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Greenside and RECOIL: Training Day 1

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, RECOIL Editor Iain Harrison and I are working in the Sonora Desert north of Phoenix with Freddy Osuna of Greenside Training, learning the principles of Index Tracking and GLINT (more on that in Iain’s article). Neither of us are new to tracking. Iain did a little of it during his time as an infantry reconnaissance officer in the British Army. I taught it for a few years. Whether your familiarity with any topic is passing or thorough you should always be willing and able to improve your skills, preferably from a variety of sources and instructors. Though I’m here helping Freddy teach and acting as Iain’s batman (in the dogsbody sense, not the superhero) I came hoping to learn and improve.

This first day with Greenside did not fail to impress. Certain things are fundamental (remember what I said about guys with pointy sticks hunting mammoths). The time-shadow effect, the dynamics of a footprint, the need to identify the correct print and differentiate it from the contamination and other prints around it — these things are taught in some fashion or the other by most every tracking school out there.  Osuna has distilled lessons learned from other instructors, from his students and from his own extensive experience (and trial and error) down into an extremely effective course of overall instruction. Mixed in are several seemingly innocuous techniques that are essentially force multipliers.

As a tracker, I’ve already learned a few things that would have been “worth the price of admission” by themselves. Judging by the reaction of the students (a mix of current and former military personnel, law enforcement and civilian enthusiasts), I’m not the only one who didn’t mind stomping around the desert today in the heat. Admittedly there were some other factors contributing to the class success. STA Training Group provided training facilities and helped with logistics, Zev Nadler came out from Sanderson Off Road to drop off some Tomcars for us to use and we were granted access to some great property to train on by AWC. You’ll see some of their suppressors in the photos from Training Day 2. The Tomcars, as you can imagine, provided quite a distraction.

Iain will go into more detail soon enough. I’ll leave you with a few pictures from the class then I’m hitting the rack. More to follow.

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