What follows is a continuation of my interview with Tim Sharpee, the course director and primary instructor for our Tactical Commanders Courses. In this post Tim explains how he uses exercises to shape his command training program. He also also answers the question, what rank should attend the training?
Exercise and Experiences: A Way to Develop Best Practices is Every Type of Tactical Operation
It’s often asked; “What level of experience or rank should I have in order to participate in the Tactical Commanders course?” This is a difficult question. The reality is that this course is not based on years of experience or having obtained a certain rank for it to be a success. Instead what makes this course a success is the level of participation, and willingness to share not only each person’s individual or organizational success, but more importantly, sharing their failures. If we’re able to combine the mantra of learning through our experiences; then couple that with those who have, “been there and done that,” with those just starting out in a leadership role – then we are destined to have a great learning experience.
Many of the student’s experiences are drawn out in group exercises. These exercises are meant to work through the myriad of problems we may face and how we can solve them through proper tactics, techniques and available equipment. All of the exercises are taken from real situations; in addition, we inject challenging exercises from situations that our students have encountered.
Anyone involved in leading a tactical team knows that there are real challenges; whether it’s budget constraints, ageing equipment, training hours or recruiting and retaining quality SWAT Officers. Our hope in this class is to identify those issues, and work towards some real solutions. In the end, most leave this class confirming that what they’re doing tactically is correct and that they are moving in the right direction. Others may identify some deficiencies, but leave with solutions. Every tactical commander’s goal has to be that their teams are moving in the right direction. This is especially important when we start the discussion of justifying your tactical team in today’s political climate.