Government Training Institute Newsletter August 2012

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GTI Monthly Mission Brief
The Planning Phase of Training and Pre-Functional Area Analysis Work

(Part three of a multi-part report on redefining law enforcement tactical training)

You have probably heard that effective training is the cornerstone of operational success and through proper training, individual officers, leaders, commanders and units achieve tactical and technical competence that builds confidence and agility.  But how do we ensure that training programs build and sustain real capabilities and provide a positive return on our investments into them? Effective training programs require energy, time, financing, facilities, doctrine, material, and various and sundry support from a variety of stakeholders that have a vested interest in the training programs and all of these requirements rely on thorough and effective planning.  

Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), federal agencies are required to prepare strategic plans (updated at least every 3 years) and annual performance plans to provide direction for achieving the agency's overall mission.  As with anything, some plans are much better than others but as a whole, federal agencies do a far better job preparing plans that state and local agencies.  However, there is substantial room for improvement at every level within government.  

The planning phase begins with a vision of the end-result…what do we want our team to be capable of performing? The answer to this question can be found through conducting a Functional Area Analysis (FAA), coupled with a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) plan, and ultimately conveyed through a Commander's Intent.  While the planning phase is the start of the entire training cycle (discussed below), planning and analysis should be continuous.  In the planning phase we have to ask basic questions.  It may seem like common sense that these questions are asked and answered before any training begins but more often than not, it is not the case.  Far too often when we train it is to "check the box" without a thorough analysis as to why and how.  We have to ask and answer the following:

  • Why do we train?
  • What do we train?
  • How do we train?
  • When / how often do we train?
  • Where do we train?
  • How do we validate the training?
  • How do we evaluate the training?
  Read the complete story on our website.

Chadd Harbaugh
Government Training Institute
Twist, what is it, and how does it affect the job?

By GTI Instructor Allen Ford

Today's law enforcement is using the patrol rifle more and more. Departments or officers must consider many factors before employing a new weapon system; here I would like to discuss one factor that is far too often over looked or misunderstood. Twist, what is it, and how does it affect the job?

In the law enforcement or military community, it is important to have a basic understanding of internal, external, and terminal ballistics. Internal; being from primer strike to muzzle exit, external; being the bullet's flight, and terminal; being from impact to the final resting place of the bullet. The bore of a rifle barrel is cut ever so slightly smaller than the diameter of the bullet itself. Grooves are then cut into the bore leaving lands and grooves, much like threads on a screw. As the bullet is pushed down the bore by expanding gases it is forced to begin rotating around its long axis. This rotation, or spin, is what stabilizes a projectile during flight. The rate of this rotation or spin is called the twist rate. The stabilization or lack of stabilization, created by the twist rate can affect external and/or terminal ballistics. For example, higher stabilization results in better accuracy and penetration, where lower stabilization results in earlier tumbling.

We will discuss the 5.56 x 45 in the AR platform here, as it's the most prominent cartridge and weapon platform employed today by law enforcement and military. The research for the original M-16 began with the military looking for a lighter, more compact cartridge to be used at close distances, 300 yards and in, for combat. The initial research on the M-16 showed that it was effective in combat because the bullet had a high lethality. This high lethality was partly due to the fact that the bullet was marginally stabilized. The one-in-fourteen twist rate would rotate the bullet just enough to stabilize the original M193 55 grain projectiles. When the bullet impacted, it was prone to tumbling, giving it good lethality. Often times, as it began to tumble, the force exerted across the side of the bullet would tear it apart and cause tremendous fragmentation.

  Read the complete story on our website.
Immediate Action Teams (IAT) Active Shooter

By GTI Director of Training Dennis O'Connor

Just recently in July and August of this year, we have again been exposed to a deadly shooting rampage of an active shooter in a movie theater in Colorado and a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin. With these random acts of violence, how prepared is the Law Enforcement community to handle these types of deadly incidents?

Post Columbine, schools took a proactive role in setting policies and procedures to address the possibility of an active shooter inside or on the premises of a school. The Law Enforcement community also developed their tactics based on the policy and procedures of the school, commonly known as a "Lock Down".

The question arises, what if it's not a school? What if the environment the shooter is in has no policies or procedures? What if the shooter and victims have the ability to move freely inside and outside the crisis site? The first part to this answer is to develop tactics for the ever changing environment or the environments where you least expect an active shooter to rear their ugly head. The second part is to train in these tactics until the conscious thought becomes an unconscious thought. It is during the training portion of the answer where the problems begin. Usually a police department requires its members to attend an active shooter course and then maybe once a year have a short watered down version as a refresher. This is commonly known as a check in the box.

The reality is that sustainment training needs to happen more often. Teach the officers that the tactics you are teaching can be used in other tactical environments that occur more often, not just in an active shooter incident.

Law Enforcement rank and file not only has a responsibility to ensure its members receive good tactical training but the ability to receive adequate sustainment training to ensure that each and every officer has the ability to save innocent lives.

Visit our website for more information on the Government Training Institute's Immediate Action Teams (IAT) Active Shooter course.
GTI Joint Operations Center (JOC)


The JOC is a former nuclear fuels reprocessing plant that has been converted into an all hazards training site. With much of the structures remaining complete, including control room, tanks, miles of pipes, etc., the JOC can offer a real world training experience.

Scenario Based Training Facilitations for:
  • Chemical agent production or incident
  • Biological agent production or incident
  • Radiological agent production or incident
  • Nuclear agent production or incident
  • Explosive production or incident
  • IED rigged buildings and lanes
  • Clandestine labs
  • Confined space rescue/recovery
  • Chemical and Biological WMD-Warfare
  • Radiological WMD
  • Industrial Agents WMD
  • Asymmetrical Weapons
  • Decontamination
For more information about the JOC CBRNE training capabilities contact GTI by calling: 803-259-1935, Email: or visit our site JOC CBRNE.
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About the Government Training Institute

Founded in 2003, GTI is a center of excellence for law enforcement officers and military personnel whose mission is to train the nation's first responders. GTI's staff comprises 400 years of operational military and law enforcement experience and combines traditional classroom work, research-based training and real-world field exercises to address the requirements of government and law enforcement agencies. GTI delivers more than 30 highly-specialized training programs in the fields of anti-terrorism, terrorism countermeasures, police sniper operations, specialized patrol, high-risk policing activities and a host of law enforcement and military topics relevant to the post 9/11 world.

GTI's Type III SWAT, Type II SWAT, Type I SWAT, Immediate Action Teams (IAT) Active Shooter, Basic SWAT and IED Awareness curricula are approved by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) grant funding program. In 2008, GTI relocated its training facility from Boise, Idaho to South Carolina. The company is headquartered in Eagle, Idaho.
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