The Todd Group has just completed another annual close personal protection course in Thailand, our international hub country of over two decades. This report will follow Pete and Gaz through their two weeks of training and training exercises.
The Todd Group have the oldest history as private specialist training providers of European military self-defence MSD and European military close quarters combat CQC to military and civilians. Close personal protection is a specialist tradecraft program included in our CQC/CQB training packages.
It has a long history for the protection of military officers and members of parliament visiting war zones.
The Todd Group have been the longest training providers in NZ of CPP and now export an annual CPP course to Thailand to add to the specialist experience by conducting the course training exercises in a foreign environment where indigenous assets for translation duties and providing cultural and in country information are essential.
The Todd Group formerly the Baldock institute was established in 1927 by our founder the late SMG Harry Baldock.
The Todd Group CPP package has been contributed to by SMG Harry Baldock, Col Rex Applegate, SMG Lawrence Jordan all military Master Instructors and other military master and senior instructors over the past 90 years.
The package is kept current by the Todd Group monitoring and updating this specialist living package and having a working connection with other allied CPP industry leaders enabling cross fertilisation.
The Todd Group chief of CQC medical Dr Steffan Eriksson has developed and continually updates the CPP related CQB/CQC first assistance content for the courses keeping them primary and current.
This course report will follow two lads in Pete and Gaz as they undergo training in some of the CPO modules of training and on training exercises.
Like many exponents on courses Pete and Gaz have a previous connection with the Group through prior training.
Pete first entered the Todd Group in 1996 when he undertook work experience while still at school followed by in 2006 completing a week-long intensive course of instruction in Australia and passed his phase 1 CQC testing.
Gaz attended a week-long Todd Group HQ CQC/MSD course in 2002 and recently a weekend short course in Christchurch.
Like other former young exponents after finding careers getting married and having children they come back to the Todd Group to continue their training.
Pete and Gaz started their CPP course with several long days of lectures combined with hands on CPP protectee cover protect and extraction training.
CPP specific close combat training is a specialist tradecraft skillset at the Todd Group.
The lectures initially included the following tradecraft subjects:
Protocol and Etiquette- CPO required specialist skills- CPP retainers and contract negotiation-Setting up a command/control centre fixed and mobile-Roles duties and responsibilities of all detail members-CPO operational codes-Equipment requirements-CPO Med-Types of protection-CPP necessary skills-The role of the CPP specialist- Communications and signalling-Threat levels- Threat analysis-Threat management-Advance planning-intelligence collection and analysis-Compiling operation orders-Types of security-CPP close combat- Surveillance anti and counter surveillance-Types of security-Categories of incident-Danger areas-Types of combat and counter actions ambush and assault-Pedestrian escort movement formations-Vehicular embus/debus-Vehicle selection and upgrades-The motorcade-Tactical driving-4WD-Air operations-Rail operations-Maritime operations-Helicopter operations-Introduction to CPO shooting-Firearms safety-Firearms selection-Ammunition-Firearms accessories-Firearms care and maintenance- Introduction to explosive devices/Improvised explosive devices/ characteristics/delivery means/detection/IED searches premises and vehicles.
Once the lectures on the above and more were squared away the practical training kicked in.
The practical hands on and leg work trade craft training included continued CPO close combat training and doing advance surveys and threat assessments for upcoming exercises.
All the intelligence had to be analysed and Operational orders completed for the upcoming training exercises.
This meant to a considerable degree relying on the input of our Thai citizen translator and in country advisor to ensure understandings were in fact correct.
The live fire CPO shooting phase and tactical aggressive and evasive driving phase being hands on training after the considerable amount of theory and practice rehearsals came around quickly and any nervousness had to be quickly overcome and was by the lads doing their best to achieve improved competency.
The first exercise the “The Longest Day” was a major land based Vehicular and pedestrian escort components based exercise between Pattaya City and Bangkok City and return.
There was added difficulties with streets shops and businesses being closed on days leading up to the Kings Royal cremation.
Constant vigilance attention to details and fast mapping assessments on the move put the pressure on the lads combined with coping with crowed streets markets and shopping malls requiring constant pedestrian escort fluid formation changes.
It was all character and competency building and very self-revealing giving the lads a reality check as to the far from glamorous realities of being a close protection specialist.
After completing advance threat assessments and security surveys for the rail and maritime exercises that included taking the train and Ferry to the locations for the later training exercises, the operation orders were developed and this meant some burning the midnight oil.
There were some tired looking lads, but they kept committed to the tasks required of them.
They learnt the importance of working as a team and getting stuck in to get the job done.
They squared away the required tactics and procedures on the practical IED searches of a vehicle and premise working as a controlled careful unit.
The rail exercise went to plan and without a hitch through sound advance work and attention to detail in the preparing of op-orders.
The maritime exercise on October 26 was more difficult being on the day of the Kings cremation.
However, the difficulties were overcome through having backup and emergency options built into the op-orders and through having the assistance of our translator and in-country advisor present to assist when required.
Day 13 was a day of CQC/CQB and MSD training that was very much enjoyed by all of us.
The final exported course of instruction for 2017 and a good chance for new entry level exponents to get cracking with their pursuit of combative competency is December 4-9 Thailand.
Course joining instructions/information and online application facility: