Author Topic: Report - Urban Warfare Weekend with Greg Nichols  (Read 3143 times)

Offline CR Williams

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Report - Urban Warfare Weekend with Greg Nichols
« on: November 04, 2015, 09:12:36 AM »
This last weekend I hosted Suarez International instructor Greg Nichols for a three day combination of SI's High Risk Operator series 6 and 7 classes. Some of my thoughts on the class:

I needed another perspective on CQB and 'working' in and through buildings. I had before now been through HRO-6 twice--both of those were focused on individual actions within enclosed environments and took a different approach to those actions. I knew that Greg took a different direction and that I needed to get his perspective on this to fill in the gaps in my knowledge-base (I use that term specifically because I can't say that this is yet a fully-developed skill-set at this time). I was therefore delighted to find that he was inclined to drop himself into my AO (Area of Operations) and conduct training.

Greg brought real-world experience and a thinking man's approach to the subject of fighting with walls and furniture everywhere and winning while you're doing it. He knows not just what he's doing but also how to start others on the way to knowing what they're doing and that is the important thing, isn't it?

Day one started with introductions and short briefings about content and path of the class and sundry safety and administrative things. First after that was individual action within a room. This served to get us used to the terminology Greg would be using throughout and brought us up on the way he wanted us to move at all times.

Beginning the evening of the first day and continuing throughout the course additional members were added to the entry group. Pairs, the foundation of team entry, were introduced. Over the next two days a third and fourth and fifth were added and so on until walk-throughs were being done with all nine students in the class. In all cases the movement was the same as when working alone but the tempo and speed of movement varied as others were added to the mix.

The second day started late in order to work a few hours without light sources other than what we had available. White light, use of chem sticks, weapon-mounted lights, how bright the lights should be and how specifically they should be used were covered. One attendee had a 3rd-gen NVG which we all sampled (I was able to shoot with it the first night after the day's class was done with a suppress pistol. Thank you, J.) Game changer, guys, game changer and that's all I'll say on that.

As things went along we discussed weapons, accessories, support gear. This varied with the students between 9mm pistols (me, an MA 30DMG with folding AR tube and KAK shockwave) and AR pistols and rifles (one or two SBRs), one AUG and one Sig 556R. Setups on the weapons were considered. (I altered the setup on my AR-P after getting Greg's advice on it though I did not use that in any of the training.) Chest rigs, vests, belts, and shoulder bags were all present and considered and discussed. Basically, short is Good when working in rooms.

The third day started with a little work with tourniquets and discussion of in-the-fight casualty treatment (basically, fix what's killing them and get them out if you can). Means of evacuating a casualty by yourself and with help were reviewed and demonstrated. One of the students is an EMT and added valuable input to this. Next was a section on how to defend a structure that was quite interesting indeed. Then it was back to clearing.

Weather precluded the night-shoot familiarization that was to have been done the second evening and live-fire work the third day. That was in no way an impediment or loss as far as either Greg's presentation or our instruction was concerned. The best instruction I've received has been done without a shot being fired and this was no exception. Greg adjusted to changed conditions on the fly and had way more than enough material to run us three more days without a shot being fired.

Brief takeaways from the course include but are not limited to:

There is a difference between the law enforcement approach to clearing and the military approach to clearing. Neither one is necessarily bad. Both have strengths, both have drawbacks. Everybody else I'm aware of so far goes with the LE approach in training. Greg brings the military approach which is something I, especially, needed to see and be exposed to.

If you're by yourself and you don't have to go anywhere or do anything against hostile or possible hostile action, don't.

Inside buildings especially, the ambush rules.

Deliberate speed is life. Speed varies, but as a rule of thumb the faster you can move the better off you will be.

CQB is a chess game that one or the other of you will need to cheat at. You have to be able to think on your feet and at speed. You can't afford to just cruise through it on automatic.

Working in teams: Two to clear a room. If you have more than two it depends on whether it's an odd or even number what else you can do. Ideally you want multiples of two. And they're always moving.

First man through a door has to DECIDE and COMMIT. Second (and after) has to OBSERVE and ADAPT.

There can be no specialist in the entry teams. Anybody in the stack will at some point become the first man through if you're flowing correctly. Anybody will be the second or third or... if you're flowing correctly. You must be able to slide on the move into any position and any role.

(Personal) I've got to get myself weaned of the impulse to muzzle strike with the 30DMG every time after closing on a contact. It's too much fun.

I'm not someone who waxes enthusiastic in a sense about learning opportunities like this. Where someone else would say, "It's awesome," I say "it's interesting". Ladies and gentlemen, this stuff is INTERESTING to me and entirely too useful to everyone that lives and works in places like I do to pass up if you get a chance to attend. Please, for your own development as a dangerous person, do not forgo this kind of training.

As for Greg Nichols--EXCELLENT instruction by an EXCELLENT instructor.

Visuals will be coming. Be a few more days at most. I've got to try to do make-some-money stuff first.