DSS Travels to Council Bluffsby Shawn Claussen on 08/07/15
DSS traveled to Council Bluffs, IA and put on 3 classes on Jul 24th and 25th. Of course this took place over the hottest days yet for the area with that lovely, river valley humidity! After a couple of weeks to recover I think that I am finally re hydrated.
The first course was the DSS Low to No Light Carbine class. I was fortunate in that all of the students in the class were squared away and brought no issues with them. Conducting range drills at night is dangerous enough let alone having to continuously monitor someone who is a potential safety hazard. Thankfully that was not the case with this group. We stuck with the tried and true DSS training methodology of the 4Ms: Marksmanship, Manipulations, Multiples and Movement. All drills were conducted from both the support side and weapon side shoulders due to the fact that cover will not only favor your weapon side shoulder. We covered Type 1 malfunctions, reloads, proper use of cover with light, PID with white light, multiple target engagement sequence and shooting while moving. We finished up at 0130 hours and ready to get back at it the following day.
Bright and early with not enough sleep we kicked off the DSS Advanced Pistol - Vehicle Defense course. We kicked off a ballistic demo of common rifle, shotgun and pistol rounds on a vintage Chevy truck. We shot into fenders, doors, wheels, engine compartments, A pillars, windshield and side glass. We placed targets behind each area to show if there was penetration. We discussed where the most beneficial areas of the vehicle would be to take cover behind. We dispelled some myths on what is not cover. We moved onto the live fire drills next. Again we shot from both the weapon and support side hands as statistics show that the majority of law enforcement and civilian handgun engagements will be with the support side due to the primary hand becoming injured. All drills were shot from chairs to get everyone comfortable firing from a seated position. We finished up the live fire drills shoot from inside and around the truck. In the afternoon we transitioned to Reality Based Scenarios utilizing Simunition F/X guns and ammo. I was able to find two role players who did an excellent job of following their pre-planned scripts and performed exactly as rehearesed the previous day. This is the true value of a well run Reality Based Scenario. Instead of just throwing together students in the class at the last minute into the positions of role player, a truly squared away Reality Based training scenario(s) will use professional role players seperate from the class. They need to rehearse the scenarios so they understand what the very focused goal of the training is and they will be able to identify when the student commits a certain action so they will be able to adjust to that and remain focused on the task at hand. Which is for the student to fail quickly, adjust, fix the problem and win the fight. If not, then your scenario turns into schoolyard grabass and nobody learns and it becomes a huge waste of time and effort. I am greatly indebted to both of my role players as they did a fantastic job. Each student had the opportunity to participate in two vehicle defense scenario then got to participate in a very thorough debrief after each scenario. The feedback that I received was very positive with all goals being met.
After a very (too) short dinner break, we segued directly into the 3rd class, the DSS Low to No Light Pistol course. The same crew plus 2 showed up for this class so there were no safety issues and I appreciated everyone's due dilligence in adhering to the safety protocols discussed during the safety brief. Again we worked the 4M's utilizing white light. We incorporated a unique PID drill in this class that everyone gave positive feedback on. After a long night, I gave every single student the opportunity to provide me with feedback on what they liked about the course and what they didn't like. This is extremely valuable to me!!!! It allows me to know what I am doing right and what changes I need to make in future classes. Everyone has a voice and I can't thank the class enough for giving me their personal opinions. Based on this specific feedback, I will be making changes to improve future DSS Classes. Thanks guys, I greatly appreciate it!!
Well that wrapped up DSS's trip to western Iowa. I had a great time and I hope that everyone who participated was able to take some new knowledge back home and incorporate it into their training. Thais trip was made even more special as my son Jacob came with me and was able to help out throughout the entire weekend. Thanks little man and remember to avoid truck stop pizza!!!!