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Old September 27, 2005, 12:03 AM   #1
Zak Smith
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Tactical Response Force on Force AAR & PICS

Tactical Response Inc's Force on Force, Sept 19-21, Colorado

Tactical Response had two Force-on-Force (FOF) classes back to back Mon-Wed, just after their Tactical Carbine class Sat-Sun. The two FOF classes were "Force on Force Primer" and "Force on Force Scenarios".

The "Primer" was one day, half covering a lot of the classroom material from the Tac Pistol class, and half being three or four short scenarios acted out FOF with the marker pistols. The markers were UTM-converted Glock 17's.

The next two days were all scenarios-- 10 per day, 20 total.

My training background was Tac Pistol and Tac Rifle. My practical shooting background is competing in 3Gun, IPSC, and various tactical rifle matches for the last 3 years.

Scenarios were acted out by a student with one or two instructors acting out different roles, depending on the situation. Students were kept out of view of the preceeding students runs', so everyone entered them blind, with merely a short brief from James Yeager.

To not "spoil" any learning moments, I won't describe the scenarios except to say that their basic ideas were not hard to think up.

Force on force takes training to a whole different level. Instead of shooting at paper or steel, even a hellishly-complex IPSC stage, you are FIGHTING with adversaries who react, think, and shoot (or stab) back. Your actions and words change their behavior. The penalty for not moving, not being decisive, not being fast enough, or making bad choices is being pelted with 7.0gr aluminum marker pellets, which can raise welts or break exposed skin.

There is much debate about whether or not practical shooting sport "XYZ" is "tactical" or not, and the importance or lack thereof of scoring. I always thought the debate was lame because my perspective is that one should always work to do the best he can score-wise within the given rule framework.

If anything, FOF training has reinforced this for me. Each situation is different, with different constraints and (somewhat) different goals. "Winning" in force on force is not measured by score-- it's measured by if you got shot or not, and if the BG was stopped or not. Every student vs. role-player interaction through a stage was different, and the situations evolved differently. A lot of time you are dumped into a **** sandwich and have to make the best of it.

For someone who has achieved competent gun-handling and marksmanship, force on force is the next step. Getting out of the "square range" mentality requires moving in 3d, manipulating time and space to your advantage, against (and with) other intelligent agents.

While a tac pistol class might train you to move a couple steps as you draw, or reload, or asses, FOF makes it clear that you might want to un-ass the area instead of taking two token steps, that making solid hits while moving fast is critical, and that decisiveness, judgement and manipulating your opponents' OODA loops are as important as marksmanship.

To emphasize how "different" FOF is psychologically for the shooter than normal square-range shooting, our class had 7 competent shooters. For example, I am disappointed with my fast-fire groups if they are not covered by a coke can @ 7 yards, and I double-tap 2A's @ 10 yards in IPSC/3Gun matches. During the first exercises, which were simple draw and fire drills, on another shooter @ 20', I think around half the class missed the other entire shooter entirely as soon as people started to move.

FOF also emphasizes when NOT TO shoot, both by covering the legal and moral background around use of lethal force, and with scnearios that require discerning just what the hell is going on before making a decision how to proceed. The answer to several scenarios was to "not shoot."

Hopefully this gives you some idea what Force on Force training is about. I learned more in these 2 days and 20 scenarios than any other training class, match, or probably 6 months of normal practice and competition. At 3x the price, it would still be worth it (but don't get any ideas, guys).

Here are a bunch of pictures to augment what I was trying to say above--

[ link to LARGER image ]
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Old September 27, 2005, 12:04 AM   #2
Zak Smith
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[ link to LARGER image ]
[ link to LARGER image ]
[ link to LARGER image ]
[ link to LARGER image ]
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Old September 27, 2005, 12:06 AM   #3
Zak Smith
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[ link to LARGER image ]
[ link to LARGER image ]
[ link to LARGER image ]
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Old September 27, 2005, 12:40 AM   #4
Denny Hansen
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Thanks for the post, Zak.

My only comment is that the pistol used is not clearly marked (blue, orange, etc.) in any way to show it is a less-lethal weapon. While I have a lot of respect for Yeager, this is how lives guns "accidentally" get on ranges and kill several students a year.

Denny
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Old September 27, 2005, 12:51 AM   #5
Zak Smith
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Several protocols were followed for safety:

1. Everyone was frisked at the begining of class each day and after lunch, and all real weapons, knives, OC, were LOCKED away for the entire day. Whenever anyone came back from their car, they were frisked again just in case.

2. The UTM Glocks were clearly identified by the color of the barrel hood (blue). Before each scenario began, the weapons were all visually confirmed to be marker pistols by multiple people.

3. The instructor acting as safety officer controlled the loading of the marker pistols.
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Old September 27, 2005, 12:57 AM   #6
Denny Hansen
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Roger that. Actually I would not have expected less from Yeager. Thanks, Zak.

Denny
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Old September 27, 2005, 01:11 AM   #7
Zak Smith
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[ link to LARGER image ]

debrief-
[ link to LARGER image ]

[ link to LARGER image ]

[ link to LARGER image ]
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Old September 27, 2005, 01:18 AM   #8
Zak Smith
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Here is an excellent article on training "accidents"--
http://www.operationaltactics.org/ar..._shootings.pdf
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