Home Invasion Training – Lessons Learned

Untitled-1Scenario: This last Sunday we held a small class and ran though a situation where your home is broken into at night and due to kids, loved ones etc..your forced to help and leave your bedroom vs. wait in ambush. You have a firearm at your disposal and eventually a light as well and begin to clear your home trying to get to your loved one.  On the way you face a threat and must ID it and neutralize it accordingly.  The following is a quick summary of what the students learned in this session.

Setup: We setup a make shift room, with mats and tarps for walls and a bed. A box was used for a night stand, just something to keep the air-soft handgun in. We did not factor in unlocking the gun from a vault box or any safety devices this time around.  BB stops were made from boxes that we could move around in the rooms so they never knew what they would find or if there was 1 or 2 intruders or where they were. On the boxes we made shapes, colors numbers etc…they had to recall what I yelled out at the start of the run before the entered the hall and shoot only that item.

- First we ran though the drill in the light, no stress and people performed pretty good.

- Then we added some pressure.

Variables we tossed at the situation:
1) Darkness
2) Noise from music
3) Yelling
4) Increased heart rate (They had to hammer a pad, then do bur-pees)
5) Air-soft was loaded in a box this time, simulating one in the chamber
6) Pads in the way to make for barriers (kids toys, or things the invaders knocked over)
7) Added a flashlight to the mix

Lessons Learned:
1) It’s hard to see in the dark - We had the students extract the firearm from a box with little or no light. We even had a Negligent Discharge event with the air-soft when a finger slipped into the trigger guard (which is why I require safety glasses in these events).  It’s safe, but proves a point that complacency in simple actions is a killer even for those who are trained around firearms.

2) Stress increases failure points – Movements and timing were off when we added just a bit more stress, shots were much wider as well.

3) Memory – I called out a color, number, shape etc….to start the drills.  In the light it was no big deal they all got off the “bed” and went though the drill. When we added stress, many did not remember what I had said by the time they got to the target. There was to much going on, to fast and the information got lost in the brains chaos.

4) Repetition – As expected the students got better at the drill the more they ran it. It’s all about flight time and training.  Have you trained situations in your own life, home, etc….so that if/when stuff hits the fan,  you have a plan and you’re not doing things for the first time…..when it counts the most?

5) Light it up – We used big pads to block the path down the hall and hide some of the targets from the students, in the dark it was hard to see things, with a light you could at least identify the target much easier. This is key as in reality are you looking at a coat you forgot was on the couch, someone who broke in sitting there or your kid there all balled up, you wont know which without a light.  Get a light if you have a firearm, learn to use it, ID your targets, recall your gun safety rules….KNOW YOUR TARGET (and what’s behind it).

Summary: Time and time again, we see that if you don’t train with more realistic events then you won’t know how you are going to function under stress.  Everyone says “yea if it were real I would……” we’ll the likelihood is that you would probably just freeze as your brain searched for answers.  This is why we train, to gain a measure of experience BEFORE we ever need it. To hash out our responses BEFORE hand so that if a situation arises in life we know that we can cope with it. Our mental “GOOGLE SEARCH” does not come up empty that way and we are able to continue to press on and solve the problem.

 

Train Hard, Stay safe,
Justin J. Everman

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Founder, A.C.W.A.

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