AThens, GA: 2-Day Vehicles Tactics Course

I had a response to the original Facebook post but can’t respond……do here are my thoughts

I read the Facebook post by Abner Miranda where he provided a link ( to Sparrow Defense’s AAR (After Action Review) for the Sheriff of Baghdad’s 2 Day Tactical Vehicle Class written by Clark Sparrow.  The travesties in both the Facebook post and the AAR had to be a joke because both were filled with inaccuracies, attempts to discredit a highly respected instructor with a strong following, and flat out lies.

First….this do nothing ass wipe, Abner Miranda, actually calls out Shrek and infers that “there is a lot of clownery” going on in this industry.  He follows this by saying this is the second time he has heard these disparaging comments about SOB but never addresses this when asked about it.  I take it from his page that he is involved with Talon Defense and keeps them at the forefront of his page with snarky posts about how the tactical training industry is crap and he is smarter than everyone in it.  One of his minions posted that he saw some SOB videos on Youtube and his BS vibe was struck….to which Abner jumped on and agreed.  The jealousy is absolutely comical when you see that Abner has a video up on Youtube called, “Tier One Citizen” and uses the term to describe himself.  He actually claims credit for coining this term.  Seriously folks, unlike his vicarious persona who wishes he was an operator the video title is not a joke.

Now to the actual AAR posted by Sparrow Defense.  Let me start by saying I was in the class and my bill wasn’t covered by a LEO department….I paid with my own $ and felt it was worth every penny.  The content of this class was taken from the experiences of the SAS in Northern Ireland and the Middle East as well as our Spec Ops guys in the GWOT.  We had a guy teaching it who has unrivaled operational experience, a track record of exceptional instruction, and put more guys in the dirt than a Chinese grave digger….so I’m not sure what class Clark attended but here are my comments on his review…

  1. To start with there was a safety briefing and I remember this because of the repeated emphasis on making sure the berm was the back stop for our rounds.  Clark was being completely inaccurate on this.  Furthermore he felt that a visiting instructor should have provided a medical plan.  This is an absolute farce as the medical contingency should be prepared by range host. To expect an instructor who isn’t from the area to have all of the emergency contacts, directions, and supplies is pure overreach.  I find this assumption, and the fact that he didn’t have it covered but later tried to pin it on Shrek, as pure ineptitude on his part.
  2. Clark complains that he didn’t shoot enough on day 1 and that the ballistics portion took too much time.  What Clark fails to mention is that his friend, and former unit operator, Jamie Weidman (I’m also guessing that he is John’s friend too….they really didn’t talk because John was teaching a class) showed up and shadowed the class for a 1-1.5 hours and raved to the group about how seeing this was so important and he didn’t know of anyone else who showed the science behind bullet strikes on a vehicle.  Although Clark felt we spent too much time on war stories, he sure didn’t mind when Jamie was telling us his stories including how he drove down to the 1st Ranger Bat HQ from Fort Bragg in his dress greens and basically did an elevator pitch to join a Ranger Bat….despite him not even being part of the class.
  3. The AAR claims that John said “bullets zip right through these cars” and later mentions how most rounds failed to penetrate the front doors of the Volvo.  This is so off base it isn’t even funny
    1. This is why we shot the car with different calibers, bullet weights, and round types…to see what happened and understand the differences in penetration.
    2. John said that where the car is hit makes a huge difference.  That the front doors have far more internal parts than the rear doors and this could cause a bullet to stop, fragment, or deflect.
    3. It should also be noted that John said that different vehicle brands make a difference as well.  He said that one class shot up Lexus SUVs and they didn’t stop shit yet a Dodge Durango they once shot up was very resistant (and later blown up with a crap load of Tannerite)
    4. Clark talks about the pillars not being penetrated and later how he can use this as cover….think about an officer using that 3-5” pillar as cover, and I guess from the absolute correct angle it could be doubled (because of the pillar on each side of the car), but I’m guessing if you try to use that slim barrier in a gun fight you are about to meet your next poster child for Blue Lives Matter
    5. John did say that the vehicle isn’t cover and actually called it “enhanced concealment.”  (I probably shouldn’t have mentioned this because Abner might “coin” the term). He also prefaced this by saying that the engine compartment will prevent rounds from going through and this can be used as temporary cover in a pinch but your best option is to get away from the car and find permanent cover.
  4. The big thing that everyone on the Facebook post has seemed to focus on is the incident with the ricochet…even that ass clown Abner jumped on this because he knows that he can’t call out SOB on knowledge or he would look like an even bigger jack ass (if possible).
    1. I was the one who asked to shoot the engine compartment.  Shrek had commented about rounds not going through it earlier in the class and I wasn’t sure we were going to test that theory.  Shrek said sure and drew a target on the quarter panel for me to shoot.  Which I did, without problem, and we viewed where the 9mm round was lodged near a fluid reservoir on the same side hit. Theory upheld!
    2. The offer that was hit from the ricochet had asked if he could shoot it too, and when told yes, ran to his car and grabbed a 5.45X39 AK while I was shooting.  He was also provided a target and told not to shoot the wheel well because he might hit a leaf spring or strut.  He missed the target low, shot into the wheel well and caused himself to catch a piece of the round.
    3. After he was hit, Shrek was the one who cleaned up the wound, provided him with a bandage and joked that he usually gave out Hello Kitty band aids for this type of stuff.
  5. It was obvious that despite the abundance of notes that were taken by Clark, that much of this class didn’t permeate, he’s horrible at capturing information, or he didn’t review those notes before writing his AAR.  There were just so many things incorrectly pointed out that I can only cover a fraction of them.
    1. He says that John claims the primary reason you don’t body up next to the vehicle and stay an arm’s length away is because of the spall and fragmentation you could be hit with….WRONG!  The primary reason is so you can manipulate your weapon and not have to move it around the vehicle when engaging a target. The spall was an ancillary reason.
    2. He claims that you are not to take any position but standing…..sorry but I would have called BS on this myself if it was said.  You weren’t not to go prone because it limits your vision and going to a knee wasn’t an issue as long as you were spaced behind the vehicle to use your weapon unhindered…..and plenty of guys did this when we practiced. The key was mobility because you don’t want to stay around the vehicle.
    3. Clark claims that “he counted 7 separate times when a student pointed the muzzle of their gun at either their training partner or the entire line” and then later claimed that “I had been “Flagged” seven times.”  I guess every time someone had a weapon pointed at him it personally involved Clark.  This is how exaggeration is defined.
    4. He claims that numerous people were yelling “muzzle” because of all the infractions…..I never heard it and confirmed this with 2 other class participants I know and neither did they.  Could it have happened….sure, but the tone of his claim makes it seem like this was problematic.  Again, I think this is an exaggeration.
    5. In fairness, I was guilty of not having the proper muzzle awareness in one drill when I moved around the car door my shirt was snagged and caught on the door, I was turned because of it and I swept the class behind me as it turned me around.  While Clark is quick to point fingers at Shrek about this, everyone on the range is a safety officer and no one corrected me on this…including him.
    6. Shrek videoed just about all of the runs the class did in practicing the drills and sent them out to every member of the class.  If there was a problem with flagging, you can see it in the videos as well as hear the class yelling, “muzzle” and I don’t remember hearing that from viewing them.
    7. Mechanically disabling a vehicle with rounds was covered on the early afternoon of Day 2, not at the end of the course.  That’s when we covered ambushing a vehicle, how to approach a stopped vehicle, where to stand who to cover when taking down the occupants of a vehicle, and how to remove a driver from the vehicle.
    8. John did not say that people disregard the driver and passengers when ambushing a car but that the shooters in an ambush tend to fire at the vehicle and not aim at specific targets in the vehicle.  They shoot at the larger target.  We also covered un-assing the vehicle not only because it was being shot up but because it was disabled or crashed during an ambush or similar situation.
    9. I’m not sure what he was expecting for down time because this class had far less down time than any other of SOB’s classes that I have taken.  This was my 5th class with John.
    10. If there were any issues with safety, down time or content I don’t remember it ever being mentioned and only learned about it when Clark’s balls finally dropped and he wrote his review 8 weeks later.  John gathered us together and asked for good, bad and any other critiques at the end of each day.  If you have taken John’s classes before you know that he does this after each class and is stringent about it to the point where he doesn’t let people slide without an answer. Clark could have easily addressed his concerns at the end of day one, and seems to claim that he did wholeheartedly in his review, but neither myself or two other participants I’ve reached out to remember his rant about safety in the class.

I actually sent a comment response to Sparrow Defense on this AAR, and it was never posted….yet other comments agreeing with him were posted (and time stamped after I sent mine in) because they towed the line and agreed with him.  People tend to say that geniuses think alike, what they fail to grasp is so do simpletons….which may be why Abner and Clark go so well together.  I didn’t have a problem with Clark Sparrow to begin with, and nothing in my original comment submission to his site was nasty or attacking…of course that has changed and now I think he is a flat out fucking coward for “moderating” my comments out and not being able to take any criticism while having no problem dishing it out himself! My advice, if you want to stay away from fucktards who know it all and are trying to make it off the back of SOB Tactical with blue falcon tactics, avoid Abner and Talon Defense as well as Clark and Sparrow Defense.




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