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  1. #1

    Default Sometimes You Just Have To Go With What You Have - Lesson in Preparation

    "When did Noah build the Ark?" was the question I overheard the LASD SEB Sergeant ask all of us at an intelligence briefing years ago. "Before the flood - before the flood" was the reply he said to himself as it became obvious it was a rhetorical question. Finally, he looked at me and said, "We prepare now so it's easy later."

    I was in Los Angeles for a series of high-risk search warrants SEB was going to execute for me within 24 hours and we'd been through preparations, diagrams, in-depth discussions on PC for the arrest, and endless intelligence questions as he grilled me on every aspect imaginable for the coming operations. I'd been on the tactical teams myself for several years and had been through similar pre-operation workups, but nothing ever compared to SEB's detailed interrogation. Within 24 hours we'd executed multiple high-risk warrants and the operation was a complete success. However, as I drove back to my parent agency I thought long and hard about that SEB sergeant's admonition that we prepare no so it's easy later.

    Ever since that day years ago, I've overtly worked to be that leader who prepared not only himself but also the line-level guys wearing the body armor and carrying the rifles into challenging and unforeseen circumstances.

    When I logged on yesterday at 1700 hours as watch commander I quickly removed all filters on my computer-aided dispatch terminal and looked at all calls for service. I've learned to scan the typical 70 to 100 calls quickly and efficiently; however, I was troubled when I saw an "Agency Assist" lingering in a little-used division, which I only saw as my filters were removed. I quickly looked at it and saw it was coded as a low priority assist to a local agency and it'd already been on the board for several minutes. As I read that call I saw it was a request for assistance for a bailout and subsequent foot pursuit of an armed suspect through the desert area northeast of town. I read one officer has already had one in custody and was urgently asking for help for the other that bailed.

    I got on the radio, had the call re-prioritized and kicked out a request for the sergeant of a nearby district to get some assistance en route. His immediate reply was they couldn't assist for 30 minutes, but when I explained it was a foot pursuit a mile down the road things changed. In addition to sending a few ground units to assist our aviation unit got involved and within minutes got eyes on the suspect.

    As we worked with the local agency requesting assistance it became immediately clear that while we were behind a bit in getting the call dispatched and bodies on scene, the originating agency was completely unprepared to get resources on-task and deployed. I thought about the SEB sergeant and smiled to myself as I knew the units responding my agency were prepared, already had bail-out bags with comms gear, water, extra rifle cartridges, and they knew the area. It quickly changed from us assisting to us assuming the event and we worked it appropriately.

    The point is this - sometimes you have to go with just what you have and you need to be prepared. Our units went from working a dead body call with no stress or adrenalin dump to a foot pursuit of an armed felon wanted for felony pursuit, aggravated assault, and it happened within minute. Screaming to a scene such as this is hectic and that's not the right time to be wondering where comms gears, additional rifle magazines, water, etc., are in your vehicle - or if you even have them - ... you have to be ready for anything.

    "When did Noah build the Ark?" asked the SEB sergeant....

    "Before the flood."

    May we all be prepared now so when we're called upon to perform we're ready and it's easier. That SEB sergeant knew exactly what he was talking about.

    For what it's worth.

    J

  2. #2
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    Thank You Sir...........
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  3. #3
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    Avant deluge.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I rode the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer (as modified)

    "What cannot be remedied must be endured."

    Vale et omnia quae.

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  4. #4
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    "The will to win is as nothing beside the will to train to win" Bear Bryant

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmcampbell View Post
    "The will to win is as nothing beside the will to train to win" Bear Bryant
    That's a good one. I heard it as:

    "It's not the will to win that matters - everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."

    Same idea but adds another layer.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

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  6. #6
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    LASD SEB was my first and best SWAT School. We collaborated with them and trained with them often and much of my CQB material is based on them. Gary Rovarino, Sid Heal, and others were already legends in that world when I met them.

    One of the things lost with the advent of CAD was the real time info put out on the air. And also the self directed initiative of the street guys. Back in the early 1990s, you would hear something go out on the air as "Any unit...shit is happening now", and could redirect yourself from whatever call you were on to the hotter one.

    My 711 gunfight I was getting real time info from the dispatcher's voice as she was getting it on the phone from the caller. It seems that information flow was lost, as well as the autonomy to make decisions like that.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  7. #7
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    But I don't have time to build an ark. Have you seen the price of lumber lately? And labor costs are out of this world. You would have to be a moron to start a project like that now. And besides that....was that a raindrop I felt? Probably just my imagination. I'm going to grab a beer and watch the game and kick back.

  8. #8
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    Excellent thread Jonathan. Good solid SOP for all ops.
    2 Samuel 22; Psalm 139:21-22

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by macho mouse View Post
    But I don't have time to build an ark. Have you seen the price of lumber lately? And labor costs are out of this world. You would have to be a moron to start a project like that now. And besides that....was that a raindrop I felt? Probably just my imagination. I'm going to grab a beer and watch the game and kick back.
    Hey man, can I hitch a ride with you? Gettin' a little wet out here.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I rode the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer (as modified)

    "What cannot be remedied must be endured."

    Vale et omnia quae.

    P:20

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    LASD SEB was my first and best SWAT School. We collaborated with them and trained with them often and much of my CQB material is based on them. Gary Rovarino, Sid Heal, and others were already legends in that world when I met them.

    One of the things lost with the advent of CAD was the real time info put out on the air. And also the self directed initiative of the street guys. Back in the early 1990s, you would hear something go out on the air as "Any unit...shit is happening now", and could redirect yourself from whatever call you were on to the hotter one.

    My 711 gunfight I was getting real time info from the dispatcher's voice as she was getting it on the phone from the caller. It seems that information flow was lost, as well as the autonomy to make decisions like that.


    Probably one of my best training experiences in LE was from Sandy Wall, creator of the "wallbanger" . Im not pushing his training on Gabes site as it is LE only and SI training is top notch, I found an old article he wrote and it covers most of the things we are discussing here (and is similar to the discussions we would have outside the shoothouse)

    http://warriorsos.blogspot.com/2010/...andy-wall.html
    NEVER CONFUSE GETTING LUCKY WITH GOOD TACTICS (unless you are at the bar)

    I'm not in the business of Losing

    A stab to the taint beats most of the mystical bullshit, most of the time

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