SOB Tactical 2 Day Vehicle Tactics Course After Actions Review
I am a Detective assigned to a Narcotics Task Force in NC. We do quite a bit of work around and in vehicles, so I had been trying to find a vehicle tactics class with a reputable instructor. I am a hard sell for most instructors, as I am particular about who I learn from. After having been a cop for many years, as well as a former soldier, I heavily scrutinize who has the background that I can learn from. I heard about John several years ago from a gentleman I know. They worked together at the highest level of Army Special Operations. This guy told me that John was ahead of his time, and had a great reputation in the community. So I have kept up with what was going on with his business. I was late to the game when I heard about this class. I emailed Abbie and begged to get in. I got an immediate response that I was in. I’m not going into super detail here as I wouldn’t want to deter anyone from taking this class. So you won’t find everything in this AAR.
The class was held at a private range in Georgia in a nice small town. The class was comprised of mostly law enforcement, and a couple of civilians. Great group of guys. Training Day one started at 9:00 am. I was thankful it was at 9:00 as I drove down that morning from NC. John started with a safety briefing, and was very relaxed and down to earth. He explained that day one would be a bit of science class on ballistics, and how bullets tend to affect vehicles. He also explained that vehicles are nothing more than enhanced concealment. We would soon find out how true this is. There were three different vehicles on hand at the range, a compact car, a wagon type, and an SUV. Once John finished his lecture portion, we moved the vehicles into place on the range. We began with shooting the front door of the wagon with pistols. The majority of guys were shooting full size guns. I used my CZ P09 through the entire class. John was scientific in his approach to labeling boxes on the exterior of the door for each student to shoot their specific ammunition into. Most guys were using their agencies issued duty ammo. Not giving anything away, but my take away was front doors are definitely not cover. Don’t bet your life on a door. We moved on to rear doors. My take away was rear doors worse than front doors which makes them “No Bueno.” After doors we moved to the rear section of the wagon. This section of the car did no better than the rear doors. Next we shot tires. The big takeaway for me was how fast a tire goes flat depends on what kind of tire it is, where and how many times you shoot it. It could take much longer than you would imagine. Next were the A, B, C, and D pillars. While the did a better job at diverting and/or stopping rounds John showed us they really are not any better cover as your typically only talking about a couple of inches of iffy protection at best. We then moved to the compact car. John opened both the front and rear doors on the driver’s side and we shot through the doors. John showed us that the majority of handgun rounds will penetrate both doors. Then we went to work on the pillars. Again this is “no Bueno” on the compact cars. Next John had us shoot through the windshield of the compact. Most rounds traveled through the front seat and into the trunk area. The big take away here was not much deviation if any when shooting into a vehicle through the glass. We took a break and then moved into rifle shots. The format was the same as the morning so everyone could test their specific ammo. There were a lot of questions and answers. John holds nothing back, and is great about making sure everyone learns what they need to know. We rounded out day one and sat down with John for a take away briefing where John went over the most important things to remember from day one. John then went around to every student and asked what they liked and what he could improve. This was a first for me by a shooting instructor. I was impressed. Afterwards it was off to dinner with the Sheriff to hang with a commando, and grub. The food was great and so was the company.
Day two started off with a brief lecture, and then John started us on the proper way to get out of a vehicle while being shot at. Too many take aways to mention here. But let’s just say John thinks about everything down to the simple stuff you take for granted. It’s those simple things that could get you locked into a bad position. John showed us better ways to use vehicles as cover after exiting like not crowding your cover. Things that have been systematically bred into law enforcement for years. John showed us how to move and when to move to better cover. How mobility is key. Again I know I am being somewhat vague, but I only have so much time. Once we finished exiting and moving to cover. John showed us the best way to disable a moving vehicle. Then L shaped ambushes of vehicles, and extraction of passengers. We ended day two the same as day one. John asked what everyone liked and how he could improve his class. I had a great time even though I couldn’t get a hotel, and had to sleep in the rig at the range. It was well worth it to me for the level of training.