Will Petty Centrifuge Training Alphabet Soup Shooting Drill

Every time I set this drill up students are immediately like… but Will, this isn’t real life! There’s no way I’d fight 15 dudes around a vehicle like this. And you know what, they are absolutely right. 

But hear me out, this is a drill not a scenario. Having multiple numbered or lettered targets set up is a way to facilitate one moving threat. Or another way to look at it is that there are 14 no shoots and one asshole who is threatening everyone.

Set Up the Drill

Place 15 targets, paper up close, steel at distance, all at varying heights and distances around a vehicle. Make sure that not all the targets have a clear line of sight from a single position on the shooter’s side of the vehicle. Mark each target with a unique identifier. It can be sprayed with letters, numbers, even colors.

Don’t have a car available that you can shoot up? That’s a bummer. The vehicle used in this drill can be substituted for a collection of range barricades as well.

As with any skill builder exercise, the more myelination the better. It’s important that when you’re setting this drill up not all threats can be viewed from any one position on the barricade(s) and that you are aware of your available angles of engagement. 

You can place as many or as few targets as you like, utilize steel (at distance), work this drill in low light, use handgun and or carbine, work it as an injured shooter, or any other scenario that you can think of.

Alphabet Soup

Here’s how the Alphabet Soup drill works. One person calls out a number or letter and the shooter works the available cover / concealment to find the angle to best address that threat. Once that is done, rinse and repeat. 

Shooters must make their hits while searching for their targets in a target filled environment. Every target called could mean that the other 14 targets are no-shoots. Speed and accuracy are everything. Dealing with equipment failures and reloads along the way is only part of the drill.

This drill helps the shooter to work on:
• Movement 
• Proper use of available cover / concealment 
• Searching methods 
• Shoot / no shoot information processing 
• Appropriate and safe weapons manipulation, control and orientation 

About Will Petty

William Petty began his Law Enforcement career in 2003 in Albuquerque, NM, where he served as a Firearms Instructor, an Emergency Response Team member and was also a member of the department’s shooting team. In 2011, Petty relocated to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates where he worked as a Counter Terrorism Instructor with the Critical National Infrastructure Authority. In 2013 (to present) he returned to the U.S. and resumed law enforcement with his department in Texas. He has and continues to run contract courses establishing various programs and in-service material for major local, state and federal departments in the US and Canada. You can learn more about Petty and Centrifuge Training by visiting: centrifugetraining.com.

Text by Will Petty / Illustrations by Charles Lasky

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