In February 2012 I’ll attend the first-ever Southeast Regional Warrior Symposium, presented by SARK Securities and co-hosted by the Orlando (Fla.) City Police Department. This event will be one of four major training and education experiences on my calendar in the first six weeks of the New Year. The three Keynote Speakers alone have me pretty charged up to attend — none other than Dr. Michael J. Sulick, Former Director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, Lieutenant General P. K. Keen, Chief, Office of the Defense Representative – Pakistan U.S. Central Command, and none other than the legendary SGM Billy Waugh (Ret.). There will also be a very special presentation by Bobby Henline, a veteran of Desert Storm by age 19, Bobby reenlisted in the Army after 9/11 and deployed three times to Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division and 3rd Armored Calvary regiment.
On April 7th, 2007, Bobby’s Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb just north of Baghdad. Of five men in the vehicle, Bobby was the only survivor. Bobby now spreads joy and hope through his speaking and stand-up comedy. Yeah, pretty impressive.
“Bobby is amazing — he’s actually going to address the whole conference.” said my friend Chris Ghannam when we connected via phone last week. “He brings a different type of courage. We think of courage on the battlefield or on the street. I look at Bobby and he’s got the kind of courage that reappears every single day he opens his eyes. It’s a little different.”
I’m recommitting myself to getting as much high-quality training as possible so I can become an even more effective partner to American police officers.
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Educating Tomorrow’s Warriors Ghannam — an occasional PoliceOne Contributor — is Chief Technology Officer and Training Coordinator for SARK, and he’s been working on this event for over a year. With the holidays fast approaching, we only had time to speak for just a few moments, and what follows is a brief summary of that discussion. In January I’ll do a follow-up column containing considerably greater detail. For the time being, this will have to suffice.
First and foremost, Ghannam told me that the event will feature the world-class knowledge of subject-matter experts from six different countries. “We’re putting 38 top-notch professionals in front of them and giving them the choice of what specialize track they want to go through in an unparalleled networking opportunity, all within a confined, credentialed, law enforcement and military only conference. It’s a movers-and-shakers venue. If you’re a trainer, sometimes at large venues you might get the opportunity to work closely with one or two of the invited experts — in this venue you’ll be able to work with just about everyone there because it’s such an intimate atmosphere.”
There will be a series of classroom seminars addressing topics such as National Security, Mass Casualty Response, Active Shooter Threat Planning and Preparation, and a host of others. There will be a live-fire venue, hosted by Orlando City PD, at which attending trainers will have the opportunity to work with internationally-recognized instructors SGM Nir Maman, SGM Pete Gould, and Steve Mescan, and the ammo will be provided by SARK Securities.
A Who’s-Who List When we spoke via phone, Ghannam rattled off at least a dozen names of well-known law enforcement, military, and intelligence icons who will be in attendance at the Symposium. He mentioned a series of military, federal and law enforcement experts like Mr. Jeff Norwitz, the former Counterterrorism Chair for the Naval War College, Dr. Elena Mastors, Mr. Neil Puckett, Shay Amir, Chris Kinney, Henk Iverson, Col. Pete Van Amburgh, and Col. Danny McKnight (Ret.). There will be legendary law enforcement experts Alexis Artwohl, Brian Willis, Kevin Dillon, Chris Lawrence, John D. Williams, Michael Asken, and Jeff Chudwin. Hell, Ghannam even said Carlos Machado — a world-class MMA Champion fighter — would be there.
“When you’re talking about the intelligence community and you want some real insight and knowledge surrounding the future direction of international affairs, who better to ask than the former director of national clandestine services for the Agency?” Ghannam concluded. Indeed, sir. Indeed. Suffice it to say, I’m as amped up about diving into the tremendous training seminar program Ghannam and his SARK team has put together with the assistance of LOCKUP and AMJ Security and Vehicle Training as I am about the prospect of meeting Billy Waugh and Bobby Henline in person — and I’m pretty amped up about meeting Billy Waugh and Bobby Henline!
Check this space again in January for additional details. For now, just check out the below video of Bobby Henline.
About the author
Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. In addition to his editorial and managerial responsibilities, Doug has authored more than 700 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association. He is also a member of the Public Safety Writers Association, and is a two-time (2011 and 2012) Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" Finalist in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.
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