July 9, 2017 at 4:06 pm #46351
During our day of Force on Force in the field, we mostly ran 5 on 5 scenarios, some of which were ‘capture the flag’ and some of which were ‘search & destroy.’ As best I can recall, everyone was a multi class alumni, although some were more current than others. We ran hard teams all day with none of the trading back and forth of team members which we did during CQB. Another important aspect was that everyone was in pretty good shape, neither team had to compensate for one or more lard asses
Team Rhino had two distinct advantages: we all knew each other and had previously trained together; we also each had a small radio, all but one with a tactical style headset.
While Team Wolf was a pickup team, they were in no way a cooperative OPFOR; indeed 2 of their guys were in their 9th day of training (CTT, mobility & Direct Action before FoF) and they were really dialed in.
We initially tried to leverage our comm advantage by putting one team member out high in an overwatch position so our fire team would have a good ‘picture’ of what the OPFOR was doing. When it worked, it worked well and I think we managed one hasty (flank) ambush where we killed them all. Just having radios was not a panacea however and Team Wolf’s better discipline during fire and maneuver resulted in them going into the lunch break with something like a 3/2 lead.
After a lunchtime ‘come to Jesus’ meeting and a commitment to get back to basics, Team Rhino acquitted themselves well in the afternoon. Combined with sound fundamental tactics the radios gave us an advantage, especially ‘pre-merge’ (please forgive the air-to-air terminology, it is what I grew up with). Once the engagement(s) went hot, yelling, for the most part, worked best. “Mac, get your ass up on line!” was one notable quote. Another place the radios proved decisive was during the mopping up phase where battle buddies were able to leverage quiet comms during the hunting down and dispatching enemy survivors.
Pretty much all the classic lessons learned were repeated. When you let even one of the OPFOR swing your flank unobserved, one or more of you is going to get shot in the ass (thanks Shawn). Every lesson hammered home by Max in his post last fall (Communication & ‘Grip’) was experienced by each team.
So yes, radios can give a decided advantage, but they are no substitute for sound fundamental tactics. And you better have a ‘comm out plan’ because anything electronic is likely to fail at the worst possible moment.
DJuly 9, 2017 at 6:17 pm #46370tangoParticipant
Very interesting post that many should read. Cool that you guys tried to adapt your tactics to the radios. Important bit to note that you guys realized the radios are an augmentation not a replacement.
Weak Men can't be virtuous. - JBPJuly 9, 2017 at 7:07 pm #46377DarkriversParticipant
Could you provide more detail about the comms equipment you guys were using? Thanks in advance.
If you're gonna fight, fight like you're the 3rd monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark... And Brother, it's starting to rain! James from TexasJuly 9, 2017 at 8:49 pm #46385
Bear in mind the radios themselves do not make much difference until you start worrying about an OPFOR capable of detecting, exploiting or DF’ing your radio communication. Higher quality radios (especially MILSPEC radios) are more likely to be reliable, but they also cost more. This a long and complicated subject in and of itself. If you choose to go with bubble packed FRS radios from Walmart or Baefeng’s from Amazon and the OPFOR is sophisticated enough to be running a ‘close call scanner,’ then your transmissions will likely be detected and possibly exploited.
We ran three different headset styles, all from Threat4 Communications (https://www.threat4.com/). The bone induction mic headset (HDBM) is the coolest, but it does not transmit clearly for everyone; it just seems to depend on how your ear canal is constructed. The other two styles had boom mikes with an unsophisticated form of noise cancellation. One had a small speaker which the headset holds close to your ear (HDBH-2), and the other has dual acoustic tubes (HDBH-3). Both worked well and I have not decided which I prefer.
I hope this helps.
DJuly 9, 2017 at 9:33 pm #46387DarkriversParticipant
If you're gonna fight, fight like you're the 3rd monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark... And Brother, it's starting to rain! James from TexasJuly 10, 2017 at 7:34 am #46395zeerfParticipant
Great info thanks for posting.July 13, 2017 at 3:46 pm #46621
Further reflections… Like any tool, electronic comms need to be practiced with to be effective. We would have been much more of a threat to the OPFOR if we had practiced with the radios before Force on Force.
As in air to air combat, the radios allow the building of a ‘picture’ (what the OPFOR is doing) and then the passing of assignments / tactics covertly without cluing in the bad guys as to where you are and what you are doing.
Back in the day we used to practice “sorting and morting.” The sorting phase is where you observe where the OPFOR is and what they are doing (are they advancing in file, doing bounding overwatch down the ridge or set up in a hasty ambush?) and getting your team on the same page. The morting phase is where you deploy and engage (i.e. kill or mort) the enemy.
Of course the enemy always gets a vote. This spring we had one engagement where we were hustling to get around the west side of the ridge to set up an ambush when we were observed by the OPFOR as they bounded forward. We aborted our going in plan, dropped down the ridge out of sight and then ran hard 200+ yards to set up on the other side of the ridge. I doubt we could have pulled that off if we had not been able to communicate the new plan with the radios.
I offer this as food for thought…
DJuly 14, 2017 at 10:38 am #46664wheelseeParticipant
This spring we had one engagement where we were hustling to get around the west side of the ridge to set up an ambush when we were observed by the OPFOR as they bounded forward. We aborted our going in plan, dropped down the ridge out of sight and then ran hard 200+ yards to set up on the other side of the ridge. I doubt we could have pulled that off if we had not been able to communicate the new plan with the radios.
I offer this as food for thought…
Another reason for PT…….
Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon
Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)
If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc
William, in The Republic
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