Government Training Institute Newsletter December 2011

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GTI Monthly Mission Brief
A Message from GTI President Chadd Harbaugh

Chadd Harbaugh
Last February our newsletter included an article I wrote entitled "The Perfect Storm." I stated in the document that I worried we were seeing signs of increased violence to come and pointed to multiple issues as contributing factors and evidence. These issues included:
  • US unemployment rate
  • US budget deficit
  • American's perceptions of the problems we face
  • Officer Shootings
  • Drug Violence
  • Inequality in States
  • Domestic Terrorists
  • Religious Conflicts and Fears
  • International Terrorism
  • Middle Eastern Unrest
  • Nuclear Threats
While it would be interesting to wait until February 2012 to perform a comprehensive analysis of the events 12 months later, I felt it fitting to perform a quick SITREP to see where we stood at the end of the calendar year.

Download a pdf file of the complete story.
Gangs in the Military:
A Dangerous Combination for America's Law Enforcement.

By Sgt. Lou Savelli, NYPD (retired)

Lou Savelli
Crips, Bloods, Latin Kings, Asian gangs, white supremacists, and even extremist groups have all infiltrated the military. And when they come home, they are armed and more dangerous than ever. Experts estimate that there are over 14,000 active gang members serving in America's armed forces today. They are given extensive tactical training, access to all types of weapons, experience in teamwork and squad leadership, and even taught how to improvise explosives and use camouflage. With all this knowledge in hand they return from active duty back to the streets and use their combat experience to commit heinous crimes. Now knowledgeable in command, they train their gangs at home in advanced tactics, weapons use, and teamwork. And they use these techniques to commit some of the most gruesome and senseless crimes in American history.

Read the complete story on our website.

For more information on GTI's Gangs and Terrorism courses visit our website.
2012 Training Classes - Schedule Yours Today

Scott Sailor
GTI offers a wide array of law enforcement and military training such as: Surveillance, Sniper, Rappel/Fast Rope, Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) and Close Quarters Battle (CQB) to name a few. In addition, GTI can develop or customize any of our classes to meet your specific training requirements.

GTI is proud to have 5 classes listed on the DHS State Sponsored Course Catalog:
ID-001-RESP Type III Advanced SWAT Operations for Terrorist Environments
ID-002-RESP Type II Advanced SWAT Operations for Terrorist Environments
ID-003-RESP Type I Advanced SWAT Operations for Terrorist Environments
ID-004-RESP Immediate Action Teams (IAT) Active Shooter
ID-006-RESP Basic SWAT Tactical Operations for Terrorism Response

All of GTI's classes can be delivered at either our facility, the Joint Operations Center in South Carolina or they can be brought to your state in a mobile training team format. If you or your agency is looking for training in the New Year, schedule your class today. For a free quote on any of GTI's classes, please contact me directly. Happy Holidays and please stay safe.
The Pentagon's Secret Plans to Secure Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011
By Jeffrey Goldberg and Marc Ambinder
National Journal

By hiding its nuclear weapons from Washington, Pakistan has made them much more vulnerable to jihadists. In response, the Pentagon has devised secret plans to secure the Pakistani arsenal -- by force if necessary. Click here to read the rest of story.

"Nuclear components are sometimes flown by helicopter or driven over roads. But instead of moving nuclear material in armored, well-defended convoys, the SPD prefers to use civilian-style vans, without noticeable defenses, in the regular flow of traffic. And, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official, the Pakistanis have begun using this low-security method to transfer not merely the "de mated" component nuclear parts, but also "mated" nuclear weapons. Western nuclear experts have feared that Pakistan is building small, tactical nuclear weapons for quick deployment on the battlefield. In fact, not only is Islamabad building these devices, it is also now driving them around the streets of Pakistan."

The Government Training Institute's Joint Operations Center (JOC) is the answer for real world training to defeat this threat. For more information or to schedule a site survey contact Jason Kemper at 803-259-1935 or
December Customer News

Alec Sarrazolla
It was a pleasure to be back in Santa Ana California to conduct two of our Active Shooter classes for 67 of the area's finest. Agencies participating in the training included: Huntington Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana, Los Alamitos, Garden Grove, Tustin, US Marshall, Lompoc, Cypress, Westminster, Laguna Beach, and Seal Beach. Again many thanks to Rosa Ponce De Leon for all her hard work.

As this year comes to a close, I would like to personally thank all those in both the military and law enforcement fields who I have had the opportunity to work with. Many thanks to my returning clients who I am lucky to call friends and to my new clients. It truly has been an honor to get to know all of you.

I thank you for the sacrifices you make each and every day and the service you provide to your communities and Country. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Safe, Healthy New Year!

Alec Sarrazolla
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Please mention this ad from Government Training Institute (GTI) Newsletter when calling or emailing.

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Amazing Story DEA "FAST" Agent Joe Piersante

Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 9:05 PM by Al Saibini

This is the description of the incident in Afghanistan where Joe was shot and his current condition:

BACKGROUND Special Agent (SA) Joe Piersante is a member of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team (FAST). DEA FAST has been continuously deployed to Afghanistan since 2005. Teams conduct 4-month temporary assignments, usually in the most austere and non-permissive areas of Afghanistan. The FAST mission targets the highest echelon of narco-terrorists who are corrupting the Afghan society while polluting the world with the scourge of heroin and opium.

FAST missions are focused on the interdiction of large caches of narcotics and arresting senior narco-terror criminal organizations. Within the complex fabric of Afghanistan, one thing is very straight forward. Narcotics traffickers and Terrorist (Taliban) are interwoven so that nothing separates the two bad actors. Narcotics proceeds fuel the insurgency and the insurgency promotes the production of narcotics to keep driving the engine.

DEA FAST has established a unique relationship with the Special Operations Force (SOF) community -- US SOF as well as ISAF (NATO) SOF. The strategy of counter-narcotics/counter-insurgency (CN/COIN) nexus targeting has yielded resounding successes. FAST missions; which at their core are based on DEA working with Afghan law enforcement partners -- the National Interdiction Unit (NIU) -- to extend the rule of law; are embed with SOF units in order to leverage the best in both law enforcement (FAST) and military (SOF) tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP).

OCT 31, 2011 Special Agent Joe Piersante and the rest of his FAST teammates embarked on a mission to search a series of bazaars in northern Helmand Province, in the district of Baghran which is accurately described as a safe haven for the insurgency. Conventional military forces have had limited engagements within Baghran District during the past several years.

As standard operating procedure (SOP), FAST and NIU were embedded with an Australian SOF unit. The combined joint task force (CJTF) departed their forward operating base in the predawn hours of October 31st aboard four MI-17 helicopters. During the ensuing several hours, the CJTF conducted a sweeping cordon and search of a series of bazaars and compounds of interest. Taliban insurgents began to mass in the vicinity of CJTF tactical positions and engaged in effective enemy fire. The CJTF repeatedly repelled the incoming enemy fire and completed their assigned tasks and seized significant quantities of narcotics and evidence.

The fighting intensified as the extraction of troops was underway. As the last helicopter landed, a barrage of enemy fire erupted. Special Agent Joseph Piersante was carrying a MK-43 7.62 belt-fed machine gun and was positioned near the tail ramp of the helicopter. SA Piersante instinctively laid down a wall of fire which suppressed the incoming enemy fire so that his teammates could safely board their helicopter. As SA Piersante concluded his string of fire, he was struck in the head with an armor piercing 7.62mm enemy round. The bullet penetrated his ballistic helmet and entered his skull above the crest of his right eyebrow and traveled laterally across his forehead and exited above the crest of his left eyebrow and thru his helmet again.

SA Piersante was knocked unconscious due to the force of the round and his teammates carried him on to the helicopter. Joe Piersante is the former Mr. Michigan, a hulking frame of a man who weighs 240 pounds without gear and another 100 pounds fully equipped. Joe was medevac to Kandahar Airfield for immediate surgery. His injuries are substantial. He is classified as severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). In addition to TBI, both of Joe's eye orbits were destroyed. Both eyes were lacerated with both retinas detached and cornea severely damaged.

Joe was medevac to Germany where doctors performed a craniotomy to reduce the swelling and dangers associated with inter-cranial pressure. Several days later, Joe - like so many before him - was medevac to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Joe underwent a series of operations including reconstruction of his frontal bridge, using the bone harvested from his craniotomy. Ophthalmologists conduct a pioneering endoscopic operation and were able to successfully reattach both of his retinas.

Five weeks after his injury, Joe is no longer intubated. His trauma team is completely in awe of his progress. Joe is cogent and able to speak and intelligently communicate. The tubes and machines which were keeping him alive are all removed. Joe is eating solid foods and is walking unassisted. His vision prognosis will require time to assess. Joe is able to detect light in both eyes. The bullet caused major trauma and time is needed for the eyes to heal, swelling reduce, and optic nerve to stabilize.

Joe will be transported from Walter Reed to the VA poly-trauma center in Richmond, Virginia in the near future. He faces a long recovery but as displayed on Oct 31st, Joe is a warrior and a fighter. Joe has a daughter Taylor (17) and a newlywed bride Ashley.

Joe and Ashley had been engaged for over a year. Ashley, herself a critical care nurse, secured their marriage license while Joe was still in an induced coma -- stuffed with tubes and machines - i.e., before anyone knew if Joe would be able to talk/walk. Joe and Ashley were married at Walter Reed last weekend. Just shows you the caliber of woman Joe is fortunate to have by his side. Ashley has taken an extended leave of absence without pay in order to be at Joe's side.

God Bless Joe Piersante and the other brave warriors who raise their swords and Stand the Line.

Donations to help defray living expenses for Joe and his family may be made via the DEA Survivors Benefit Fund at Note in the comments that it's for Joe Piersante.
Joint Operations Center

Training Facilitation and Operational Amenities

  • Secure Weapons Storage
  • Secure High Explosives Storage
  • Construction of all obstacles, target arrays, and scenarios
  • Operational Capabilities / Training Secrecy
  • Elimination of ammo draws
  • Consumable items used during the training event
  • Meals can be provided on and off site as part of your training

GTI's Training Coordinators can facilitate the delivery all needed materials to your training area, as well as coordinate other logistics associated with your event, allowing units to train and train only.

To schedule a training event or a site visit, please contact: Jason Kemper at 803-259-1935

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The Government Training Institute (GTI) was founded in 2003 to address needs of state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States with research based training. GTI's multiple courses contain a cooperative curriculum base and ongoing research from the staff with 400 years of operational military and law enforcement experience.

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