After Action Report OK, OK… After Training Report A summary of my “close quarter battle” class at Asymmetric Solutions USA in Farmington, Missouri. Here's the web site for the civilian classes and more info: http://www.asymmetricsolutionsusa.com/civilian Asymmetric Solutions USA is truly the Midwest’s premier training facility, featuring a simply enormous shoot house, the fourth largest in the nation. Asymmetric is a USA Defense Department approved contractor and has been offering a location for training of a wide range of military units, including: Tier 1 units (Navy Seals, AF special forces, US Army SF, etc. etc. Their facility offers literally thousands of acres of various geography, including rolling grassland, rather steep rocky terrain, etc. They have constructed a facility that closely resembles the typical forward operating base that many of our troops experience overseas. Units come and stay for one to two weeks of intensive training. They are located in the stunningly beautiful rolling hills of South/Central Missouri about a 1.5 hour drive southwest of the St. Louis metro area. Their property allows for a wide range of training opportunities for special forces, SWAT teams and LEO units. They recently began offering training for civilians and today was my fifth training experience out at Asymmetric and I could not be more pleased. The instructor staff consists of highly trained, deeply experienced former military, and various former federal agency operators. Today’s class, “Close Quarter Battle” was based on, and built from, the skills taught in their combat pistol and combat carbine classes. Six of us met up around 8:30 in the morning and from there it was intense training, with dry weapons until around 1:00 or so. We reviewed basic room and house clearing skills taught in previous classes, but kicked it WAY up. We practiced one man clearing, two man, three man, then five man training. The shoothouse offers a bewildering variety of rooms, tight corners, small rooms, long hallways, basically your nightmare scenario for clearing a house. We ran drills all morning and took a break for lunch. The afternoon was devoted to live fire excercises, running all the scenarios we had intensively trained on in the morning. I particulary appreciated the fact that the instructors are not simply trying to make us feel like some kind of fake commandos, but explain carefully how we, as civilians, need to put the skills to use. We are NOT simply storming into a room or house shooting anything that moves. We are mindful of our situation and made VERY mindful of the legal, ethical, religious implications of what we may have to do and over and over they emphasize that IF we ever doubt if we can actually execute what is being taught, to simply barricade in a secure area and wait for police to arrive. This is NOT a training facility for dumb-ass militia/commando/special forces wanna bes. This is the real deal. Very, very serious stuff. The stress level was HIGH, trust me and when stress levels are high basic skills tend to go to crap. This is why it is so important that this class is taken ONLY after instructors have approved students who have made it through the prerequisite combat carbine/pistol classes. We ran a wide variety of drills and scenarios. The instructor mixed it up by presenting a variety of targests, marking them as friend/foe. We went over and over our techniques, and the live fire portion was, well, let us say, exciting. Nothing quite like clearing rooms and houses with live fire from 5.56 Carbines blasting away. SAFETY IS NUMBER ONE AT ASYMMETRIC SOLUTIONS This, to me, is really the “genius” of Asymmetric training. They work very hard to build you up in your basic firearm handling skills, in a combat scenario and SAFETY is absolutely number one. In our prerequisite classes we run many, many and … many … safety drills learning how to hold our firearms at low ready, avoiding muzzle flagging anyone, how to switch our safeties on/off in a “muzzle flag” drill that will truly drive you crazy, but it is a GREAT way to learn how to get that muzzle DOWN the moment a teammate crosses in front of you. Yes, of course, cleared and safed weapons. I’m impressed how the instructors very carefully check every single student’s firearm to make sure it is EMPTY clear and SAFE when we drill, drill , drill. The live fire exercise are, um, energizing and I’ve truly ever felt so much stress and adrenalin in my life and we are not even being shot back at! All the skills we have been taught through repeated exercises in our prerequisite classes culminate in CQB training. I was absolutely wiped out by around 4 / 5 when we finally broke for the day. One of the really fun parts is that you get to shoot any firearm you brought at one of the ranges. I love shooting steel with rifles, so we put a lot of rounds down range and shot anything anyone else brought. I got to shoot my Glock 34 a LOT today and … I’m in love. Wow. There is an excellent spirit of team work in the classes and I ‘ll say this: Your respect and appreciation for the professional who do this constantly for a living absolutely goes into orbit. Wow. So, if you are anywhere near the St. Louis metro area I will tell you this. YOU WILL LOVE TRAINING AT ASYMMETRIC. It’s worth a long drive, there are nice, inexpensive motels near the facility. I can easily see a group of buds making a day trip to the area to participate in a weekend long training experience. Check out Asymmetric’s web site: http://www.asymmetricsolutionsusa.com/civilian Check out the classes they offer. Seriously, guys, do yourself a favor and take their fundamental classes, first, you will NOT regret it and you WILL learn a LOT. If all you have done is punched holes in paper, your mind will be blown, totally, by how much you will learn. OK, there you go guys.