Friday, January 15, 2010

Fast Cars and Guns, Oh my!

Speeding cars; 4-wheeling; gun shooting--all while surrounded by fleets of law enforcement vehicles. No...I was not on the wrong side of the law!

Last year, I told you about my Leadership Roswell class. We did lots of stuff including a ROPES course. Today, I joined John's class on a field trip. (About a dozen members of the alumni association joined them.) Our trip today was to the FLETC (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center) and US Border Patrol academy.

All US Border Patrol recruits do a 12 week training in Artesia (about 45 miles south of Roswell). Students who are not fluent in Spanish stay another 8 weeks to learn task based Spanish.) 88 different federal agencies (like Bureau of Indian Affairs, FBI, and NCIS use the training facilities. There are about half a dozen FLETC campuses.

We had a blast! We went on 3 different driving courses. We didn't get to drive, though. First we went in sedans, and did a high speed course. (They didn't take us as fast as they take the students.) Later we did two courses in SUVs. One was a high speed, and the other was a 4 wheel drive course. (That the best one!) We climbed some very steep hills and went through some ravines. It was a blast!

We also got to visit an outdoor shooting range where I shot a 9mm glouck and a submachine gun. (My first time shooting!) It was fun! Later, we got to visit an "indoor outdoor" shooting range. It was basically and enclosed warehouse with a slanted roof and open "windows" on the roof. If was freezing! It felt like a meat locker! He we had several instructors demonstrate various firearms. They were quite impressive.

We also had the opportunity to visit classrooms, physical training areas (WOW!), and outdoor training facilities. We even ate in the student cafeteria. Eve it was pretty impressive!

While the demonstrations were impressive, I think what I enjoyed most were the instructors. They came from a variety of places and backgrounds, and they have devoted their careers not only to protecting us, but to training other officers to protect us.

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