May 25, 2008

Army Times: Weapons Training and Qualification Overhauled

Army Times recently reported about an attempt at improving current Army rifle qualification lead by a new organization staffed by former special operations personnel calling themselves the Asymmetric Warfare Group.

Members of the Small Arms Readiness Group met with JP (John Porter) of the AWG and discussed their training.

Overall, their training seems quite good and it is apparent that someone in the know is involved.

However there were a few concerns. For starters, they seem intentionally vague on a number of technical issues and rely on the strength of their "operator" backgrounds to sway the right people into accepting their program.

Some examples:

  • JP pointed out that AMU was their customer unit three times and was completely sold on the AWG's course, until we mentioned that we had already met with them earlier and then the story was that the AMU was co-consulting with them.
  • The phrase "Outcome Based Training/Methodology" was pushed. When I wanted specifics and requested a POI he said that they don't have one and teach "off the top of our heads."
  • When asked "What measured outcome are you basing your training on?" one AWG instructor sort of skirted the issue and said I could have a CD with "all the material you need." That CD contained class overviews, handouts and some courses of fire but I have not yet found any defined standards/outcomes other than that Army Times article.

Most of their big ideas concerning shooting have existed in various circles for years, especially in the competition world. In fact, their targetry consists of steel and cardboard IPSC/USPSA competition targets and LaRue self-resetting steel (similar to Pepper Poppers.)

I could find nothing suspect about their material or methods, however, Big Army could have asked any well-run competition shooting team for this info twenty years ago and had the same answers. Too bad nobody wants to listen to us mere competition shooters. So now, former SF/Delta types have repackaged this same body of information initially created by competitive marksmen, created a slick (but sparse) pamphlet about it, and make news in Army Times.

The good news to those of us involved in organized shooting is this:

Competition shooters make a difference!


Quite often we don't receive credit, as this case clearly demonstrates, but the important thing is that the good info eventually filters down.

You can bypass this filter and get your experience directly from the original source. Get involved in organized shooting today!

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