Excerpt: Principles of training and developing an ASR training plan
PoliceOne is pleased to publish an excerpt from Scott M. Hyderkhan's book The Active Shooter Response Training Manual. Hyderkhan is a retired Master Sergeant of the United States Army. His experience spans 20 years, which encompassed a military professional career in service of the 75th Ranger Regiment, 7th Infantry Division (Light), and the 10th Mountain Division. His professional military expertise is in small unit tactics. Hyderkhan now serves as a Law Enforcement Officer in Washington State. The manual can be purchased here.
US Army doctrine has established 10 principles of training that is found in FM 7-0 Training the Force. With some modification we have adopted them for law enforcement use. These principles provide guidance when developing department training.
Principles of Training:
1.Administrators are responsible for training.
2.First line leaders are overall responsible for the technical and tactical proficiency of their team, or shift.
3.Train as a regional force.
4.Train for proficiency.
5.Train to standard using appropriate doctrine.
6.Train to adapt.
7.Train to maintain and sustain.
8.Train using multiechelon techniques.
9.Train to sustain proficiency.
10.Train to develop leaders.
1. ADMINSTRATORS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR TRAINING
Administrators are responsible for training and performance of their junior leaders, officers, and department. They are the primary training managers and trainers for their organization. They are actively engaged in the training process and adhere to the 10 principles of training. To accomplish their training responsibility, administrators must-
- Be present at training to maximum extent possible.
- Base training on mission requirements.
- Train to applicable standards.
- Assess current levels of proficiency.
- Provide the required resources.
- Develop and execute training plans that result in proficient individuals, leaders, and divisions or sections.
Administrators delegate authority down to subordinate leaders as the primary trainers of Individuals, teams, shifts, and divisions or sections. Administrators hold subordinate leaders responsible for conducting standards-based, performance-oriented, duty focused training and provide feedback on individual, team, shift, and division or section proficiency.
2. FIRST LINE LEADERS ARE OVERALL RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TECHNICAL AND TACTICAL PROFICIENCY OF THEIR TEAM, OR SHIFT.
First line leaders continue the law enforcement indoctrination of their subordinate officers after their completion of the FTO program. First line supervisors are responsible for ensuring that subordinate officers are trained to standard on all day to day duties. Standards-based, performance-oriented training must be utilized.
In ASR training shift leaders can ensure success by simply conducting periodic walk and talk thru and dry run training. By conducting periodic individual task training, the shift leader will also ensure officer proficiency of individual tasks. All of the above training is opportunity training. Time management is the key to this type of training. This type of training is often called hip pocket training.
3.TRAIN AS A REGIONAL FORCE
In the Active Shooter Response mission, create a regional response. The following areas are critical in establishing an organized regional response: Standardized contact and casualty evacuation teams and doctrine utilized by those teams; Chain of Command in a regional response; Asset coordination; Command and Control measures.
Contact and Casualty Evacuation Teams should be standardized.
1.Establish common standards for teams.
2.Operate within parameters of established written doctrine.
Command and Control (Also see Section 5 Command and Control considerations)
1. Departments establish Chain of Command protocol for a regional response.
2. Establish streamline procedures for requesting mission critical assets such as the following (list not all inclusive):
a) Rotary wing
c) Bomb squad
e) Federal Law Enforcement assets
f) Marine (Police Boat Patrol)
g) Coast Guard
h) National Guard
3. Rehearse at the regional level
a) Leader table top exercises
b) TEWO (Tactical Exercises Without Officers)
4. TRAIN FOR PROFICIENCY
The goal of all training is to achieve the standard. In the ASR mission this develops and sustains contact teams. If we operate proficiently at the contact team level, we will be successful. To achieve this success, departments must train to standard under realistic conditions. Achieving standards takes hard work by administrations, first line leaders, and officers. Within the confines of safety and common sense, leaders at the administrative level and below must be willing to accept less than perfect results initially and demand realism in training. They must integrate such realistic conditions as imperfect threat information; reduced communications, noise, and visual obstruction; use of force challenges; simulated CBRN environment; loss of key leaders; victims and by standers; varying lighting conditions. Hands on training is not just good, it is a necessity.
Realistic. Tough, realistic, and intellectually and physically challenging training, excites and motivates officers and leaders. Realistic training builds competence and confidence by developing and honing skills, and inspires excellence by fostering initiative, enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn. Successful completion of each training phase increases the capability and motivation of individuals and teams for more sophisticated and challenging achievement. This is a command’s continuous quest.
Performance-Oriented. Departments become proficient in the performance of critical tasks and missions by practicing the tasks and missions. Officers learn best by doing, by using the hands-on approach. Commanders and first line leaders plan training that will provide these opportunities. All training assets and resources, to include training aids, and devices, must be included in the department’s training strategy.
5. TRAIN TO STANDARD USING APPROPRIATE DOCTRINE
ASR training must be done to National standards and conform to written doctrine (elements of FM 7-8). All techniques used must fall within the parameters of the doctrine.
6. TRAIN TO ADAPT
Commanders train and develop adaptive leaders and departments, and prepare first line leaders to operate in positions of increased responsibility. Repetitive, standards-based training provides relevant experience. Commanders intensify training experiences by varying training conditions. Training experiences coupled with timely feedback builds competence. Leaders build team and officer confidence when they consistently demonstrate competence. Competence, confidence, and discipline, promotes initiative and enable officers to adapt to changing situations and conditions. They improvise with the resources at hand, exploit opportunities and accomplish their assigned missions. Training to adapt is an important principle in successfully preparing for the ASR mission.
7. TRAIN TO MAINTAIN AND SUSTAIN
Officer and equipment maintenance is a vital part of every training program. Officers and leaders are responsible for maintaining all assigned equipment and supplies in a high state of readiness to support the ASR mission. Mission essential equipment must be kept in locations established by the command. Officers must become experts in both the operation and maintenance of their equipment. Officer physical fitness is another area that needs to be maintained. Officers must have the physical stamina to conduct the day to day duties of a police officer. The ASR mission is a physically and mentally taxing mission. Departments need to establish physical fitness programs.
8. TRAIN USING MULTIECHELON TECHNIQUES
While conducting team level ASR training, is a good time to conduct command level training such as Command Post activities. Also, while conducting Emergency Management training, such as establishing and conducting an Emergency Operation Center (EOC), tactical training could be conducted by contact teams and the Incident Command Post. This provides invaluable training realism and experience to multiple levels of the department. These are just two methods of conducting multiechelon training. Multiechelon training requires detailed planning and coordination by commanders and leaders at each echelon.
9. TRAIN TO SUSTAIN PROFICIENCY
Once officers and teams have trained to a required level of proficiency in the ASR mission, leaders must structure a mix of multiple formal and informal training sessions. Formal ASR training events must be spread evenly over the year, coupled with individual and collective task training, conducted informally by leaders, periodically at roll call training.
This two pronged sustainment training plan establishes multiple repetitions of critical tasks. This enables a department to operate within a Band of Excellence through appropriate repetition of critical tasks. The Band of Excellence is the range of proficiency from which a department is capable of executing the ASR mission.
10. TRAIN TO DEVELOP LEADERS
By having first line leaders conduct informal ASR roll call training to their shifts and by conducting the formal ASR training to the same leaders and their shifts, we are supporting the final principal of training, Train to Develop Leaders.
Developing an ASR Annual Training Cycle:
Below is an example of a 1 year ASR training cycle. The plan is based on a 38 man department with 3 x 8.5 hour shifts per day. The work week cycle is 6 days on and 3 days off. Each shift has a sergeant and a corporal in their chain of command. Sergeant’s and corporal’s on the same shift have their shifts staggered, so as not to leave the shift without formal leadership.
One year ASR training cycle
1. Save training dollars.
2. Create a flexible plan that can be increased and decreased based on training dollars
available and time available.
3. Train as a team/shift.
4. Create team building with leader emphasis.
5. Increase repetition in training.
6. Sustain adequate level of competency for the year.
7. Change venue every training event.
8. Train during shifts hours of operation.
Training will occur in the first month of each quarter.
Phase 1: One week of Roll Call training.
a) Conducted just prior to Force on Force training.
b) Conducted by ASR trainers.
c) Shift sergeant and corporals will conduct informal opportunity training
throughout the year on individual and collective tasks.
d) Combination of video, power point and walk and talk thru and dry run
Phase 2: 1.5hrs of Force on Force Training.
a) Conducted after roll call training (within 1 week if possible).
b) Conducted in the last 1.5hrs of each shift.
c) Training conducted twice per shift, for a total of 6 iterations. This ensures all
officers from each shift attend training.
d) Detectives Section, Marine Patrol Section, and Administration training will
occur during the duty day (0700-1700) for 1 iteration.
e) 2 instructors, Officer in Charge and Safety Officer.
f) Utilization of Airsoft weapons over simunition is a cost saver (amunition costs) and time saver (due to simunition safety controls).
g) Actors and opposition force(s) utilized.
h) All scenarios will be filmed and filed.
Shift Training Schedule, Shift Coverage and Overtime:
a) 1st shift 0600hrs-0730hrs x 2 days.
b) 2nd shift 1400hrs-1530hrs x 2 days.
c) 3rd shift 2200hrs-2330hrs x 2 days.
d) Detectives, Marine and Administration x 2hrs x 1 day.
NOTE: TRAINING WILL OCCUR ON EACH SHIFTS DAY BEFORE SHIFT ROTATION, AND THE FOLLOWING DAY (DAY OF THE SHIFT ROTATION), THIS WILL ENSURE ALL OFFICERS ON THE SHIFT ARE SCHEDULED FOR TRAINING.
2. Shift Coverage:
a) 1st shift training covered by 3 x 2nd shift officers.
b) 2nd shift training covered by 3 x 3rd shift officers.
c) 3rd Shift training covered by 3 x 1st shift officers.
d) Detectives, Marine and Administration no coverage required.
a) 3 x officers x 1hr: 3.0hrs OT per event.
b) 6 events per quarter, total overtime hrs for shift coverage: 18hrs.
c) Total for 4 quarters: 72hrs.
d) Total for once per month: 216hrs.
e) Cost per quarter: $1,044.00.
f) Training per year for quarterly training $4,176.00.
g) Training per year for once a month $12,528.00.
* All overtime calculations were calculated at $58.00 per hour rate.
* There is a scheduled ½ hr overlap between shifts, this gives the additional half hour of training time.
NOTE: THE INSTRUCTORS ARE PAID FOR A REGULAR 8.5HR SHIFT. THEY MUST BREAK BETWEEN TRAINING EVENTS.
The Active Shooter Response Training Manual can be purchased here.