I just thought I'd pose the question to my fellow Military peeps. Has anyone else gone through the Advanced Situational Awareness Training (ASAT) course? I just thought I'd spread the word about this program (and it's really hard to without sounding like spam, which it's not
). It's a new(ish) program that the US Army is trying to integrate and it's totally worth going to. It's taught by civilains who are ex-military/law enforcement people and some of these have worked as behavioral profilers. To sum this up, out of my 13+ years of Army training, ASAT has been the best and most involved training I've ever attended. The Army is also starting to integrate/train Military personnel as trainers of this course. I am one of the lucky ones to be part of this cadre pilot program.
To sum it up, the basic operator's course is five days. Day one is more of the science behind it. You learn about the eye and the brain, how/why we see things, the different types of vision and how to integrate different types of optics and the naked eye when observing.
Day two, you are learning the the six domains (heuristics, proxemics, atmospherics, geographics, biometrics and kinesics) and how to use these to basically profile a person or an area and to even pick out who the high value individual (HVI) or high value target (HVT) of a group. For those who don't know about HVI/HVT, it's basically the dude in charge of a group. You will also learn the 5 combat multipliers (tactical cunning, tactical patience, geometries of fires (which includes optics), guardian angel and good shepherd) along with learning the 7 steps in the terrorist planning cycle. You will learn the importance of the combat rule of 3, which is picking out 3 clues that don't fit in big picture (and I'm paraphrasing a bit) before you make the decision to either kill, capture or contact an individual
Day three, you are learning the difference between assymetrical warefare and irregular warfare and how some terrorists are from the US (Timothy McVeigh, for example). He's actually one of the key ones you will learn about because he is one of the main ones that actually applied all 7 steps in the terrorist planning cycle. You will also learn about sniper and IED awareness. Even to the point of learning how to spot a sniper, even when he's in the brush, and all the different components of an IED and why they need the components that they do to function.
Days four and five, you are at the range, split into different observation posts (OPs) and a TOC (Tactical Operations Center). Here is your practical application. You take everything you've learned in the three days of class and apply them to "real world" scenarios. Obviously, they are role players, but they put you through six different iterations and you learn the importance of cross talk between OPs and how different vantage points paint as much of the big picture as possible. The sixth iteration, you go kinetic and basically "clear" the town and go after the "bad guy". You don't get graded on your tactical movement, but it's just to show that you can use these techniques on the move, as well as, setting in a static OP.
It doesn't teach you to hesitate should you find the need to pull the trigger. If you have to react like that, then that's what you got to do. The importance of this program is to show people that if you have the extra time to observe or take a few extra minutes to see what a person is really up to or if something about an area doesn't feel right. Anyway, I could go on and on about this program, but I just thought I'd spread the word about it to other Mililtary personnel. If you ever hear about it and you get the chance to go to the five day operator course...DO IT!!! I'm telling you, it will not only change the way you do things in the Military, but also in your personal life. Just to re-state that this program is starting to become more popular, so don't be surprised if you see it come to your post/base/station. The Army is looking at changing the name, though, but they may use ASAT as a reference to it. Thanks for reading.