Category Archives: AAR

After Action Reports

Citizens Defense Research’s The Armed Parent/Guardian AAR

So my friend John Johnston of Ballistic Radio called me out on a recent Primary and Secondary modcast to check out his class Contextual Handgun: The Armed Parent/Guardian.  Since the class was only about 90 minutes away and hosted by the Sentinel of Freedom John Murphy at FPF Training, in Culpeper, Virginia, how could I resist? Later I was grateful to find out that Melody Lauer would be there and bring some sophistication to even out this cocktail of knuckle draggers. Together this duo forms Citizens Defense Research. I was, to say the least, intrigued. Before we begin let me lay out my background to see if me opinions are relevant to you. Lifelong martial artist (TKD, Muay Thai, BJJ), no LEO or military experience (save being an Air Force brat), NRA pistol instructor (who isn’t?). I have received previous training from George Wehby of BlackBelt Tactical, Matt Jacques of Victory First, John Murphy of FPF Training, Chris Sizelove of 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Aaron Brumley of Solo Defense, Steve Fisher of Sentinel Concepts, Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training, Pat Goodale and Wayne Fisher of PFT Training, Ernest Langdon of Langdon Tactical and private training with Al DeLeon of the State Dept’s

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AAR’s for Scenario Based Training: How to and Why

AAR. What is it? After Action Review is the short answer. Why do we do them? Because we have to. Because we’re supposed to. First Sergeant said to. Because I like to hear myself talk. The correct answer should be to give the students (soldiers, cops, whoever) feedback on their performance, to facilitate learning and to make them better. As a young infantryman I hated AARs, I felt like they were just a waste of my time. I would rather be training, or eating, or sleeping, or playing grab ass. These, many moons later, I feel quite differently about it. I honestly think that AARs are only slightly less important than the actual training itself, but only if done correctly. Over the years it has become clear to me that most people simply don’t know how to conduct an AAR. I don’t recall ever being given specific training on how to conduct one. And if you ask me to sit through one like I used to have to endure, I’ll still think it’s a waste of time. An AAR gives the students time to reflect on what happened, what they did, what they did well, and what they could have

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Sucked Down the Tube: A Failure in Training

Much, if not all training and practice is conducted on flat ranges under calm conditions with no surprises. We shoot steel and paper that we purposely place and identify. We have lanes and all sorts of safety considerations that make a day at the range a pleasant experience.  This is fine for most of us but can lead to some critical failures if you are in a line of work that may not look the same as the flat range.  For those that form either the thin Blue or Green Lines targets will probably appear in from unknown positions and ranges. Many people preach situational awareness but fail to account for it in our training. COL Boyd gave us the OODA loop, which on the surface, is a rapidly trainable flow of Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. It is a loop because as soon as you act you start over. Observe. To hit a target, you must first observe it. You could possibly be an intergalactic grand sensei with Generation Next hardware and you will still miss a target you didn’t see. With the proliferation of magnified optics, the tendency of getting sucked down the tube is becoming more prolific

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Follow Up on TC 3-22.9

A year ago, we finished the last edits on the TC 3-22.9 that published in May of 2016. For those that have taken the time to read this book, you know it’s very different than the books we have used since the 1970’s.  For those that haven’t, this post will hold less value because you have no context. I just wanted to take a few minutes to post up some responses to issues that have been brought up recently from those that are finally realizing that there is a new Sheriff in town. First off, I want to explain a bit about how books are produced in the US Army. The short version is an NCO or Officer sits at a computer and types the book. From there it goes to paid editors who are SMEs in formatting, word usage, and English. The writer has a graphics team who make bad pictures into awesome things. Then the book is set through several levels of what is called Staffing. Staffing is simply getting the draft into people hands for comments. Usually it starts with stake holders and prior to publishing the draft is sent to “World Wide Staffing” The draft is

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LMS Defense Night Vision Fundamentals Course with Daniel Bales: AAR

After Action Report Course: LMS Defense Night Vision Fundamentals Course Instructor: Daniel Bales Host facility: LMS Defense Combat Development Center Location: Fernley, Nevada Course length: 1 day *In the interest of complete transparency: I am a part time employee of LMS Defense and have worked for them as an RSO on several occasions. In addition to LMS I work with Dan Bales at my day job as a part time instructor at our agency where Dan serves as the rangemaster. I consider Dan a good friend and will strive to keep my review objective without straying into a subjective view of the instruction quality.* I recently attended 2 separate Night Vision Fundamentals Courses with Dan Bales of LMS Defense. The first was 11/4/16 and the second was 1/27/17, both were 1 day (or more accurately 1 night) classes. This class is billed as an entry level NV course geared towards getting people familiar with their NV equipment and its use.  I have also attended a NV primer course during the annual LMS Defense customer appreciation weekend in June of 2016. (This was a short block of instruction by Dan Bales and an opportunity to checkout some of the provided vendor

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SHOT Show 2017 Part Two

Part two of SHOT followed a late night of cigars whiskey and bourbon... to say that motivation was lacking this morning would be the understatement of the century. None the less we marched on in the name of providing new and exciting coverage!   Products of note: Velocity Systems / Mayflower chest rig retro kit: Velocity systems and Mayflower debuted a retro upgrade kit for guys with existing chest rigs looking to add hard plates to their kit without buying a full PC. The kit includes a plate sleeve that slides into the existing main pocket of the chest rig. The chest then attaches using existing buckles to a full back panel with an integral plate pocket and hydro pouch. The back panel is full molle and has integral shoulder straps.   This is a very promising option for anyone with a chest rig that needs the ability to up armor. Blue Force Gear hypalon pocket holster: BFG has taken the pocket holster from a questionable idea to a practical solution for carry in non-permissive environments. The pocket holster features hypalon construction  with a sleek carbon fiber fin to lock the holster into your pocket. So far the available models

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SHOT Show 2017 Part One

SHOT show 2017 kicked off like every other show I've attended...  chaos thinly disguised as enthusiasm in multicam. Notable products part one: BE Meyers MAWL: Got hands on with the MAWL for the first time. It's all it's been made out to be and more. The IR designator/illuminator market just got turned on its head and the future is very clearly a departure from the traditional rail mounted box. BFG MARCO (aka tactical pez dispenser): The crew at BFG, thanks to help from our very own Roland and Raven concealment, have made a dispenser for chemlites that no one knew they needed until they saw it.  The concept is simply a box that holds 30+ 2" chemlites with a footprint smaller than an M4 30 rounder.  The design incorporates mounting holes that will allow attachment to just about any system you're currently using.  The beauty of the MARCO is that in the space of 4 standard chemlites you can now carry enough to handle clearing an industrial complex. Nightops tactical DTNVG: Nightops tactical is providing a dual tube solution that incorporates the ability to lift an individual tube out of your line of sight without folding the entire unit up.

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Sentinel Concepts Practical Urban Carbine 6/11-6/12 Part Four

This is part four and the final installment of my AAR of Steve Fisher’s inaugural course. The rest of the series can be found at https://primaryandsecondary.com/articles/. Day two of the Sentinel Concepts Practical Urban Carbine course was a much cooler day than the humid 90-degree temperatures of the day before. Zeros were confirmed at 50 and 200. From the 100, Steve spoke of the intricacies, advantages, and disadvantages of the various seated and kneeling positions. Sling work still was key and yet more discussion on ways to develop sling tension were instructed. Steve spoke of marking lines on the sling with a Sharpie to reference what tension needed to be used with what shooting positions. Use of a pack was discussed further. Steve discussed his personal light bulb moment when hunting and sitting with his back to a tree. He took the backpack he always carried and used it in his lap. It provided support for his elbows and solidified his shooting position comfortably during his hunt, allowing him to remain in position for a much longer length of time. We practiced the shooting positions more and moved back to the 300-yard line to start the practical part of the course.

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Fun With Shockey At DARC Part 3

Once the class is done, it’s time for cleanup and it’s not a light clean up. We fired somewhere in the ballpark of 70,000 simuntion rounds during the week, both officers and OpFor, and yes ass hat, 70k not 6k, it wasn’t a typo. Being familiar with Force on Force orderings and usage, I can confidently say that is more rounds used than all of the Houston Area uses COMBINED in one year for standard training. Its impressive, even more impressive than that is the floor of the shoothouse after a week. Below I’m going to list in no particular order things I learned from a week with so many gun fights and seeing how humans act under stress: Tac Reloads ARE a thing. A lot of people say there is no such thing as a lull in the gunfight, but when you are fighting motivated individuals, there can and will be lulls. I was actively holding security against 3 or 4 opfor at time and doing Tac Reloads. With that being said, more times than not I did NOT retain the mag, I let it simply drop. I worked off my gut instinct on when to do them and

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Fun With Shockey At DARC Part 2

Day 2 of the course is a lot like the first night, except it’s not. They add more to your plate, namely the Porno. Unfortunately, that’s where my explanation of the Porno ends and you’ll just have to taste the rainbow for yourself when you attend. There is no free lunch in this course, but Rich also doesn’t put you in “no win” situations. Use the tactics correctly and things go pretty well, fall apart and you pay for it. It’s actually pretty simple. Following chronological order, Day 3 is next. This is where shit gets real interesting. You start to become comfortable, almost to the point of overly confident, at which point Rich introduces a reality check. It’s humbling and carries a great amount of learning points. You really begin to learn the importance of team work and utilizing the “system”. Furthermore, you learn that you have to look out for the team and not yourself. No bullshit, you can have a multi-cell team going in and if one dude fucks up, it can cause the team to fall apart……and when you fall apart, pain follows. Day 4 is next….I know, you’re surprised a Marine could count to 4,

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