Monday, 11 July 2016

Make Ready With Paul Howe – Vehicle Defense

Photo courtesy of Panteao Productions

North Americans spend a good percentage of every day transiting from place to place in automobiles. Whether going to work, taking our kids to activities or picking up groceries, automobiles are an integral part of our lifestyle. It stands to reason that a similar percentage of tactical encounters will involve automobiles. It seems obvious then that vehicle defense skills should be part of any good CCW program. In their day to day, Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) operate with a partner (or without) from a squad car or SUV. Many police forces include vehicle operations as part of their basic training. Those that do not should consider it. Modern military operations especially convoy operations rely heavily on vehicles for movement and maneuver.  Practicing gun fighting around these vehicles is paramount for the modern soldier.

Panteao Productions has collaborated with Paul Howe to create the ‘Vehicle Defense DVD’ for the Make Ready series. Paul Howe is a well-known author and law enforcement/military tactical instructor and the owner and operator of Combat Shooting and Tactics (CSAT), a tactical school in Texas. He draws on his many years of operational experience as a Special Forces Operator with SFOD-Delta to educate the viewer. While a DVD will never supplant actual training under the vigilant eye of a skilled instructor, it does allow for a solid introduction to concepts and course preparation.

“My gun is over half empty, so I want to do a tactical reload here,” Paul Howe

This is NOT a beginner video. There is an assumption of basic tactical understanding going into this presentation. I thought that the introduction is too brief in this video. It misses an opportunity to discuss the context, desired end state and target audience of the video further.

The ‘Flat Range’ portion demonstrates a set of good solid drills that can be used to practice for vehicle defense without an actual vehicle. Some ranges will not allow for use of a vehicle on their premises.  The barricade piece recommends a set of simple, reproducible practices that can be used to build the skillsets required for vehicle defense.  Additionally, the discussion on ‘Position Sul’ and its variations presents a re-evaluation of muzzle down oriented movement.  

Throughout this segment, Paul is deliberate and methodical in his demonstration of skills allowing the viewer to assimilate the material. He discusses the importance of accuracy and the imperative of accountability within the context of tactical encounters.

“Dry runs are free.” A sign over the shoot house at CSAT.

The ‘Shooting from Vehicles’, ‘Moving from Vehicle to Vehicle’ and ‘Shooting from Inside a Vehicle’ segments are the real meat of this video presentation.  Paul Howe uses the tried and true instruction method of Explain-Demonstrate-Imitate (EDI). He explains, at length, his thought process, tactics, techniques and procedures. He then demonstrates the drill for the viewer to imitate at their own range. Paul’s length and breadth of experience is obvious as he explains his personal doctrines. Dropping knowledge bombs throughout these sections!

“Now, we are gonna go hot on the trunk.” Paul Howe

Paul Howe spends a good portion of the video shooting through car windows, at car bodies and around cars to validate the vehicle as soft cover. ‘Skipping Rounds off a Vehicle’ was especially significant as it expounds on Paul’s partiality for standing off cover. He recommends three steps off cover to avoid ricochets at all times. ‘Skipping Rounds under a Vehicle’ reveals the danger of using an incorrect prone position when gunfighting around vehicles and just how effective skipping rounds can be in a fight. There is much more myth busting to be seen as well. During ‘Shooting Tires’, they did an excellent job shattering the shredded tire movie ploy but they did not demonstrate the proper way to flatten a tire with gunfire. This may have been done to avoid widespread public knowledge of this technique but it not that super ninja.

Production Issues
This particular video’s production value was not up to Panteao Productions usual high standard. The sound and film quality was excellent. However, some title frames were in the wrong location specifically the front attack title frame. The video was normally slightly over an hour but the last frame displayed for over three hours until credits rolled. The credits were not correct either. They were from Matt Jacques SCAR video.

Paul Howe capably taps into his vast operational knowledge and long service to share his experience with the viewer. He distills vehicle defense concepts to their simplest and instructs simple reproducible practices for the watcher to replicate easily at a range. I will be practicing some of the drills presented in this DVD.  Even with production issues, Make Ready With Paul Howe – Vehicle Defense provides excellent value for the sheer number of knowledge bombs dropped.

Take care out there

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