By Mark Lang For law enforcement agencies in the United States that have helicopter support, there is one potential program that, if properly developed, has the potential to bring major incidents to a successful end. Many SWAT commanders will tell you they want as many options as possible on the table during a tactical operation, and while an aerial platform does not guarantee success, it increases the likelihood. An aerial platform (AP) is also referred to as aerial gunnery, aerial marksmanship or aerial platform interdiction. All of these terms are simply defined as the placing of accurate rifle fire from a hovering, ...
August 31, 2017Mark Lang
By Mark Lang For too long, the .50-caliber rifle, or “Light Fifty,” has lived a meager and secretive existence in the equipment rooms of many SWAT teams around the country. Sitting in a hard case with only a box of ball rounds to its name, many operators have forgotten they even have the rifle. Whether the weapon was seized, donated or purchased, the SWAT .50-caliber has gone neglected and under-deployed for years. Immediately recognizable as the largest caliber weapon system by virtue of its bold stature and design, it is finally carving out a definitive place on the use-of-force spectrum for ...
By Mark Lang If you were to Google the term ‘Millennial’, you would come up with varying definitions of the time frame that exist for those Americans. A Millennial, according to the Pew Research Center, is anyone 18 to 34 years old in the year 2015. Therefore the oldest Millennial was born in 1981 and the youngest in 1997. Last year, the Millennial generation became the largest generation in the American workforce. As with any occupation in present day America, we are seeing the impact of the Millennial generation in law enforcement. When looking at present day SWAT, specifically, multi-generational teams ...
By Mark LangIn the aftermath of the suicidal bombing at the Manchester Arena in the United Kingdom, many in the venue industry find themselves asking the hard questions that undoubtedly come after such an attack. What if this occurred at my venue? A terroristic attack has always been a possibility at any U.S. venue, albeit low by some accounts in the industry. What conclusions can be drawn to this attack overseas? Any illusions this is only contained in Europe would be foolish. What happens overseas most likely will occur here in the United States on some scale even with the ...
Instructor Mark Lang’s article- Taking the High Ground, the Police Aerial Platform was featured in Edition 6/2016 Safety & Security International Magazine READ PDF ARTICLE
January 23, 2017Mark Lang
By Mark Lang Tactical Edge/ Spring 2015 In March 2008, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued an assessment asserting that stadiums and arenas are potential targets during events. Further, it was stated, “it’s just a matter of time before terrorists target a major sports event.” Open- air venues where fans gather to watch sporting events or concerts are extremely vulnerable to attack. In January 2009, DHS issued an assessment report titled “Threats to College Sports and Entertainment Venues and Surrounding Areas.” This report expounded on public transportation and infrastructure as a target of attack if the venue is perceived as being ...
November 26, 2015Mark Lang
by Mark Lang With the recent (June) attack of the Dallas Police Headquarters and subsequent use of a 50 Caliber Rifle to stop the threat, many SWAT officers around the country are reexamining when is the last time they have had any substantive training specific to the employment of their 50 Caliber rifle and whether they will be prepared if a similar attack occurs in their jurisdiction. For many teams, learning of this directed attack, pursuit, and SWAT Operation with an armored vehicle raises issues and questions that quite frankly have not been pushed to the forefront for some time.How ...
November 20, 2015Mark Lang
By Mark Lang The proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in the United States has increased substantially in recent years. Originally developed for military use, the civilian and commercial users are seeing unprecedented growth. Unmanned Aerial Systems is an acronym the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) uses to describe all of the complex systems in addition to the actual air vehicle. You will also hear and read where they are referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). UAS can vary in sizes and are manufactured by companies such as DGI & Intel. Larger size UAS manufactured by Leptron and Raytheon are in ...
June 17, 2015Mark Lang
by Mark LangThe ScenarioAs the police sniper for your team on a callout you are 85 yards away from your target. The target is in a renovated condo building on the 15th floor. You are armed with your semi-auto .308 precision rifle. You have chambered a purpose built bonded round that you hope and pray can penetrate the glass that you are observing the suspect through. You have no near glass but the far glass may be a problem. At times the suspect comes directly up to the window but most times is at little off the window. You have ...
March 21, 2015Mark Lang
BY by Mark Lang ON OCT 22, 2014 OFFICER.COM If you are not moving forward, then in essence you are moving backwards’ This saying is paramount to SWAT operators and the team supervision as they endeavor to be the best they can be. Often overlooked in much of the training and operations is bullet selection and performance. When was the last time you took a serious look at the round(s) that your team and snipers use?A popular belief for the uneducated is that performance on paper equates to proper performance on a human being or a hard target. This couldn’t be further ...
October 23, 2014Mark Lang
by Mark Lang Officer.com How much training does your SWAT team do away from your range facility? If your answer is none, then perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your current training.Think about the amount of time and training you have spent at your range as you keep pushing yourself to be the best you can. You see the same facilities and invariably do the same type of training over and over. From the flat range to a shoot house or a training tower, you have mixed it up as best as you can in the past, but still find yourself doing the ...
October 10, 2014Mark Lang
by Mark Lang Officer.com As the Police Sniper it is my responsibility to let my peers and supervisors know my capabilities and limitations. My excuses must be little to none and my standard must be higher than the rest. That is my mentality, my way and direction. If I am standing still, then I am moving backwards. The Police Sniper should be one of the best members of your team.Military and Police Sniper selectionLet’s just get this out front and center: there are differences between Military and Police snipers. Experts have spent hours discussing those differences, but let’s stick to the matter ...
July 22, 2014Mark Lang
by Mark Lang Officer.com At the completion of this article another terrorist attack has taken the lives of fellow Americans at a major sporting event. These particular cowards who attacked us ran, but ultimately were dealt with by the fine efforts of the Boston-area law enforcement. Sporting events and venues are and will continue to be an attractive target until we get serious about securing them on a consistent basis. It’s a huge undertaking, no doubt, but isn’t one life worth it?Football games, ice hockey, NASCAR racing...every day our friends and family attend events like these with an expectation of safety and ...
May 15, 2013Mark Lang