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Old December 17, 2005, 06:50 PM   #24
Capt. Charlie
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: March 24, 2005
Location: Steubenville, OH
Posts: 4,446
281QC wrote
Than the first shot lets rip and it degenerates into a 3rd grade blast-o-rama and the game never returns to a hint of reality.
This can happen to skilled & serious people as well. When I worked for USNPS in 1976, a team from Las Vegas SWAT was brought in to teach an intensive, 5-day course in officer survival. We did night & day exercises in everything from high risk entries to countering "Panther stops" (any old timers remember those?). There were no simunitions, paintball, or Airsoft back then, & we relied on real weapons with blanks.

The last day of the training, we were given an all day scenario / test involving a barricade/hostage situation. Vegas SWAT guys played the bad guys. It started out well enough. Our team started with a briefing with floor plans of the building sketched out, BG weapons estimates, etc. Then the actual tactics of deployment were discussed and assignments handed out. My assignment was a right flank forward observer. The area was heavily wooded with no approach from the rear, requiring the main body of the team to approach head on, under cover, military fashion. When I got in position, the main body advanced, and of course the SWAT guys spotted them and opened fire.

Everything was according to Hoyle up to this point, and then it went to hell in a handbasket. Instead of retreating (hostage, remember), setting up a perimeter, and attempting negotiations, our team opened fire. I tossed two smoke grenades in front of the building for cover during retreat, but it only added to the melodrama, and within minutes, the whole thing deteriorated to a combination of WWII and the OK Corral. What the hell, we had LOTS of blanks! Even the SWAT guys later said they had a blast (literally ), but the training value? Zip. Zero. Nada. The rest of the training was priceless, but admittedly, during the scenario, we were 10 yr old's playing cops & robbers.

Whether it's airsoft, paintball, or simunitions, it takes everybody involved to keep things on a serious note, both instructors and students.
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--Capt. Charlie
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