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Low-Light Engagements: Instructor Course

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 54 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2006 Pages: 64-68
Mick Williams
Date Published
March 2006
5 pages
This article profiles the "Strategies of Low-Light Engagements Instructor Course" conducted at the Regional Training Center in Sioux City, IA.
The focus of the course, which lasts 40 hours over 5 days, focuses on fighting and winning against an attacker in low-light conditions, using techniques that include a handgun and flashlight. The course provides instruction in light use and management, movement, team communication, and effective control of subjects with all the tools available. The class begins with a morning lecture that outlines the guiding principles to be followed in the subsequent hands-on training. A concept introduced early and reinforced often throughout the course is the importance of breathing and posture. Much of the strategy for low-light engagements is based on an officer's ability to move and create chaos for the attacker through the movement. Effective movement requires balance based on good posture and correct breathing techniques. Another topic addressed is the mental process typical in a high-risk situation. Management of this process is done through the OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act) developed by Col. John Boyd. The course has 6-10 hours of the Strategos' Physical Conflict Resolution (PCR) curriculum. This involves the integration of flashlight use, weapons skills, and physical tactics. The barricade field, which is part of the Strategos program, exposes students to angle problems that must be solved through communication and coordinated movement of partners. Throughout the week, instructors address the use of light to control and disorient the attackers. Range drills with live fire emphasize coordinating the light with movement and weapons handling. The class ends with a practical test at an abandoned aircraft, where students work in teams of six in two force-on-force exercises.