Force on Force Team Tactics Student Review Oct 1-2: Duane
Review of Force of Force Team Tactics at Max Velocity Tactical in West Virginia 01 – 02 Oct: Duane
I attended the 2 day Force on Force at Max Velocity Tactical in West Virginia. Instructors were Max and 1SG (Scott). The purpose of FOF is to utilize team tactics in squad sized unit to accomplished specified objectives against a force that can shoot back. In this class, MVT utilizes UTM man marker rounds which use the participants own AR with an MVT supplied bolt.
I have previously trained at MVT 7 times and several other schools prior to that. There is only so much you can learn on a square range which is why I started training at MVT. There is only so much that can be learned from a pop up Ivan which is why I signed up for FOF.
Day 1 began with each team (Swampdogs and Deplorables) spending time rehearsing battle drills and practicing the fundamentals of break contact, peel, and bounding. After that we rolled right into the individual drills. Each drill was essentially capture the other teams smoke grenade. How you did it was up to each individual team. You had the options of defensive, going on the offensive or trying to get creative by using ambush. The terrain at MVT WV is uniquely suited. Unlike flat ground, the terrain dictates the when and where of many of the tactics that you can employ and we had multiple opportunities to switch bases. Unlike flat ground where it would be possible to easily avoid the enemy by running around them, that wasn’t too much of an option.
Day 2 the cadre mixed things up a bit by selecting team leaders and then having them select their teams. It was kinda like grade school but I didn’t get picked last this time. We spent time attacking enemy held positions and had the opportunity to swap out being the enemy.
About midday we switched back into our original teams and began the process again.
- Speed, surprise and violence of action wins more engagements than being defensive. We discovered early on that the winning teams usually had the most aggression and speed. Hesitation when engaged means defeat. I don’t recall a winning scenario in which the winning team was strictly on the defensive.
- Fancy plans don’t work too well. The team that usually won is the team that applied the fundamentals better than the other team. Combat Team Tactics (CTT) teaches basic fundamentals that can be applied here.
- Lack of a proper application of personal fieldcraft will get you killed. CTT and Combat Patrol (CP) spend time trying to teach good fieldcraft. Things like cover and concealment, 360 degree security and moving silently. Many times the enemy’s position (and even plan) was given away by too much noise and talking about the plan.
- PT. You don’t have to be a Ranger in order to complete this class but a person must have a realistic appraisal of their own PT ability. It can be done with a lower level of PT, BUT a person will learn more if they are not hampered by their own lack thereof. In this case it would be advisable to take CTT or even Combat Rifle Skills first prior to taking FOF. If you find yourself lacking, then Max sells Tactical Fitness Training Plans.
- Equipment. There were many equipment issues these days. The most bothersome was the fogging goggles; however, it affected each team about the same so it leveled the playing field. I will be looking into some googles that have a built in fan on them before I do this again. Franken-ARs cause the most problems. Again most rifle problems could be attributed to a build-it-yourself AR. I am putting this out as information only, my own failed at CTT two weeks prior and there were several Franken-ARs that performed well.
I chose to use my main rifle with an ACOG on it, and even at less than 50 yards it helped.
- Identify your target. There were many blue on blue and blue on 1SG incidents. If this had been real and it had been an innocent…..
- Assaulting uphill sucks and nothing takes the momentum out of an attack faster. Control the high ground.
- If you are going to defend your home or a fixed emplacement, don’t do it by being fixed yourself in the actual place. The ability to maneuver and flank is priceless.
Overall I can say that I learned a lot and it was worth the money, time and effort to go. The after action reviews after each engagement were priceless in terms of information gathered along with the ability to put it into context having actually done it.
With the fogging goggles on the first day, I just felt like I was running around the woods getting shot. I was able to mitigate the fogging on day two by use of Rain-X anti-fog and not wearing a helmet and wrapping my head in a shemagh instead. Also picking out the foam on the sides of goggles seemed to help. Even so it was extremely challenging to apply all the things learned in CTT, CP and the other classes I have had and I found myself making some really stupid mistakes. Like getting my team in good cover, but then leaving myself out in the open.
While I made many mistakes, I was able to learn from them and I have improved. My intent is to go back so I can apply what I have learned in order to continue to improve.
Next FoF Team Tactics Class: 10 – 11 December. See ‘Christmas Force on Force Extravaganza!‘