OPS’ Managing Director, Mr. Shane Irving, is a 23-year tactical operations veteran who possesses a vast array of domestic and international tactical operations experience. Mr. Irving has a proven ability to develop tactical capabilities within domestic or foreign institutions, as well as an ability to manage and execute multi-lateral operational tasks in domestic counterterrorism or foreign conflict environment.


During my 23 years of State and Federal Law Enforcement and Military, I was extremely fortunate to have experienced what I did. When asked, I often recount ‘tales’, the ones I can remember, it is with a level of calm, laughing and almost humbly blasé... about the operational outcomes, the threats/risk, and the environment, locations, potential external scrutiny, and pressures. After some time away from serving the rawness, the levels of critical stress endured and the very physical nature of some of the operational mission functions undertaken in the Specialist Tactical environment tend to diminish, however, they cannot be discounted. Being circumspect about the subjective experiences whilst researching my Ph.D. and exploring the tangible physical skills and modalities required to undertake specialist tactical law enforcement operations has further enhanced my belief in training, the right training development. It has highlighted how crucial our physical conditioning for occupational role scope, skill acquisition, critical decision making under extreme stress is all integrated in the optimal human performance in the Tactical Environment.

Identifying these integral components of what can make the difference to a Tactical Operations Specialist is what has driven me to establish Optimal Performance Solutions (OPS).

The role of our first responders, protectors, emergency medical providers, law enforcement, security, fire and military has never been more diverse, complicated and demanding. Yes, we have technology that enables us to do more and be more effective in once physically demanding and time-consuming tasks, yet this technology has created further pressures and immediacy of action which flows onto the human being in one way, shape or form. It’s been said, “I am a person, like you a person, however, I have one of the most demanding jobs there is”, US Trooper, in ‘The Fallen’ - never a truer word has been spoken in reference to Law Enforcement.

Optimal Performance Solution’s mission is to research, educate, train and inspire individuals so they may achieve a level of operational preparedness and resilience that assures them complete tactical or task-focused superiority in any operational situation.

Recently, I along with my OPS colleagues were humbly involved in an overarching Training and Needs Analysis for one of our Law Enforcement jurisdictions. This showed the critical need for the synergy of Industry/Academia/Subject Matter Expertise, (SME’s) all working with the Agency at all ranks to enhance capability and capacity. The balance of skills enhancement/physical conditioning with the restriction of limited resourcing, high operational tempo and organizational cultural ‘habits’ are extreme challenges to work with. The Law Enforcement and first responder community the world over suffer similar contradictions, so how do we help, how do we make a difference?

Over the past decade, there has seen a steady increase in the involvement of specialist industry providers to support our protector agencies. Niche companies, technology providers, academic and research bodies working with the parent agency to improve output deliverables. This combination in the right structure is of benefit to the parent body as often the commercial entity undertakes tasks which may have previously impacted its own workforce, utilized numbers from operational roles or alternatively enhance capability by bringing into the agency a skill or service previously not available. Defence and the Emergency Medical services have exhibited this mechanism well, recently Law Enforcement is starting to exploit and realize these similar benefits.

OPS partners, LEGEAR/ADA and Bond University Tactical Research Unit have created what we refer to as the ‘Trident’ - a unique Eco-system where all contribute to the end state of the best practice evidence-based solution for the end user. OPS was born out of what was seen as a ‘void in communication’ between all these experts. OPS is essentially a niche ‘brokerage’ specialist training/coaching/researching performance provider which leverages the experience and has created the nexus between the direct operational end user on the ground, the senior command/executive, academia, industry and world-leading SME’s. This trident approach has been commercially demonstrated and recently repeated successfully and now is starting to be recognized by Government and large industry providers alike. In this new fast-paced world no longer can a special tactical unit keep up with the demands of operations, raise train and sustain and tactics/technology advancement let alone research to improve all the above. The proven best practice is to create a trusted network of industry experts, trainers, operational members, and bespoke research institutes to analyze and problem solve.

OPS is the only company providing this niche deliverable in the region and is progressively building a reputation and a ‘honey pot’ where the best researcher’s, coaches, designers and industry are linking together.

The human form working to achieve a successful critical operational outcome in Law Enforcement such as a use of force situation requires decision making under stress, skill acquisition/reaction time, potential maximum execution of strength, speed, power, muscular endurance, anaerobic/aerobic endurance all whilst carrying external load, i.e. ballistic vest, load bearing vest, restrictions of uniform, environment conditions, pressure of public perception of actions and the list goes on. Therefore; why would we not cognitively, emotionally and physically condition our first responders to perform in such conditions. The fact is our Law Enforcement agencies do not have the resources or the budgets or facilities or redundancy in own forces to be able to physically train to the requirement to achieve a level of proficiency where unconscious competence is achieved. Further nor are they provided the time during work hours or access to specialist strength and conditioning coaches to prepare their energy systems and physical modalities in a similar fashion to the athletic population to be able to exhibit these essential skills on demand.

At OPS our views and recommendations through our recent strategic review and education is we can do a lot with not much. We do not need huge shiny gyms or the latest in Virtual Reality Bio lab/ranges (whilst, these would be awesome) we can, however, develop a training and development culture where regular deliberate and repetitive drills are performed daily. The simple things, simple physical training, defensive tactics meshed together regularly. Advanced skills are basic skills done well, so the more we add the building blocks of physical conditioning and skill development the stronger the foundations of the core physical modalities when called upon with no notice, which is the first responder world.

My goal is to bridge the gap… bridge the gap between researchers, practitioner coaches/training, industry professions and ultimately the operators. For too long there has been a large void between published research outcomes and the reality of Coach education, actual implementation and tangible performance improvements in our members. At OPS we aim to bring the operators the ‘best practice methods’ right to them and in turn get the real data from the real operators back to the researchers.



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