Last week my company along with several clients hosted another team building force on force event with Max Velocity Tactical. We used a privately owned 50 acre site in Chantilly, VA. 90% of the acreage was old cattle grazing land with a 2 story modern house, the rest was small scrub trees lining the roads.
This is the second time we have done this. The last time was in September of 2018 in West Virginia at the Velocity Training Center (VTC). Approximately half of the participants in this event were at the previous one. Again, we had myself and another MVT alumni on hand to “run” the squads, at least in the beginning to get everyone on the same page.
This event was held on a Thursday and a Friday. Thursday’s weather was 30 degrees in the morning and 60 degrees by the afternoon. Friday’s weather was 45 degrees in the morning and 70 degrees by the afternoon.
We spent the first 2 hours of Thursday morning going through basic fire and movement first shown by Max then followed by drills given by the experienced squad leaders. After that we spent another hour going through equipment issue and loading of mags with gas and BB’s. This time also allowed the temperature to rise, ensuring the Gas Blow Back GBB) AirSim weapons would work without issues due to the cold. On a side note there was not a single cold related issue with the weapons. (Max Adds: due to possible cold weather in March, we had boxes of ‘hot hands’ ready to tape on the magazines, which hold the gas, in case it was an issue. These were not needed).
We then spent the rest of the day going through field exercises. The large open areas became a different tactical problem than my experience in WV. Everyone quickly moved through or around the open areas and stayed in whatever tree and scrub line we could find. Using real AR’s the open areas would be free fire zone but the range of the Airsim weapons was such we had to be closer.
At then end of day one we traded war stories, ate some grilled food, and drank until dark.
On Friday we started the day with about 2 hours of CQB instruction and drills. We then utilized the existing 2 story house. We spent about ¾ of the day fighting in the house. We also had a few field exercises as well in the afternoon. At the end of day two we had the group AAR and everyone went home.
I bought a PTS Mega Arms GBB AirSim rifle from Max and the distance was at least 100 yards with an almost flat trajectory. However around 75 yards the BB’s would tend to peel right or left due to wind and speed loss. The rental rifles were significantly less. However, the BB’s can be tracked so you can adjust your fire and walk the rounds onto target. I do not have a sight on my weapon, nor will I put one on it, there is just no need, since I can walk the rounds in. The downside of the BB’s is taking hits without realizing it. If you’re wearing plates, or hard helmets, or chest rigs with mags in them, you simply will not feel the hits. All you can do is hear them, but if you’re shooting or yelling you won’t hear them either. This led to some “discussions” between opposing teams but was all worked out in the end. Just be aware, most people aren’t cheating they simply can’t feel nor hear it.
On a side note my weapon went down with a chopped BB so I had to switch to my GBB sidearm. I was engaging at least 2 hostiles from 2 different directions. I was on my last sidearm magazine with about 5 rounds left when I hear this familiar chuckle from First Sergeant right behind me. (You Alumni know that chuckle) “You’re down to your last mag on your sidearm. Now what are you going to do?” It was one of those moments that you remember.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well the squads came together and operated as a team. Having an experienced squad leader, one who everyone will listen to, is an immense benefit. So should SHTF arrive, having that person is huge, but more importantly having people who are willing to listen will be a whole different matter.
I also realized having that large of an area can be easily managed through radios. We didn’t have them, and several times had to resort to runners or the squad leader being a jack rabbit across the field. I’m a loud person but I couldn’t effectively communicate over that distance; live rounds would have been impossible.
Having guys who are fresh out of college ordering Vice Presidents and Clients around was a good individual improvement as well as team morale. Having so many different levels of life experiences was nice to increase the entire team’s effectiveness. By team I mean the company morale and thereby effectiveness.
Finally, I’d like to thank Max and First Sergeant for their continued help and guidance for these corporate events. The tried and true AAR after each exercise is key for each team and individual to immediately improve.
Max Adds: AirSim tactical training events are an excellent vehicle for the development and improvement of teamwork, leadership, communication and decision making skills. Utilizing AirSim allows both a safe training environment and easy deliverability in accessible space. For example, AirSim can be utilized on rural or wooded areas, unused buildings and even large warehouses, so long as the environment is safe for use. Tactical focus can include rural small unit tactics, close quarter battle in structures, or a mix. This last event was staged in Northern Virginia within sight of a busy road, on a disused former residential horse farm, without incident. MVT will provide a complete package including AirSim rifles, safety gear and magazine carrying equipment. Please contact of you are interested in running your own event.