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Over The Fields and Through The Snow, To G4S ITI’s Campus We Go

By November 28, 2011One Comment

This past August the LBM team took a trip out to Phoenix to visit the LaserLyte team. It was our first time out there to see the new building and get a tour of where the magic happens. During our last night, we found ourselves enjoying some adult beverages at Rendezvous in Old Town (also known as RIOT), and started discussing the recent Industry Masters. Aaron Moore, VP of LaserLyte, was looking to put a team together for the 2012 Shooting Industry Masters and had one slot left. You could almost see the light bulb go off above his head as he turned to me and said, “Ash, you’re going to be on our team, so start practicing.” And then and there was the beginning of my road to the Industry Masters.

For those of you who have read our blog from the beginning, you may remember the first time I learned to shoot a gun was with Todd Jarrett at the BLACKHAWK! Writer’s Seminar back in May of 2010. Well, not only was that the first time I shot a gun, but up until recently, it had also been my last. I just hadn’t been presented with the opportunity until now. So with a little under a year to learn pistol, shotgun and rifle, I turned to our dear friends and clients at G4S International Training, Inc. for a little help and guidance. And fortunately for me, they invited me down to take a tour of their Virginia campus and learn some tricks of the trade.

While our headquarters are located in North Carolina, I work in a satellite office in Annapolis, MD. It’s just about a 3 hour drive from my door to the G4S ITI VA Campus down in Shacklesford, VA. I pulled up bright and early on a chilly November morning to meet with my instructor Brandon Wright. Brandon is not only the Senior Firearms Instructor at G4S ITI, but he is also the Team Captain for their competitive shooting team. Brandon is an IDPA Master Class and  USPSA Master Class Production shooter, so I knew I was in good hands.

Before our day on the range could begin, it was important to actually see the campus and take a tour. G4S ITI has been a client of ours since 2008, but this was the first time anyone from LBM was fortunate enough to find ourselves at the campus.

G4S ITI’s campus in Virginia encompasses 900-acres and is accessible by land, water or air and features access to both a 5,000-active runway and a designated parachute drop zone. The campus features three training classrooms, a staff instructor building, administrative and instructional support buildings. The driving facility is composed of two paved courses, each about one mile in length, with real world features. In addition, there are five miles of off-road trails designed to teach a variety of driving skills. I also got to see where they teach how to properly ram another car (yes, there is a correct technique for this), as well “junker alley,” where they practice maneuvers in tight, hard to see turns around old cars.

They also have three firearms ranges, a mock urban setting for Simunition® training, a fully ballistic capable shoot house (3,400 square foot) and a dedicated combative tactics facility. The shoot house was really cool to see. It was a large building with many rooms set up for various situations. One of my favorite things to see was the mock urban setting, where they have a car set up on what I can only describe as a “rotisserie” wheel. The goal of this is to properly teach someone how to handle a situation should their vehicle go off-road and start to flip.  I asked Brandon if anyone had ever gotten sick from it, and he said he had never seen anyone do so, but it can certainly make one pretty dizzy.

The other interesting feature to note about the campus is that they also have an old airplane so they can teach how to handle various aerial hostage situations. Not many classes are taught with this, but it is there if you and your group need some training on this type of situation.

The campus itself is set up to be completely self-reliant and self-sufficient. The driveway to the campus is about a mile long through fields and woods. I felt like red riding hood going to grandma’s house over the fields and through the snow (or more like the morning frost). They have their own plow trucks, gas pumps and auto body repair shop set up on campus. Let’s just say if the zombie apocalypse  was to happen, I know where I’d be going.

Located midway between Richmond and Williamsburg, the VA Campus is just off of Interstate 64, and is about a two-hour drive from  Washington, DC. It was great to see the campus first hand finally and even better to test out their ranges. In my next few blogs, I’ll discuss my training on pistols, rifles and shotguns at G4S ITI.

To see more pictures of my Campus Tour, visit our Facebook page photo album.