The Todd Group have been conducting close personal protection courses for decades.
This expertise dates back to Harry Baldock when he was Sgt major and chief instructor of the CQB/CQC in the New Zealand Army in WWII.
The training Harry provided included close protection for officers and dignitaries during wartime.
Close personal protection is a subject incorporating many modules of training and because close personal protection is a required subject to be completed for qualification as a Todd Group phase 3 specialist proponent, we conduct regular courses for members with limited positions available for non-members that meet the course joining requirements.
Our global hub country for combative and protective training is Thailand and in 2013 and again this year in 2014, we have exported close personal protection courses to Thailand.
Some of the benefits of conducting this specialist basic level course of instruction in Thailand include undertaking the training exercises in a foreign country working with a translator when required.
This year’s course was full and we were receiving applications right up until the start of the course and have received more for the 2015 course before it has even been posted on the Todd Group and elite action adventure websites.
Unfortunately the maximum course numbers were determined by the facilities and we had to decline all applications once the maximum course numbers were confirmed.
The reality with this such small specialist courses of instruction which is detailed in the course recruiting and promotion is the need for early applications with only limited positions being available and usually only one course being conducted annually.
Our 87 year history as combative and protective specialist training providers in very much a referral industry ensures courses numbers are met well before the course application cutoff date and usually we compile course wait lists for any positions that may become available.
Unfortunately for a number of individuals on this occasion no such positions become available.
The first course we conducted in Thailand was problematic with some course management aspects in relation to last minute changes of venue and resources.
Close protection specialists need to be flexible and innovative but I insist on well in advance confirmed details in relation to course resources and facilities and this is what I got under the current course manager.
We have now in place very good in country management support and in country assistance making the conducting of such a course for me as chief instructor so much better.
This year’s course was managed by my Thai personal assistant and every aspect of the course was confirmed well advance with attention to every detail.
There were no shocks or surprises and this is the best managed exported course I have ever instructed in close personal protection.
Being a residential course where exponents can live in the same facility that the conducted is conducted in and from is that much more convenient.
Being able to sleep, eat and attend the theory component all in the one location, especially with a course that requires long hours just makes so much sense.
New Zealand attendees had their airfares accommodation and breakfasts included in the course fee and international attendees apart from making their own flight reservations and payment received the same in country comforts.
Having the support of the Thai military in relation to training facilities and equipment usage is a privilege and makes the course that much better.
From day one of the course exponents learned the requirement of mental and physical commitment and attention to detail.
They quickly learnt that professional close personal protection is very different to minding or being a deterrent untrained lump of a bodyguard.
They find out that attention to detail and planning preparation conducting of security surveys and threat assessments requires a high level of commitment and constant attention to detail.
The Todd Group close personal protection courses attracts mature responsible non-members that either are working in the close protection or security industry or have long records of service in the military or police combined with current Todd Group members that are well aware of the nature of close protection training and work, ensures attendees by majority have the right mentality mindset and commitment.
Anyone who thinks specialist close personal protection is about actions on encounters will very quickly realise that there perspective could not be further from the truth.
Through meticulous planning preparation security surveys and threat assessments threats to your principle are reduced to the lowest possible level.
The first three days on course comprised of constant lectures, taking of notes combined with several hours of close personal protection related close quarter battle.
Dr Steffan Eriksson a phase 3 specialist CQB/CQC proponent and phase 1 and 2 CQC instructor flew in to conduct the CPP emergency medical aspects component that he developed many years back for the Todd Group close personal protection course.
This as always was a well presented and informative course component specific to CPP roles and emergency capabilities under high risk threat conditions in relation to wounds and injuries that fall into protective threat realities as a result of actions on encounters.
Once the initial few days of lectures and theory had been completed the physical training aspects including pedestrian escort formations, kicked in on the course with getting out and about practising amongst the population.
Before we knew it rail and Maritime exercises advance planning elements threat assessments and security surveys were having to be conducted.
Then it was back to prepare operation orders for exercises coming up in the second week of the course.
After the theory of CPP required shooting capabilities, weapons safety familiarisation and range orders and instructions , ammunition characteristics and weapon accessories was completed, it was off to the range for the practical aimed and instinctive point shooting.
This was followed by a trip to the Navy base for walking drills formations and CPP immediate action drills against both unarmed and armed threats.
The exponent’s started to show a good grasp of the required tactics skills and principles and by the time the day was over their decision-making and skills employment proficiency had certainly increased.
As the instructor of the course it is my duty to ensure attendees are well aware of the requirements and responsibilities of being a close personal protection specialist. This means character adjustment and critiquing of any physical and attitude faults when required.
All training and training exercises require an operational focus and mentality.
This is all part of ensuring exponent’s punctuality presentation attention to detail and commitment fits with the requirements of close personal protection.
Exponents soon find out the importance of the respect of the chain of command and working as a team made up of team players and not as an individual. Close protection in relation to roles duties and responsibilities requires individuals that can think individually if required and as a general rule collectively.
They need to know their arks of responsibility and be able to plug holes in others arks of responsibility in emergencies.
Working as a team requires considerably more visual awareness and constant assessments to maintain shape required ranges and the highest levels of safety and security.
Attendees understood that correction and character adjustment is nothing personal but is a professional requirement and part of being able to accept and understand standard operating procedures and operational orders.
Performing their duties on a live training exercise on the rail exercise and then on the Maritime exercise provided a good opportunity for the attendees to become familiar and aware with operational requirements for close protection.
After each exercise the debrief included group and individual critiquing and appraisals in relation to achieving the required objectives in regards to proficiency performing of duties and error.
The evasive driving phase was something new for most of the attending exponents and although exciting sitting beside each exponent you could identify their initial nervousness.
The first to get in the driver’s seat a Thai national had never undertaken evasive driver training before.
However, he quickly got the grasp of forward and reverse evasive turns as well as two point turns and the initial look of concern and anticipation on his face was replaced with a smile of satisfaction.
The entire course very much enjoyed the evasive driving phase once the initial anticipation was replaced with participation and knowledge of confidence in their instruction and in their capabilities to safely and effectively perform the required driving manoeuvres.
Exponents now had the opportunity to practice their ambush actions on vehicle transfers and performed these tactics and skills extremely well.
The Todd Group over close to 9 decades have developed proven specific tactics and skills that provide major advantages through an understanding of human body mechanics and psychological responses to covert deliberate actions.
These small but important trade craft practises surprised and impressed the exponents on course when they found out that had a level of control through discreet tactics and minor actions.
Familiarisation with the procedures required in relation to searching for locating improvised explosive devices and making the area safe was conducted for both buildings and vehicles.
The final exercise named the longest day was an exercise by land transport from Chonburi to Bangkok and return that included protecting myself for business meetings as well as operating details through markets and major shopping complexes.
This exercise Incorporated components of the unknown which in low to medium threat level protection operations today is a common reality with clients deciding at short notice they want to go to an unknown location.
The course had to compile general operation orders in relation to broad locations in Bangkok based on available information.
They had to rely on the course manager translator personal assistant as well as the driver to a large degree for logistical requirements.
Having two phase 3 senior assistants in Chris and Danny on course and on exercise phases to act as principles or observers was very beneficial to me personally.
They were also handy as mules when it came to lugging our purchases behind the protective details.
The course from the attending exponents post course comments included outstanding, the best course I’ve ever been on and a special and great opportunity and experience.
From my perspective as the course chief instructor it was the best managed exported close personal protection course I have been involved with and made my instructing duties that much easier without having to focus on or be concerned about course management problems in relation to facilities and resources.
It can be a difficult and lonely position instructing mature responsible people in a specialist course of instruction that requires complete attention to detail and commitment and as such requires personal critiquing to ensure by the course completion all attendees understand their strengths and weaknesses and what is required as a close personal protection specialist.
Having to be so specific and at times blunt with pointing out individual errors or group errors is one of the requirements of instructing such an intensive specialist course of instruction and must be done to ensure the attendees achieve the greatest understanding and levels of competency in the very specialist subject that close personal protection is.
I’m confident that by the course completion the entire course understood the requirements responsibilities and realities of working in the close protection industry and knew their personal strengths and any weaknesses they need to improve on.
This was a very good course made up of good lads and a good lass that all approved by considerable over the two weeks.
Next year’s course will be conducted again in September and will be posted on the Todd Group website and the elite action adventure website as soon as exact dates and details are finalised.
The next exported course to Thailand is a CQC course at the navy base Chonburi December 1st – 6th 2014.
Joining instructions information online applications www.toddgroup.com
The 2015 exported CPP course to Thailand will run from September 20th – September 30th 2015. Details will soon be posted at www.toddgroup.com