After Action Report: Vickers Tactical Carbine Operator - Council Bluffs, IA August 2017
This is an After Action Report from the Vickers Tactical Carbine Operator Course I hosted in Council Bluffs, IA in August 2017. The report is designed to outline the Instructor, Students, Firearms, Range, Weather, Course Format, Topics and lastly, some of my personal thoughts on the Course.
My Goal with AAR's is to give a "sampling" of sorts on the Course. I do not believe in giving a "play by play" as I feel that would take away from the time, effort and energy that students put forth to attend.
Details are outlined below:
5W's and 1H
Who: Larry Vickers of Vickers Tactical.
What: Carbine Operator.
When: August 19-21, 2017.
Where: Council Bluffs, IA @ LHGK.
Why: Efficient and Effective Manipulation and Operation of Carbines.
How: Lecture, Demonstration and Hands On.
Larry Vickers, AKA - LAV. For more information check out www.vickerstactical.com.
Mil Background: Retired Special Operations Combat Veteran.
Firearms Industry: Longtime Firearms Instructor and Industry Consultant.
Numbers: 20 - 19 Males, 1 Female.
Backgrounds: Civilians, Former DotMIL, LE - 2.
Ages: Mid 20's - Mid 60's
AR's - A variety of forms, fashions and makers.
AK - We had 1 in class, unsure of the maker, it was set up with an RDS.
X95 - 1 in class, it was also running an RDS.
Optics: RDS (17), Magnified Optics (3).
Malfunctions - Nothing serious to report.
This is a private range located in rural Council Bluffs, approximately 15 minutes from town.
Dirt back stop behind the firing line with grass underfoot.
Range accommodated all 20 targets on line, but is a little cramped with 20 shooting at once.
Distances reach out to 125ish yards.
Facilities are primitive with a porta-pottie available for those that wish to sit.
TD1: Sunny, Mid 90's with humidity in the HIGH 90's...at one point it was 97%. Little to no wind.
TD2: Rainy, wet, humid with temps in the mid to upper 80's..again, little wind.
All blocks of instruction included explanation followed by demonstration and lastly, Q&A.
There were roughly 30 blocks of instruction covered throughout the two days of training.
The class was broke into 2 relays with one shooting while the other topped of mags, ETC.
Repetitions: Students had anywhere from 5 - 15 reps per block.
Drills: Drills came in after student reps were completed, usually kept to 1 Drill per block.
Team Events: Unlike past Courses I've attended with LAV, this one included NO team events.
Total round count for Carbine was roughly 800 rounds, Pistol was roughly 100.
Class Length on TD1: 9 - 430.
Class Length on TD2: 9-345.
Breaks: Minimal; students were encouraged to do break "activities" while the other relay shot.
Rain Delays: We had a couple rain delays were it dumped on us.
Lunch: 1 Hour each day.
Chow: We at supper on TD1 as a group.
Intro to Course, Content and LAV's background.
AR Set Up - Equipment, Optics, Magazines, ETC...this was ongoing and continuous.
Loading and Unloading.
All things "Zeroing / Aiming / Marksmanship" - Done from 7 out to 100.
All things "Presentation" to include Shooting Positions - Standing, Kneeling, Sitting, Prone .
Pistol Diagnostics and Marksmanship "Work".
Carbine to Pistol Transitions.
Reloads - Right and Wrong Handed with AR, AK, X95.
Malfunctions - Simple and Complex with AR, AK, X95.
Turns (Static / Dynamic) - Right and Wrong Side...and 180's.
Movement - Forward and Backward.
This was the eleventh course I've attended with LAV, and the fourth carbine course. So to say I had a rough idea as to what to expect would be an understatement. But with that said, I was pleasantly surprised to see what I would call significant changes in this one compared to the last course I attended in 2014. Specifically, no team events, more repetitions, more rounds sent down range, and some new content and new drills!
As with every class I've attended with LAV, this one was heavily focused on the shooting fundamentals, accuracy, accountability, and simplicity. Was this one still jammed full of LAV comedy and did Larry give you a hard time if you did something you should know better than to do... YES and YES! In the end, did I walk away from this one with some new ways to look at and attack problems, YES!
While I was the host of the Course, the logistics of this one were handled by Aztec Training Services with them handling all student registration, waivers, targets, certificates, ETC. This was my first time working with Aztec as I usually handle all class logistics personally. Aztec was easy to work with and I would consider using them again for future courses.