I spent the weekend attending the E.A.G. Alumni Carbine course at the Ancient City Shooting Range in St. Augustine, FL. E.A.G. is now owned and operated by Brian Canova, who has been a cop/SWAT guy/training Sergeant at his local sheriff's office for about 25 years. He is a sometimes poster here. Brian made it very clear up front that while the objectives of E.A.G. remain the same, he's not Pat (he's 6'5", is from the Florida panhandle, and doesn't say fuck nearly enough to be Pat) and has designed a program of instruction on his own to accomplish the same objectives. Anthony was the AI. Anthony is a former Marine who works with Brian in the training section of their sheriff's office. I have shot with both multiple times before. Each is an accomplished shooter in their own right and a good instructor.
There were 18 students in the class, including our own High Exposure. Other friends of mine that were there were John Mattera, John Friscia, Old Fred, and Flash22. Irunyourun was there for the first day, but then had important administrative stuff to do at his agency. I had shot with all of them in multiple E.A.G. classes before and enjoyed the reunion as much as the shooting. The other students were a mixture of cops, former cops and civilians. Everyone shot at a pretty high level and I didn't see anything all weekend that I considered even close to a safety violation. I would shoot with anyone in that class again without question. Gear was a mixed bag, with rifles ranging from Bravo and Knights' rifles with variable optics to a 9mm AR style pistol feeding from Glock magazines with a Holosun. I didn't see any gun shit the bed all weekend. I shot #75, which is a rifle I was fortunate to purchase from Pat's estate. I hadn't shot it since I purchased it. A few drops of SLP and it ran like a champ all weekend. I used my work gun for 9 hole, largely because I wanted to try some things.
The objectives of the class are to prepare the student to use their weapon to prevail in a violent encounter over a determined adversary. Whether the student is .mil, .gov, or .civ is irrelevant. To accomplish the objectives, we started TD1 getting a zero, and then worked through a variety of drills that stressed accuracy with speed to come once the accuracy was there. These included some of the old E.A.G. drills that Pat ran, but many were brand new to me. While the Mod Navy Qual is still a feature of the course, we were shooting on steel at 200 yards to confirm our 50 yard zero. The class was not a particularly high round count. Brian stressed that he understood that ammunition cost money, and he wanted to ensure that rounds were meaningful and not just tossed downrange without purpose to boost a round count. We shot on the move, from positions, through 9 hole barricades, and wrapped up with the Mod Navy Qual at the end of day 2. John Mattera took high shooter with pinpoint accuracy and time under par.
I enjoyed the class, not only because of my friends who were in attendance (several who drove from the northeast), but because Brian's a great instructor who kept the class moving with humor, shooting skill, and challenging each student to get better with each shot. Brian solicited our feedback at the end of the course. While he's got a lot of experience training LE, he's just starting to work with the civilian side of things. He doesn't look at himself solely as a caretaker of E.A.G., but someone who's got to continue Pat's mission without having Pat there. Brian is very clear that no one can replace Pat Rogers, and he's not going to try to do so. This class stands on its own as either a great lesson or refresher with a carbine. I look forward to the next time I can squeeze a class in with E.A.G., and I encourage all of you to take this class as well.
Although I told Brian I would write the AAR as "Great lunch with shooting on either side", I didn't do that. I would be remiss in not telling everyone about the excellent barbecue lunch catered by Scoo-B-Q, which is a barbecue catering business owned by one of Brian's co-workers and a former student of Pat's. Scooby's probably the only guy I know who would clean the Mod Navy Qual under par time and then go check his ribs. The chicken, ribs, mac and cheese, and banana pudding dang near stopped the entire afternoon because of how much food there was and how good the food tasted. Hopefully Brian will work out a long term arrangement to make that food available at his St. Augustine classes. It was that good.
In sum, I would like to thank Brian and Anthony for putting on a great class. I would like to thank Scooby for the amazing food. I would like to thank my fellow students and friends for being switched on shooters that enabled us to get a lot done. It was a great class that mixed the sentimental with the serious. I hope you will all train with E.A.G. in the future.