Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Team Tactics

You and your wife are at a rest area off the interstate when a man with a knife steps out from around a corner. While answering a domestic call shots are fired. In a few minutes there are officers from three different agencies on the scene. You’re at the mall with the kids when you hear shots and screams echoing. People are running in every direction. You and your team are in a fight.

It’s hard to predict when we’ll get into a fight. Think car wreck; they are normally surprises. And in a fight you’ll never know who will be with you. It may be an armed partner you are used to working with, or it could be officers from another agency. You may be partnered up with two twelve year olds. Team tactics are a necessary skill for fighting, but we need to think outside the box and consider that we can’t always choose our teammates, and that “team” doesn’t mean everyone is armed or capable of fighting.

The fundamentals of fighting are the same for teams as they are for an individual: move, communicate, shoot as necessary and use cover when possible. The problem is that working these skills in conjunction with other people becomes exponentially difficult. Working in a team can be a disadvantage, in the “you have kids with” department, but not a problem that can’t be solved with prior preparation. Having partners that can assist you can create exponential advantages, even if they are not armed.

When you are teamed up with those who will require assistance – kids, elderly, or those who have no clue what to do in a threatening situation – you’re required to deal with the problem while taking care of others. As with any fighting skill this means working on techniques specifically suited for your particular situation. You might not want to take the kids to the range for this one, but a large carry bag with weight in it can simulate the same situation.

With armed partners it still takes training and practice to execute team skills properly. If possible it’s a good idea to set up some practice shoots where you can work with officers from surrounding departments. Another factor to consider is when working with others is that somebody has to take charge, evaluate the team, and direct their responses. This may not necessarily concur with rank, and you may be the one best suited to make these assessments and decisions.

Even an unarmed partner can assist you, again if you’ve thought about how this is done in advance. An extra set of eyes and ears means visual contact with a larger area of your environment. Remember, in the real world danger can come from any direction, and in three dimensions.

Team tactics can be practiced without going to the range and shooting. With kids explain to them what may happen if a “fire” breaks out. For adults who may not be tactically inclined you’ll need to work out a response plan in advance. With armed partners you’ve got to practice to exploit the advantages of a team. Expand your thoughts about “team tactics” so that you’ll be prepared when the time comes.

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September 19, 2010 - Posted by | Defensive Mindset, General Training

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