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Old June 9, 2014, 10:34 PM   #1
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Training to recognize entire threat.

I'm curious if anyone has first hand experience with training in the military or police in regards to recognizing the entire threat before taking action? If so, I'd like to know what was taught.

Thank you.
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Old June 10, 2014, 08:39 AM   #2
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The usual method is using no-shoot targets, low light and not being shown the course of fire before hand.
And this kind of training is not confined to the police and military.
There's plenty of training facilities that have it.
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Old June 10, 2014, 09:41 AM   #3
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What do you mean by "recognizing the entire threat?"
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Old June 10, 2014, 10:07 AM   #4
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Unless responding to an immediate deadly threat, an attack in progress so to speak.

A deep breath and a quick scan of the surroundings will help avoid tunneling in on the situation

Im assuming this thread is due to the Vegas shooting.

Having worked in hostile enviroments all over the world. Ive seen the effects of tunneling into a small part of a big problem. Its a much easier issue to deal with when you have teammates to assist. A cpl guys on the obvious threat and others on overwatch for other problems

As a civilian walking into walmart by yourself, its a MUCH harder tactical problem. You WILL become target fixated on the badguy. Accomplices have a huge advantage of surprise. This is just ONE of the reasons CCWing is so risky

Breath...scan...THINK....proper use of cover. All the usual stuff
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Old June 10, 2014, 10:27 AM   #5
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Situational Awareness, all the time !!

I attended a seminar on "Situational-Awareness" that was based on one of the four basic gun handling guide/rules; "Be sure of your target and back-stop".
The seminar expanded on this and went into situational awareness that applies to one's every day movements. One thing that the instructor said, is that "You will clearly know when it's time to shoot". That one raised a lot of eye-brows. ......

Last evening the wife and I went out for groceries. As we got out of the car, I noticed a couple, walking in our direction us, in the lot. The gal looked to be okay but there was something about the guy that did not seem right. Told the wife to fall in behind me and as usual, she did not question but started paying more attention. Later, in the store, the guy was mumbling to himself and mocking some of the other shoppers. The wife, finally led him out. This guy was clearly on something. ....

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Old June 12, 2014, 12:08 AM   #6
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by the "entire" threat do you mean multiple contacts?

I dont have first hand experience with military or police training, but here is an article I refer to for threat assessment.

1st half of the article deals with single threat assessment, second half deals with multiple attackers.
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Old June 12, 2014, 02:15 AM   #7
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its like the ccw'er killed at Wal-Mart by the clown couple that murdered the vegas cops. the ccw'er confronted the male and didn't know the female was with him. she shot and killed him before he knew what was going on.

as stated above, unless you have to act immediately, access the situation, surroundings....
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Old June 12, 2014, 08:34 AM   #8
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Recognize the entire threat? You can only hope you are so lucky. I think more often than not, people assume the entire threat is quite limited and they are correct and so are lucky when that turns out to be the case.

For all practical purposes in the Walmart, the wife was a sleeper and the husband was the actor who was drawing attention. Wilcox probably thought he had identified the entire threat and was acting on it. It is hard and likely very unwise to be drawing on one target while checking your 6 for other threats.

Total situational awareness and comprehension in a complex situation by a singular person is virtually impossible.

Some threats are just hidden. Mark Wilson engaged the shooter on the square in Tyler, apparently only bringing a pistol. He had no way of knowing the shooter was wearing body armor. Wilson's shots were largely ineffective in stopping the shooter, though he did wound the shooter who promptly shot him, walked over and delivered a coup de grace with three more rounds, and left the scene in his truck. Mark Wilson had taken cover behind the shooter's truck.
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Old June 12, 2014, 10:00 AM   #9
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Yes I have been trained and I was an NCOIC of training for years. I also have taught non-military personal for many years more. I still do from time to time.

Recognizing the entire threat is a pipe dream. We have entire battalions to try to do that as well as the NSA and the CIA and a bunch of other agencies that dedicate their entire existence to that very mission.

For an individual to do it is impossible. Only God Himself knows everything.
The entire threat changes with the enemy, and the enemy can and does move, meaning the situation changes second by second.

You go into a fight with limited information and limited mobility, communications, assets and knowledge. Many times the fight comes to you, and in about half of those times the fight starts when the enemy wants it to start, not you.

So what you need is the ability to think and move and look at the battle ground as if you were them, and they were you. If the roles were reversed, what would you do? That’s what they will try to do. If you can out think them and do it before they can, you will often win that contact. In a war, there will be many points of contact, and many times you will loose men and/or loose some fighting ability at each one. Not always, but you must always expect that such a thing may happen.

There is no safe way to fight for your life. We can train to make the situation worse for the enemy than it is for you, (that's the objective of good training) but the idea that you can learn enough to go to war without risk is a dream, not a reality.

Your area of control or influence is all you can deal with, and that area will move as you do and as your enemy does. Your area of influence is more like spokes on a wheel and not rings in a pond. You may have a clear shot for 100 yards but be 4 feet from a piece of cover that allows an enemy to flank you. You need to understand that.

Do not fall into the mind set that you can control as far as you can see or shoot. You can control one spoke at a time as far as you can make a hit on a moving enemy, not as far as you can see.

Movement is the key. Both for you and for your enemy.

If you can make your enemy move where you want him to, you will. If your enemy moves and you get the drop on him, you win. If you can move into your enemy’s blind spot or weak spot, you win.
And all the same rules work to your enemy’s advantage if you allow him to do the same to you.

Situational awareness is key. Access and egress for both you and your enemy is going to be the single most important thing to consider in any fight. Shooting itself is actually only about 1%-2% of the fight. Movement is 98%.

If you are not alone communications is also vital. Far more vital than most trainees know. Practice that with your family and friends (your teem) as much or more than you do your shooting.

Keep your head and don’t panic even if you or a loved one gets hit. Pain is part of fighting, but fighting with a cool head even when there is pain is what will win through many times. Panic benefits the enemy almost as much as your own suicide. Never panic, never give up.

Last edited by Wyosmith; June 12, 2014 at 12:39 PM.
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Old June 12, 2014, 12:08 PM   #10
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So what you need is the ability to think...
Hear hear!

It seems like a *lot* of people want to eliminate THINKING from the situation. They want to train up so that when they see A they will do B and no thought is necessary.

We see that in threads like:
Should I ALWAYS rack the slide after a reload.
Should I ALWAYS use an overhand or slingshot to rack the slide.
Should I ALWAYS move after I shoot.

(I think I see the same thing with 'zero tolerance' policies...people wanting very much to NOT have to think and decide and take responsibility...just 'if A then B' and no thought or decision necessary.
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Old June 12, 2014, 12:29 PM   #11
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It seems like a *lot* of people want to eliminate THINKING from the situation.
No, they just want to train enough to eliminate extraneous and unnecessary thinking so they can concentrate on what's important to keep them alive.

If you're in a gunfight and have to think about whether or not to rack the slide and what particular slide racking technique to use, then you're not thinking about the fight.
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Old June 12, 2014, 02:28 PM   #12
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Situational awareness isn't about a gun fight situation tho it can be.
It's a lot about scanning your environment to access potential threats & more.
Attending a seminar on situational awareness won't give you the ability to become proficient at it.
You may understand it better but when you live in a world of situational awarness every day it becomes habit & gets fine tuned.
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Old June 12, 2014, 08:04 PM   #13
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I recall reading years ago a good quote, I think it was from wild Bill Hickok, that applies to gunfights:

"You have to think and move fast, slowly."
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Old June 13, 2014, 09:32 AM   #14
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Since you can't recognize the entire threat, it then falls into whether you should even address it.

LEO/MIL are dedicated to that job. You hire them to do it - they run to the sound of gunfire. It does NOT mean that any CCW in the area of gunshots should.

If alone, you still have the responsibility to protect yourself in the least lethal manner possible. We often discuss that we need to present and fire in the face of a lethal threat (and in LV it remains to be fully revealed what went on.) What should be the OBVIOUS corollary is that if no threat is immediately present - don't go looking for it.

In typical male society, running from the fight is considered cowardice, when the reality is that elevating the threat and becoming a dead victim won't help at all. Brave dead heroes get a lot of nice press, but their family would just as soon have them around. And counselors get to hear that over and over and over.

Sure, you should have situational awareness, the responsibility is to get out alive first and foremost. Until you are presented with lethal force - you have no obligation to respond to it.

Case in point, an employee confronted by armed assailants exits the building, retrieves his handgun from his car, reenters, and shoots one. Pretty much absolutely required of a cop on duty to perform in that manner, but no obligation exists for someone who has left the scene.

The problem is that we keep looking up to LEO/MIL as a standard of ethics in our tactical performance - but the average CCW isn't LEO/MIL. They are a citizen - responsible to perform in what a reasonable person would do when viewed by a judge and jury.

A reasonable person - in this day and age, like it or not - does not seek out confrontation. Especially with little training or skills to address it. Having a CCW license does not qualify the carrier to engage in sophisticated armed exchanges, any more than having a Driver's license gets you into the grid at Darlington. If anything, you'll get shunted to the wall so the big boys can get on with the race.

It's beginning to appear more and more that may be exactly what happened in the LV Walmart, and the antigunners are now using that as an example of why there shouldn't be any CCW at all.

So, while we do need to bone up on being situationally aware, you can only see what you can see - which isn't an omniscient view overhead. It's limited to your line of sight AND understanding, which will never be complete.

If no gun is pointed at you - you are under no obligation to even reveal you have one. And you get to go home to your family. The cops will thank you, the medics will thank you, and the coroner will thank you because you didn't add to the burden of their workload.

Harsh reality, lets not approach carrying concealed with the same perspective of open carry zealots toting AK's in Home Depot.
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Old June 14, 2014, 06:07 PM   #15
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Jim, . . . you asked: I'm curious if anyone has first hand experience with training in the military or police in regards to recognizing the entire threat before taking action? If so, I'd like to know what was taught.

In a nutshell, . . . that cannot be taught any more than one can tell the future with any precision.

By the time you have assessed all the probabilities, possibilities, actors, non participants, . . . they've all changed uniforms, . . . became something or someone else, somewhere else, . . . and you have to start over, . . . if you lived long enough to do it.

If a threat comes looking for you, . . . you are already behind the proverbial 8 ball, . . . and you had better be quick about making your mind up about fight or flight, . . . before the threat closes one of the doors.

Deal with the threat as soon as you recognize it is a threat. Stopping to look around and see if there are any more good guys or any more bad guys, . . . just might buy you a lot in the local cemetery.

That is what I was taught as a sailor and as a soldier.

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Old June 14, 2014, 07:09 PM   #16
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its called [survey the scene] but its hardly jedi magic or anything.
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Old June 14, 2014, 07:16 PM   #17
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Home run with Post #9, Wyosmith.
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Old June 14, 2014, 07:20 PM   #18
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I'd recommend reading up on the OODA loop. It is a model for human decision-making. You will never have ALL the information, but that is alright if you have the relevant information, and can orient, decide, and act upon it.

If you watch people in "tactical" classes, you'll notice that after every engagement they look around them. That is to break their tunnel vision and try to assess if there are other threats around them. (A lot of people misunderstand and make a habit of throwing a glance behind either shoulder without taking in much information.)
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Old July 16, 2014, 04:17 AM   #19
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I like most here, carry concealed, as an old guy (78yoa) I am normally accompanied by my Wife. That is my focus, her well being.

Gunfire, loud enough to hear clearly? Means cover! Cover that will stop bullets.

A couple of quick peeps to see are we in trouble? But going towards the sound of gunfire? Unless my Wife is were that is coming from? Cover, 911.
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Old July 16, 2014, 06:20 AM   #20
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I'd recommend reading up on the OODA loop. It is a model for human decision-making. You will never have ALL the information, but that is alright if you have the relevant information, and can orient, decide, and act upon it.
I have been doing this stuff for well... a really, really long time. This is what is most commonly taught and easiest for most people to remember.
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Old July 16, 2014, 07:39 AM   #21
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Judgment shooting drills are used to train an officer in shoot/don't shoot situations. Among the best are the FATS system which has a video screen. The officer's gun has a laser (to show the point of impact). Depending on the officer's action, the trainer can control the actions of the images on the screen.

Had one where there's a disturbance at a home. You go up the stairs and hear an argument. Once in the bedroom, you see the man with the knife threatening a woman. Several outcomes. He charges her and you must shoot him before he stabs her. You may assert verbal commands and he either complies or attacks you. Say he complies, the woman victim pulls a handgun out to shoot him and now you must shoot her.
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Old July 16, 2014, 07:47 AM   #22
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Recognizing the entire threat is a pipe dream
I have to agree with this. We tend to focus on the threat with tunnel vision.

You see it all the time at the range. Here is an example proving my point.

Frist, understand that point shooting is nothing more then pointing your finger at the target. To teach point shooting you first have people use the hand only and bring it up quickly pointing at the target, then move to the gun, as you draw the gun the trigger finger is along the slide or just under the cylinder of a revolver.

So try this. Stand two to three yards from the target. If the target isn't a threat target , such as a USPSA target most people shoot just below center mass, which is OK, they tend to point, and shoot where they are looking.

Now try the same thing using a threat target. One with a bandit holding a gun or knife. Now do some point shooting. You'll notice the shots tend to go toward the picture of the gun or knife. That's where you're looking and in point shooting you tend to point where you're looking.

Its natural to look at the treat. So we tend to have tunnel vision, regardless of what you read here, you concentrate on the threat.

If you do this when not under stress, such as at the range, what makes us think we wont do this under stress.

Sure its nice to know whats going on around you, but do we really when understress.
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Old July 17, 2014, 10:18 PM   #23
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It's about situational awareness.

The link is a classic about how easy it is to loose focus.
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Old July 18, 2014, 12:17 AM   #24
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Great post wyosmith, lots of things to think about there. I will make sure to read that again tomorrow and discuss it with my wife. We have been shooting for awhile, cc for only 7 month, and just now started to actually train ourselves and create plans for different situations. I am great at shooting targets, awesome even. But, qhen we start to think about different scenarios, I realize how much I don't know. I can't begin to piece together what the other guys intentions or motives are, or what he will be thinking next. The more I think about scenarios, the more paranoid I get, I have resorted to having two guns when i sleep, one visible and one on the side of the bed. It sounds črazy, but I think if the BG believes he got my sidearm, I may have a chance if I have another. Point is, I just have no idea what someone else will be thinking, or more importantly, how am I going to react. Its this bad and I am only running through scenarios in my house, haven't even thought about outside the home, well outside of a face to face robbery. For now, if the situation doesn't involve my family or me personally, I will be running away crying like a 9 year old and try not to wet my panties.
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