Full Spectrum SERE Course (Urban Course)

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Urban-SERE Phoenix
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Real Escape and Evasion For Urban Environments

This course is the ultimate in Urban SERE - covering in-depth training in Escape Techniques, Evasion in Urbanised Areas and all the Planning Considerations you require to exploit this Dynamic Environment and stack the odds firmly in your favour. Furthermore should it be necessary to pre-emptively take action to extract oneself before the situation deteriorates, you will be best prepared. Combining anti-kidnapping and hostage awareness training along with Escape Training and Evasion Training brings this Full Spectrum SERE course in the urban environment into an immersive experience.

Teaching you how to protect yourself in towns and cities and if necessary take the appropriate actions to escape the city and get away to safety.

Whatever puts us in harm’s way in the urbanised areas of the world, whether we agree with it or not, we are continually exposing ourselves to risks that we are seldom prepared for or more likely haven't even considered.

Around the world towns and cities are growing with a predicted 75% of populations living in these metropolises by 2025. This increases the dangers we find within cities as criminal elements seek to control the situation as well as social dynamics. Urban populations are focussed on their daily lives with scant regard to those around them meaning in turn, that despite the large population, one is easily isolated. If we add the complexity of being abroad, a change of culture and perhaps social unrest, which recent history has shown to happen very quickly, we can find ourselves needing to evade and extract from these areas.

Can we rely on the local population or even police forces? Certainly in some parts of the world the only person to trust is yourself and what we can teach you.

These situations are easily exploited by gangs and criminals during social unrest and although we are familiar with this environment, social conformity and a lack of awareness causes this environment to become even more dangerous.

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Kidnapping is on the Increase and NOT only Abroad!

Peter Moore was an IT consultant who didn’t consider that he was at risk of being captured or held hostage, despite taking up a contract in Iraq in 2007. After all, the country was in post-conflict; there was recovery taking place and he was allocated a Private Security Detail (PSD) - staffed by ex British military personnel and each heavily armed. He was escorted everywhere as well as provided with body armour. What possible risk of kidnapping or hostage taking could there be to him, a simple IT consultant - he should have been perfectly safe…

However, on 29 May 2007 Peter and his PSD of four were abducted from the Ministry of Finance in Baghdad by up to one eighty militia who had infiltrated the local police. What followed was: 947 days in which Peter was in captivity and would result in the execution of his whole PSD and his eventual release brought about by prisoner exchanges. His story, presented in person by himself, makes a fitting backdrop to this course and along with several other case studies, will surely help anyone in similar situations overcome the paralysis of fear and make rational decisions.

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Blind to Dangers and Risks

Many victims of muggings, kidnapping and hostage takings may, with the benefit of hindsight, see those missed opportunities and slipped chances to act to either avoid the situation all together or to rapidly de-escalate.

Those all-to-short snap shots of time, where had we been focussed and thinking along the right lines we could have acted and changed the course of events. We could have actively arrested the situation and brought about a better conclusion. We seek to train you to pre-emptively see the opportunities as they approach or even orchestrate them ourselves and in so doing allow ourselves the best chances to exploit them.

This training empowers you as the victim or potential victim. It affords you the skills to hopefully avoid being taken or detained in the first place; using your situational awareness to take appropriate actions like spotting the situation developing and turning back rather than stumbling blindly into these situations. However, if the worst does happen, being mentally prepared will give you an edge and can bring about a better result.

What is Happening?
Would you be able to spot the danger clues, take appropriate action and avoid the possible ramifications? Is the situation developing quicker than you can process the information? Where in the recesses of your mind are the reference points for you to equate this to? Are those people intent on causing you harm? Is this simply an express kidnapping that's been poorly handled or are you really at risk of physical harm or worse, imminent execution?

We teach you the situational awareness skills thereby allowing you to collect the information and details you need to understand and to assess your safety; your chances of survival and whether or not to attempt an escape. After all there is no point in making the situation worse by bungling a half-hearted escape attempt. You assess the situation appropriately and choose the best course of action rather than fully capitulate.

Would you know what information you should be gathering and looking to exploit? Suppose you could manage to escape, what about those with you? Too old to follow? Does that weigh heavy on your mind? Could they suffer as a result?

You could just sit still and be the victim, or, when the situation develops you could exploit it. Maybe you could even orchestrate the situation to ensure you take full advantage in getting located, rescued, escaping or self extracting.

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"Had we had this kind of training and known some of the techniques taught by Urban-SERE, we could probably have escaped on the first night of being captured…" Peter Moore (Hostage for 956 days in Iraq)

Course Content

The following outline focusses on three distinct areas:

Anti Kidnapping and Hostage Taking - The increase in kidnapping globally and the developing methods of performing this action is dissected and examined. None of this knowledge can guarantee that we are not still prone to exploitation in this area.

  • Situation Awareness
  • Reasoning and proactive actions
  • Anti Surveillance
  • How to evade a hostile enemy
  • How to navigate effectively in Urban Areas
  • Use of sketch maps and improvised navigation techniques
  • Ganglands
  • Gang graffiti labelling areas
  • Understand small arms characteristics and capabilities

Escape Skills and Methodology - this is a skill set that requires practice and motor skills, although it is largely practical there is theory required to underpin this skill and as such can take some learning time to become proficient. We have factored this into the course timescale. Even if not actively restrained or guarded it is still very much a choice to escape and actions that MUST be carried out to perform that, based on situational awareness.

  • Rings of confinement
  • Concentric rings of confinement (Rings 1-5)
  • Psychology
  • Restraints - Psychological and Physical
  • Defeating Restraints Techniques
  • Simple escape scenario exercises throughout this phase

Evasion and Extraction - as the escape methodology develops into affecting an escape, it is important to understand that having broken-out (post escape) we must be able to get ourselves to safety. Moreover, if the geopolitical situation in country begins to deteriorate, it may be incumbent on individuals to proactively extract themselves prior to any capture and thereby actively avoiding the risks of capture.

  • Planning prior travel (Either home or foreign country)
  • Evasion v Extraction
  • Intended Areas for Evasion
  • Intended Extraction Routes
  • Hiding out in the open
  • Urban Characteristics that can be exploited to best effect
  • Breaking Contact (Visual and Physical) and evading the follow-up
  • Table-top Planning Exercises
  • Realtime Living Exercise for Extraction (With hunters)
  • Realtime Living Exercise for Evasion (With hunters)

Developed Techniques

The skills and techniques presented on his course have been researched in detail over a decade. Furthermore, along with that research they have been developed and refined through having been delivered to specialist units of the Metropolitan Police, some specialist Military Units and by having been presented at many International Conferences covering the specialist subject areas of Personnel Recovery, SERE and Security.

Innovative Progressive Training

Set in carefully chosen cities selected for their sufficient diversity and resources; enabling us to fully cover the course material. This course covers the issues of personal security awareness and situational awareness in a fluid and dynamic scenario, which will involve escape from simulated unlawful detention having been being held captive by criminals or gangs.

What can we learn from history and those who have been held captive before, prisoners of war or hostages?
Experience driven training using real world examples will highlight the 'Hollywood' trap of suspended disbelief. We will discuss Improvised weaponry and how we may be able to weaponise normal day-to-day items. All of these techniques will not only aid you in escaping should you become a captive but it has wider implications in improving your own home security as you become aware of the weaknesses in your own defences.

In order to deliver the best course possible we only conduct this course in small groups and therefore course places are at a premium. At Urban-SERE we are well practiced in teaching this skills based subject and know that we all learn in different ways. We ensure that everyone assimilates the information, before consolidating that knowledge with challenging and testing exercise scenarios. This course will require you to provide identification, such as your passport details, enabling us to undertake our in-house vetting owing to the sensitive nature of the information provided.

Peter Moore Will be Delivering a Presentation at This Course Telling his Hostage Story

Peter Moore Hostage
"Peter's story is both harrowing and inspiring in equal doses… I wholeheartedly recommend hearing it… It will alter your perception of your own security, Guaranteed" Conrad Allen

"This is a presentation about the circumstances in which Peter Moore, an IT worker, found himself being held hostage in Iraq for over two and half years. He was the only survivor of a group of five Britons abducted from the Ministry of Finance in Baghdad on the 29 May 2007. Peter’s presentation explains the build up to his working in Iraq; the day of the abduction, including the benefit of hindsight; his time as a hostage and reflections on the whole experience.”

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Birmingham New Street

(This civilianised course does NOT include any PRACTICAL Resistance to Interrogation (RtoI) training which without the appropriate Psychological assessments and suitable support can prove very damaging to mental health and we advise that any companies purporting to deliver such training should be avoided and cannot justify assaulting clients. Urban SERE staff having undergone military RtoI training for real can testify that there is nothing pleasant about that type of training)