View Full Version : AAR - Active Shooter Response Class DCT/LMS - Albuquerque, NM

November 28, 2007, 08:40 PM
Active Shooter Response Class

Conducted by Jeff Hogan, Owner of Defensive Combat Tactics
November 10/11, 2007, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sunsets are a cool thing to watch. Generally you take them in after a
hard day of work, beer in hand, sometimes, if you're lucky, with a
friend or seven. I had the pleasure of taking in just such ending,
Defensive Combat Tactics quietly closed shop and was reborn as part of
another training company. This sunset was titled 'Active Shooter
Response' and was a hard, fulfilling 2 days of learn, plan, move,
shoot, survive.

I had a lot of unanswered questions about active shooter scenarios
since my TEMS training with Tactical Solutions Group in August.
Several hastily conducted exercises left me feeling somewhat lost
about how to take other gun knowledgeable but otherwise untrained
civilians and quickly enlist them into helping to stop an active
shooter. The SWAT methodology I'd learned left me butting heads with a
reserve police officers over dynamic entry versus slower methods such
as fully pieing a room. Not to worry though, Jeff and DCT provided me
the answer to that question and so much more.


We started the day in the classroom going over what a lot of basic
terminology of what and who an active shooter is, their general goals
and levels of planning. They can stretch from basic active shooters
(that rarely make the news), to intermediate level, such as Columbine,
to advanced, such as the Beslan massacre. We also covered the details
that separate a traditional 'barricaded gunman' from what we now term
an 'active shooter'. Also we discussed a myriad of details such as how
an active shooter is considered active or inactive and how a responder
must adapt as the situation dynamically changes.

We then covered a great deal of LE only planning that I'll not cover
in depth publicly due to OPSEC issues, and the need for Tactical
Emergency Medical Training at all levels, civilian, patrol and
advanced teams such as SWAT. We covered chain of command and reasons
why the highest ranking person may not be the 'go to guy' for
immediate action teams. There was ample discussion on the three
largest topics, neutralization, containment and perimeter.

One of the most interesting protocols we discussed was that any
'additional resource' (read civilians offering assistance) had to
recognize LE/SWAT chain of command and understand that they were to
remain at a assumed post until relieved or reassigned by LE
authorities. This seems rather far fetched, but in an area like
Valencia County, NM where there are only 4 deputies on duty at any
given time for over 2000 square miles. Relief might be a long time

We also covered longer range protocols such as the mostly standardized
'Incident Command System Operations', LE SOPS, Response Guidelines,
Active Shooter Site Surveys, the 7 Incident Command Critical Tasks. We
talked a bit about diamond stack movement, traditional stack movement,
2 man stack movement and single man room clearing on paper for the
civilians and the advantages/disadvantages of each one. The final
subject was personal preparedness, training, sympathetic nervous
system, reaction times, mindset, running mental scenarios, ooda loop,
environmental conditions (low light, cover, terrain), gross motor
skills etc.

After a lunch break (which wasn't nearly as bad as someone will have you
believe) we headed to the range and geared up for the day. After a
long morning in the class room, we were ready to stretch and learn.
It's been said, this is NOT a beginners class. You should know your
weapon and be able at the minimum transition between rifle and pistol
smoothly, reload and repair weapons malfunctions without pause, to
shoot consistent and competent failure to stop drills with both pistol
and rifle, while moving both advancing and withdrawing. Sounds easy
'til ya have to do it for real. Once we all practiced this for a while
we ran the New Mexico Department of Public Safety (NMDPS) 'Shoot on
the Move Qualification' which is a requirement for being allowed to
work in the shoothouse.

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After the qualification, (egoboo: I was the only one to score 100% but
I had an advantage in that I've shot that particular qual several
hundred times both under Jeff's instruction and I also practice it on
my own), we went over and discussed shoothouse entry and exit protocol
so as not to get shot. After performing an initial walk-thru we broke
for the evening. One a personal note, many of us attended the wedding
party of Jeff and his HH6 (they eloped to Vegas last week without
telling anyone), so we went to dinner at Jeff's in-laws with many in
tow and much merriment was had. I should apologize for making a
practice run and cramming wedding cake icing up Hawke's nose. ?


November 28, 2007, 08:41 PM

We started today at 8am sharp, after gearing up we started with dry
examples of one person, two person and three+ team movement. After a
bit we moved immediately to live fire exercises, to which I objected.
After the careful evolutions during the SWAT basic skills course, I
personally felt that the class was nowhere near cohesive enough for
live fire. But it turned out that there was a method to Jeff's
madness. After allowing a student to shoot a hostage target, he used
the mistake as a training opportunity to show that sometimes people
aren't as good as they might feel that they are (no it wasn't me) and
that going in with people you hadn't worked with was harder than it
seems. So we ran dry fire for a while, cycling thru teams of various
sizes. One of the answers I'd been looking for presented itself
regarding clearing alone. Going into a room dynamically alone was too
dangerous, pieing was too slow. So Jeff showed us how to pie half the
room, then quick peek the last half dynamically then all while keeping
one eye down the hall. Hard, yes, but do-able.

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After an hour or more of dry runs we resumed live fire practice. There
were some bobbles, some hostages accidentally shot (mostly by LE
personnel for what its worth), so those teams got to run (stimulates
blood flow to the brain Jeff explained). One of the other civilian did
a partial mag dump on a target and got to run for that. Jeff explained
that if the wound channels of 'standard defensive response' (two
rounds, COM) failed to stop the shooter, then you had to 'unplug' them
accurately with aimed fire to the head. This is where the shoot on the
move quals paid off. This is something I really agree with, throwing
lead downrange is fun, no question, but precise shooting while on the
move stops the threat, minimizes collateral injuries, conserves ammo
for longer engagements and reduces liability, which plays into all of
our mental game plans whether we admit it or not.

November 28, 2007, 08:42 PM
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One of the SWAT team members volunteered to go pick up lunch for
everyone and while we waited for him to come back, four students, two
civilians and two LEOs opted to try to make it thru the SWAT obstacle
course. One of the civilians injured his knee and DNF'd, the other got
thru the course, but didn't make the time cut, both of the deputies
finished, but not in the required time. After lunch, we broke for a
bit and took turns for a while shooting from the tower. We engaged
steel targets at 78, 217 to 420+ meters with 223 and 9mm fire from
both pistols and rifles. I couldn't get to the 400+ meter target with
the 9mm AR I was running, but Tim managed to ring it several times
with his Meopta scoped 10.5" SBR.

After the lunch break we moved back to the shoothouse and resumed our
team drills. Various sized teams, various partners, various targets
(standing, prone, proper up) provided 'bodies' we had to step over,
move around, fire around and get past. During breaks gunfire would
randomly start in the shoothouse and we had to organize hasty teams
and immediately move to the sound, find and neutralize the threat. Woe
to anyone that doffed their gear during a break or had a gear failure.
You went in, with who was ready and suited up.

As the light grew dim on day two, we massed up for the final graded
exercise. Discussed team leaders, checked, and rechecked gear and
weapons, the gun fire started, the stack moved in, over the targets
moving hard towards the sound of fire. A diversionary flashbang rang
out, dust, smoke, confusion, yells of 'keep going to the gunfire' all
playing as we ran the stack down the hall, alternating students
peeling off, crossing over, buttonhooking and pieing closets as if
they'd done it al their lives. I ended up covering the hall we'd come
down, watching incase we had someone trying to flank us or hidden in a
room we'd blitzed past. I could hear everyone calling out clear from
the three big rooms with their nooks, desks, crannies and stacking
back up to clear the rooms as we moved back to the main entrance.
Everyone had moved hard and most important, correctly. 5 LE and 3
civilians moved, worked and covered eachother like few teams I've ever
seen. It was a bit after 5 and finished clearing out the rooms and
walked out, tired and sweaty onto the darkening range. And yeah,
sunsets are cool to watch.

November 28, 2007, 08:43 PM
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(The guys that shot the hostage targets :D)


After the LE personnel left, Dan, Heather, Tim and I spent about and
hour and a half working on low light techniques on the darkening
range. We were tired, but that didn't stop us from being information
sponges. We went over pistol and rifle techniques with handheld and
weapon mounted lights, and then incorporated those techniques into our
shooting on the move. But all good things end. Finally, cleared our
weapons, stripped off our armor, and began to pack. I admit, I hated
to see it end. I learned a LOT. I got spend some time with some truly
great teachers and fellow students. If you have the chance to train
with Jeff Hogan I highly recommend it, my paragraphs don't even begin
to communicate what a gifted instructor this man is.

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November 28, 2007, 08:44 PM
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