Lead Faucet Tactical recently conducted a CQB Carbine Course. Dan Brokos traveled to southern California to instruct members of the Orange County Sheriff’s SWAT Team, and Fifty Shades of FDE was on scene.
Organization: Lead Faucet Tactical
Instructor: Dan Brokos
Location: Chino, Mission Viejo. California
Round Count: 400 rounds Rifle, 200 Pistol
Equipment: See below.
Reviewer’s Background: LE academy, approximately a decade of experience, numerous firearms and in-service courses, and several years of martial arts training.
Instructor’s Background: Dan Brokos is the CEO of Lead Faucet Tactical, training Law Enforcement and Civilians in gun fighting and tactics. Dan served 26 Years in SF with the majority of it deployed and operational, with his last assignment as SGM of Range 37 in Fort Bragg.
If you don’t already know who Dan Brokos is, I’m sure you’ve seen gear with his name attached to it. An example of the many pieces of kit out there is the Brokos Belt. SGM (R) Daniel Brokos spent 26 years in Special Forces and before retiring, he was the NCO in charge of Range 37 at Fort Bragg training Green Berets. I met Dan last October in Arizona at the Recoil Magazine Summit in the Sand event, where he taught scoped carbine. I quickly picked up new skills in the short 2-hour session and knew that I needed to do a full course in the future.
Why yes, you can read and support Breach-Bang-Clear. ↑ There’s a good way to do it. ↑
We’ve been in contact since and finally, the planets aligned. He came out to my neck of the woods in southern California to instruct members of the Orange County Sheriff’s SWAT Team in a 3-Day CQB Carbine Course. Dan allowed me to attend to cover the course and do a report on it. This course, due to the sensitive material in current tactics was restricted to Law Enforcement members only. LFT does offer other courses to Civilians.
Day 1: CQB on the Flat Range with Live Fire.
I met up with Dan and 8 OCSD SWAT Deputies at the Prado Olympic Shooting Range. Dan introduced himself and went over what to expect on the range. We all loaded up our mags and got ready. The morning portion focused on three areas: Shooting Stance, Ambidextrous Fundamentals and Shooting around Barricades.
Stand and Deliver: Shooting Stance.
The first set of drills were focused on shooting stance, which (*is according to Dan), the foundation of all CQB. He observed everyone’s individual stance and made corrections if any were needed. We then shot timed drills at varying distances to work on fire control, cadence while keeping accuracy a priority.
Dan stressed the importance of being able to operate a carbine with both primary and support side, especially when it pertains to CQB. Switching shoulders will allow for a minimized profile and exposure when working inside buildings or homes.
We were shown how to deal with the sling, hand placement on the weapon and other considerations. Everyone practiced a few dry runs before going live on a forward movement drill switching back and forth between primary and support side. I had two double feeds in my weapon, which was caused by a lack of lube (I hadn’t cleaned her and got her wet since my last range trip). I added a good amount of Lucas gun oil on my BCG — problem solved, lesson learned.
After several strings in, we split the class in half and did a relay competition. This tested our proficiency in shooting with both primary and support side. A little friendly competition added a level of stress to everyone as they tried to manipulate their carbine and get accurate hits on steel fast. Every round was close and the other group was just a bit faster in the last round.
Dan showed us the best positions to be in when using different types of structural features, from hand placement to the positioning of your legs. This comes to play in CQB in a number of ways, not least because there are so many places inside of most structures that would require someone to take advantage of utilizing such techniques. Being ambidextrous (or at least possessing the ability to function that way) is also important, and more than a bit of a challenge since most of us don’t practice on our support side nearly enough.
We shot from several different barricade setups and rotated until we each had gone through all of them twice.
Dan then set up the “High Smith Drill” (I asked, but he doesn’t recall where it got its name). The Smith Drill consists of two barricades, one on the left and one on the right. From there you engage steel targets at 50 yards with two hits each. You’re standing while on the outside of the barricades and kneeling while on the inside, utilizing both primary and support side. In between the barricades are two paper silhouette targets at close range that simulate an immediate threat that is addressed with two shots each.
To run the drill, you start at the far left side, then:
⇒ Starting from the support side for right-handed shooters, get two hits on target then transition to the primary side and engage while kneeling.
⇒ Next, you’re shooting on the move at the two close-range paper targets with two hits each to get to the next barricade where you will take a knee and fire on the 50-yard steel target until you get two hits.
⇒ Finally, there’s a switch to the last position, standing at the far right of the barricade to engage that target twice.
⇒ With that completed, you reverse it. Now you have to do the entire stage back to the beginning. It should take less than a minute to complete.
My first go at it took a little more than a minute and I was able to shave time off on my second run. It is an excellent way to test one’s ambidextrous skills and working with barricades.
Upon my third and last run, I went to do a press check and separated the bullet from the casing. I thought it was a jam so I cleared it and tried to load another round and the bolt wouldn’t close. Dan immediately took my weapon and said something was definitely in the barrel.
Good thing it was now lunch time, giving me time to fix the problem.
Another lesson learned: always have a cleaning rod with you!
I had to borrow one from the next bay from some Federal LEOs on site because I didn’t have on in my gear. It was just a quick hit with the rod (*snicker*) and the 55-grain bullet came on out. It was a first for me and reloaded ammo was most likely to be at fault. That was the last malfunction I had to address.
While we were on a lunch break, Dan was setting up makeshift structures on the range. He really never took a break at all.
Back from lunch, Dan showed us how he approaches, enters, and clears a room. His entire methodology is predicated on lessons learned from the many years of combat that he and the SF community have under their belts, boots, adn muzzle. The drills we ran were very advanced. If you engage in one of these drills, be advised, rounds will be flying at a meter from your partners. This might sound and look crazy, but it isn’t. If everyone knows when and where to be, and are on the same sheet of music, then there are no issues. We partnered up and did two-man CQB drills throughout Dan’s pop up rooms. Since I was the 9th student, I partnered up with Dan for all of the two-man CQB drills. Once we got one room down, the drills evolved into two-room hits, and then a three-room structure until we exhausted them.
Dan went on to four-man CQB techniques and drills for the team. I was never on a SWAT Team myself and deemed it unnecessary for me to interject myself into a stack, preferring to let the guys who work together, train together without me in the mix. Knowing my presence might dilute their learning experience, I took an observation role. The OCSD SWAT Team trains a whole lot with some of the best instructors in the nation, and it showed.
The last thing Dan addressed was eight-man CQB techniques. The team worked on positioning, verbal and nonverbal communication and different ways to take down multiple rooms while covering each other.
Days Two and Three.
The following two days of training were held at a closed off portion of a community college. Dan set up IPSC cardboard targets for the team to engage with UTM rounds. This was my first encounter with this force on force system. I’m used to Simunitions. The UTM system isn’t perfect from what I saw, they still jammed every now and then, but for the most part they worked, allowing Deputies to use their actual duty carbine, and thus their own individual set-up.
Lead Faucet Tactical Team Tactics: Four by Four
The training for days two and three was focused on four and eight-man tactics. I continued to take on an observational role, but despite not being directly involved still learned by watching the others go through their drills. Dan gave me permission to be in the rooms as they were getting cleared, which gave me some great perspective. I was able to take numerous pictures and videos from the perspective of a bystander or suspects barricaded inside. I had faith in the Deputies and I never took a UTM round being dangerously close to some targets over the two days.
Dan went over how to deal with hallways, team coverage, priorities and how to handle closed doors, and there were many pauses in between drills where a member or two would have a question about what was taught. Dan always took the time to explain exactly why he does it a certain way, resulting in a lot of obvious wheels turning.
Dan wrung every bit of use out of the facility and time available. It was exhausting. The team ran countless scenarios and fine-tuned their skills and happily, the video I took was now available for their review. Video is a great way to identify drops or lapses, and can be a great resource when it comes to revamping or updating SOPs.
I learned a huge amount throughout the three days, particularly during day one’s live fire.
Discussion with the deputies made it clear they were happy to have had Dan come out and teach them, and in particular to answer questions in a way that made sense to them from an LE perspective. This was something they’ve had trouble with in the past when communicating with some instructors with military backgrounds.
This was my second experience as one of Dan’s students. I learned many new skills, and perhaps more importantly, how to employ them in the right circumstances.
As Dan says,
“Everything is a rehearsal for something.”
That phrase couldn’t be more truthful in today’s world. This is a good course not just for tactical teams, but for patrol officers who might have to respond as a group or squad.
To check the course schedule and LFT tactical products go to: www.leadfaucettactical.com
For enrollment and booking, email: [email protected]
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