Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year

For those deployed away from their families,
you are in our thoughts and prayers tonight

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Returned from deployment, Looking forward into 2013

Afghan Sunrise

This will be my last formal blog post for 2012. There will be a few posts to mark special occasions. I have recently returned from another deployment from Afghanistan and will spend some time with my loved ones and the new gear that have piled up while I was away.  Looking forward to next year, expect the same quality content but a new style for the blog. Just to keep things fresh.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Spotting a Concealed Weapon

Eyes up on a swivel; Cues pertaining to concealed carry:

Welcome to our guest blogger:  Earl Green, former Ontario Provincial Police officer, current firearms and tactical trainer

From a Canadian law enforcement perspective, I have only seized a couple of handguns directly off of criminals on the street. Most of the guns that I have found were hidden in vehicles, luggage, etc. in relatively close proximity to the subject.  The very first gun I ever seized was during an early morning check of a hitch-hiker for warrants. As I spoke with him, I foolishly remained seated in the driver’s seat of the cruiser and he kept reaching inside his coat (it was a cold February morning). I finally made him stand in front of the cruiser so I could watch him as I checked his ID. It turned out that he had pulled an armed robbery with a handgun the day before and a warrant existed for his arrest. I took him down at gunpoint and, upon searching him; I found that he had a .25 Auto in his front, left, inside coat pocket. He told me he didn’t pull it because he thought he couldn’t beat me on the draw. Note that I was seated in the car with a .38 in a thumb-break holster, my hand was on the gun because I usually rested it there however, I would have had issues drawing and presenting to him. Essentially, I would have been trapped behind the wheel.  Obviously, I have since practiced drawing from being seated in a vehicle and working around the steering wheel. And, of course, I have since never stayed seated in the car when speaking to a “client”. I find that I should note that this was in 1992 and there was very little “tactical” instruction or training available or offered by our service at that time.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Plate Placement

I have seen, with some regularity, many soldiers and LEOs wearing plate carriers too low. The hard armour plate protecting more of the abdominal cavity, rather than the truly vital areas within the thoracic cavity. Note the top portion of the plate just covers the sternal notch for proper placement.

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Take care out there.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Action Shooting Competitions

Where does competition fit into tactical training regimen?

In the article ‘The Five Finger’s of Tactical Proficiency’, I laid out what I considered as the principles in developing tactical skill sets. The fundamental building blocks discussed in that article are safety, weapon manipulation, accuracy, speed and tactics. I am a proponent of using ‘practical’ shooting competitions for development of skills. However, they are some positives and negatives with participating in the action shooting sports for the armed professional.

IPSC is a sport. Most competitors use sports equipment,
not tactical gear...

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Physiological Stress vs Physical Stress

Physiological Stress versus Physical Stress in Tactical Training

There are many videos of courses of fire and range drills post on the internet that combine physical activity and shooting. Many of the ‘experts’ post these segments claiming that it will “simulate a body alarm response” or ‘how your body will react in combat”. Unfortunately, the science does support those statements. There is a difference between Physiological Stress and Physical Stress.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Tactical Belt Review: CTOMS QR 1.5"

The CTOMS QR 1.5” Belt

A climbing rated quick release Cobra buckle
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The CTOMS QR (Quick Release) 1.5” Belt was designed by the talented staff at CTOMS for specific government client intended for tactical work in a foreign theatre.  It is a different take on the traditional 'riggers' style belt with increased rigidity for bearing equipment and the added capability to be an extraction belt, if required. A climbing rated quick release Cobra buckle replaces the old style webbing friction buckle. The Cobra buckle allows for faster donning and doffing of the belt and prolongs service life preventing wear on the running end of the webbing. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Cool Guy Tool: Leatherman MUT

I walked into my unit kit shop one day a year or so ago. Perusing the shelves for new stock, I saw much of the same as I saw every time: quick dry field towels, plastic mess kits, single point rifle slings (ewww!), and cool guy tools. I saw a new box on the shelf, a Leatherman MUT.  Having heard about this tool, I purchased it immediately.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Tactical Rescue Planning

Tactical Rescue: Making the Plan

After the decision has been made to perform a tactical rescue, a tactically sound and medically appropriate plan must be made. These considerations must be balanced. No sense in performing a rescue and creating more casualties because of a poor plan and best intentions. Additionally, it will not be a successful tactical rescue if you cause further injury to the casualty. Remember, the principles of tactical medicine. All aspects of tactical medicine are guided by these fundamentals.

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Friday, 30 November 2012

Tactical Rescue

Consider Tactical Rescue

In Care under Fire Reloaded, Step 5 states “Consider Tactical Rescue, if realistic and required”. Rather than ‘perform’ or ‘decide’, the word ‘consider’ was carefully chosen. Consider is defined as to think carefully about, especially in order to make a decision. Whether or not, to perform a Tactical Rescue (TR) must be weighed against the casualty’s condition, the ground, risk to the rescue team, tactical assets available, and the enemies’ own actions. It is a tactical and medical assessment. Sometimes, the decision will not be in the best interest of the casualty. Risk to the mission and the team may be too great. There is much to consider.

US PJs performing casualty movement
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Tuesday, 27 November 2012


A Post Engagement Drill

Scan and Assess

The mantra ‘scan and breathe’ is shouted regularly by range staff during military range practices and private tactical courses. Those of us that have participated or lead instruction in this training have hoarseness in our voices by the end of the training day. The concept to continually update your situational awareness (SA) and regulate your breathing to control your Body Alarm Response (BAR) is widely accepted.

Sunday, 18 November 2012


Winter Training Cycle

Canadian Forces Winter Warfare Advanced (WWA) course
Courtesy of CF Combat Camera
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A reality of being living in the Northern Hemisphere, it is cold and wet half the year. This is a combination of late fall, winter and early spring. That is a long period of time when the environment will complicate our training rotation. Do we stop training because it is cold and uncomfortable? Do gunfights, security threats and missions only happen on bright and sunny days? Is stress management through hard play any less in the colder times of the year? Obviously, the answer is NO, to all three questions. Training in adverse weather prepares us for operating in adverse weather conditions. The challenges presented when training, operating, and playing in cold wet environments is easily mitigated through proper preparation. Remember, the mnemonic: COLD-HN.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Care under Fire Reloaded

US Pararescue Jumpers in Care under Fire exercise
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Care under Fire Reloaded is the first of a series of articles regarding the fundamentals of Tactical Combat Casualty Care. It is an attempt to create some clarity, point out solutions, and generate some discussion. "What worked yesterday would be fine, if it was yesterday”. We are obliged to those we serve to constantly strive for excellence.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


Pre-Engagement Drill or Admin Ritual

In my deployments , pre-deployment training and in less intense training venues, I have seen sidearms carried without a magazine outside the wire, heard a ‘click’ rather than a ‘bang’ from a fire team partner, and  have seen batteries in weapon lights and IR lasers being replaced in the dark because functionality was not check prior to departure. This comes down to two things; lack of a pre-engagement drills and assumption. We all know what ‘assumption’ really stands for…

Operators carry multiple weapons systems with ancillary equipment
to allow them to be effective regardless of conditions.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lest We Forget

God Bless the Fallen

Proud to be a veteran. Proud to have served and fought beside the greatest men and women that Canada and our allies has to offer.

Today, Remember the Fallen, their families and the freedoms that they have protected.

Take care out there.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Five Fingers of Tactical Proficiency

I use the human hand as an aide-mémoire to remember the principles of tactical training to which I adhere. There are a few reasons I do this: you use your hands to manipulate weapons and other tactical equipment and you will always have your training mnemonic with you!

Monday, 5 November 2012

SureFire Helmet Light HL1-A

My Gallet CG634 helmet is a modified French design, based on the PASGT, but modified for compatibility with Canadian kit. The CG634 is similarly shaped and oft mistaken for a MICH TC-2000 Combat Helmet. Mounted on the left side of my helmet is a SureFire Helmet Light HL1-A.

SureFire Helmet Light HL1-A
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Saturday, 3 November 2012

Range GSW kit

Range GSW Kit

There has been a lot of traffic on blogs and forums in the past few years on the subject of GSW kits for range activities. Some of the answers and post I have read have been almost comical if it wasn't for the horrific consequences of the responses. Yes, I do recommend that anyone honing their skills in dynamic training, IPSC, IDPA or tactical, has an aid kit capable of treating serious GSW trauma. But, carrying an aid kit is not the total solution.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

CTOMS Tourniquet Pouch, Gen II

CTOMS Tourniquet Pouch 
Gen 2
During Care under Fire (CuF), the tactical situation is still active; meaning you are engaged in combat or under an impending threat. Accurate fire superiority and simple quick medical interventions are the most viable forms of treatment at this time. The only equipment available to a responder, at this time, would be the casualties’ tourniquet and their own hands.  Stopping life-threatening extremity bleeds with a tourniquet and use of recovery position are the only interventions done during this phase. These are simple and rapidly executed interventions that will save a good portion of battle casualties.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Carabiner Rant...

Carabiners are not just for key chains. They are a wonderful invention that come a myriad of shapes and sizes. They allow us to challenge ourselves on mountain climbs, hurtle down cliff faces at breakneck speeds, move gear and casualties up and down slopes and rescue trapped people in confined spaces. Carabiners are useful for securing loads or for personnel engaging enemy with small arms from helicopters. Their uses are limited by necessity and imagination.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

TCCC Youtube

A short video put together by Blackthorne Media and Whiskey Delta Gulf. It is a compilation of TCCC training events....enjoy.

Go get some training!!!

Take care out there.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Take Care Of Your Kit....

A fundamental component of all technical outerwear is its Durable Water Repellent (DWR) which serves as your clothing’s barrier against moisture. Gear can lose up to 70% of its breathability when the outer fabric absorbs water, dirt and sweat.  I know in my circle of friends that is just about anything we do for work or play. Therefore, the Durable Water Repellency (DWR) on the outer fabric of your gear must be maintained to ensure effectiveness. This increases the duration of your element’s effectiveness in adverse weather conditions and extended operations.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Checking IR light sources without NODS/NVDs

You can check the function of IR illuminators, designators and light source without using your NVGs. This reduces the possibility of ruining your NVGs by exposing them to bright light sources. Thanks to Rickshaw for showing me this trick.

Take care out there.

Friday, 19 October 2012

INFORCE White/IR Multifunction Weapon Mounted Light, Part One

INFORCE White/IR Multifunction Weapon Mounted Light, Part One
Prior to this deployment, a long time friend of mine, Earl Green, from Phase Line Green Tactical, recommended a new weapon light to me. Knowing his long experience in the tactical community and our shared belief in high quality gear for operators, I listen to his advice. He was recommending the INFORCE White/IR WML. I did a bit of online research on the WML and contacted their Canadian Distributor RAMPART INTERNATIONAL. After talking to the helpful staff, I ordered the light for use on this deployment. A few days later, it arrived in the mail.