NTOA Conference 2023

DAV had a wonderfully successful experience at the National Tactical Officers Association Conference, meeting new contacts from around the country and around the world (including Dubai, Singapore, and Canada), spending time with some of our favorite clients, and enjoying our fellow exhibitors’ tiny drones, robot dogs, and armored breaching vehicles!

DAV’s exhibitor table highlighted the extensive training program for tactical rope operations, tactical tracking, mountain and cave operations. Since DAV conducts qualification courses for International Technical Rescue Association, information on ITRA programs was also distributed.

The DAV tactical mobility harness was showcased utilizing the new rope climbing demonstration frame fabricated by one of our instructors. Specialized equipment from Anthron, Sterling, and Petzl was also demonstrated.

We are looking forward to a robust training year in 2024!


Successful SPAR Training!

Direct Action Vertical just completed a 6 day SPAR (Small Party Assisted Rescue) cave rescue course for cavers from around the region. Class was small due to wildfires pulling several students with fire duties away, but this gave those that attended extra time on rope! Students included expedition cavers and project cavers from around the country.

This is the unique curriculum developed by our instructors with several modules of pick-offs, converting static systems to dynamic ones, using vertical kit for horizontal movement, shelter in place and survival candle making, blind folded SRT (single rope technique) courses, water problems in our unique wet cave prop, patient movement drills in our pipe (cave) complex, as well as medical, expedition planning, and decision making. Caves in the US Forest made for great in-cave experiences.

More advanced SPAR and MSPAR courses (level 2) will be coming up in 2024, so stay tuned. These will allow graduates of SPAR or MSPAR to get into the next level of minimal gear small party / team extrications. Vertical caving courses for beginner and advanced cavers will be forthcoming as well based on regional NSS grotto demand.


DAV and JPL!

Wanted to share with you all that DAV has recently finished an incredibly successful visit with one of our most amazing customers: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory!

JPL has been a Direct Action Vertical customer for 6+ years, with DAV providing expedition planning/rigging/mountaineering/caving leadership, AND logistical assistance/expertise, through a variety of JPL projects/missions.

Most recently, DAV participated in a rigging/planning workshop for the EELS (Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor) project, a potentially world-changing mission; EELS could one day look for signs of life in the oceans hiding below the ice of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

DAV instructors with backgrounds in aerospace engineering, computer science, biochemistry and electrical engineering – in addition to decades of mountaineering, caving and rescue experience – worked closely with JPL’s team of brilliantly innovative engineers to plan and ensure the success of an upcoming field test at Athabasca Glacier in the Canadian Rockies.

DAV is looking forward to sharing more as the education and planning for this exciting project continues!

EELS Video:

EELS Article (JPL):


ITRA Component of the Spokane Rappel Master Course

This post shows additional images from the recent ITRA Qualification course we delivered in Spokane. ITRA is a global non profit standards setting body that has the only tactical qualification program in the world.

Instructing how to pack a tactical rope leg bag for rappel operations
Testing roof anchors for tactical rappel / window entry operations.
Briefing for pick off training / officer rescue.
ITRA / DAV rappel Master briefing a student prior to their first helicopter
Tactical Helicopter Rappel training / ITRA qualifications
Tactical rope extractions via helicopter rope systems (Sterling 10mm HTP rope)
Tactical operators perfecting their single rope technique
DAV has several ITRA qualified tactical instructors on staff.
Escaping a loaded line after a protester loads your line.


Spokane Tactical Rappel Master Course

Just completed the first ever helicopter endorsement ITRA rappel master course in Spokane, Washington! We had 7 students successfully complete the program. This was a super intensive course with some days over 16 hours, night operations with role players, and the use of the Spokane historic courthouse. Over the next few days we will post videos and more photos from this awesome event.

Helicopter Rope Operations training day
Preparing for helo rappel
Class photo
Preparing for night operations
Tactical Rope Operations Training at Spokane fire tower
Ground school for helo rappel
Night operations hostage rescue scenario
Hostage Rescue Rappel
Team based entry and exfils
Spokane Historic Courthouse

Upcoming Courses

Making sure folks know about the next 2 upcoming courses in Redmond, Oregon.

Tactical Tracking Operations Course is a 4 day / 40 hour course for law enforcement / military on team-based tracking of armed fugitives. Course involves live fire exercises and extensive field based operations. Focus is on team tactics and counter ambush formations steered by tracking. Dates are June 13 through June 16 2023. Link for more information and to register: Tactical Tracking Operations Course

ITRA Certified Level 2 Tactical Rope Operations Course. This is a 44 hour level 2 course for law enforcement / military rope operations. Course is intensive and involves night operations and live fire exercises. As a level 2 course, you must possess strong level 1 skills. There is an entry test to get into the course. Dates are May 1 through May 5 2023. Link for more information and to register: ITRA Certified Level 2 Tactical Rope Operations Course


Tactical Tracking Training in North Carolina

Just completed teaching a week long course for North Carolina Emergency Management in Winter Law Enforcement Operations. The focus is on tactical man-tracking operations in a back country winter / mountain environment. This is one of the core training programs developed by Direct Action Vertical. Topics included track patterns, action indicators, counter ambush formations, camouflage, winter operations.