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Teufelshund Tactical
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7,511 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When I sat down to write this after action report, I realized it would not be brief. How do you summarize such an incredible event? Well, you begin at the beginning.

For me, this meant going back to May of this year. I had been asked several months earlier, by Bill Dermody, Marketing Director of H&K USA, to join several other selected instructors and travel down to a location I was unfamiliar with to provide a three-day promotional training event. Little did I know what an amazing experience that would end up being for me. That unknown location turned out to be the West Orlando Firearms Training or W.O.F.T., a “ground up” break from the norm of what I have come to expect from a training site. And I’m not just referring to the facility itself, but the owner, Philip Toppino, his staff and their entire mission. More on that shortly.

My role at that time was to take what normally is a two-day block of instruction for my MP5 Operator Course and condense it down to three hours and then teach it to six different groups over three days. Doing this in a way that still provides a learning experience and not just bunch of guys shooting MP5s was challenging, but exciting. And in partnering with other great instructors, who were also compressing their programs, we were able to help make that event a great success for H&K.

In the wake of that event, which had been a private function of by name guests of H&K USA from within the “industry”, an opportunity was seized to offer a similar experience, but even more H&K focused and coordinated through HKPRO. With myself, Derek Giddings of H&K Shooting Team fame, and who had been with me in the May event, Jeff Folloder of HKPRO brought on board Tom Dresner, the founder of HKPRO. Then, I coordinated with Bill at HK USA and Philip at W.O.F.T. and began discussing the “art of the possible” to create what I loosely termed as the H&K Training Event of the Year.

To their credit, both Bill and Philip were incredibly willing to make this happen for the H&K fans and we set both a date for the event (9-12 September 2021) and the coordination to support all that would need to go into it. W.O.F.T. is an amazingly adaptive and capable facility by design, so our options had minimal constraints. With multiple indoor and outdoor training areas, a full staff to provide lead instructor and back side support, as well as fully catered meals, I knew that the biggest challenge was already met. And with a power point presentation of support requests and a call to Bill at H&K USA, we were solid there as well. All the weapons needed would be provided for this event, and I was even able to secure the support of the legendary Bob Shultz to join the instruction staff. And finally, through a connection I had made at the May event, Adam Weber of Weber Tactical graciously offered to provide the holsters and mag pouches we would need. With that, we were off and running.

Our plan was to offer three days of training which would be broken down into six blocks of instruction. Each of the 30 or so participants that would attend would be broken into small groups and then each day, those groups would rotate through these six blocks of instruction. That meant, you would arrive in the morning, be treated to a catered breakfast, then a morning brief and then your first block of instruction. Then, back for a catered lunch, a debrief of the morning’s training and then back out for your second block of instruction, wrapping it all up with an afternoon debrief. This would be repeated each day until by the end of the third day, each participant had the opportunity to attend each of the six blocks of instruction.

In order to maximize the potential of both the strength of the W.O.F.T. and HKPRO training staffs, we selected the following blocks of instruction. First, Philip and his staff do a tremendous job with two specific force on force scenarios blocks, one focused on low light and another on an everyday coffee shop. These we knew were crucial to have on the schedule, and everyone who has completed these scenarios can attest to their worth. Next, with Tom Dresner on board, and a wealth of experience in teaching the MP5 course with his experience as a SWAT commander as well as Director of HK ITD, I stepped aside and he was to create his own block of instruction to showcase the MP5 and SP5. With Derek Giddings’ vast experience in competition and the continued rise in interest in learning how to run a handgun with a red dot, Derek began planning a course where he could provide his best tips and techniques. And then for me and Bob Shultz, we were to provide instruction on H&K’s newest product release, with Bob providing it’s Armorer Course and me providing it’s Operator Course.

To these events, we also worked with H&K to offer a couple more unique opportunities for the H&K super fans that would be attending. Bill agreed to put together a presentation on the status of the company, which covered expansion and reorganization of the company at their Columbus, Georgia location, as well as current and emerging programs on both the commercial and LE/Mil sides. He also graciously agreed to provide a series of unique items up for a silent auction, with the proceeds going to an area we could all be proud to support. Then, to further press our luck, I also requested the possibility of H&K bringing some of their more rare weapons out for our participants to be able to get some trigger time on. That would be a real treat for the group.

So, we set forth with final planning and the registration was open. The information was shared through HKPRO and through our own social media and then through word of mouth. W.O.F.T. continues to remain, in my opinion, the best kept secret in training, but it did not take long for the word of this HKPRO event to get out and in short order the slots were all filled up.

No plan survives first contact though, and I did receive word just a couple weeks before the event that the new product release was unfortunately being pushed back, which would prevent its appearance at the event. That meant that not only would the students be disappointed, but that both Bob and myself would have to readjust the plans we had for our blocks of instruction. Smartly though, Bob shifted to providing a VP9 series Armorer Course, and I decided that with the two scenarios that W.O.F.T. was already providing, which focused on a concealed carry environment, that I would just adapt my own two-day Advanced Concealed Carry Course down to a three-hour block. And with that our program was finalized.

Now with all that background out of the way, how was it? It was awesome!

We arrived on a Thursday evening, where Philip and his staff had prepared an informal social event. It was personally exciting to get to meet with the staffs again, which included the first time for me to meet Tom. We had communicated for years, but this would be the first time for us to meet and I was glad that it was going to be at a location where we would both get to see each other training. But it was also personally rewarding for me to be able to be reunited with familiar faces, so many friends attending who had previously attended my own training courses. And for the rest, these were people that I had known through HKPRO, but were finally able to place a face with a username. And of course, there was one more person that I was happy to see. Originally, I had planned to bring my son with me, so he could join in this incredible experience. Sadly though, he got sick just before the event and was unable to come along. So, I called one of my good friends, Yates, and was so glad that he was able to drop everything, hop on a plane and make the event.

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Once assembled, Philp gave us a tour and then took us over to one of his classrooms where Bill took us through his H&K status brief, which detailed an impressive growth in the company and their new programs. This transitioned to the Silent Auction, where he presented several unique items, from limited edition SWAG, to a pair of custom firearms, to a full week of Armorer Training at H&K, including hotel stay and tour of the new Gray Room. It was an impressive spread and we kept the auction upon through the weekend, so everyone would have the opportunity to bid.

The next morning, we all met again at W.O.F.T. for breakfast and initial brief and then the training event truly kicked off. Each group of students arrived at their training location for the morning and we dove right in. VP9 Armorer Training, Low Light Scenario, VP9 Red Dot Training, MP5/SP5 Training, Coffee Shop Scenario and VP9SK CCW Training, all happening at the same time and fully supported. What do I mean about fully supported? I mean participants showed up and were provided everything they needed, weapons, ammo, holsters, mag pouches, protective gear, water, etc. The entire weekend, I don’t even recall setting up a target or loading a magazine. The level of support is incredible and it all leads to the participants being able to relax and focus completely on the training at hand. Even as much as possible, Philip does his absolute best to control the environment we operated in. The enclosed spaces pumped in air conditioning and even those outside spaces were covered and often had fans. And not once did I have to swat away a mosquito, the state bird of Florida. It was simply amazing.

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Each student group was a mix of ages, genders and experience levels. For Philip and his staff, they are used to this and tailor their scenario training to that individual, presenting scenarios that will offer challenges that they can handle and then gently pushing them further outside their comfort zone. For the rest of the instructors, that meant that we had to have designed a block of instruction where fundamentals were stressed and then rapidly build upon those skills, so that all experience levels could progress safely. The secret to this, of course, is designing a program where everyone, regardless of their experience, is challenged and performance and proficiency gains occur. I was happy to see in my own block of instruction and through the debriefs each day from the participants speaking from their experiences in the other courses, that this was happening.

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One of the consistent trends I recognized from this event, that I do not often see during a training course, was that everyone was truly motivated and inspired to be there and open to all of the new information that was being presented. They were being challenged to do things they had never done before, and in this safe, fun and comfortable environment, amazing things were happening. Lots and lots of what I call “aha moments” where new skills were being attained. And because Philip encourages families to attend the training together, as instructors, we had the amazing opportunity to see moms and dads, sons and daughters all improving and becoming more confident and proficient together. For me personally, I was taken back by one family, where I watched a mother and father, relax and step back to where they could now focus on their own learning, and just to their left and right, watch their children learn how to gain new skills rapidly, safely and with huge smiles on their faces. These were special moments for them, but as instructors, they were special moments for us as well.

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This happened each morning and each afternoon for three days until everyone had hit all the stations. And during these classes and the debriefs and the meals and all the transition periods between, laughter, smiles and moments were shared. This simply does not happen anywhere else. And one more thing that doesn’t happen anywhere else, and which I would be remiss if I failed to cover, was the H&K demo shoot, which we coordinated after the standard day was complete. H&K brought for our use, four weapons which few have had the opportunity to see up close, much less shoot. So, after a short presentation on each weapon, and with magazines loaded, everyone was able to get trigger time on the MP7A1, M27 IAR and direct from the wall of H&K’s Gray Room, the XM8. Also brought was the new SDMR, but unfortunately a missing and crucial part which was overlooked kept it on the table for pictures only. Still, the smiles created during this portion of the event surely could have been seen from space.

To summarize this all, for me, this event was especially humbling. Humbling because once again, H&K trusted in me to represent the company and products of which I am so passionate about. Humbling because once again, W.O.F.T. trusted me to provide instruction at their amazing facility and welcomed me back into their special family. And humbling because once again, so many old friends as well as new friends took time away from work, family and other responsibilities to come train with us.

And I’m excited to report that as the event was such a success, we are already planning the next HKPRO Training Event for spring 2022 and at the time I am posting this AAR, just two days after the event ended, a third of the available slots are already filled. I’m confident that it will once again be the H&K Training Event of the Year. Hope to see you there.
 

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Teufelshund Tactical
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7,511 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For 2022, you need to add a block for the carbines (G36, 416, G33, etc..) :D
As always, a great idea from you, my friend!
 

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Teufelshund Tactical
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7,511 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Outstanding as always, Sir!

Hope to make it down there one day, until then, see you at Frontline in November.
Not if I see you first, Bob! Can't wait!
 

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Premium Member
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179 Posts
Could not agree more with the detail and summary in the AAR. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend and benefit from this great event.

The best endorsement i can provide -- while i was on a brief layover coming home -- i registered for three more events at WOFT across the next 18 months, and i found and immediately searched out and registered for the next upcoming advanced pistol class being held @Teufelshund Tactical.

Which, if you'd like to consider, you can find here:
Advanced Everyday Carry Course, 6-7 November 2021, Frontline Defense, Warrenton, NC — Teufelshund Tactical

I've been fortunate enough to take a good bit of training over two decades and I can say no exaggeration that the half day session with James was the single most detailed and effective CCW pistol instruction I've ever received. Strongly recommended that anyone who can not only consider the upcoming training at WOFT and the advanced training offered by Teufelshund Tactical.
 

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Teufelshund Tactical
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7,511 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Could not agree more with the detail and summary in the AAR. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend and benefit from this great event.

The best endorsement i can provide -- while i was on a brief layover coming home -- i registered for four more events at WOFT across the next 18 months, and i found and immediately searched out and registered for the next upcoming advanced pistol class being held @Teufelshund Tactical.

Which, if you'd like to consider, you can find here:
Advanced Everyday Carry Course, 6-7 November 2021, Frontline Defense, Warrenton, NC — Teufelshund Tactical

I've been fortunate enough to take a good bit of training over two decades and I can say no exaggeration that the half day session with James was the single most detailed and effective CCW pistol instruction I've ever received. Strongly recommended that anyone who can not only consider the upcoming training at WOFT and the advanced training offered by Teufelshund Tactical.
Thank you so much for the kind comments. I look forward to training with you more in depth at our course in November.
 

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Merchant of Death (Admin)
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12,044 Posts
I was pleased to serve as concierge! The team: great. The property: great. The staff: great. The participants: GREAT! I'm humbled to be able to call this group friends! As James mentioned, we already have wheels in motion for the next one. YOU WILL NOT WANT TO MISS IT!
 

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Premium Member
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88 Posts
I was pleased to serve as concierge! The team: great. The property: great. The staff: great. The participants: GREAT! I'm humbled to be able to call this group friends! As James mentioned, we already have wheels in motion for the next one. YOU WILL NOT WANT TO MISS IT!
Myself and others have already slapped down the plastic and will see you all in 2022, if not sooner!

Still processing this once in a lifetime weekend.

And I cannot wait to spend time with my brothers and sisters again at WOFT


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Merchant of Death (Admin)
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12,044 Posts
I'm sure that some of you are not believing the hype. Fair. This is not an inexpensive commit. In terms of time, money, energy... It's a big spend. Every participant was challenged at their level. And everyone grew and had a great time. It's a good tired. And the smiles are 100% real!

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Teufelshund Tactical
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7,511 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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