2 day High Threat Contractor Course AAR at CCJA (Tom Perroni)
This class delivered more than I expected. I was prepared for 20 hours of basic High Threat Contractor PSD training. What I got was a very detail, information packed, high paced 20 hours of intense High Threat Contractor PSD training. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Where to begin…
Two of my training partners are working on a detailed AAR so this will a higher level overview.
Saturday March 27th at the CCJA class room
22 with a varied background:
•Enthusiasts (from established beginners to advanced)
Sunny and cool Saturday, cloudy and cooler Sunday with a brief rain sprinkle. We were fortunate as it rained cats and dogs on the way home Sunday night.
CCJA really delivered here. I was concerned at how packed the classroom was. 22 students and they were turning people away the day of the course, how was this going to happen? Five instructors that is how. Tom, CCJA’s lead instructor, had ensured success by keeping an instructor to student ratio of 1 to 6 or better. CCJA’s instructors have a diverse background from Navy special warfare, current overseas contractor, law enforcement, and much more (CCJA’s website has accurate instructor creds, I do not want to miss-cite). All instruction, classroom and range, was done on a rotational basis. This rotation kept the information exchange fresh and easier to absorb.
A big thank you goes to the CCJA Instructors Chris, Mark, Pete, Jade and of course Tom Perroni. They did an outstanding job and kept us safe.
Course Material –
The weekends training syllabus was presented and my eyes, popped out of my head. Tons of new things to learn in a very aggressive schedule. The ADD in me did not stand a chance.
Side note: The entire weekend was scheduled down to the minute. We covered all material and training in the confines of the schedule without fail. At the end of each lesson the class was asked if there were any questions to ensure all were on the same page, aside from a small follow up question or two the material had been presented effectively. CCJA did a great job here.
Requirements and expectations for overseas work were presented. This was good information but a career I do not intend to pursue at this time. The information did set the tone of the course as the goal was to introduce the student to what was expected of a High Threat Contractor
Static and mobile security was presented and the difference defined. Then we spun down in to the weeds and covered foot and motorcade security details. Leadership, communication, redundancy, and constant movement were the keys here. A lot of moving parts and everyone better know not only their job but all jobs in the detail. Any attack on the principle can and will change what your job assignment. The situation will dictate your role. A couple of real world videos of motorcade attacks and responses were used as teaching aids. I am a visual learner and this helped me connect theory with application.
Site advances was covered next. Everything from planning the routes (primary, secondary, tertiary, and emergency) to building floor plans was introduced to the student. We were instructed the basics of knowing:
•How to fall back to a back up route
•How far out you are from the destination
•Where are the route choke points
•Where the hard room is at the destination
Team communications were introduced. The goal of all communications is to be short and concise. Topics included who is to be on the radio and at what times. Again rolls here can and will change. Without good communication you are dead in the water before you begin (this become very apparent when we started to run cold movement exercises at the range).
A great overview on emergency medical treatment and the “blow out kit” (BOK) was presented. The instructor explained and passed around essential items of a BOK along with an overview of how they are to be used. This was not med training but it did teach me what each item was and how it would be used.
Range Day One –
The pre-requirements of this class were the successful completion of both Carbine and Handgun One (or equivalent). That being said we all know what happens when you make assumptions.
The instructors gave everyone’s kit a quick look to verify it was suitable then all students did a BZO verification. All students verified their zero/proficiency with both rifle and sidearm. Nothing exciting here but necessary none the less.
At this point all rifles and sidearms were unloaded and we began to apply the lessons about movement, comms, vehicles, and foot formations for the rest of the day (the range was cold but all were in full kit and carried their rifles). This was very intense. Drills were done until all were proficient then roles were changed and drills done again. Foot formations, vehicle exiting/entering, radio procedures, and attack on principle were done. Talk about overload. At the end of the day everyone was speechless. Tom asked the class if there were any questions or any feedback and he got crickets in return.
I was spent. I needed to digest the days activities and get some much needed sleep (after dinner of course, thank you Michelle!).
Range Day 2 –
7:00 am start at the range, cool and the sun was just starting to rise.
We started the day covering weapons maintenance. We covered:
All were disassembled, parts explained, lubrication needs discussed, and reassembled. Nothing sexy here but it was driven home that you need to maintain your gear and when you go overseas you have no idea how the weapon you have been issued was maintained. The Instructor encouraged students who plan to pursue overseas work to get armourer certification as it will help their resume stand out against the rest.
At this point we reviewed the previous days lessons and lo and behold, at some point over night, the lessons sunk in! We all moved and communicated effectively. This was a big confidence booster and was much needed before we ran the drills hot.
After lunch was Foreign Weapons Familiarization and it was cool. All students were taught the manual of arms for both the AK47 and the PKM. We also got to shoot both, ammo supplied! I have shot AKs before but the PKM was new to me. This was the high point of the morning. 7.62X54 has authority!
Side note: It was interesting to shoot 3 different AKs side by side. Each one had its own unique qualities/quirks where as shooting ARs side by side not so much.
DSS Qualification Course of Fire was next. Students did both the pistol and rifle qualification. The pistol qual started at 3 yards and ended at 25. Rifle started at 25 (I think) and ended at a hundred. These were easy and I was able to get passing scores on both. Because of the length of the drill it was the only real slow part of the course. It gave me a chance to organize my thoughts.
Then the real fun started. We did live fire bounding drills, attack on principle drills, and ended the day with movement/transition drills. We applied all that we had learned and demonstrated the skills learned in Carbine/Handgun One. I am going to be brief here on purpose. Pulling the trigger was the only thing different from the previous days lesson and if you have not mastered the basics of your carbine and handgun you had no business at this course. (All that said it was the best part of the course)
This course delivered! I now know and can demonstrate the basics of what is expected from a High Threat Contractor. Am I qualified to be a High Threat Contractor? No, nor was that the purpose of the course. Every student was swimming in the deep end during the course and all reached new personal bests. The instruction was top notch and the course syllabus was followed with precision. I recommend this course for anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of High Threat Contractors and to improve on their movement, communication, and weapons handling skills.
I will quote Mark here and again say to the CCJA instructors “Bloody good job mates”!