer) but the first evening of our journey saw the city overwhelmed with 100s of bicyclists on tour. This led to some of our crew having to double up for that first night. Montrose has its own airport with Denver a good four or more hours away. According to other participants ticket prices drastically varied depending on airport of origin. Many flights were cancelled late in the day causing some participants to arrive a day late. I recommend traveling to out of area courses early in the day so as to give ample time to deal with delays.

Environmental Conditions
The area of Western Colorado surrounding Montrose is high desert. In the early Summer months, it’s hot, dry, and dusty. Fortunately, the humidity is low. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to hydrate. Each day, the participants cleaned out the bottled water and jugs of Gatorade provided by the staff as well as cases upon cases of iced Kill Cliff offered by that company. Kill Cliff was an excellent replenishment due to its low sugar and caffeine content. Also, remember to lube your weapons, liberally.

The altitude wasn’t as much a factor in fatiguing the participants as it was in dealing with the effects of the sun. Sunburn and chapped lips were much more of a threat than any pest problems. Other than a few flies and the occasional complaint of ticks, bugs weren’t an issue. Additionally, there was little shade on the range days so hydration was key.

HSP offered ample opportunity for networking. Overall, there were few breaks in training but when we did stop, they felt a little long to me. But, the time was well spent interacting with the other participants. I learned a lot about the other folks and what they do for a living. Some build good products and some put those products to good use. All-in-all, I was to learn, we were in the business of helping others.

HSP provided lunch each day and it was excellent. Additionally, HSP fed us three of the four nights. Once again, absolutely no complaints. When we did have to fend for ourselves the local fare was very good and, varied.

On the last evening we all trucked it down to Ouray, known as the little Switzerland of the US due to its local topography. Situated in a valley, Ouray made me feel like I had been transported back to the 19th Century. If you’ve seen the photo in Issue 2 of Recoil featuring Travis Haley ice climbing, that photo was taken in Ouray.

We had an excellent meal and enjoyed the evening at a local beer garden.

Rather than be redundant, my coverage of days 1, 2 and 3 is available via the links below. However, I’ll offer a few impressions. The nature of the program was to offer a veritable sampler of various training disciplines by Subject Matter Experts to those of multiple skill levels. Consequently, for some portions of the training phase of the program, the crew was split into industry and Mil/LE/Govt Contractor elements. This allowed each group to get something a little different from the training. Topics included Pistol and Carbine marksmanship and employment, Hand to Hand and Weapon Retention as well as conditioning, foreign weapons familiarization, vehicle operations in threat environments, lock picking, combat medicine and room clearing familiarization. Training was conducted by Travis Haley, Brannon LeBouef, Ron Avery, Kane Smith, Sonny Puzikas, and Jim Fuller.

Due to the nature of Disruptive Industries, the training was more familiarization than definitive yet, I was able to take elements of the program with me for later use. And, that is my training philosophy. I encourage everyone, once they get a solid grounding in the basics, to check out a variety of trainers in various disciplines. This will give you more “tools in your toolbox” allowing you to evaluate what works best for you and consider how they might be applied in various scenarios. And that’s what happened here. I don’t think everything I encountered is for me, but, I have it in my toolbag for further use if I need to further develop it.

Disruptive Industries Day 1

Disruptive Industries Day 2

Disruptive Industries Day 3

Day 4
Day 4 of Disruptive Industries was where it all came together. Participants were randomly teamed up, combining Mil/LE/Govt Contractors with Industry professionals. HSP added the element of the unknown as well as UTM ammunition to a series of experiential learning scenarios. I won’t delve into details but many of the skills from the training phase were put to the test. UTM excellent, instantaneous feedback. AARs were also used to reinforce the focus of the scenarios. Several industry participants have told me that this was their “epiphany” experience and it now helps guide their design efforts.

HSGI, G-Code Holsters, Impact Weapons Components, Arc’teryx LEAF, Outdoor Research, US Palm, B5 Systems, Emissive Energy/Inforce, UTM, Rifle Dynamics, Dark Mountain Research, PNW Ammunition and Kill Cliff as well as media reps from ITS Tactical

To sum it all up, Disruptive Industries was an excellent program and I am honored to have been asked to participate. The interaction with the other participants was invaluable and the team at Haley Strategic Partners is top notch. Thanks to all!

I highly encourage you to consider HSP’s Disruptive Environments programs which take training from the flat range into the realm of decision making. Skills are taught and then tested in realistic scenarios and that is where application begins.

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6 Responses to “Haley Strategic Partners Disruptive Industries AAR”

  1. R.Anderson says:

    This class was invaluable on many levels. The least of which was having the honor of being bitch slapped by our host here at SSD!

  2. Jim Fuller says:

    Excellent write up, this class IMO was everything it was intended to be, the experiences and friends made were invaluable.
    It was great meeting you there!

  3. Baker says:

    great write up, great event

  4. Ken says:

    Great to meet all of you for an outstanding training event and I hope to be able to do it again in the future.

  5. Brannon L. says:

    Thanks for coming out guys. Plenty of learning and a lot of laughs.

  6. Sam Cro says:

    Great write up Eric !! It was nice to put the names to faces. Great knowledge transfer between the trigger pullers and industry guys. Looking forward to next years event !!