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Class Time

The conference at TREXPO East offered a wide variety of hands-on and classroom instruction for SWAT and patrol officers.

October 01, 2006  |  by - Also by this author

The conference portion of TREXPO East 2006 offered a little something for everyone interested in tactical and patrol operations.

Like other recent TREXPO conferences, there was a seminar track dedicated solely to hands-on physical combat training. In other words, if you had a desire to get your butt kicked or learn new ways to kick butt, the instructors at TREXPO East were willing to oblige.

During the two-day conference, attendees could learn new techniques for retaining their weapons in a struggle, ways of countering and breaking holds, moves that can give cops the advantage in close-quarter combat, knife defense and offense, and the Israeli combat techniques of Krav Maga.

If you didn’t want to get sweaty on the mats and nurse a lot of bruises after the show, there were plenty of classroom presentations in which veteran cops and military personnel shared their knowledge.

Sgt. James Gnew and Sgt. Eric Wolfe of the Cleveland Police Department’s SWAT team gave a fascinating debriefing on an active shooter/hostage rescue incident that occurred in 2003. In that incident, a gunman broke into the engineering building at Case Western University, killed one student, and roamed the building firing shots.

Gnew and Wolfe detailed the challenges that faced Cleveland SWAT and other responding agencies as they worked to clear the 152,000-square-foot, Frank Gehry-designed building. The innovative design of the building proved to be a major problem for the officers who worked the incident. It had numerous rounded corridors, “false” walls, many different levels that commanded areas through which the responders had to move, and a massive number of rooms, including stadium seating lecture halls. In addition to these problems, the responders also had to cope with a large metal roof that disrupted communications. Despite all this, they managed to take the shooter into custody.

Other SWAT and Patrol seminars that drew large and enthusiastic audiences at TREXPO East included: “Patrol Rifle/Tactical Carbine: Equipment, Tactical, and Training Considerations;” “Justifying an Explosive Breaching Program;” “The Unintended Consequences of Well-Intentioned Training;” “Crisis Management: How to Prepare for Continuity of Operations;” “Low-Light/No Light Tactical Operations;” “Dynamic and Deliberate Clearing Techniques;” “Close Quarter Battle Pistol;” “Police Sniper: Issues in Review;” and “Hostage Rescue Tactics.”

Other classroom programs focused on counter- and anti-terrorism operations. John Holschen from Triple Canopy gave a powerful presentation titled “Techniques and Tactics of International Terrorists” during which he showed captured footage from al-Qaida. Holschen used the footage to explain the tactics that al-Qaida is likely to use for a variety of operations, including kidnappings, officer ambushes, assassinations, prisoner rescues, and active shootings. He also dissected the tactics being used by jihadi forces in Iraq.

Don’t Miss TREXPO WestTREXPO West 2006 will be held March 19–21 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif. For more information, go to

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