CQB Instructor Course, Advanced Sniper Observer Course, Basic Search and Rescue. The course descriptions conjure up visions of combat and could sound ominous to a civilian – and that's OK, says Ron Tetreau, founder of Asymmetric Training and Assessment Group. For Tetreau, guns are serious business, and he firmly believes that training is as important for civilians as it is for professionals.
Sergeant First Class Tetreau's military career began in1983 with a four-year stint in the Air Force and continued with the Army Reserves, in which he still serves. His overseas deployments include three tours in Iran, one in Afghanistan and one in Kosovo. He trained with the Asymmetric Warfare Group, a US Army Special Missions unit.
In 2009 he founded Asymmetric Training and Assessment Group (ATAG) in Douglas with a mission to provide training for both law enforcement agencies and civilians in central Massachusetts and surrounding communities. He explained that asymmetry is part of the company's name to stress the evolving training techniques needed to address constantly changing security threats.
An example of a law enforcement course is the Active Shooter refresher class, which ATAG has conducted for the Northbridge and Burrillville police departments. Another is a program for weapons of mass destruction team members, supporting Department of Homeland Security personnel.
The frequency of mass shootings in the news has made administrators of schools, hospitals, and public buildings, as well as commercial businesses, more aware of the need for physical security assessments. “Most buildings have vulnerable areas,” said Tetreau, and we can advise and make recommendations for improving site security.” The Town of Sutton was a recent client and has implemented some of the ATAG recommendations, he said.
Civilians have also become much more cognizant of the need to be appropriately trained for self defense and home defense purposes. It's more than just taking the required license-to-carry course, he said. Tetreau doesn't mince words. He describes people who buy a firearm and then don't train on it as irresponsible. “It's like any other tool that you have in your home: you have to learn how to use it. It's important not to underestimate the importance of using a firearm properly. It's a safety issue.”
And there's more to it than just shooting, he adds. “You have to know how to stand and how to move.”
In addition to basic license-to-carry classes, ATAG teaches more advanced “tactical to practical” courses for pistols, scoped rifles, and shotguns, targeting them specifically for homeowners, competitive shooters, or hunters. Most training courses are day-long and held at the Beagle Club in Douglas. Private gun clubs can retain ATAG to do training at their site as well.
Other areas of training offered are search and rescue, basic land navigation, and wilderness survival.
ATAG instructors include ex-military, active, and retired police personnel who hold local, federal, national, and military certifications in their areas of expertise.