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Force on Force AAR & PICS

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by Zak Smith, Sep 22, 2005.

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  1. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    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 -dung- 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 assess, 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 shoot back.

    FOF also emphasizes when NOT TO shoot, both by covering the legal and moral background around use of lethal force, and with scenarios 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--

    [​IMG] [ link to LARGER image ]
    [​IMG] [ link to LARGER image ]
    [​IMG] [ link to LARGER image ]
    [​IMG] [ link to LARGER image ]
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2005
  2. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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  3. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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  4. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

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    Dude, why'd ya get out of the Jeep! :eek:
     
  5. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Member

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    My grandmother used to have that chair in her kitchen. :)

    Sounds like some good training. From your posts, it seems like you have an enviable amount of fun. :D
     
  6. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    There are pictures from 5 or 6 different scenarios there. In the one with me getting out of the Jeep, I was arriving home from work and getting out of my vehicle as normal. The threat had not developed yet.

    One approach to FOF scenarios is to be at Condition Orange the whole time, and assume everyone you see is a threat. This might increase your chances of a favorable outcome, but it can reduce the training value because you wouldn't do it in real life. The other way to approach them is to start substantially how you would in real life, and then apply tactics as the situation evolves.

    For example, if I'm walking down the sidewalk, I'm not going to draw my gun and take cover behind every car I pass, because pretty soon the SWAT team would roll up on me in no time. So for training, I'll walk down the "sidewalk" and once a threat is identified, I'll go up to Condition Orange and start to change my behavior.

    In the case of the car-

    1. Best to drive off if you can,
    2. Use car as weapon/protection IF MOBILE,
    3. Otherwise get out of the car ASAP because it's a bullet magnet and you have zero mobility once the BG (even with a knife) is at your window.
     
  7. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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  8. ShackleMeNot

    ShackleMeNot Member

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    We'll be running the two day Force on Force Scenarios class in Indianapolis in November. I know some High Roaders are already signed up. There are a few slots left.

    The training will be mostly in doors in a very large space so regardless of weather we'll have a great time training.

    Force on Force training is a NECESSITY if you carry a gun for defense. No other training is as dynamic and realistic and you will learn more in a few scenarios than you can in years on the square range. Square range fundamentals are important but at some point you have to graduate beyond static cardboard that doesn't fight back.
     
  9. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

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    Zak wrote:

    "One approach to FOF scenarios is to be at Condition Orange the whole time, and assume everyone you see is a threat. This might increase your chances of a favorable outcome, but it can reduce the training value because you wouldn't do it in real life. "

    Sure you can. Come to Iraq and be in Red all the time. :fire: ;)
     
  10. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Good point. I spend most of my time in Yellow, because there are not many threats in my environment. I "avoid stupid people, doing stupid things, in stupid places".

    If you're often in places where threats are onmipresent, it makes sense to approach training with that Orange/Red mindset.

    -z
     
  11. dasmi

    dasmi Member

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    Er, that's a Ford Escape. I just heard millions of Jeeps cry out in pain.
     
  12. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

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    LOL, sorry had to look closer to notice a vehicle trying to IMITATE a Jeep!
     
  13. MK11

    MK11 Member

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    Good post. I'm curious, did anybody ever resort to empty hands or draw with retention if attackers got too close, too fast? How was that handled?
     
  14. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    MK11,

    For training safety, some limitations were made. Some of those limits were: no purposeful head-shots, and no punching, slapping, or serious hand to hand, no real knives or OC, and obvoiusly all real guns and ammo were locked away from the training area. There was one guy who went to knife-disarms by instinct in some situations and that was OK. It was not a class about hand to hand combat.

    But as for reactions-- even in the same scenario, student reactions ranged from compliance to explosive & decisive action (or combinations thereof). People shot from retention -- actually from any position they could get hits from (and some they couldn't).

    Does that answer your question?
     
  15. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Retention--

    A normal draw, even for IPSC dudes, has a stage in which the pistol is in more or less a "retention" position. You can see varying degrees of itin these:
    [​IMG][ link to LARGER image ]
    [​IMG][ link to LARGER image ]

    In both of these, I am basically running backward.
     
  16. MK11

    MK11 Member

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    It does, thanks.
     
  17. atek3

    atek3 Member

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    How do you handle the hostage situations if headshots aren't allowed? How bad does the UTM projectile hurt? is it about on par with airsoft?
     
  18. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Never played with airsoft. They are 6gr projectiles, made of aluminum with a waxy marker material on the front. They will raise welts through a shirt. I didn't really get many-- I was wearing a t-shirt under that BDU top. They could break exposed skin and cause slight bleeding.

    As for solutions, there are many, some better some worse. Shooting any and all exposed parts of the BG may be a good tactic. Movement might help. Or it might go horribly wrong. Like I said, "A lot of times you are dumped into a -dung- sandwich and have to make the best of it.".
     
  19. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    One big problem with this pic:

    http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TR-FOF-2005/?medium=A100_0420_img.jpg

    Somebody hasn't taught you to move correctly. Your right knee is locked - the next step is going to seriously jerk your sights plus you can't dodge from that sort of stance.

    You need to keep your knees bent, to the point of re-learning to walk if need be with knees bent all the time. At a minimum, if the gun is out, your knees damned well better be bent 100% of the time.
     
  20. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Which direction am I moving?
     
  21. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Everyone I know who has participated in force on force training has reflected upon its immense value, and describes it in his or her own words (down to each and every individual) as a pivotal event, a hallmark in their training.

    For the training to be instructional, and not just something to be gamed, it requires a good judge to control the flow and keep everyone safe, and role players who understand their role as educational. Tom Givens once commented that the best role players are those whose gun handling skills are adequate enough to be safe, but not enough to be considered competitive. Advanced handgunners tend to have difficulty suppressing the desire to "win the encounter" and overwhelm the practitioner.

    At a recent NTI event, one of our role-players shot a uniformed police officer in the chest during a scenario. The police officer announced gleefully, "I'm OK. You got me in the vest." Which was correct; he was shot square in the vest and didn't feel a thing. Our role player responded, "That's only because I couldn't shoot you in the head." When he showed up the next year, and took actions that caused himself to be shot in the scenario, our role player shot him in the ass. His reaction was quite different that time. :cool:
     
  22. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    I've got to hand it to the instructors. They did a good job role-playing, and they got pummelled with UTM rounds for our benefit.
     
  23. carebear

    carebear Member

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    Jim,

    There's a picture of me on the wall of my unit's paralocker where it appears my legs are up in a seated position as I'm maneuvering to the tee.

    Problem is, at no point during my flight were my legs stationary in that position, it was just my bicycling motion caught on film in that instant looked that way.

    If he was mid-step and pushing off, especially rearward, for a moment the leg could appear locked out when it wasn't. Especially with a pant leg obscuring the view.
     
  24. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Let me just say a lot of information can be gleaned by examining the photos and time-stamps for A100_0417_img.jpg to A100_0423_img.jpg. One thing which cannot be observed in them is that 3-4 shots were fired and hit the assailent in the upper torso, the first shot probably fired prior to A100_0421_img.jpg.
     
  25. ShackleMeNot

    ShackleMeNot Member

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    Having seen you shoot I have no doubt you made your hits.
     
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