Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tactical Training

Even daily exercise can provide an opportunity for tactical training. We often encounter our neighbor's German shepherd on our morning walks. Since she had puppies, she has become more protective of her territory. This morning, the dog approached a little more closely than before. As we passed it, I told Laura & Merrianna to move up ahead of me. That was a tactical decision.

I wanted the advantage of knowing just where the people I had to protect were in relation to the threat. I hope you can see from this example that tactical thinking isn't rocket science; it's just common sense applied to threat response. You may think that this is something you've never had to do, but if you've ever tried to practice defensive driving, you've had to train yourself to think tactically.

You can find an illustration of the need for sound tactical training in Sunday's shooting at New Hope Church. According to news reports, Matthew Murray hated Christians, and his tactics reveal that he planned to kill as many as he could. Some say Jeanne Assam may have saved more than a hundred people by shooting him.

At an entrance on one side of the church, Murray lobbed a smoke grenade. Then he drove his car to the opposite end of the church and entered. He was practicing a tactical diversion. People would naturally move away from the smoke (perceived threat) toward the opposite side of the building -- toward the place Murray planned to ambush them.

The church's security plan was also tactical. Among their volunteer security force, from what I can gather, they had one individual trained and armed. (The whole concept of using unarmed security in a situation like this is a subject for another rant/post) She was stationed at the center of the sanctuary. From here she could respond to a threat coming from any direction. That's a tactical decision.

In every violent encounter, you will find tactics used. Planned tactics, extemporaneous tactics, good tactics, bad tactics, but in the the end each fight demonstrates the outworking of two tactical approaches. There are other factors in a violent encounter, but tactics are inescapable.

Out of this tragedy, I hope that you will not only see the importance of self tactical training, but that you will accept the challenge to begin the practice of tactical thinking in your daily life.

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