Switchback – an interview with SM02 from S.O.G.
To complete the triumvirate of interviews, we return yet again to speak with Florida’s finest S.O.G. (Specialist Operations Group) and round out our run of interviews on their growing MilSim community. S.O.G. are, as you may of figured out part of the close knit family of teams, which includes previous interviewees Red Team and G.S.R. – who’ve through hard work, ethos and solid gameplay really made an impact not just in Florida, but the States, and the Globe over …
So, as we speak with SM02 let’s find out about their gear, training, and more importantly their mindset towards ‘Plastic Deth‘ …
GM75: Welcome aboard, thanks for taking time out to speak with us.I’ve gotta ask, despite a prolific presence in your home state, at many large events, and a heavy presence on social media the team is shrouded in mystery. What can you tell us about how you formed, and the teams ethos, or rather mindset – Specifically, how did you get involved in ‘Plastic Deth‘ – how long of you been playing?
SM02: It all started back in 2008 when I initially looked into “Plastic Deth” as a means to bond with my son who was looking into joining the US Armed Forces. We would go out on the weekends and have a good time. I was fortunate enough to find a good group of guys that were serious about the sport and the application of strategy and tactics. The team was comprised of a mix of former Military and current Law Enforcement who took training very serious. During that time we’ve had allot of guys that come from different back grounds (Rangers, Marines, SWAT etc) and we trained regularly for the last 8 years and have developed our program over time.
GM75: Now, despite its limitations, range and accuracy, I’ve long held that ‘Plastic Deth‘ (Airsoft) has some validity, and it’s place within ‘real steel’ training. I’m aware also you all train regularly as a team. What are the inherent benefits this brings when attending either larger MilSim’s or even regular events?
SM02: There are a lot of transferable practices and applications that you take with you onto the field. Trigger discipline, muzzle discipline, weapon manipulation, weapon retention, just to name a few. One of the biggest benefits is that you can apply your training under duress. Shooting a paper targets will only get you so far. But, a target that is returning fire changes the dynamic of the engagement and it will put your training to the test. It’s a good way to learn what works and what doesn’t work. Some of the draw backs is that you can be too aggressive and that can translate in getting shot in the “real world” so you have to scale down the applicability of what we’re doing out there. I think (Airsoft) as a means to train and test your skills is growing and becoming more acceptable. The economics behind it – is no brainer!
GM75: Mindset, attitude and contributing to any community are invaluable, you have a very visible presence within your own scene, but what’s important for new players to grasp, to fully participate positively and promote its growth?
SM02: New players should look for teams that are a good fit for them. There’s a team for everyone out there and not all teams are created equal. They should look for a team that they can contribute to at different levels. If you want to be a part of something big it take more than one person to make that happen. There are many “solo” players out there that are great guys/gals but there a very few teams out there that collectively try to make a difference out.
GM75: Visually the team has a very uniformed appearance, functional and very utilitarian, and a refreshing step away from popularized load outs – was this a conscious decision or just natural evolution ?
SM02: That is by design as we feel that we should only utilized equipment that actually works and has a purpose. If it doesn’t GO BANG or BOOM we’re not going to run it simply because it looks cool. We have a mix of kits but all fall under the SOP. Some of us run Crye Precision JPC’s, Tactical Assault Gear Banshee, Semapo Gear etc. Now we certainly have an appreciation for good gear because we’ve learned over the years that if you invest in good quality gear and kit you will have less disappointments out in the field. Our training load out leans more to the Law Enforcement style simply because most of us are in the Law Enforcement field. We have two primary kit set ups. One of them is for DA (Direct Action) type operations where we are working with at least 5 to 6 and the other is for Field Operations. Both can be interchanged but it mostly depends on the AO (Area of Operations)
GM75: You’ve garnered a reputation for fearless high speed play, leaving little room for the opposition to hold off, years of experience and training or is this just the teams organic style ?
SM02: We developed that reputation because we feel that speed and violence of action will overwhelm even some of the more seasoned teams or players. There’s little time to prepare so that gives us leverage over taking a position or structure. We’ve learned that sometimes you just have frag the opposition out of the structure because they’ve dug themselves in pretty good. When at all possible we’ll fight from the door and when appropriate we’ll flood it. It just depends on the resources you have at your disposal at the time. We train as a team so we operate as a team and that has always worked for us. It’s very rare to find a SOG member operating SOLO.
GM75: We are huge fans of cool kit and blasters, tell us about how you’ve set up your load out and what your shooting with, any particulars tricks of the trade you care to share ?
SM02: When attending MilSim events and during training we all use the AR/M4 platform for sustainability purposes. If your battle buddy runs out of ammo we can toss a mag with no problem. Most of our AEG’s have been “Rocktified” short for a Rock Custom AEG. But we most run ICS, KWA, and G&G Top Techs. Now having been to so many national level Operations we are now transitioning over to the HPA world. So far we have converted all of our support style weapons and have slowly begun to get our main M4 set ups converted to HPA. We’re currently using Polarstar Jacks in all of our support guns and a few DMR’s. So far we’re not looking back …we love the HPA life.
GM75: great stuff, 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 ?
SM02: Great question if the whole Plastic Deth scene would be 30 rounds or less it would be utopia. It would completely change the whole dynamic of the sport. Then we can truly call REALSIM. A 30 round mag will force you to think strategically and be more conservative with you ammo. It would add some much more realism to the game at that. We would certainly embrace that level of game play.
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