We recently had the opportunity to attend a unique training event put on by a new start-up in the training space. It’s called The Solution, and it comes to us from BRVO Tactical – pronounced “Bravo Tactical.” The founder is an active-duty Special Forces Weapons Sergeant, a job that the Army codes in its database as “18B” or “18 Bravo” hence the name. He’s passionate about making Americans better prepared to deal with worst-case scenarios, saying: “I’ve spent my whole career in Special Forces going overseas and training foreign militaries so they can be better. I want to do the same for our own men and women here at home.” We believe that’s an admirable goal.
Photos by Patrick McCarthy
First, let’s talk about what The Solution is not. It is not a carbine/pistol training course. In fact, we hesitate to call it a course at all. If you are looking to learn foundational weapons-handling skills like reloads, ready positions, safety manipulation, or fundamental marksmanship, begin your training path elsewhere before showing up to The Solution.
What this event will do is pressure-test your abilities as a shooter. Every problem you face will be complex, multi-faceted, and presented under physical and cognitive stress. In the first thirty minutes of the day, we were required to perform reloads, carbine-to-pistol transition drills, shoot on the move, transition on the move, and demonstrate the fundamentals of moving through a structure with a partner.
That first thirty minutes was the only time we spent on a line, shooting as a class. The remainder of our five-hour training day was a series of supervised drills, increasing in complexity, with an emphasis on working in two-person teams. This is not a Close Quarters Battle class, but the basics of traversing T-intersections and clearing corners were demonstrated by the instructor and rehearsed by each student team, including live-fire target engagement.
Above: The instructor demonstrated how to work around cover from both sides, kneeling or standing. Loading body weight onto the outside leg improves stability while keeping exposure to a minimum.
One of the skills most heavily focused on was how to react when your partner experiences a weapon malfunction or reload in the middle of a fight. Being able to protect your partner through body positioning and cover fire, then communicate effectively to get both of you back into the fight, is something the military trains rigorously. But most prepared citizens get little to no opportunity to develop this skill, even though we live, travel, and socialize in pairs and small groups.
Above: When one student experienced a malfunction or needed to reload, he shouted to his partner and dropped to one knee. The partner immediately stepped forward to engage targets until the problem was solved. Each pair of students repeated this leapfrogging maneuver several times along a linear path flanked by paper targets.
Each drill was set up by the instructor, explained to the whole class, then run by one team at a time. Because of this format, every student got a significant amount of individual attention. Instead of simply standing on the sideline watching each team perform, the instructor moved with each and every team, remaining within arm’s length of the shooters for the duration of their run. Not only did this maintain a high level of safety during the most complex drills, but it also let the instructor observe every student directly and provide tailored personal feedback.
Again, viewed as an assessment or proofing opportunity, The Solution’s fast pace and unique format will quickly identify gaps or weaknesses in your capabilities.
Above: Pairs of students ran between points of cover and took turns firing at steel targets in the distance. Accurate hits were the top priority, but speed was also essential.
The final exercise of the day was a timed stress shoot that involved almost every individual shooting skill: movement, multiple targets, varied-distance targets, positional shooting, weapon transitions, and ammo management. There was also a physical fitness component involving several functional tasks — for example, weighted sleds to pull, a tractor tire to roll, and large sandbags to carry — scattered throughout the shooting stations.
The weight loads were not high, and you do not have to be an athlete to get through it. But it was more than enough to get our heart rate up, further complicating an already difficult set of tasks. Each team was timed, with harsh penalties for missed shots, and a handful of prizes for the winning team.
For a training brand that’s been in existence less than a year at time of writing, BRVO Tactical has come out the gate with an intensive training experience we’ve not seen anywhere else. Stay tuned to brvotactical.com and @brvo_tactical on Instagram for continued updates on new course offerings and upcoming dates.