Review: OPFOR Perspective: Force on Force Squad Tactics – July 20-21 – Sean
I have now had the privilege of training at the VTC from right at zero degrees F to over 100 degrees F! Always a good time.
The July FoF was the most recent iteration I have attended, in this case as OPFOR. I attended several other FoF classes prior to this recent class. I very much enjoyed the recent format of using OPFOR with Blueforce running ‘guided’ mission sets.
Because the FoF is an open enrollment course, there inevitably is someone that has not been to the VTC prior. I saw some familiar faces on Blueforce and some new friends as well. Some I think raised their hand as first timers. That made for a great mix because there were 15 on the Blue team!
As always, the training starts off with the regular admin stuff and safety briefing. Because it was so hot, the Cadre was also paying extra attention to the participants and ensuring everyone was hydrated and doing well. Thankful to say we didn’t have any heat casualties because of this close watch.
As can be expected with a large group, getting in a groove takes some time but it was visible to OPFOR that after each mission, the lessons from the prior AARs had begun to sink in and be put in practice by the Blueforce. Some of the things are just not that easy once you try to do them in the field, like communicating across 3 fire teams that are spread out and that showed early but much credit is due to that team because they really came together by the end of the weekend. One of the things I enjoyed as OPFOR was watching the improvement by the class. I also enjoyed the opportunities we were given by Cadre to lay a few surprises for the class.!!It mas my first time using the Airsim gear and once I got the instruction on loading and gassing the mags, operation was very much realistic from the weapons manipulation. A sling would have been nice but now I know to fab one up out of Paracord like another OPFOR had or throw one in my gear bag if I know I will be using Max’s rental rifles again. I liked the sim platform a lot. I think owning your own would be a fantastic use of training $ after you go thru HEAT 1 and work the drills live fire.
Max added a FoF based on feedback from this class, take the opportunity and sign up, you will love it…. or you will miss out.
Because of the excellent success of this past weekends new format Force on Force Class, now FoF Squad Tactics, we have scheduled another Force on Force Squad Tactics class on September 28-29.
We have changed the class from the old FoF format to a ‘mini-CLC’ where we have a dedicated OPFOR and a dedicated squad of students. It is of course not as detailed or prepared as the Combat Leader Course, but we managed three full squad missions per day with some surprises thrown in.
So, two things from this:
1) The Sept 26-29 newly-scheduled HEAT 1 class is now another FoF Squad Tactics. This will be a 2 day class on the 28-29 Sept.
2) We also have CLC running 6-13 October. This is our best class, absolutely. If you can spare the time, I cannot recommend it enough.
3) This 28-29 FoF Squad Tactics is a great opportunity for those of you who missed this class, or those who can’t spare more than 2 days to train on the CLC, to experience this. We had a 15 man squad and 6 OPFOR this past weekend.
It came out in the AAR that some had thought (or heard) that the old format FoF was a bit of a melee, a bit of a game. It was from that old format that the CLC grew, to allow the teaching of full mission squad tactics. It is also now where this two day mini-version has come from.
The AirSim has proven to be an excellent tool for simulating close combat both in the woods and CQB, far better than UTM. We have identified some equipment issues as both the Cadre and Students have become more experienced with it:
- Under-gassing mags: this is usually a student familiarity issue and can be quickly overcome.
- Over-loading magazines: this appears to be responsible for mags ‘out-gassing’ when inserted. It took us some time to figure that one out.
All in all, AirSim is a great professional tactical training tool. We loan out the KWA LM4 as the class-issue rifle, but allow you to bring compliant rifles to class. The PTS MEGA ARMS MKM AR-15 is superior and we offer these rifles in the MVT store. There is a lot of value in purchasing one of these professional training rifles and setting it up as a clone of your live fire rifle:
- It will allow you to conduct your own FoF and Force on Target training in your own time, including CQB.
- It will allow you to get used to the system and hit the ground running at class.
- It reduces class cost: also, after the initial purchase of a rifle and magazines, AirSim is extremely cheap.