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Part 2: And Let There Be Light…

Part 2: And Let There Be Light…

Deron Ilarraza, APCLLC Training Consultant

Last March I wrote about the importance of having a quality light source or illumination device in addition to the other pieces of equipment we carry on our utility belts when we go out on patrol. A good flashlight will not only help you to do your job effectively but can aid in your survival should things take a turn for the worst… And that can be during the day or night as we all know.

Now that you have that snazzy new tactical flashlight that’s so bright it recoils in your hand when you turn it on and illuminates an entire city block. You ask yourself, “How can I apply this new tool in a tactical situation?” Good question…

First, let’s talk about where the flashlight should be placed on our Batman belts along with the rest of our hero gear.

Here at APC, we instruct our students to wear the flashlight on their support side opposite their weapon side. The students are taught to draw their lights with their support side hand. We drill this method along with instructing them to keep their eyes on the target and or threat area while drawing the flashlight. This is done prior to having them draw their firearms in conjunction with the flashlight. Now remember, both hands will moving pretty much at the same time, so we can’t forget about the laser rule, and make sure that the muzzle does not cross any of our body parts when presenting both the weapon and flashlight during live fire training or in an actual situation. Remember, SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY!!!!

PoliceLink members have reviewed dozens of flashlights. "Read the reviews and leave your own.":

The presentation of the light source and weapon is the foundation of the live fire and force on force low-light training. From there we can move onto the six handheld flashlight techniques I mentioned in part 1, and discuss the pros and cons of each flashlight position.

From there we move onto the flat range to explore each technique during live fire drills getting the students used to the fact that they will be firing their weapons one-handed, because in reality that’s what you’re doing when you’re focusing a light source at a threat and aiming a firearm at the same time.

After the students have developed their skills in flashlight/weapon manipulation, they’re introduced to using the same skills while moving and switching the weapon from strong to support side while holding the light source as well as reloading and clearing weapon malfunctions in addition to a variety of other drills.

After running and gunning on the square range we transition to live force on force scenarios where it all comes together. APC instructors are experts in providing the most realistic scenario based training; we are not advocates of all out paintball fights.

Before the students are exposed to the “baptism by fire” they are trained in basic room entry and cornering techniques. In this block of instruction the student will learn why it is important to master the ability to effectively negotiate corners during room entries. They will practice this solo and in pairs.

Following the basic room entry block of instruction, the force on force training scenarios begin and this is where it all comes together. The students are put through several training evolutions while applying the principles of low-light tactics while in pairs. After each evolution the instructors will critique the scenario.

So there you have it… This is only part of what one can expect when participating in a 2-day Tactics for Low-Light Encounters Operator’s Course, but remember these learned skills are perishable and cannot be mastered in one day. You must take what you’ve learned and practice, practice and practice some more. You know the old saying… Your survival begins and ends with you.

Additional reading: "Part 1: And Let There Be Light…":

PoliceLink members have reviewed dozens of flashlights. "Read the reviews and leave your own.":

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