Asymmetric Solutions www.asymmetricsolutionsusa.com
Recently we learned of an interesting facility just south of Farmington and aptly named Asymmetric Solutions. Headquartered on 1800 secluded acres, Asymmetric Solutions is a global reach, private special operations company providing a full spectrum of defense training and security. They are staffed by a group of combat experienced special operations veterans who know their stuff. They train civilian, police and military personal. The “round table” at Asymmetric Solutions USA is run by a Green Beret, Navy SEALs, State Department employees, and Government Contractors.For the civilian, they offer gun safety, conceal carry, corporate team building and many other courses. They offer customized Military and Law Enforcement courses like combat marksmanship, urban combat, hostage rescue, high risk vehicle stop, explosive beaching, sniper, tactical driving, wilderness survival, surveillance and medical training. Members of their security staff have provided protective services to heads of state, ambassadors, Fortune 100 Executives, and well known personalities in the high threat environments of Baghdad and Karachi to the low threat venues of Middle America. Their product development division provides research, development, testing and evaluation services to US and allied manufacturers of individual soldier systems with the help of physicians, physiologist, psychologist, engineers, and industrial designers—all very hands on.We contacted the group to get an interview and they set us up with their Chief Civilian Instructor, former Green Beret, Grady Powell. And it just turns out that Grady also does a reality show. Grady represents the Military on National Geographic Channel’s Ultimate Survival Alaska. Ultimate Survival Alaska focuses on survivalist men and women who are dropped off in the Alaskan wilderness where they compete with each other in various wilderness races. The survivalists are dropped off by aircraft in the Alaskan wilderness where they compete in races through Alaska’s unpredictable weather, barren landscapes, and hostile predators, given nothing but a few pounds of rice and meat. It is the only REAL survival show going. Real life or death situations facing cold, hunger and the wild.So we headed out to Asymmetric to meet up with Grady for a photo shoot and video.My name is Grady Powell. I was born and raised in St. Louis. I moved around a bit, but always found my way back to Missouri. I tried to enlist in the Army after high school, but my father (also a Green Beret) convinced me to go the ROTC route. I accepted a scholarship to Mizzou with the ROTC… that didn’t work out for me. I dropped the scholarship in my sophomore year and enlisted in the army.The recruiter offered me an “SF baby” slot as an 18x (Special Forces Recruit), but knowing what it meant to be a Green Beret, I respectfully declined and took the MOS as an 11C (Infantry Mortarman). Within the first two months of training, I was approached by the SF Liaison at Fort Benning two times with the same request: my aptitude, physical abilities, leadership, and shooting were exceptional, and they wanted me to give the Special Forces a shot. After some deliberation and a pep talk from my father, I decided not to squander the opportunity and signed the line. By some miracle, I graduated the course as a Green Beret and was stationed with 10th SFG at Ft Carson, CO. From there, my team deployed to Iraq and Africa, after which, I decided to take my chance as a civilian.
After getting out of the Army, I decided to go backpacking through Europe to decompress. I spent some time as a “fun coordinator” at a hostel in Lisbon, Portugal, where I met some amazing people and made some unreal memories. While living outside Stuttgart, Germany, I was called by an Army Career Counselor I had met my last day in service telling me he was asked for an ex-Green Beret for a reality TV show… I said, “No way buddy, but thank you.” He then replied with, “You told me you never leave a door unopened.” And so began my chapter in the entertainment world, starting with NBC’s Stars Earn Stripes, where I worked alongside American legend, Chris Kyle.Most recently, I have been working with National Geographic. This is my second time there, and we had an ABSOLUTE BLAST! We end up battling the weather, each other, bears, hunger, pain, and the unforgiving terrain that AK has to dish out.Asymmetric Solutions USA is a Tier One Tactical Training Facility where we train civilians, law enforcement, and military personnel in all things tactical. We set ourselves apart from the rest with the instructors we employ. Our 1,800 acre facility has full dynamic flat ranges, a precision rifle range, and a 14,000 square foot ballistic shoot house where we teach you how to win any potential fight using not only your firearm, but the most important asset we have, our minds.The course we attended was the Basics Of Tactical Shooting with a handgun. This 8 hour course is designed to take what you learned in a basic concealed carry class to a safe level. During the course, Grady makes it clear that his BTS is nothing like a conceal carry course where they give you the right to carry, but not the skill set to safely carry. His course is designed to make you effective with your weapon in a real world scenario–kinda like the
fundamentals of gunfighting.The course starts with 3.5 hours in classroom where the instructors covered the fundamental basics of gun safety, grip, body posture, drawing from a hoster, and target discrimination… After lunch it’s out to the shooting range for live fire. There, students put what they learned to the test shooting more than 200 rounds. The cost of the course is $290.During the course I met people from St. Louis, Chicago, and a couple from Cape. The class of 18 was about 50% men and 50% women. Nothing like you’d expect if you listened to the media—no crazies or conspiracy wackos. They all seemed like everyday, educated middle-class people wanting control over their own self protection.We spoke with Drew and Sierra McWilson to get their take on the course.We are Drew and Sierra McWilson. Drew is in Nursing School at Southeast Hospital College of Nursing and will graduate in May with his RN. Sierra has a BS in Biomedical Sciences and works as a Technical Supervisor at BioKyowa, Inc. We were both born and raised in Jackson. We’ve been shooting for a few years on our own before we found out about training at Asymmetric Solutions.The Basics of Tactical Shooting course covered the basics of how to handle a handgun. We went over basic safety practices, proper body positioning, and how to draw a gun safely and efficiently, proper body mechanics, and a how be a defensive shooter. We learned how to turn and draw, how to fire when walking, how to identify and eliminate a threat. Overall, the course helped us to build a strong basis for our future gun handling. Grady and Lamar significantly increased our confidence and familiarity with pistols.We found Asymmetric Solutions through watching Grady Powell and Jared Ogden on Ultimate Survival Alaska on NatGeo. In September of last year, they had a September 11 memorial event, where we first visited Asymmetric Solutions and met several of the instructors, all of whom were very friendly and welcoming. We then signed up for the Basics of Tactical shooting course. Where else could we train with members of the Special operations community? We hope to train with them more in the future.
573: What do you think about the new movie American Sniper?
I think Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper did an exceptional job in representing my friend, Chris Kyle. Having talked to Taya Kyle and friends of Chris, none had a single complaint about the film. To me the reason the film American Sniper is getting so much attention, why it is so popular, is not because of the film itself but what the film represents. Despite what the media says about the wars and those soldiers who fight them, I find that most all of us have some sort of deep-seeded national pride. The men and women, like Chris Kyle, exemplify what that really is. This movie was not about the fighting; it was not about the blood or explosions. American Sniper is about the struggle, the internal battle that soldiers go through in times of war. There is an uncontrollable need and drive to protect. It is not about wanting to shoot some far-off bad guy. It’s about protecting your family, not only your blood but your national family. Chris had to make the choice to pull the trigger so many more times than we will ever know. And every time he does, he gives a little bit of himself. But sitting with him, talking about his adventures and his battles, I came to find that he was not troubled so much by the lives he ended, but by the American lives that could not be saved. And that to me is the Chris Kyle that I will never forget. He was a lover, one heck of a fighter, and a great American. RIP Legend 2.2.13.
573: What’s next?
I’m in talks with a few production companies at the moment working on multiple projects that should be coming to fruition here pretty soon. This new chapter in my life has been one for the books. As I always say, “You only get one chance to write your story; it had better be one worth reading.” I can’t wait to sit around the fire with my grandchildren so I can share with them the story that I am fortunate to call my life.