Review: Force on Force Squad Tactics – July 20-21 – ‘Pedro’
If your goal with tactical training is to learn (as I hope it would be) The new Heat FOF is maybe the best all-around class you can take regardless of your experience level.
For those who don’t have much in the way of tactical training, it’s an immersive, safe way to be “thrown to the wolves”. You’ll pick up some of the basics of team fire and movement pretty quickly. On day one your eyes will be opened to the “you don’t know what you don’t know” mantra that is critical to the learning process. You’ll get to test your gear. You’ll test your physical fitness. You’ll learn that being static = dead. You’ll also see what happens when communication breaks down and what’s possible when everyone sings from the same sheet of music.
For those who have done Heat 1 or equivalent, the lessons are more nuanced but just as vital. The larger the team, the more challenging and important communication becomes. You’’ll get to feel what its like to be ambushed when you truly don’t see it coming and readjust your expectations/planning for any potential battlefield. This class and the scenarios planned by instructors did a terrific job of hammering home some key truths related to always being “switched on” and the fact the enemy “always gets a vote”. You’ll find out that your ability to communicate quickly and clearly is more important than your shooting skills.
In terms of technicals, at two days there isn’t any flat range or tactical training you’ll get more from than Heat FOF. The rifles, gas and ammo is all provided so the cost is very attractive. They were overall very reliable too. You can come solo or with a team, either way you’ll have opportunities to lead and follow – both critical elements of being able to operate successfully in a life-threatening environment.
If you’re newer to tactical training, this class will leave you wanting more in terms of learning team tactics and movement – available in Heat 1. Max and Scott have proven their ability to up their training game year after year so I suspect most if not all of us will be back to sharpen our blades once again.
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.