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AAR, Class Review: KEN ALLEN TRAINING: MOVEMENT, SEARCHING & ENTRY 3-20-21, Pelham, NH

jeffwatch

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KEN ALLEN TRAINING

PRACTICAL TECHNIQUES FOR MOVEMENT, SEARCHING & ENTRY (carbine)
March 20, 2021 – Pelham, NH
AAR

Instructor: Ken Allen
Weather: Sunny 35-52 degrees.
Location: Pelham Fish & Game, Pelham, NH
Class Size: 20
Time: 10:30-8:30
Round Count: 150-175+/- (reduced for ammo shortage)
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This was my first class with Ken Allen Training, he came recommended by a few people that I keep seeing in other training classes I have attended in the past. You tend to see the same faces when you train a lot and stay within a 250-mile radius of your home town. I came in with an open mind and no perceived conceptions of what the day would bring. I wanted to learn, shoot and have some fun with my kind of people in the North East.

A few days before the class started, I received a welcome packet email from Ken Allen Training. Of all the classes I have been to this was the most comprehensive class informational packet I had ever received. It had everything from the detailed class description, gear list, directions, exactly where to park, where to go once inside the club gate, liability waiver, weather conditions for the scheduled class date, clothing recommendations, how and where to stage firearms, restrooms, lunchtime, possible offsite lunch locations and more… GOOD JOB KEN!
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We started off the class with an instructor and student intros: Ken told the class his professional and training background and we told each other who we were and what we did for a living. It was obvious that most of the guys knew each other from Ken's previous classes. Repeat customers to the same instructor is a very good indication that this would be a good training company if the same students would pay tuition and ammo to come back to the same instructor.

Ken went through the safety brief, and medical brief having the students with professional medical experience and advanced medical training raising their hands and having everyone see who they were. Each of us was asked to have at least a TQ on our body and suggested a larger supply of medical items be carried. We went around the group telling everyone where on our body was our TQ located in case they needed to access it. We set up protocols incase a training accident were to occur, how to bring EMS into the club. This was important to me. I have been to well know training nationally known companies that just say "if you get shot fix yourself… end of the medical brief."

Ken walked us through the day on what we going to learn and how the day was going to flow. He explained how to approach doorways, our feet and body positions, muzzle positions, and how exactly to start “slicing the pie” being careful and mindful of how much you are exposing your body or your gun to the potential enemy. Ken touched on how to use white light and how not to use white light. Going over the pros and cons of a weapon-mounted light and the absolute need for a handheld light. We spent a good amount of time “on/in the range classroom” learning the techniques and procedures of how the angles worked for us and against us.

We started off the live fire portion of the class with cold UP drills from CQB distances about 5 yards working are our induvial off-sets. We did them from low ready, and relaxed low ready, high ready, and then Ken went up and down the line one by one using the shot timer. He wanted to show each of us that there was a very slight increase in time increase from a low ready to a relaxed low ready (rifles just hanging). That was an interesting data point for me.

We did some sling work as we transitioned the rifle from shoulder to shoulder as we went in and out (necklace hang) of the sling, tightening and loosening the sling as we need to. My preference is the necklace hang when I am shooting, I’ll get back into the sling after the shooting is over. Especially in colder weather with bulky layers on.

We started working live-fire angles after the lunch break pairing us up with another student, the other nonshooting student was watching our feet, and muzzle as we went through the drills. Range barrels were set up in 4x4 configurations two next to each other and two high. A 30-36” ish space to replicate a doorway, and then again another 4 barrels (2 wide, 2 high) this was repeated all the way across the width of the range. About 10 doorways.

As we were setting up the doorways, General Donald C. Bolduc showed up to our range to kick off his NH Senate campaign. He gave a short speech, shook all of our hands, made small talk with us for a few minutes. He is a very engaging man and his love for this country sent goose pimples up and down my body. I wish I was an NH resident and could give him my vote! We were told by some of the students that he took part in Operation Medusa (Sept. 2006) as commander of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group. There were some students that were kind of angry(ish) saying it was an interruption of the class, I get it, but I thought it was amazing to hear someone like him talk for a few minutes. I had no issue with it!

Back to the drills… We went slow at first as Ken was calling out the numbers as we slowly brought our rifle up and started slicing the doorway. For range safety reasons our muzzles were to be forward of the barrels inside the “room” but ken told us this would not be the case in real life. (possible training scar, but I get it.) We would shoot our target as soon as we saw it with three rounds to the center mass. We did this drill many times burning it in and getting faster and smoother with our movements.

We were told to bring T-shirts to class, we covered our target with T-shirts or hoodies. I had heard of this before but had never done it. I did not think it was going to a big deal until I actually did it. When you have the littlest amount of stress put on you the t-shirt f***s with your mind for a split second. There is no aiming point like a target. A couple of iterations I found my eye going to writing on the T-shirt and that’s where the shot broke or just low of the letters (not accounting for off-sight). I have enough experience and reps to know where on a standard target my dot needs to be in order to get a center mass hit. Put a black T-shirt on top of the target and I was hitting low. f*** MAN! I liked adding the T-shirt over the target very much!

We did a lot of slicing the doorways coming from the left side and then coming from the right side. Ken explained how you are always collecting data, is the room center-fed?, corner fed?, does the door swing in or out?, where are your blind spots going to be. He went over all of this in detail.

We went through the entire ten doorways one at a time as ken coached us, only shooting our own target as soon as we could see it so we could be accountable for the hits and misses. Fixing malfunctions (we had been instructed to add dummy rounds to each downloaded mag) and performing reloads behind cover. This drill took a while as there were 20 of us in the group and the drill was fairly long as we had to clear “10” doorways as perfectly as we could. I found that halfway through the stack of doorways (about five doors into the drill) I began crossing over my own feet. BAD! Ken kept telling me not to and for some reason, my feet did not listen. My focus was angles and shot placement in a black t-shirt.

The last drill of the day was a large bounding drill you did with a partner. Each on their own side of the range shooting their specific target covered with a T-shirt. A paper plate was stapled center mass inside the T-shirt so you could see how you did. Cover was set up from 7 to 45 yards. You were to shoot your target six times communicate a specific phase to your partner and move to the next piece of cover. When it was my turn it was getting pretty dark…at my age and with my old eyes getting accurate dot alignment on a dark T-shirt was an issue. I should have turned the intensity of the dot down but by the time I realized it I was in the drill and could not stop. The range had soft beach sand on the ground so hitting the ground on your knees and leaning out behind cover was not painful, trying to get up from the ground fast different story….

The live-fire portion of the class was over. We clean-up and had a pretty in-depth debriefing going over the entire class and then going around the student group each getting the chance to tell the good and bad of the class in their views. Certificates and handshakes were handed out and we were out the gate by 8:30ish

I enjoyed Ken’s class, it was a little slower than other classes that I have attended in the past. I think it was because of the size of the class and the intentionally reduced ammo count. Ken is a really personable teacher that is down-to-earth, easy to talk to, and is someone you’d want to hang out with. He is clear in his instructions, he demonstrates by shooting the drill showing the class what he wants and how he wants it to be done. I will be back taking more of his classes in the future.
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