Report about the 8th year of the Executive Protection course in South Carolina, USA

On the 7th April 2019, we marked the launch of the 8th year for the KDI International Executive Protection Course – an official training course of the IBSSA – to be held at the York County (South Carolina) Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Training Center. With 18 students in attendance, this class proved to be the most experienced yet, in regard to years working in their professions. 

The following agencies were represented in this class: 
  •  The South Carolina Department of Revenue, Protective Services Division 
  •  The York County (South Carolina) Sheriff’s Office 
  • The Mecklenburg County (North Carolina) Sheriff’s Office 
  •  The Chesterfield County (South Carolina) Sheriff’s Office 
  •  The City of Stallings (North Carolina) Police Department 
  •  Platinum Protective Services (Nashville, Tennessee) 
  •  T.A.C. Protective Services (Las Vegas, Nevada) 
  •  KDI Protective Services Special Response Team 

Our list of distinguished instructors for this course was world-class! With such diverse professional backgrounds, the students received a great deal of information that was only learned through experience.
Our instructor cadre included: 
Mr. Karl de la Guerra (IBSSA Chairman of the BoD, Founder & CEO of KDI Protective Services) Mr. Robert Bonasia (United States Secret Service, Retired and KDI Director of Protective Services) Mr. Mark Oliphant (United States Secret Service, Retired) 
Mr. Mike Csoke (IBSSA Representative for Canada and Defensive Tactics Instructor, retired Canadian police officer) 
Dr. Attila Kutas (Chairman of IBSSA Diving Department, IBSSA Intl. Coordinator for Florida) 
Mr. Jonathan Wallace (IBSSA Country Representative for the USA, Director of IBSSA International Anti-Human Trafficking Project) 
Mr. Roger Brock (South Carolina Department of Public Safety) 
Mr. Mark Rodenhouser (York County Sheriff’s Office, also retired from the National Football League) 
Mr. Tony Connot (Physician’s Assistant and former United States Marine Corps Officer) 
Mr. Mike Waithe (KDI Chief Operating Officer and Protection Agent) 
Ms. Rena Hawkins (Assistant Director of the KDI Conference Security Management Division and KDI Protective Agent) 

Also in attendance was Mr. Herb Maier, PhD, who provided his expertise in program Quality Control. The students also had special visits during this course from Mr. James Woodlock, President of the FBI InfraGard South Carolina Chapter, Mr. Mike Channell, Assistant Director of the York County Office of Emergency Management and several members of the York County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team. 

This course was quite unique, as it was attended by ten members of the newly formed Dignitary Protection Unit of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office (Charlotte, North Carolina). Over the next three months, our team of instructors will be taking this unit through an intermediate and an advanced Executive Protection Course specifically for their team. Special thanks to Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden for making this possible. 

The instructional topics for this course included close protection, tactical driving, improvised weapons training, protective intelligence, international operations, IED recognition, counter assault team operations, defensive tactics, team dynamics, assassination case studies, the importance of women in protective services, airport and hotel operations and advance operations. In addition, each student received a certification for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC). 

It should be noted that this region of the Carolinas is currently preparing for the Republican National Convention (RNC) scheduled to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina in August 2020. Because of this major upcoming event, the news media from both North and South Carolina were very interested in the training we were conducting during the week. Both WIS TV (NBC Columbia, South Carolina) and WSOC (ABC Charlotte, North Carolina) sent news crews to the class and presented feature stories on our training during their nightly newscasts. 

While this course is officially listed as being 70 hours, due to the dedication of this team of students and their desire to succeed as a team, the actual time spent working through this week was closer to 87 hours. As every student in all our past classes have stated, when this class completed their graduation on Saturday, the 13th of April, they all agreed that they were “very tired” but very happy with the quality of training and their experience. 

27th May 2019