Return To Strength – An Interview with Combat Airsoft Group (CAG)
Every so often someone or something comes along and affirms my passion for the community and the game
As @radrockin aptly puts it, help #growthesport and their altruism really contributes and helps pay it forward and start to capitalize and grow all the positive aspects of the game.
A relative newcomer on the scene, their hard work has already garnered the attention of the illustrious and renowned Airsoft International, many of the big names within the community have also expressed their admiration for what he’s doing.
Without further delay, I’m proud to introduce on here Smudge, Head Honcho of Combat Airsoft Group (CAG).
CAG as I’m sure some of you are aware are training and development company offering bespoke packages to help players and teams aspire to next level game play. Offering tailored courses reflective of what can and can’t be done within Airsoft.
Now, adding further credence to what is on offer Smudge is not only a qualified instructor, but has had both extensive service within the Military and employ within the Contracting world. But don’t let this daunt you his friendly and enthusiastic approach has already made his classes and instruction a firm hit with attendee’s as good friends from Team Gun Ho will attest.
So, let’s get on and talk to the man himself …
GM75: So, why Airsoft – I was quite taken by your positive embrace of the community, and your altruistic approach to coach players driving them to take their skill set to the next level – was it something you consciously saw that you could contribute to and would be of positive reward to the community?
CAG: After serving 11 busy years in HM Armed Forces and 3 years working in hostile environments on the circuit (Security Industry), I made a decision to hang my boots up and settle back home with my family.
After 6 months of living a regular civilian life I started to get itchy feet, I started to struggle and had a urge to go back and work over seas. With my family persuading me to stay home I then started to look for alternative methods to keep my mind in the game.
It was during this time I started to see a lot of Milsim posts on social media, so I begun to conduct some research on what it was all about. After watching guys on YouTube conducting simulated combat missions, I had a thought to create a Facebook page offering training for the Airsoft community. When I posted my first training session some of the guys from Northern Alliance Airsoft took a gamble on it and attended.
I was taking a big gamble myself due to these types of activities being frowned upon by previous employers and military colleagues.
CAG: At first I my intentions where to conduct training events and not really go anywhere with it. Now I can see a massive future for CAG.
My new aspirations are to bring a new look to the Milsim community, creating my own combat simulated events and rules that offer guys a realistic experience. Not taking anything away from what the other providers are producing, I just want to add my own spin on events.
So far I think we have received more attention than we thought we would. We have inquiries on a daily basis ranging from training to advice. I and the other members of the CAG team are taken back by it all. So far we have gained over 1000 likes on Facebook by only conducting very basic training events, god know what’s in store for us when we push larger events. I would like to say thank you to every one that is supporting us so far.
CAG is currently taking some time out from training events at the moment to conduct some administration and get our first ever Milsim event up and running. We will still conduct training events in the not to distant future, however these events will be more specialised to what guys have seen so far.
GM75: What courses have you run so far, what areas do you focus on that you feel have to most benefit to the game ?
CAG: So far we have run:
• Close Quarter Battle training (CQB).
• Small team tactics such as contact drills used by recce teams.
• A small insight into section level attacks.
• Care Under Fire, giving guys an insight into watered down combat medicine. The guys went through some scenario-based tasks based on casualty care.
• Basic Sniper Training, conducting observation skills with some camouflage and concealment exercises.
All of these training events fill the gaps in peoples games. A lot of individuals and teams will just watch tactical YouTube videos and copy what they see. A lot of what you see does not work in real life and creates bad habits. Also teams are not getting the finer details of why and how drills are carried out. We bridge that gap whilst also offering teams additional qualities such as:
• Team Discipline
• Structure to drills and SOP’s
Not only do the guys get something from it, but it keeps my mind in the game. Its awesome when you get feed back from the lads who have attended other milsim events and tell me the drills they picked up have worked.
GM75: Now, you come from a rather exceptional military background, not to underplay it but considering your pedigree and expertise, why Airsoft, what did you see that gave it validity and something you could work with?
CAG: The reason I chose airsoft was, as previously stated to stop my itchy feet. I feel airsoft is massively looked down upon from an immature audience especially from the armed forces. What these people do not see are guys & girls aspiring to be something, military personnel who carry this attitude should be feeling good that they have guys, girls and kids wanting to be them or do what they do. Not only that but this is someone’s hobby. If someone wants to run around skirmishing on a weekend or whatever he or she does, then so be it.
GM75: So, one of your recent courses focused on Sniping and the skill sets employed by modern infantry within this particular vocation – how did it all play out, did you have to tailor much to accommodate the limited ‘physics’ of Airsoft. I’d imagine the art of concealment was brought in to the lesson plan too?
CAG: We mainly focused on observation skills, teaching the guys why objects and people are seen. We then took them through camouflage and concealment exercises so they see how it works from both sides of the spectrum.
GM75: Whilst I know your a busy man, have you found the time to get ‘behind the gun’ and join in the fun, what’s your take on it, could see an application in the ‘real world’ if correctly utilized. I’m aware some organizations have done so, but without understanding and the support to maintain it, kit has since been mothballed and as training tool it’s been long since abandoned …
I could see a use for airsoft weapons in a military training environment especially in CQB training. I think the military should look at this option as the majority of training is conducted with blanks. This type of training can only provide so much such as basic skills and tactics.
The only down fall with airsoft weapons is that it does not go bang, with this brings noise and the confusion of battle. Also you cant train for long distance engagements.
I think this is why the military has chosen laser rigs for training, this way they can still use real-steel weapons and keep the scenarios realistic.
GM75: So far you’ve extensively used Northern Alliance Airsoft (found here https://www.facebook.com/northernallianceairsoft) as a training ground, it surely seems a versatile and varied site, it’s unique concrete walled pathways into its main structure have intrigued me enough to plan a visit – what can you tell us about it, I know your a fan.
CAG: I used the Northern Alliance Airosft site after an invite to conduct training there. I would like to thank the guys from NAA dearly for their hospitality and taking a chance on what was a random stranger at the time.
The NAA area offers a wide range of scenery, moving from an open area to a CQB setting throughout gaming or training.
There site is awesome and the gaming they provide is second to non. The guys Tom, Will & Jack are a really friendly bunch of guys and are always looking to bring something new to their site. From what I have seen they mix games up every weekend, sadly I have not had chance to participate.
Anyone wanting to challenge themselves in their game, then NAA is the place to go in North Yorkshire & The North East.
GM75: I’ve been following CAG’s exploits for a few months, and it naturally came up when speaking with two of Team Gun Ho’s number, they enthused endlessly about CAG, but was intrigued you have more in store for the world of Military Simulation, what can you reveal …
CAG: I do not want to give too much away but we are looking to conduct some awesome events throughout the second half of 2015.
When attending our events you are going to be pushed both physically and mentally. We want to provide the community with our perception of what Milsim should be. The majority of our events are not going to be for the guys who like to dress up and skirmish. However we do want to offer combat simulation events for everyone.
The CAG team will draw on all their experiences gained on operations and present them to you through these events.
We are going to push the boundaries on is the medical and casualty rules. This will be completely different to what the community is providing at this time.
Lastly our training events are going to be of a higher quality. We have some new and exciting venues to conduct such events, but will not be reviled until the launch of these events.
GM75: Right, before we wrap up, really appreciate you taking the time out to talk, obligatory last question I always like to ask (kind of a trademark), I’m a fan of 30 Rounds per mag, what’s your thoughts on this – could you see this perhaps bringing something new and fresh to game play if embraced by the masses ?
Anyone can fill a hicap magazine and sling plastic all day but your not getting anything out of it. Have 30 rounds per mag add’s a whole new complexity to games such as:
Ammunition conservation, players then have to start thinking about engagement distances and is it worth engaging certain targets, How long you can suppress a enemy position for, rates of fire, magazine changes becoming more frequent and so on.
Personally I think if you run with 30 round in your magazine it makes you a better player. For the milsim guys it will take your game to the next level.
CAG: I just want to say thank you to S23 for taking time out to conduct an interview on CAG, sorry we have not give too much information but all will be revealed soon. We really appreciate the exposure some of the guys have given us. I hope we can bring the milsim community something new and exciting. Thank you all for all your support and we hope to see you at events soon.
CAG can be found here, before sure to check them out.
S23 Golf Mike 75 and Combat Airsoft Group are proudly sponsored by ToySoldier
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