The event’s host and lead instructor was Ralf Kassner, CEO of Wodan Security (Germany), former GSG9 SOF member and Germany’s leading expert in tactical training.
Wodan Security and Ralf Kassner are regular contributors to The Operator!
By Thomas Lojek
This article was originally published in 2017.
Photos by Peter Busch, Neuss, (Germany).
Wodan Security’s 2nd International Bodyguard Conference was one of the most anticipated tactical training events in Europe 2017.
With Wodan Security as host and Instructor Zero and his team supervising the tactical shooting the 3-day course was blessed with highly sought-after authorities who brought with them many years of real SOF field experience.
IBC2 was hosted at ATAC Anti Terror Academy in the Czech Republic, one of Europe’s finest and most advanced facilities for tactical training.
Needless to say, expectations were high.
And without giving away too much too soon here – expectation were not only met, they were surpassed during the event.
This review aims to give you a bit of an insight into and „Best of“-moments highlighted during this extraordinary event.
• Tactical Shooting
• Tactical Car Shooting
• Tactical Room Entries
• Low Light Scenarios
• Close Protection Scenarios
• Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC)
• TCCC training under stress in live scenarios
The event’s host and head instructor was Ralf Kassner, CEO of Wodan Security (Germany), former GSG9 SOF member and Germany’s leading expert in tactical training.
Besides being the event’s main host Ralf Kassner supervised all trainings of tactical room entries, low light scenarios and kill house drills during the event.
Instructor Zero and his team supervised the event’s tactical shooting and tactical car shooting scenarios.
Left: Paolo Simeone • Right: Paul Bonnici
Paul Bonnici (Team Zero Malta/Elite Spartan Tactical Concepts) was supporting instructor for the tactical shooting- and car scenarios as well as Paolo Simone (Italy) of PST Paolo Simeone Tactical.
All courses on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) were provided by experts of Team Wodan Security with many years of international SOF field experience among them.
The event location was at ATAC Anti Terror Academy, Stod, Czech Republic.
The 2nd International Bodyguard Conference was a full three-day seminar, with one day TCCC training and Close Protection studies and analytics, and 2 days of live shooting and scenarios.
All attendees were close protection professionals, law enforcement unit members or military personnel, to maintain a high level of training and training progress.
Ralf Kassner and Instructor Zero: After a warm welcome, both instructors were heading directly to the most important topic of such an event – the security briefing.
Carefully listening participant.
Thereafter, the first hours of the conference were dedicated to theoretical but important studies, analytics and group exercises for close protection professionals.
One topic for example was on how to create and analyze a risk matrix for operations in high risk environments.
How to handle operational plans, budgets, emergency evacuation plans, including operational objectives with alternating parameters.
Important topics for the type of professionals who attend these events!
And very important in a highly competitive industry.
If you know how to shoot, but you cannot handle the operational standards of complex and modern real-life close protection services you won’t last very long in the industry, nor in any other demanding high risk environment.
After group work and peer reviews on these topics, the team moved on to the next point on the agenda: Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC).
For this part of the conference Wodan Security was able to hire one of Germany’s leading experts in Tactical Combat Casualty Care with many years of international experience in special operations.
The TCCC course was challenging and came with a very high level of knowledge and practical insight.
Day 2 started on the main shooting range of ATAC.
First, Instructor Zero went through the obligatory safety briefing with everyone on the range and then the team jumped right into the action.
Instructor Paolo Simone (PST Paolo Simeone Tactical) demanded a lot from his students, pushing their physical limits to make sure that they were able learn how to move, aim and shoot better under pressure, stress and physical exhaustion.
ATAC is an advanced and large training facility where SOF trainers can set up various scenarios and teams.
While Team Zero was training with Group 1 on the shooting range Group 2 had a different kind of training on another range of ATAC.
This range was exclusively built for assault scenarios.
And this was exactly what Group 2 had to go through that day.
Assaults, distraction, stress, noise!
The training environment put attendees under a lot of pressure and several forms of stress such as visual, acustic, psychological and physical.
One team was made up of attendees with one attendee playing the role of a VIP.
A second team was made up of supporting instructors who took over the role of an enemy assault team attacking Team 1 while they had to try to get their VIP across the course.
The attendees had to react – or even better, anticipate what could happen here, trying to take away the initative from the enemy assault group.
But as the assault team was made up of experienced SOF instructors this was easier said than done.
There was always an element of surprise within the scenarios, which was a good thing.
This kind of sophisticated setup designed by real SOF experience pushed the learning curve of the attendees far beyond their normal limits.
Better be quick or be dead, was the rule here, at least within the terms of the training.
All shots were fired via paintball and the colored marks were used for analysis after the scenario had ended.
TCCC under assault conditions were the follow-up lesson.
Here had to come into practice, what everyone had learned the day before.
Under simulated assault conditions teams had to take care of wounded VIP‘s or team mates.
All this had to happen under severe stress, under constant attack, under intense forms of distraction like noise, shouting, consistant shooting and a foggy environment.
After any assault scenario, there was a review of the hits and what these hits would mean and required from professional Tactical Combat Casual Care.
The training was demanding, but all attendees acknowledged later on, that this was one of the best training sessions of their careers.
Under the supervision of Instructor Zero day three started with essential drills with regards to car shootings and how to defend a vehicle against various types of armed assaults.
Highly attentive to every single detail Instructor Zero was always willing to demonstrate the drills and their most important aspects himself, before he got into the training drills with his students.
Instructor Paolo Simeone demonstrated various angles for effective defense tactics.
Before and after every training drill there was always a detailed briefing about the core principles of the techniques utilised – how they apply in real life and how trainees had responded within the drill to these core principles and their application under attack.
All instructors of Team Zero worked with an impressive willingness to get all their students‘ drills done perfectly, even when it took time.
Instructor Zero reminded everyone on the range that patience wins.
Getting the basic drills slowly but in favor of highly concentrated repititions works better than hasty movements that leaves far too much room for mistakes or counter tactics.
Before and after every drill, briefings and reviews ensured everyone got the key concepts behind the drills.
ATAC Anti Terror Academy has one of best kill houses for live training and tactical room entry drills in Europe.
Under the supervision of Ralf Kassner the participans of the IBC2 had a great opportunity to learn tactical room entries, room clearing and effective close protection drills from a former SOF member.
Wodan Security provided common close protection service scenarios as well as low light and no light training.
All attendees had to pass various scenarios and complex drills, always guided and revised by Team Wodan.
Participant, waiting for his turn to pass a low light scenario drill.
Ralf Kassner prepares a new scenario.
For every training scenario there was always a pre-briefing and debriefing, including extensive feedback on what attendees had done well during the run and on what they should work to get better results in the future.
On Sunday evening it was time to say goodbye!
Ralf Kassner and Instructor Zero provided the last review and feedback for all.
The attendees received their individual certification for the event.
And after that, it was time to say goodbye.
The event received tremendous praise from all its attendees.
And I can confirm that this was really a great event, with a high level of professionalism and dedication.
Great instructors had delivered a weekend full of outstanding training and a valuable gains in experience even for seasoned professionals.
I am looking forward to the next International Bodyguard Conference by Wodan Security!
Wodan Security hosted the IBC3 and IBC4 in Poland (2018 and 2019) and both events were a huge success.
The IBC5 in 2020 war canceled due to the COVID-19 situation.
Wodan Security’s International Bodyguard Conference has become the most important tactical event in Europe.
The next Wodan Sceurity International Bodyguard Conference is scheduled for fall 2021.
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