Why use Ultimate Training Munitions (UTM) to supplement firearms training?
Police and military personnel, often use simulated Ammunition or “sim rounds,” during training scenarios in high threat situations. The private security industry is steadily growing, putting more personnel on the street that have not been formally trained to handle armed conflict. Sim round training offers the ability for executive protection agents to receive the same type of scenario based training as military or law enforcement.
We at Pacific West Academy use it during our executive protection training program with students that are going into the field for the first time or are continuing their personal protection education.
Scenario Based Training
Using UTM in scenario training requires students to make decisions with more stress and environmental distractions than when utilizing paper or steel targets. Deciding to shoot or not shoot by looking at a two-dimensional target is simply finding the weapon on the flat surface. Moving, three-dimensional targets that can conceal a weapon or create distractions makes an agent take extra time to discern whether he/she should shoot or not shoot. Shooting positions can change, backdrops can change, target shape can change, etc.
A force-on-force scenario makes it tough for students to “game” the scenario, making training more about acting and reacting than memorization. “Gaming” scenarios is something most shooters have done at some point in their training career and you can see this in action during shooting competitions. This allows them to have faster drawing, shooting, transitioning and moving speeds because they know where targets, corners, and spaces are in relation to the drill. While this may look great on video, it does not necessarily help with training against an opponent. I say necessarily because it does help with your fundamentals concerning becoming faster overall. To quote Bolo Yeung in the movie Bloodsport “…but brick not hit back.” When a live target is entered into a shoot/no shoot scenario, people react differently.
The actual ammunition plays a large role in the training. Laser tag offers a similar type of force-on-force training without the possibility of pain. Round velocity is 375 fps, 25% faster than a paintball, which can be painful when not wearing proper protective gear. UTM training can instill a general sense of fear due to a sim round actually hitting a student. This isn’t true for all trainees, all still know that they cannot be killed by UTM rounds while wearing proper PPE, so some still react as if it is a game. However for most, it becomes a bit scarier to know that someone is shooting at you and you can be hurt. With this fear, training inadequacies become accentuated, allowing students to learn how to not expose themselves more than they should and place more accurate shots on target when in a hostile shooting scenario. Shooting accuracy can be scored as well using the UTM rounds. With a 2” group at 25 meters as a standard, training for indoor scenarios is easy, and deficiencies cant be “gamed” because of poor ammunition as the cause of a missed shot. UTM exposes poor shooting fundamentals during the scenarios because most shooters get frightened and tense when confronted with an enemy. In football this can be considered getting “alligator arms.” Students can work through this fear and become better marksmen with general training using UTM.
The UTM systems available for use also allow executive protection training with real firearms. While in training, the students are able to use the same style of pistol for UTM training as when shooting on a live fire range. Familiarization time can be extensive when using laser systems and paintball systems because they may not mirror the on-duty firearm a security professional might carry. UTM eliminates that by allowing the user to utilize his/her firearm, with specific attachments, to take part in force-on-force scenarios. Malfunctions happen, most shooters experience numerous malfunctions throughout their career. Correcting them becomes a cornerstone of firearm training and a life saving measure in a real gunfight. Using UTM and force on force scenarios directly shows students who have a malfunction, staged or otherwise, how important it is to have a working knowledge of how to correct malfunctions with firearm in a live situation. When this can be done with the same firearm an executive protection agent carries on duty, once again, it limits the time needed to familiarize the agent with his/her weapon when it is time to shoot live ammunition.
Our Students Say
I just want to say thank you to ASC for everything. After I graduated I got a call from ****** Security about my interview that I had with them on the last day of school. They said that the skill set and training I received from ASC (along with my military background) place me far beyond the average person who applied for a job with their company. And because of that they want to hire me not as a security guard, but as a shift supervisor. I couldn't believe it. One of my fears about starting my career and security was that I would graduate from training and not receive any job offers. However since graduating ASC I've been offered two jobs (one as a supervisor and one as a guard) and the pay for both are great. The money I'm going to start making is way more than what I was before so for that I want to say thank you. It was because of you guys that my life changed course and now the possibilities are ever-changing. Be sure to pass my thanks to Connor, Omer, Ryan, Jake, Ian, Steve and the rest of the guys.Jovidean Sun Valley, CA
As a former law enforcement officer I thought I had a pretty good understanding of what it would take to be a good Executive Protection Specialist but it's a whole different ball game when you don't have the weight of a badge behind you. Although this course was basically fundamentals, I felt it helped bridge the gap between my experience as a law enforcement officer and the EP field. Although I had done a lot of similar range work before I found the firearms portion of the course work to be very professional and well executed and could see how this would be a great course for someone new to the field. Thanks for a great course.Josh Huntington Beach, CA
I just wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend your CPR course. I know your focus is primarily training bodyguards but as a mother of two I wanted to learn CPR 'just in case.' I never realized there was such a difference between CPR for adults and CPR for infants. I now feel comfortable that if something bad were to happen I have the ability to do CPR. Thank you again.Larissa Courpus Christi, TX
I've been in Executive Protection here in LA since returning from a tour in Iraq in 2005. I think a lot of people who are interested in this field are under the misconception that being a cop, soldier or bouncer will give them all the tools they need to be effective in the EP field. Far from it. These jobs may provide a foundation but they don't provide a true understanding of the dynamics of Executive Protection. Your course was a good introduction to the ins and outs (and potential pitfalls) of EP work. Whether or not someone is new to the field or, like me, just trying to maintain perishable skills, I highly recommend this course.Don Los Angeles, CA