Students & OPFOR: Combat Leader Course 6 – 13 October: Space Available

We are 5 weeks out from the annual Combat Leader Course (CLC). It’s hard for me to describe just how beneficial this class is. Bottom line, it is 7 full days of simulated combat operations, two missions per day, with a squad of 13 students against a force of volunteer OPFOR. This is probably the best class, overall, that we run at the VTC.

We have several student spaces available. The class is running. Additional sign-ups make the difference in the size of the squad we run. Previous years we have run with the ideal number of 13.

I have also been remiss in putting out a request for volunteer OPFOR. Please email me and let me know if you are interested. We need 6 overall. but we can take shifts depending on the time you have available.

You will get your turn as a squad leader to plan, brief and rehearse your mission before going out and running it against the OPFOR. Let the chips fall where they may! There are many excellent lessons to learn from this class. Many of those lessons are learned in the after action debrief, which is one of the great advantages of Force on Force training – we can give you the freedom and then we can learn from the resulting mission, right and wrong.


There are no prereqs for the class. The reason for this is that live fire safety is not an issue. This means you can show up with whatever your tactical experience is, and you will learn the TTPs as part of the squad through rehearsals and missions. The less experienced students are usually placed towards the end of the roster as squad leader to give them some time to assimilate.

The class is now AirSim for Force on Force. We have had huge success going to AirSim from UTM and it has proved to be a far better training aid for simulating combat, particularly in the open woods. AirSim has better range than UTM, has a huge cost benefit to the $1 per round of UTM, and you can see the rounds fly, which allows you a chance to actually suppress a position, whereas students had no idea where UTM was going, which could result in failed assaults simply because they were unable to suppress positions. There appears to be an unfounded prejudice in some quarters (those that don;t know any better) against AirSim, with people associating it with airsoft games, whereas in fact it is a far superior SUT training aid than UTM ever was.

This class has been described to me by attendees as hugely beneficial to a professional career due to the lessons learned in teamwork, leadership, communication, planning, and making decisions under pressure of simulated combat. We have one student coming for work as a professional training class (leadership / teamwork). If you are interested in this angle, email for more information.

Squad preparing to leave on mission.

If you are looking for a ‘CLC Lite’ class, we do have the 2 day ‘HEAT 3 Squad Tactics: Force on Force‘ coming up on July 20-21. This again is a no-prereq, AirSim Force on Force class.