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It is the VIEWPOINT of this publication to provide articles that educate, engage, maybe even shock the reader. VPTAC contributors are experienced MIL, LE, PMC, Homeland, Intel, Trainers, Operators and more. They contribute because they feel the need to speak about their VIEWPOINT. Some will engage us with world events others the latest training observations... others may shed some light on things we know nothing about.

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  • VIEWPOINTTACTICAL.COM

    HUNTING AL QAEDA:

    HOW TOGET KILLEDPART IIIBy Michael Yon

    STANDARD OF TRAINING,THE REST OF THE STORY.By Dave Agata

    ITS ALL IN YOUR MINDBy John Gomez

    A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS

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    OURVIEWPOINT

    It is the VIEWPOINT of this publication to provide articles that educate, engage, maybe even shock the reader. VPTAC contrib-utors are experienced MIL, LE, PMC, Homeland, Intel, Train-ers, Operators and more. They contribute because they feel the need to speak about their VIEWPOINT. Some will engage us with world events others the latest training observations... others may shed some light on things we know nothing about.

    Diversity is the name of the game here and the mission is simple.....to offer UNIQUE VIEWPOINTS from a diverse set of contributors from all aspects of the TACTI-CAL Community. Some of the topics that may be covered include:

    Global Operations, Charity, Intel, Psyops, Training, Tac-Med, Maritime, EOD, Politics, Human Trafficking, Drug War, Canine, Job Creators, Comms, Survival, Sniper, Pro-tection, Disabled Vets Speaking Out, Books and more.

    VIEWPOINTTACTICAL.COM

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    VIEWPOINTTACTICAL.COM

  • THE NETWORKThe VPTAC Network is how the information is disseminated. Built upon the viral philosophy we

    feed the publication into networks which ensure a tactical readership. (published online at issuu.com we hope for organic growth as well)

    HOW TO SHARE YOUR VIEWPOINTIf you would like to become part of the VIEWPOINT TACTICAL group of Writers, Advertisers

    and Network Contributors please contact us. Your thoughts are very much welcome and we hope that we can build a relationship to further our mission.

    THE BASICS 48-64 page digital turn page magazine. CLICK THE LINK AND READ no apps necessary published at ISSUU.com (which has a large

    reader base) readable and downloadable on Windows, MAC, Ipad, Iphone, Android..etc. The Magazine is FREE! LARGER TYPE for better digital reading. 2 AD Sizes (full and half page) all ads are hot linked as are text links.

    SECTIONS World Overview: World Views and Politics Frontlines: Home and Abroad Learning Curve: Training of all types Drug Front: The world beneath Secret Squirrel: Intel / Psyops Perseverance: Disabled Vets Speak Workforce: Hiring Vets etc Lets talk!: Interviews By the Numbers: Facts about Everything

    ABOUT THE LOGO Raven: Messenger, Guide, Cunning, Swift Moving Intelligence Color: Black (Strength) White (Illumination) Shield: Protection Skull: Represents Mortality Sword: The Upright White Sword means Purity in Vigilance Key: Knowledge Oak Leaf: Strength Olive Branch: Peace and the Search of.

    VIEWPOINTTACTICAL.COM

  • CONT

    ENTS 8 HUNTING AL QAEDA: HOW TO GET KILLED PART III

    By Michael Yon

    18 STANDARD OF TRAINING, THE REST OF THE STORY. By Dave Agata

    24 ITS ALL IN YOUR MIND By John Gomez

    32 NUMBERS

    ISSUE 6, WINTER 2015

    VIEWPOINTTACTICAL.COM6

    PUBLISHER:VIEWPOINT TACTICAL Magazine is published by: MAD4ART International LLC.,P.O. Box 56454, Virginia Beach, VA, 23456. / [email protected] / 757-721-2774 / MAD4ART.COM

    MAD4ART INTERNATIONAL LLC 2015 ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDU.S Department of Veterans Affairs,Registered Veteran- Owned Small Business (VOSB), DUNS: 829545115

    Articles that appear in VIEWPOINT TACTICAL Magazine or on VIEWPOINTTACTICAL.COM are for informational purposes only. The nature of the content of all of the articles is intended to provide readers with accurate information in regard to the subject matter covered. How-ever, some of the articles contain authors opinions which may not reflect a position considered or adopted by VIEWPOINTTACTICAL.COM. Articles are published with the understanding that VIEWPOINTTACTICAL.COM is not engaged in rendering ANY advice, instruction or opin-ions. VIEWPOINTTACTICAL.COM has taken reasonable care in sourcing and presenting the information contained in VIEWPOINT TACTICAL Magazine or VIEWPOINTTACTICAL.COM, but accepts no responsibility for any physical or emotional injury, damages of any kind, financial, or other loss or damage. There is no promise or warranty, either expressed or implied regarding the content of any published submission appearing in this publication or website.

    VIEWPOINT TACTICAL Magazine is published by MAD4ART International LLC., P.O. Box 56454, Virginia Beach, VA, 23456. Contributors, who wish to submit manuscripts, letters, photographs, drawings, etc., do so at their own risk. We do not guarantee publication of unsolicited manuscripts. Materials submitted cannot be returned, and the contributor authorizes VIEWPOINT TACTICAL Magazine to edit for content and space. Please provide captions and credits for all photographs. By submitting all photos, logos and text to VIEWPOINT TACTICAL Maga-zine and VIEWPOINTTACTICAL.COM you certify that you have photo releases and or permission that you have the right to use and are giving permission to use all photos, logos and text. By submitting material, you certify that it is original and unpublished. If it has been published you have the rights to the work and rights to republish. Reproduction or reprinting in whole or in part of any portion of this publication without written permission is prohibited. The opinions and recommendations expressed by individual authors within this magazine are not necessarily those of VIEWPOINT TACTICAL Magazine, VIEWPOINTTACTICAL.COM or MAD4ART International. LLC.

    CONT

    ENTS

  • ISSUE 6, WINTER 2015

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    HUNTINGAL QAEDAHOW TO GET KILLED PART IIIBy Michael Yon

    First, a recap of the end of yes-terdays mission which is im-portant to todays mission:

    Two men had been killed on the 15 July mission. Our guys

    shot them. Warning shots were fired, the driver sped up and our guys rained bullets. Slugs kicked up dust, some bullets strik-ing the van, but it kept going. A fusillade commenced, and about 20 seconds after the first shot was fired the van was get-ting away. It had nearly escaped. A Brad-ley gunner was tracking the van in his crosshairs. He squeezed the trigger on his 25mm cannon.

  • BAM BAM BAM BAM

    Concussion from the shots slapped the ground and popped up moon dust around the Bradley. It sounded like a giant jack-hammer. Each bullet weighs about four times more than a golf ball, and traveling thousands of feet per second, 25mm shots are devastating to human bodies. A single shot can pop a man into barely recognizable chunks and bits. The four bullets trav-eled at nearly one-mile-per-second toward the van in front of us. Each bullet contained explosives. The first 25mm penetrat-ed above the right rear taillight leaving a bowling ball sized hole, exploding inside with a brief fire ball caught by my video. A benefit of explosive rounds is that after they explode, they dont travel a mile or two and possibly whack someone who was not involved.

    All four rounds hit the van, and instead of the bullets shov-ing through and knocking a wall down, they exploded in the van. The driver died instantly and crashed off the road into a ditch. His body was blasted partially outside the van, his foot caught by the steering wheel leaving him hanging upside down, oozing and dripping blood and bodily fluids into Iraq. One shot somehow managed to strike the roof behind the driver. The Bradley gun must have been higher than the van. (Bradleys are taller, and the roads seemed flat.)

    An Army medic treated the wounded. A man had a sucking chest wound. They call it a sucking chest wound because it sucks. Air goes through the hole directly into the lungs. In this case, it

    was like having an extra nostril on his back. His lung is now filling with blood and he is drowning, and its important to plug the hole in his back. They tried. He died.

    Net result: two wounded, two killed, several detained and released. These were 1920 Revolution Brigade fighters, and in an honest case of mistaken identity and mis-communication, they were killed.

    Most interesting is that we were sup-posed to join up with the same group tomor-row morning 16 July to hunt for al Qaeda.

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    FRON

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    ESTomorrow Morning

    Tomorrow became today, and we met by the Bradleys on FOB Warhorse in Baqu-bah for the pre-mission briefing.

    The mission was to link up with Iraqi Army and then together link up with 1920s fighters.

    Some Americans did not want to go on the mission. They dont trust the 1920s guys, the sky was overcast to the point

    where there would be no medevac heli-copters for us, and since these men are all veterans, nobody needed to underline the point. But they keep pushing into harms way, and they were hunting al Qaeda with-out good medevac.

    IEDs are easy to emplace. The bombs can be emplaced in just a minute, and the enemy knows that if they can predict which way we are going, and get in front of us, they can get us. That tire on the front right could contain enough explosives to obliterate us. One of those shops could be stacked to the ceiling with explosives, or enemy fighters who could do a quick and hard ambush.

    And we walked. Ice production. Ice is used in the making of some of the explo-

    sives. Powerful bombs can be hidden in the bike frames and then the bike can be quickly leaned on a wall in front of us. We passed the ice into high sniper threat area. If rockets or mortars come down, luck and God are your only shields. Hand grenades are often thrown over walls. Walls are sometimes packed with explosives from the other side.

    We walked over what Soldiers later thought was a deep buried IED. If there was

    a bomb, they didnt find it. There is water to the right. If fire comes from the left and you dive for cover and fall into water too deep, the heavy gear can drown you before you get it off. Threats are everywhere.

    Small holes sometimes are punched through walls where an AK barrel can sud-denly stick through. The enemy could make dozens of holes in the walls, keeping cam-ouflaged, and then suddenly dozens of AKs can be firing from the walls and you can hit them easily because they are behind the walls. Urban combat is among the most stressful environments in the world.

    The 1920s guys were late, and wanted us to come to them. The American lieuten-ants in charge of our patrol said No, they

    Small holes sometimes are punched through walls where an AK barrel can suddenly stick through.

    The enemy could make dozens of holes in the walls, keeping camouflaged, and then suddenly dozens of AKs can be firing from the walls and

    you can hit them easily because they are be-hind the walls. Urban combat is among the most

    stressful environments in the world.

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    EScome to us. They did not want to walk into a 1920s ambush. The 1920s are good fight-ers and yesterday we had killed two of their guys just minutes away from this spot. We stayed at an intersection for what seemed like an hour, but probably was only 30 min-utes. A family was in a nearby home wail-ing and crying hard for the men killed yes-terday. They treated us well, but our own soldiers were callous about it. Maybe they have seen too much death.

    The 1920s guys sent a kid on a bicycle with a message that we should go to them, but again the two lieutenants wisely re-fused, and finally said to hell with it. We would do the mission with the IAs alone and not take the 1920s. We began moving.

    We passed house after house. Many were empty. Empty houses that are well kept are a bad sign, and these homes were well kept. People definitely were living in them. And al Qaeda was almost certainly out there trying to predict which way we would walk. I knew it. Could feel it.

    Instead of breaking the gates open, an Iraqi soldier would dangerously crawl over the walls and open the gates. They did not

    ransack any of the houses, and were re-spectful to the property.

    Its important to stay away from the soldiers carrying rockets. During combat, he might whip around quickly and fire, and if you are on the backside of the launcher, the blast and burns can be lethal.

    We were told there might be snipers waiting. One of our platoons took the left

    flank. We were walking along a raised road, and the walking was dangerous, so the pla-toon headed out to cover the flank.

    Where are they? Sometimes you are the hunter, sometimes the hunted. The people needed to see that these areas would be patrolled despite the danger. In this type of warfare, the object is to protect the people, not the Soldiers. If the people begin feeling safer, they will help the security forces and turn the tide.

    A soldier showed up without gloves. Very important to wear gloves in this kind of combat, also hes the machine gunner. The gun gets extremely hot during fire-fights. Someone saw that he didnt have

    Where are they? Sometimes you are the hunter, sometimes the hunted. The people

    needed to see that these areas would be patrolled despite the danger. In this

    type of warfare, the object is to protect the people, not the Soldiers. If the people

    begin feeling safer, they will help the security forces and turn the tide.

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    FRON

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    ESgloves and gave him one. During the upcoming firefight, he burned his hand on the machinegun.

    The house was abandoned. American Sol-diers cleared it. (Four soldiers from the Brigade were killed in August when a building exploded.) This yard is maintained, but where are the peo-ple? We were probably going to get attacked.

    The heat was building up. The road is just outside the gate, and we kept pushing down. The heat was eating into people.

    Snipers were to be expected. While we were moving down the road -POW!- a shot was fired. Where it came from I do not know, but it seemed to come from the palm groves to our left, where the other American platoon was cov-ering our left flank. An American Soldier opened fire into the palm grove where the other platoon was. Id never seen anything like it. It was hard to imagine he did not know where our other guys were. Other members of the platoon descended upon him like hawks. He laughed. He was sent back to the Bradleys.

    Iraqis never seem to mind taking a second to pose for a camera.They understand the impor-tance of publicity and media better than some of our own soldiers.

    Vast amounts of infrastructure can be seen in the photos from around Iraq. Even the unpaved roads do not tend to be canyon-like obstacles. The 1920s guys finally decide to join us. They keep interval like good soldiers. They are not just a bunch of ya-hoos. You can tell by the way they move together that many were Soldiers.

    Unlike many of the Iraqi soldiers I met in Baqubah in 2005, who practically had to be drowned in a river to make them keep their fin-gers off the triggers of their weapons, I saw that every 1920s guy had control of the muzzle of his weapon, and their fingers were not on the trig-gers. The Iraqi Army fighting here today was dra-matically better.

    The ambush was set. Some of the 1920s guys stayed with us, but the others pushed through.

    The man with the wounded hand from the day before recognized me, and came up and showed me his hand. His thumb had stitches and his face showed pain. When American Soldiers saw he was in pain the day before, they had cut off his flex cuffs and treated him well, and now he was look-ing to me. I pointed him toward the medic.

    Some of the 1920s were about 300 meters down the road by now, and walk-ing into the ambush that had apparently

    been set for us. BOOOOOMMMM! The detonation looked like it must have killed five or ten of them. What comes next is often shooting and more bombs, so I dove for cov-er while turning on the video cam-era, and since I have been practicing shooting both cameras at the same time, got some still shots.

    The firing went on and on. I wasnt sure if it was just our guys (meaning Americans, IAs and 1920s) firing, or if we were in a real firefight.

    I was told later we were in a real firefight. Hard to tell sometimes be-cause the IAs and 1920s were firing the same kinds of weapons al Qae-

    da, JAM and all the rest fire. In any case, the one certain thing is that thousands of shots were fired and it was loud. Hot, too.

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    FRON

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    ESA Soldier was cool under fire. Sweating a lot,

    but he obviously had been in a few shootouts. Some American Soldiers had rushed forward to help the 1920s, but I stayed back with an Amer-ican platoon. If the lieutenant suddenly realizes hes lost a reporter on the battlefield, hes not going to be happy when we get back, so its very important that the man who brought you always knows where to find you. Our guys were firing 40mm grenades into the palm groves. The 25mm was booming away.

    As the 1920s came streaming back, some had clothes tattered from the blasts. They were dazed and agitated. The 1920s man with the clean am-munition belt was dragging it down the road and I walked up to it and pointed to it and he put it back on his shoulder where it should be. The shooting continued.

    I kept making eye contact and the Iraqis seemed reasonably okay. Amazingly, none were killed. The explosion was big enough that had they been walking in a cluster instead of keeping their intervals, there would be 1920s body parts lying all over the road. As we broke contact, the heat was tearing into people. Three American Soldiers crumpled under the weight of it, and two of them were in serious condition because their veins had collapsed. I saw Iraqi soldiers and 1920s guys staggering from the heat. They live here and are accustomed to it, but none of them was carrying as much weight as our guys. Other 1920s and IA dove for shade and stopped moving. We kept moving past the walls where people might throw grenades.

    Our three heat casualties and we raced to Warhorse, because being a serious heat casualty is just as serious as being shot. They can die. We got back to Warhorse and the ramps dropped in the heat and dust, and medics and doctors were waiting. They started their business. At least to-day there was no American blood.

    I got out in the heat and started to haul back to my tent, and one of the soldiers said, Hey, where you goin? Like I was abandoning them. Walking back, I said.Get in the Bradley and well take you there. The Bradley. Those guys think the Bradley is the best thing since flying sau-cers. Dont even think of complimenting a Stryker in front of a Bradley soldier. Soldiers will tell you what they think of gear. They dont have a lot of

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  • filters when talking about their gear af-ter theyve been in serious combat for months or years. Weve got soldiers who have been fighting for years. And so, the Bradley, the big bad Bradley, they love that thing.

    Id take a Stryker any day, but Im no military expert. That Bradley yester-day did score four hits with its 25mm on a speeding van. But a Stryker could do the same with a .50 and its got air conditioning and leg room. The Bradley is crunched tight like a model rocket you shoot mice into space with.

    Just before we dropped ramp again, I asked the Soldier sitting in front of me, Why did that guy shoot into the palm grove?

    Anger flashed over his face as he stared at the soldier sitting to my left. Hes sitting right beside you, why dont

    you ask him? I hadnt realized he was sitting next to me.

    Why did you shoot?! I asked ac-cusatorily, as upset as the Soldiers were, but he just treated the event like it was a joke. He was laughing about it, talking about how he could get sent home. But he was the only one laughing.

    When the ramp dropped, Soldiers from other Bradleys piled out and started yelling at him. They were still yelling at him as I started walking away, a slight smile curling the side of my lip, despite the scorching dust kicking up all around us.

    It must have seemed strange, like the heat had finally gotten to me. But after two days and two missions where mistakes were made, where some men died and others dropped from a heat so intense that it wavered and blurred the

    already fine line between friends and enemies, where new alliances between soldiers and former enemies were test-ed under the fire of combat, these sol-diers were not so tired or so worn from the heat to let their standards flag: they were all over that soldier who did.

    Walking away from them towards my tent, I was thinking of that stupid whistling song, where the refrain goes: Always look on the bright side of life...

    Michael Yon does not receive funding

    or financial support from Fox News, or from any network, movie, book or televi-sion deals at this time. He is entirely read-er supported. He relies on his readers to help him replace his equipment and cov-er his expenses so that he may remain in Iraq and bring you the stories of our soldiers. If you value his work, please consider support-ing his mission.

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    STANDARDOF TRAINING,THE REST OF THE STORY.By Dave Agata

    In the shadow of too many enforcement offi-cers being killed this year, we must ask our-selves how do we as the law enforcement community move forward? Many of the tacti-cal lessons in our industry have been lessons learned due to death or what is called a blood lesson paid for with the shedding of an offi-

    cers blood or major out cry by the court of public opinion. Putting aside the political and media finger pointing frenzy, blaming the law enforcement indus-try for any and all social problems, as an industry, we should be able to self examine our methods and processes for improvements in our communities.

  • An unfortunate truth in the law enforcement industry is, when cities, counties and state organizations are struck by hard fiscal times, so to are those who serve. The pension systems, the rate of pay, the ability to gain raises and most critically the training budgets are reduced or totally cut from the budgets. Yet the requirement and expectation for line officers and deputies to respond to calls for service and to be totally prepared is never given a second thought.

    The hidden concern for many officers and agencies, is the number of officers actually on the street; the national trend for attrition for law enforcement is about 15% and as high as 25% of their total agency. This loss of manpower can be due to general retirement, disillusion with the job, and recruitment to a higher paying agency, injury or the result of terminal discipline.

    As an industry we have had the same processes in place for recruitment, selection and sustainment of officers for over 50 years. This is not to say that law enforcement professionals have not spent their fair share of personal time and money on equipment and training, or that certain agencies have not made it their mission to provide the best training and equipment for their staff. Based on economics and manpower it is more of the exception then the rule.

    With available manpower being reduced nationally, the ability to take personnel off the line for regular training is an obstacle to many agencies today. The challenge is either to run

    with fewer officers on the street or the cost of paying over time for additional officers to be called in for safe coverage?

    In spite of the gloom being outlined in this article thus far, there are solutions on the horizons that many individuals (both public and private) and agencies across the country are

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    pushing forward for improvements. As an industry we must ask the rhetorical ques-tion, are we training to minimum standards or proficiency? The greater question is how we as an industry are delivering training, what methods and practices can we improve upon or are actually able to achieve based on budgets and manpower restrictions?

    If process improvement is the de-sired effect, many questions need to be asked and more importantly answered. Todays law enforcement teaching practic-es will have to stand up to a four part legal standard and question asking, is the train-ing: realistic, contemporary, repeatable with frequency and documented. Agencies nationally have a legal, moral and ethical requirement to meet minimum criteria by state and federal standards and case law. Where we are seeing the deficiencies is the disparity between minimum standards and proficiency in skill performance.

    For a taught skill to be used by officers it must be realistic to an event that has really occurred and not an idea from a tabletop exercise. For a skill to be contemporary it needs to be up to date with the equipment and practices of todays officers. For a skill to be repeatable with frequency, it needs to be teachable and obtainable by all offi-cers and then practiced during regular and frequent training cycles. Finally all of these concepts must be captured and document-ed so as to be able to reference and prove they occurred.

    The greatest challenge, which agen-cies are facing in todays courts of civil pro-

    ceeding, criminal actions and public opin-ion, is the ability to validate the training they provide. The ability for agencies to validate and track the efficiency of the training pro-vided to their officers is the greatest short fall we see today. In spite of Uniform Crime Reports and other federal crime reporting, agencies have not yet been able to analyze and quantify their training practices.

    For example, most agency admin-istrators cannot accurately respond to questions posed about the validity of the tactics their officers are been taught, which reverts us back to learning blood lessons or court actions towards an agency. The solu-tion to this problem is the addition of val-idation of training via the use of analytics. This simple process is what we teach police and military snipers, by way of a data book. This data book provides the shooter with conditions and training they have experi-enced. This information is used to improve training or to discover training deficits. This is likened to a business owner looking at their monthly, quarterly or year-end fiscal report. The methods by which most agen-cies document their training, use of force and pursuits are normally not connected and cannot really be analyzed. The ability to validate our training will require a system where officers past training, who provided the training, the tactic and skill taught, the performance outcomes and the efficiency of all these skills will be critical.

    The process by which we deliver training will also be a critical element for process improvement in the law enforce-ment industry. Agencies will have to place

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    a higher priority on the methods by which they equip and train their officers. The pro-cess for training and sustaining officer skills cannot be based on a one time delivery, it will need to be an ongoing process, with fre-quency of practice.

    The goal of reaching skills proficiency will require training practices that may be considered time and manpower prohibitive, however what is the cost of one negative inci-dent in a jurisdiction? Recognizing the basic adult learning process of: imitation, repeti-tion and trial and error, we can utilize funda-mental training methods of: static, dynamic and interactive training. Some would refer to this as a, crawl, walk and run method. It is critical that our training environments build up officers with knowledge and understand-ing, equally important is their understanding of how the training will relate and attach to the officers actual job and tasks.

    Static training provides for a low stress environment, allowing officers to see the tasks broken down in a simple format and sequence. If there are deficiencies during the training, they can be both self-corrected and instructor assisted. For example, using a clear and safe gun, practicing the changing of magazines, watching and imitating the instructors slow and methodically, step by step. This builds confidence and basic pro-ficiency, cognitive learning and acceptance occur without fear of failure and achieving the specific learning objectives.

    The next progression would be, dynamic training events, such as shooting and mov-ing, courses of fire requiring the student to meet time and accuracy measurements. This

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    may be the same drills practice during stat-ic learning, except live ammunition is intro-duced, and a simple timer and movement are added. Many times we see that stress is self-induced by students during dynam-ic training, however; the instructor is pro-vided the opportunity to correct and direct the student towards success. The key fac-tor for success is safety and achievability by the students.

    The next step in this process is interac-tive training, which can be seen best during scenario training that has role players and clear and specific learning objectives. We can agree that no one-persons actions at any one

  • moment can be known, however by equipping officers with fundamental skills, they can apply themselves to an event. If an officer under stress in training shows a deficiency they will have an opportunity to correct the action as opposed to this occurring during an actual incident.

    By the use of proper debriefs, trained role players, instructor guid-ance and technology, learning is achieved. In the past we have seen de-briefs consisting of all the things done wrong by officers or ambushing the officer with no chance of success. The use of scenario-based training also re-quires the use of static and dynam-ic training. This is a time consum-ing process, which requires the officers and role players to operate in a low or no stress environment.

    In evaluating these training methods many administrators are forced to hesitate or even draw back due to either their lack of visibility to the process and/or are restricted by the budgets of the jurisdictions they are employed. The next question that will need to be asked and answered is how we can justify the expense of im-proving our industry as a whole? Many have simply suggested plac-ing a body camera on an officer, however; the cost per officer is about $1,000.00, just for the equipment and does not cover the need for training the officer to use the camera properly. Body cameras alone will not satisfy the need for substantial changes in the American justice system, it will record the deficiencies we are seeing emphasized in the court of public opinion.

    For agency administrators to jus-tify the price tag of what training will truly cost, they will need a validating process of what they are already pro-viding. This objective can only really be accomplished with the use of a system that can capture, analyze and identify an agencies delivery of train-ing and officers use of force.

    The aviation industry during the last 50 years has reduced flight failure better known as plane crashes, by improving industry standards in equipment, mainte-nance, training and licensing stan-dards. The aviation industry began providing training and technology in, crew resource management (CRM), flight data recorders (FDR) and cockpit voice recorders (CVR) and by the use of the data com-piled and analyzed, and have de-veloped training and procedures to improve their industry.

    The Law enforcement community may be able to do the same with the use of body cameras and analytical software combined. A law enforce-ment-training firm out of Michigan, Center Mass Incorporated is produc-ing this type of software (Force LMS) and is only one example of tools being provided to the industry today that uses the power of analytics.

    For the criminal justice industry to progress forward, how they per-ceive, prioritize, deliver and analyze training to the line officer will be the critical turning point of our times. This can only be accomplished with the support of the Ameri-can public and the willing-ness for our community to improve themselves.

    The aviation industry during

    the last 50 years has reduced flight

    failure better known as plane crashes,

    by improving industry standards

    in equipment, maintenance, training and

    licensing standards. The aviation

    industry began providing training

    and technology in, crew resource

    management (CRM), flight data

    recorders (FDR) and cockpit voice

    recorders (CVR) and by the use of the

    data compiled and analyzed, and have developed training

    and procedures to improve their

    industry.

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    ITS ALLIN YOURMIND By John Gomez

    Several years ago, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FELTC) conducted a study to bet-ter understand why Law Enforce-ment Officers (LEO) involved in a an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) did so poorly, as opposed to how

    they performed during their training. Simply stat-ed, the study hoped to determine why, even though US Law Enforcement Officers have some of the best equipment, facilities and training programs, when they were required to employ their training in a life or death situation the outcome was less than stellar.

  • Overall the study found that 3.4% of LEO, when placed in a highly realistic training scenario, hit the target with only 70% accuracy. Think about that for a moment, because it is rather eye opening. What that means is that, if we had one hundred LEO and they were involved in a real-world shooting, only three of them and a midget would actually hit the target they aimed at 70% of the time. Another way to think of this is that a ninety-six officers would miss their target to-tally! The study further found that of those 3.4% who hit the target, only 19.4% of them hit the target 100% of the time, even though the target was only three yards away.

    Before you think that I am being critical of Law En-forcement Officers or their honor, integrity and guts, I am not. In fact, I think we have let down our offi-cers and my hope is to change how we address train-ing . Especially in how we prepare our officers for real world battles. I offer these statistics as a wake-up call to not only to those in Law Enforcement, but to all of us who consider ourselves to be tactical shooters and operators, regardless if you are military, civilian or law enforcement.

    Keep in mind that the FELTC study was replicated with shooters who had various levels of experience. From new recruits to SWAT officers and even those who were seasoned competitive shooters. Time and time again, weather in a realistic training scenar-

    io or in an actual OIS, the results were pretty much the same. In fact, year-over-year, FBI anal-ysis of OIS nationwide,

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    has found that on average, officers only hit their selected target between 20% and 24% of the time.

    Now before you start spouting off about your super mad skills and how you would fare much better, you might want to know that when civilians are involved in shoot-ings, yes even those that train regularly (at least 1x per week with 100 rounds) they fare even worse than trained officers. If we ex-pand this study to include military, especial-ly those who are in infantry units, we find that the hit ratio is only slightly better, hit-ting their targets about 34% of the time.

    If you are wondering, well then, who the heck actually does shoot really well when involved in a real-world force-on-force gun battle? The answer is, Tier 1 and Tier 2 Special Operators (SEALs, PJs, Special Forces, etc.). Probably not a surprise that the best shooters, are part of Americas most elite units. Yet even their statistics are not as amazing as you would suspect. That aside, they do have the best hit ratios of any tactical operator, when it comes to hitting their target consistently, in a re-al-world engagement. When I first became enlightened to these statistics, my reaction was to call bull, basically I didnt believe the math. Something had to be way wrong. How could we, with all our emphasis on realistic training, debates on weapon and ammunition choices, testing, qualification requirements, competitive opportunities - have such crappy outcomes?

    Finding the answer to that question has become an obsession of mine. I have poured over OIS reports from across the nation. Compared training approaches and budgets, looked at POST (Police Officer Sur-vival Training) curriculums and much more. I have spent countless hours trying to fig-ure out what was the missing ingredient. What skill didnt we embed in our shoot-ers that they needed, in order to vastly im-prove their shooting when the proverbial brown liquid hit the air circulation instru-mentation?

    What I finally realized, actually shocked me! After all the analysis and testing, I realized that what was missing wasnt a skill - at least not a physical skill. In fact I learned that physical skill was only critical

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    If you are wondering, well then, who the heck actually does

    shoot really well when involved in a real-world

    force-on-force gun battle? The answer is, Tier 1 and Tier 2

    Special Operators (SEALs, PJs, Special

    Forces, etc.). Probably not a surprise that

    the best shooters, are part of Americas most

    elite units.

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    in the beginning stages of learning how-to shoot. Trigger pull, stance, sight alignment and all that, are great things to know, but in after action interviews, we find that those involved in gun battles didnt really use any of those things. In fact, what was found is that other than reactionary shooting, their number one goal during the encounter was to simply stay alive.

    I have yet to find someone involved in a shooting incident, that recalled sight alignment or trigger pull. Now you might say that is the reason we require so much training, so that those physical skills are

    engrained in our being and we can natively revert to them under fire. There is a ton of truth to that, except that once we are un-der fire, before we revert to our training, we revert to being primal. Please dont think I am advocating that we shouldnt practice physical skills or establish firm ba-

    sic shooting foundations. Yet we need to respect that with all our physical practice, mother natures takes us to a primal place.

    That might seem rather trivial, but believe it or not, that little chain of events is the key, in my opinion, to why we have great outcomes in training and less than stellar outcomes in the real world. My belief is that 20% of our suc-cess in a real world encounter is our physical skills and 80% is our mental context. I realize that is a rather ballsy hypothesis, but here is something for you to consider.

    One of the key reasons that Tier 1 and 2 Special Operators are so successful, is their ability to maintain clarity and control of their mindset during an engagement. Their flight or fight system doesnt kick in and hence they remain calm, in control and engaged. An individual who sudden-

    One of the key reasons that Tier 1 and 2 Special Operators are so successful, is their ability to main-

    tain clarity and control of their mindset during an engagement. Their flight or fight system doesnt kick in and hence they remain calm, in control and

    engaged. An individual who suddenly finds them-selves under fire and their flight or fight system is activated, has resorted to a primal state. They now

    are not only fighting their opponent(s) but also fight-ing their own physiology.

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  • ly finds themselves under fire and their flight or fight system is activat-ed, has resorted to a primal state. They now are not only fighting their opponent(s) but also fighting their own physiology.

    As I continued to research this line of thinking, I divided our re-sponse to a shooting into two cat-egories. The first I termed the Criti-cal Response Mindset (CRM). In this mindset we fall back on our fight-flight-fright response (yes I added fright) which has a direct physiolog-ical correlation. What this means is, that if you are in CRM, your primal survival instinct has kicked in and that is not good - not good at all.

    Please keep in mind that due to the space limitations of an article, I cant get too deep into why we dont just call this fight or flight and why we are introducing a new term. The short story is that CRM starts well before flight or fright, but for now, lets just stick with the core CRM re-sponse, which involves, what most of know as fight or flight and I call flight-fightfright!

    During CRM your vision be-comes tunneled, your breathing increases and possibly becomes labored, your appendages can feel heavy and your mind begins to scream get me the heck out of here! On the other end of the

    spectrum you might become ex-tremely aggressive, lose control of coarse motor skills, hold your breath for too long causing rap-id heart beat. Regardless of what your body does, the point is that none of these physical reactions are going to lead to accurate shot placement. In a gun battle, aside from not getting shot, the only other thing that matters is accu-rate shot placement. Once you are in CRM, your ability to place accu-rate shots goes way down.

    So so how do you deal with CRM? You dont - you never ever want to deal with CRM. Tactical shooters and operators who are

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    highly effective in combat, never enter into CRM. If you find yourself in CRM, there are tricks and techniques you can use to im-prove your shot placement, but more than likely, you are in survival mode and it real-ly is going to be more about overwhelming firepower than your physical skill. What is needed is an alternative to CRM. You need something that keeps your physiological re-sponse in check, allows you to truly engage your physical skills and vastly improve the odds in your favor, regardless of the tactical encounter. That alternative is called TRM or Tactical Response Mindset.

    TRM puts the tactical operator into a continuous cycle where they are either in a tactically aware or tactically focused state of awareness. During the tactically aware cycle the operator is scanning, thinking and relaxed. In fact they will purposefully slow down their train of thought so as to reduce their chance of a biological response and avoid entering into CRM. As the operator re-mains in a tactically aware mindset, if they find a threat, they purposefully become tac-tically focused, which means, they actively

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    decide on the appropriate level of engage-ment, execute the decision and then return to tactically aware. This cycle of moving from tactically aware-to-tactically focused continues until they are certain there is no further risk.

    To validate the CRM vs. TRM approach-es, I have taken tactical operators and pre-sented them with very realistic force-on-force encounters. When the operators were forced into a CRM, we found that the statis-tics mentioned in the beginning of this article held true. Most operators did not shoot ac-curately and consistently. We then took the same operators and introduced them to TRM principles and found that their accuracy and consistency vastly improved. In many cases operators went from 12% accuracy to 100% accuracy in the span of a few hours.

    What does all this tell us? Well for one, we find that when a tactical operator solely focuses on physical skills and does not have a blueprint for how they will deal with the physiological and mental aspects of a gun-fight, their overall abilities suffer. It is criti-cal that you consider the entire equation in a

    gunfight. You cannot just shoot thousands of rounds and hope that when the time comes, you will just know what to do, be-cause frankly hope is a fools strategy. Secondly, we clearly know that much of why our skills deteri-orate in combat is not because of our physi-cal skills, but rather, because of what is in our mind.

  • EMBRACING TRMIf you want to expand your training to include TRM principles, here are some small changes you can adapt to your own training programs. Although there is much more to learn about CRM vs. TRM, what follows are simple exercises you can undertake to get started. TRM involves much more than is out-lined here, including matching your physical response with your mental focus, though that is beyond

    the scope of this article.

    Hyper-Realisim: Create the same physiology that you would encounter if you had entered into CRM. This means increasing your heart rate, narrowing your focus and causing other cardio and vascular challenges. You can do this through bodyweight exercises as you take on a realistic training scenario. During the scenario focus on thinking about your actions and dont just get through it as this is a sure fire way to train your mind to take over. Your goal should be to overcome the physiology, regain control

    of the situation and purposefully work through the scenario.

    TRM Cycling: The heart of TRM is the ability to switch from tactically aware to tactically focused. During your training force yourself to remain relaxed, in control and aware regardless of the scenario. This may require you to slow down and relearn some of your skills. This is normal, but learn to get into a tacti-cally aware mindset. When you see a threat, of any kind, move to tactically focused. This means that you are calm, focused, you make a clear evolution of the threat and execute your decision. You then immediately move back to tactically awarecalm and in control at all at times. You may find that your

    naturally fall back to CRM. If this happens, stop, regroup and get into TRM.

    Anytime/Anywhere: You can practice TRM anywhere, even when you are not at the range. Please keep in mind this isnt about the outdated head on a swivel concept. This is a very clear decision that you are tactically aware, you are in control and most of all you are relaxed. You can then pretend to see a threat and switch to tactically focused. The more times you practice this behavior, especially outside

    the range, the more natural it will become.

  • NUM

    BERS

    32

    NUM

    BERS

    6,872

    52,386

    320,000

    400,000

    2,700,000

    970,000

    DEATHSIraq and Afghanistan since 2001

    WOUNDEDIraq and Afghanistan since 2001

    ESTIMATED TBISIraq and Afghanistan since 2001

    ESTIMATED WITH PTSDIraq and Afghanistan since 2001*numbers compiled as of December 1, 2015http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org

    2.7 million service members have been to the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, and over half of them have de-ployed more than once.http://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/costs/human/veterans

    At least 970,000 veterans have some de-gree of officially recognized disability as a result of the wars. Many more live with physical and emotional scars despite lack of disability status.http://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/costs/human/veterans

    NUMBERSA GLOBAL VIEWPOINT

  • CALLcan make

    a difference.

    Served 1999-2003

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  • Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International Vol. 20, No.4

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