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Old 13 February 2016, 21:15
HF0311 HF0311 is offline
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CSAT Civilian Response to Active Shooter Class AAR

Hey, I considered putting this in professional development or with the already started AS response thread, but felt it might be better served as a stand alone thread. Admin please move if you feel appropriate.....Also I appreciate any criticism on the AAR- Too much info- too little- missing details, etc. It helps me a great deal to have men like you on this board give me feedback on this stuff. Thanks.

CSAT Civilian Response to Active Shooters- After Action Report

On February 5th through the 7th I was able to attend the Combat Shooting and Tactics Civilian Response to Active Shooters course. From here on out I will refer to each as CSAT and CRAS, respectively. I am not going to go into great detail on the specifics of each block of training, this is just to give you an outline of how the class is run and my perspective on it in general.

CSAT is located in Nacogdoches Texas and owned and operated by Paul Howe, Howe is a veteran of a top tier Army Special Missions Unit, and has served in many places, most notably as a Team Leader in Somalia, taking part in the Battle Of The Black Sea, better known as Black Hawk Down. Paul served in at least several other billets inside that unit including Sniper and Instructor, along with that he spent time as a ROTC instructor, and as a Law Enforcement officer. After retiring from the Army he opened CSAT and began teaching Law Enforcement, Military and good American citizens lessons he had learned over the years on tactics and individual firearms skills. So to say the least Paul Howe is experienced in both doing and teaching, and his concepts have been well vetted.

CRAS is a class based around the concept of either a civilian or off duty police officer reacting as a one man team to an Active Shooter situation and having to deal with the problem immediately, with many of the concepts taught in the class applying to other situations. This is a Tactics based class more then a shooting class, individual firearm skills should already be to a point where only minor corrections are needed and the student can learn to apply those skills to a scenario. I chose this class for many reasons, I had taken the CSAT Instructor course previously and with only very minor differences have adopted the CSAT shooting methodology, this year I am looking to take more scenario and tactics based training, so there was no better place to start. Also this class gave me more info to bring back home and pass on to others, it covers many bases, filled in my knowledge/skill gaps relating to active shooter response and like I said before applies to more then just AS situations.

Day 1- Day one started at 0800 in the CSAT classroom, Paul started the class with his introduction then had each of us do a quick intro, which went quickly and was less awkward then most other class group hug intro's I've seen. The student body of the class was covered a wide spectrum, from current Law Enforcement both federal and municipal, former LE, former military, hospital employees, a Judge, contractors, carpenters, oil workers and so on. The class was divided into 2 teams, with team leaders picked for each and each student was issued a small strobe marker and tourniquets.

Paul began teaching by covering his Concepts Of Order(Security/Medical/Communication) and the application of those concepts. He then discussed carry options for your weapon both on body and off body discussing the pro's and cons associated with different carry styles. Along with this he showed us how he sets up his AS Response bags and how he selects them. We discussed pistol and ammo selection, what our weapons need to be capable of, light sources for using our weapon in low light, and the cons of a civilian or plain clothes officer carrying a rifle in the vicinity of an active shooter. This morning block of instructing was lecture type using both power point and video. Overall the morning was spent as a very through overview of the what we would be learning and practicing over the next couple days. This got each student on as close to the same page as possible, making it so when we would be taught each portion it would be more like seeing it again and allow it to stick better. Around 11 am we broke for an hour or so lunch break.

At noon time we met back up on the range for a tune up session, again, this class is more a tactics class with scenario type drills, but before we could move to that some testing and tuning up was needed, its better to find out if someone can safely draw and re holster on the flat range then while you are trying to teach him how to move to contact. At this time Paul brought in a assistant instructor to keep things running efficiently. The tune up began at 7 yards and consisted of the CSAT 1 and 5 Drill, the line drill, presentations from compressed ready and holster, shooting at the CSAT Targets, using both the 2 inch dots and the body A box. We then moved on to the MK targets(CSAT hostage target) we started shooting on this static and then did a movement drill using the SUL carry position. And finished the Range Block at 25 yards doing a barricade drill, shooting on A zone size steel, shooting both standing and kneeling utilizing cover. At this point everyone was proven safe and cleaned up on shooting ability as much as possible. We finished up around 2:30 in the afternoon. For more details on the drills and targets used go to Panteao Production and watch the CSAT vids, or check on youtube and you will find some of them or ask me and I will explain them.

At 2:30 we moved to the shoot house range, which is setup with vehicles in front of the building, we practiced vehicle bailouts and movement to an exterior contact(shooter outside the building). This drill, as all following drills was setup as a scenario, where target discrimination was practiced, this was done using photograph type targets with props taped to hands and belts of targets, forcing you to look at the whole target and be able to articulate your shot. This was a great drill that included, exiting the vehicle, finding immediate cover, drawing your weapon and discriminating which target to shoot, not just jumping out of a car and blasting a bunch of cardboard with no repercussions. After running through this a couple times each a dummy drag and communicating with emergency responders portion was added to the scenario. Around 4:30 we wrapped up the day.

Day 2- Began in the classroom at 8:00, Paul did an abbreviated mindset brief and punctuated several points using videos. He then moved on to discussing Interior movement(room entry, moving down halls and such), again this made it so as we moved to that portion of training on the range it would be like seeing it again and make it easier to comprehend. We then went over medical procedures during a AS incident, while it wasn't a full on EMT class it was a very good block of instruction on dealing with traumatic injuries, it also lead to more discussion on the how, why's and when of having a dedicated bag setup for dealing with emergencies. This was one of my favorite portions of the class, and where I ended up taking the most notes(learning occurred). Also discussed was communicating with LE, both 911 and officers on the scene, we discussed link up procedures and some of the finer points of doing this. With this AAR I am trying to remain very general in my descriptions, but one specific thing I would like to point out about link up with law enforcement that I hadn't thought of and think is important for people to consider- When a adrenaline pumped cop shows up on the scene of an active shooter do you want to run up to the guy and start yelling about how you just shot someone or how you have a gun? Or would you rather give him a minute to cool down, maybe even waiting for his backup to arrive?.....Classroom portion ended at 10:00 and we moved to the range.

10:00- The morning range session consisted of another square range tune up, this time practicing one handed shooting, essentially we repeated the range session from the day before only using one handed shooting techniques. The reason for this is we may have to hold a flashlight, we might have to hold someone back, we might be injured, and so on. After this we broke for lunch.

1:00- We split into our 2 groups one going to the old shoot house, one group at the new shoot house. My first block was at the old shoot house, with Paul's assistant instructor, we practiced interior movement, first moving down a hallway to an open door, we practiced pie-ing the room and doing entry, again targets were setup so that discrimination was needed. After each student cleared the room a couple times we moved to T intersection type hallways and the best solution for dealing with that problem. The group then switched, at the new house with Paul we practiced with closed door rooms, dealing with multiple ways doors open and the best way to deal with each. At this point the discrimination on targets became more difficult with the introduction of prop badges on belts and a really oddly setup hostage target known as the "octopus". I don't believe there was a single person in the class who didn't shoot the wrong target at some point, but I know for myself and most the other shooters I saw, thanks to Paul's instruction, it was a problem that we were able to quickly correct.

3:30- The day was finished up doing a tourniquet application drill and some one handed shooting on a Larue pop up target at 25 yards, the drill started by shooting down a hall way with both hands, upon getting a hit the shooter would go to a knee and place a TQ on there arm, the target took 5 or so seconds before it would set back up to full upright, once it was upright you would stop putting on the TQ and land a one handed hit, and this repeated until the TQ was fully in place and cinched down, we did this with both left and right hands. This drill reinforced the CRAS Concepts of Order I mentioned earlier, security then medical. This also finished up day 2.

Day 3- Day 3 we met at the range, splitting into our 2 groups again for final exercises, this consisted of running 4 scenarios that culminated all we had learned, exterior movement, interior movement, clearing rooms and hallways, target discrimination, dealing with medical trauma(applying TQ to dummies) and communicating with emergency response. I cant speak for other shooters on this but by the time we ran through this it was obvious I had learned the lessons taught the previous 2 days, all of my shots were clean with out hitting a no shoot, my gun handling(at least from my perspective, not being corrected on anything) was clean, meaning I applied the techniques taught at the appropriate times for them.

Around noon we all moved back to the classroom for a quick brief back, certificates, handshakes, photos, pats on the back and goodbyes.

Conclusion- All said and done I got everything I wanted from the class and more, I learned some new stuff, proved strengths and cleaned up weaknesses, so not much more I could ask for there. It is rare that I don't have at least a small piece of feedback for the instructor running the class, but in this case I don't, all the bases were covered and it was well run, which is what you can expect if you take a class at CSAT. For people considering taking the course I a have a few points, first make sure your shooting is already solid, this isn't the place to find out that you shoot minute of broadside barn at 25 yards, if your shooting skills aren't fully developed then sign up for CSAT's TAC Pistol, it will be a better use of your money. Next thing, the concepts you are being taught in the class are well thought out and vetted, if they weren't then Paul wouldn't be teaching them to you, so there's not reason to ask "in the real world wouldn't I go faster?" or anything like that, what you are learning in this class is the real world, blasting a line of cardboard as fast as you can with a shot timer is what you do on the range not vise versa. Other then that, I would say this class should be on your list of classes to attend, I've trained with a lot of good instructor and taken a lot of good classes, I can say this was one of the best. There are a lot of choices out there now on who to train with, ranging from guys who I wouldn't let teach me how to tie a shoe to top notch experienced instructors, and among the top notch guys Paul and CSAT set the standard, if you are serious about the combative use of firearms then you owe it to yourself to train at CSAT.
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Old 14 February 2016, 12:17
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Good read, thank you.
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Old 14 February 2016, 12:51
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Moved to proper location.
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Old 14 February 2016, 13:05
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Thanks.
Paul Howe is an excellent instructor. He has a number of video training programs on panteo productions. I've watched most of them and the content is outstanding. It's tempting to put aside some funds to go down there for a class or two.
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Old 14 February 2016, 13:14
HF0311 HF0311 is offline
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Thanks.
Paul Howe is an excellent instructor. He has a number of video training programs on panteo productions. I've watched most of them and the content is outstanding. It's tempting to put aside some funds to go down there for a class or two.
His vid's alone make a 1 month subscription to Panteao a bargain at 20$.... It's worth it to go train with him in person, I've got a fairly long list of good classes that I've taken and the 2 CSAT classes are both at the top of that list.
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Old 14 February 2016, 13:34
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Excellent read!
Sounds like the tactics taught/learned are a lot like the SWAT training I received. It's interesting that we are teaching civilians to react to & engage a "perp" like we do/did with a trained SWAT team. The only thing that I'm concerned about is the reaction by, as you wrote, "a adrenaline pumped cop shows up on the scene of an active shooter do you want to run up to the guy and start yelling about how you just shot someone or how you have a gun. While the prevailing thoughts on the gun boards seems to be that a civilian with a CCW should be prepared to (1) defend himself and (2) defend his loved ones and to not actively engage a bad guy it is a constant thought to me that, as a former "sheep dog" (active LEO) that I still will, more than likely, get my loved ones to a safe location and then move to the sound of the gunfire. Even though the risk is always in my mind that I might be mistaken as a threat during the "fog of war" I still know what I will do when the feces hits the orbital oscillator. Once a Sheepdog, always a Sheepdog.
Again, VERY interesting read that I will share with my associates.
Regards,
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Old 14 February 2016, 13:44
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Once a Sheepdog, always a Sheepdog....
Sigh....
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Old 14 February 2016, 14:33
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Sigh....
Sorry, it was there
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Old 14 February 2016, 14:51
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Sigh....
Sheepdogophobe... shame on you.
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Old 14 February 2016, 15:34
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Sigh....
I thought the same thing.
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Old 14 February 2016, 15:53
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Excellent read!
Sounds like the tactics taught/learned are a lot like the SWAT training I received. It's interesting that we are teaching civilians to react to & engage a "perp" like we do/did with a trained SWAT team. The only thing that I'm concerned about is the reaction by, as you wrote, "a adrenaline pumped cop shows up on the scene of an active shooter do you want to run up to the guy and start yelling about how you just shot someone or how you have a gun. While the prevailing thoughts on the gun boards seems to be that a civilian with a CCW should be prepared to (1) defend himself and (2) defend his loved ones and to not actively engage a bad guy it is a constant thought to me that, as a former "sheep dog" (active LEO) that I still will, more than likely, get my loved ones to a safe location and then move to the sound of the gunfire. Even though the risk is always in my mind that I might be mistaken as a threat during the "fog of war" I still know what I will do when the feces hits the orbital oscillator. Once a Sheepdog, always a Sheepdog.
Again, VERY interesting read that I will share with my associates.
Regards,

Yeah I don't want, nor is it my place to really go into detail about tactics taught in the class on the internet, but there is an emphasis on ways to mitigate getting tagged by a responding cop or another concealed carrier...

As far as not engaging an AS, that's for each individual to decide for themselves, yeah if im with my wife or loved one then I get them out of there, personally I believe there are things worse then death, letting a shit bag kill innocent people and not doing anything about it is something I could not live with. But again, that's for each person to figure out on their own.

With out diverting too much, I echo SOTB's "Sigh" on the Sheepdog thing to say the least. I wont call other people that I don't know sheep. I'm just a dude who takes combative use of firearms seriously, I like being as prepared as possible for violent confrontation and this also allows me to pass on that knowledge to a few other people, creating more prepared men who are able to deal with confrontation.
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Old 14 February 2016, 16:22
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Sigh....
I'm changing my profile to nothing but sheepdog, sheepdog, sheepdog.
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"The real problem was being able to stick it out, to sit in an office under the orders of a wee man in a dark gray suit and look out of the window and recall the bush country, the waving palms, the smell of sweat and cordite, the grunts of the men hauling jeeps over the river crossings, the copper-tasting fears just before the attack, and the wild, cruel joy of being alive afterward. To remember, and then go back to the ledgers and the commuter train, that was impossible. He knew he would eat his heart out if it ever came to that."

- "The Dogs of War" by Frederick Forsyth
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Old 14 February 2016, 16:59
Padre1953 Padre1953 is offline
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In reference to the above postings:
Disregard last.
The reason I have 16 postings in over 5 years is I read more, and post very little. Just adding what I thought were some thoughts.
Never mind. I'll not bother anybody else with my thoughts or opinions.
Sigh!
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Old 14 February 2016, 17:05
Padre1953 Padre1953 is offline
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When I wrote "Disregard last" I meant MY postings.
Just clarifying what I meant. Didn't want anybody to get "butt hurt"
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Old 14 February 2016, 17:07
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When I wrote "Disregard last" I meant MY postings.
Just clarifying what I meant. Didn't want anybody to get "butt hurt"
Dude. No one here is "butt hurt" (well, I'm not ) and you shouldn't be either. I think we just have a very different opinion about the sheep/sheepdog/wolf analogy and the role of the military/police in society. Probably a conversation better had over a beer.
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Old 14 February 2016, 18:58
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I got what you were saying, I just addressed a couple of those points you brought up by mentioning my personal mindset and some of what was taught in the class. Sort of like the point you brought up again about being shot in the back by a cop, that is a risk discussed in the class and we were taught ways to mitigate that risk. There is no way to erase that risk completely, so its something that a person has to consider and decide if the risk is worth it for them as an individual.

Xxxx
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Old 14 February 2016, 19:08
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HF0311, it was a very good AAR, thanks....
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Old 14 February 2016, 19:49
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HF0311, it was a very good AAR, thanks....
Thanks, hopefully it helps anyone who is looking to take a class narrow down their choices.

I would also suggest any LE guys, if possible, to either get down their themselves or to send a couple experienced guys from their departments down there so they can bring what Paul's teaching to their PD's. There's lots of guys teaching good stuff on the shooting side, but I don't know as there is anyone teaching target discrimination the way he is.
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Old 15 February 2016, 18:39
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Sigh....
You're going to make me post the picture of you in your "I am the Sheepdog" T shirt aren't you?
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