Brian Bewley: For those of us who have served at the tip of the spear, the application of energetics within a tactical situation is required to help solve a problem… breaching a stronghold, collapsing a cave, removing an obstacle, the list of tasks can go on and on.

About the author

Brian Bewley is a retired SF CWO who served with 1st & 7th SFG(A)s, USMILGRP El Sal, and SFUWO in Key West. Upon his retirement, he served as an Advisor to the UAE Special Operations Command and a Security Manager in Baghdad and Yemen. Brian and his wife S. Jessica established Tactical Solutions International, Inc. in early 2003.

Advertisement

Click to learn more

The Operator: Free Newsletter Subscription

Brian Bewley: Cowboy Breaching – The TSI Tactical Explosive Training Program

The Article

“As a tactical training company, why do you need an explosives program?” is a question that I receive with frequency from those who live within earshot of our demo range, but it is a question that I enjoy responding to…

“Because we can!”

For those of us who have served at the tip of the spear, the application of energetics within a tactical situation is required to help solve a problem…breaching a stronghold, collapsing a cave, removing an obstacle, the list of tasks can go on and on.

How then, does the use of explosives work within the commercial tactical training realm for qualified civilians, local law enforcement or our military members?

It meets the requirements a very small target audience and can help solve a problem… breaching a stronghold, collapsing a cave, removing an obstacle, etc.

Advertisement

Click to learn more

The use of explosives requires everyone to live and breathe rule #1!

RULE #1:

Tactical Solutions International, Inc. (TSI) has been conducting tactical training for USSOCOM since early 2003 and energetics has been a specialty program: Explosive Breaching, Home Made Explosives (HME) and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are a few of the more common courses.

Since 2014 however, the interest in civilian tactical training began to overshadow TSI’s contract training with DoD, so Tactical Training International, LLC (TTI) was established as a division within TSI to service the commercial/civilian training sector.

TTI offered training in the use of energetics to a select group of personnel in early 2017 and that course has led to our annual Explosive Handlers course which normally has a waiting list for attendance.

TTI’s training of qualified civilians and local law enforcement in the use of explosives requires everyone to live and breathe rule #1:  

Expose the minimum number of people to the minimum quantity of explosives for the minimum period of time.

This provides the maximum protection possible to people and property.

There is no room for safety issues in explosives training.  

In mid September 2017, a Special Forces engineer studentwas killed and 7 injured during a formal training event at Fort Bragg while using explosives.  

Training in explosives is deadly serious and the student to instructor ration of 1:2 helps ensure all aspects of safety are adhered to…

Remember rule #1.

RECONDO is a 21-day brutal leadership course

One of TTIs core training courses is the RECONDO Course.

RECONDO is a 21-day brutal leadership course based upon the US military’s RECONDO curriculum of yester-year.

RECONDOs are provided with basic military demolitions instruction to include the use and manufacture of field expedients such as Claymores and shape charges.

Students learn to attack steel beams, pipe and plate, rail-road track, lumber, concrete, cratering as well as the various firing systems:  non-electric, electric and NONEL.

Throughout the course the students conduct multiple live-fire exercises such as ambushes and raids where the use of explosives is required; Claymores on ambush initiation, shape charges on specific targets during a raid, door charges to gain entry into structures, etc.

After 21 days of training, the RECONDO is confident in the safe application of his energetic devices or materials.

Our RECONDO students recently participated in a Unconventional Warfare (UW) exercise similar to Robin Sage, where they infiltrated into an area, linked up with a resistance force, developed rapport, trained the resistance into a capable guerilla group and led them on a Direct Action mission against a notional enemy radar installation within their Area of Operations.

After a detailed mission brief and rehearsals, the combined force began last light movement toward their objective.

As one of the evaluators, I pulled up the rear of the formation as we moved silently through the rugged Wyoming terrain that mirrored the mountainous environment that our troops are currently operating in on the other side of the world.

During that movement, I was quickly taken back to my former life on an ODA, moving to a target in some far-away land… it was real.

The hit was textbook perfect!

As the team began movement off of the objective, the demo team lit their multi-charge time fuse…

”Fire in the hole! Fire in the hole! Fire in the hole!”

The demo team had prepared a 10 minute burn which gave us ample time to move down the valley away from the target.

Just like clockwork, at 10 minutes,the seven pounds of Helix and Dyno AP formed into specialty cutting charges, illuminated the night sky and sent shock waves bouncing off the canyon walls. I now had a hard-on!

The following day the instructor cadre conducted a BDA on the target, and not at all surprising, everything that was targeted with demo, was successfully destroyed.

For our RECONDO training, the application of energetics provides the realism and tactical need to meet our training objectives.

Again, remember rule #1…

Why do you need an explosive program? 

Adding explosives and pyrotechnics to augment your tactical training programs will provide the realism and often needed stress inoculation that is required for today’swarfighters and defenders of freedom.

Getting the explosives support can be a bit challenging, but if you have the need the challenge is worth it.

First you will require ATF licensing.

There are different types of licenses so make sure that you know what you are applying for.

Initially, we applied for and received an Explosive Users License thinking that was all we needed.

#We soon found out however, that to support some of the training for DoD, we were required to manufacture HME and mix binary explosives and that required a Manufacturers license.

Storage is another issue.

You are required to have secure storage for both explosives and caps (ie. 2 separate bunkers) and depending upon the quantity of explosives that you are storing, there is a minimum distance requirement from your bunker to any major lines of communication.

Then, the local requirements come into play…do you have adequate range space to utilize explosives?

Are there any state licensing requirements such as a Blasters Certificate needed?

Having the ability to train with and use explosives has really assisted our training programs.

If you have an interest in setting up an energetics program for your facility, investigate your local, state and federal laws.

We don’t give legal advice, but if you would like to pick our brains, please feel free to contact us at any time.

And always, remember Rule #1.

Contact
Advertisement

Click to learn more

The Operator: Free Newsletter Subscription

Back to Homepage

Photos by Brian Bewley

Contact the author!

Brian Bewley and his wife S. Jessica own and manage Tactical Solutions International, Inc. (TSI) in Crowheart, WY.

TSI and its commercial training department, Tactical Training International has been conducting cutting-edge tactical training for DoD, US Govt organizations, friendly foreign governments, LE, corporations, and qualified civilians since 2003.

For more information on TSI or TTI training opportunities, please visit

www.tacticalsolutionsintl.com

or contact Nate Mastin or Logan Brown, TTI Training Dept., (307) 486-2336.