Early last year, not only interviewing The Rejected Lens, we also brought on longstanding team mate and MilSim enthusiast DJ Richie Cee …
I’d followed DJ’s exploits for some years, always impressed with his personable and contemporary takes on modern impressions, delivering his own personable take on load outs.
Not only brimming with functionality, these are often attacked with style too, making all the more for visually appealing sets ups.
DJ and I eventually befriended each other, with my modicum of limited knowledge, when I helped him, albeit most likely temporarily unf**k his comm’s system – shortly thereafter he and Mike Zero Nine jumped onboard with last years Ai500. Despite being accustomed to more technically immersive MilSim’s – the along with another stellar TF Viper gave it their all, and really threw down and gave it 110% at this large scale CQB ‘Battle Sim‘ – showing, despite their experience and history with MilSim that they are both more than happy to get in the mix …
Likewise, mutual friends such a Mike Zero Nine and other longstanding stalwarts of both the gear, kit, MilSim and Airsoft scene have not only contributed and supported the blog but have regularly reached out to either talk about blasters, gear or new kit they’ve acquired – or in this instance events they’ve recently attended.
DJ, Mike and a few other familiar faces went along to Stirling’s latest 36 Hr MilSim ‘Op Darkfire‘
S23: DJ – thanks for coming aboard, to make for a slightly different interview I’ll let you set the scene – where was Op Darkfire held, and what was your role as an attending team of players ?
DJ: Thanks for having me along once again. OP Darkfire was originally set to take place at Caerwent training area but believe it got bumped to Catterick last minute due to operational requirements. We had a real bunch of misfits this time round all rolled into one callsign. Due to my dual comms set up it made sense for me to go as RO (Radio operator).
S23: So, how many of you made up the collective which formed call sign 5-2 ?
I gather you’ve been regularly playing with this loosely gathered collective for a while now, I certainly noticed you’ve become quite slick with frequent training, events and skirmishes you’ve attended, including The Mall …
Any intentions to solidify this ‘supergroup’ into a more permanent fixture, dare I say even, team ?
DJ: We had long standing members from Blackhawk Rangers, one from Tribe MilSim, myself and MikeZero One Nine, the other two guys here, this was they’re first ever MilSim and another two other guys who we had not rolled with before this OP. So was definitley going to make for an interesting OP from the get go.
… we have hit up a few events/skirmishes over the past six months or so with various people attending what they could as well as putting the time in to training and events solo within each individuals local area. There is such a wide variety of personality (and age) within the GGC2K17 clan but when we roll out together it just clicks.
Everyone has their certain niche and skill set to bring to the table but always with the utmost fun and camaraderie as possible. In all honesty I’ve been part of various teams throughout my time playing and in my experience the minute you put a patch on it and solidify that group of people as a team thats when things come apart at the seams. So right now I think its all about friends getting together when they can be racking up the ‘body count’ wherever we step foot and hitting town for beers and medals after …
S23: Kit bag, what’s the preparation and essential kit list for you, on a 36 Hr event such as Darkfire, naturally Blasters and LBE – but what contingencies are you thinking about ?
DJ: We were very lucky in the fact that operating as Blue Force at Catterick we were stationed from the admin block, so no hard routine/basha/bivvi required. This event was heavily based around Hostage Rescue and Intel gathering in an OBUA (Operations in Built Up Areas) enviroment. Weeks prior we were all busy conversing on the group chat with each team member carrying a mission specific piece of kit …
Bolt cutters were a must, sledge hammers and Halligan bars all must be divided up as well as SSE (Sensitive Site Exploitation) equipment clear plastic bags/note pads/pocket cameras. We also made sure we had two support guns within our section as you need that fire support/suppression when pouring guys into a building …
S23: Now, years of experience under your belt, but what lessons did you extrapolate from this deployment – what worked, what didn’t ?
DJ: Considering we had so many variables entering this OP, I feel we either got lucky or we were very well prepared as every mission we stepped out on we managed to achieve with little or no failure. Night Ops had head counts at regular intervals, TL and 2IC’s were always on point delivering the mission intel and making sure everyone was where they needed to be and knowing exactly what they were doing. Def one of the most successful OPs overall to date.
(Op Darkfire Footage courtesy of Wigs Pushed Back)
S23: I always ask, as it’s turned up some cool ideas or things I’d missed or not thought about, what’s the one essential you can’t do without on a large 36 Hr MilSim ?
DJ: Yeah always a question of much debate …
I’ll bend the rules a little and give you two. Water is by far the most neglected piece of equipment by new and seasoned players alike. One small 500ml bottle in a cargo pocket can make all the difference when its 04:00 and you think you’re about to head back to re-sup – but you get re tasked to push on and breach two more buildings. I would also say my helmet light has been my savour time and time again. It has low level red and green LED for when you need to change a gun battery or some other admin but dont want to give your postion away. Also has white light for conduction SSE when being secret squirrel is not so important. But also has an IR light for use with NV when light discipline is a must.
S23: Now, whilst we enthuse about gear and kit – I’m sure all our readers really want to hear about the action. Of course, MilSim’s vary in tempo, tone and ultimately gun play can be virtually minimal to ferociously intense, what have you got to report, any cool guy AAR moments to share ?
DJ: This was in comparrison quite a high tempo event. Every raid or search that was carried out lead to more intel being actioned upon. So teams were constantly rolling out wether it be a single call sign or multiple call signs doing a multi point breaches on a building. A good example or this was our call sign 5-2 were tasked with clearing and conducting an SSE sweep of a three storey building building 29. We pushed out single file around 01.30 Hrs Sunday morning, support gunners front and rear of the section. 5-2 took a wide berth to go as undetected as possible, guys without NV along with LMG gunners took up a cordon positions around building 29 while the rest of the call sign using NV swept the building one deck at a time.
As SSE was wrapping up and comms back to zero was underway updating our situation, a member of 5-2 on the third floor got eyes on a hostile roaming three man patrol entering the compound of building 29. With no option but to engage the hostiles at a safe distance before they could enter the building we then quickly consolidated the callsign at the ground floor where we broke contact manouvered through two more buildings where we went silent till we were happy we were no longer being pursued. As it was vital we got this piece of intel back to zero as it could be time sensitive. Us gathering this piece of intel was vital because once passed up through the command chain where zero could processes the information, This would then lead to the possible whereabouts of a HVT. Around 03:30 Hrs three callsigns were finishing up plans to enter a series of terraced houses known as the “hotel”. Slowly and silently 5-2 along with another callsign entered the building from both ends …
With the ground floor cleared without a shot being fired we moved to the second floor. On our way up to the second floor we could hear snoring from several rooms. (this was a good sign) After killing and identifying several members of OpFor in their beds with no sign of the HVT, contact was heard from the next room. After a very brief fire fight all hostiles were down and the HVT was in our custody, we then extracted to the next building where two Snatch Land Rovers and the Saracen APC was waiting. Ten minutes later all callsigns were accounted for back at the patrol base along with a very unhappy HVT. This for me was one of the highlights of the weekend. Teamwork, not just in the same callsign but across the whole blue force along with clear succinct comms and thorough SSE allowed for precise timed strikes getting the results needed.
S23: So, from what I’ve heard from you and others, it was another superb turn from Stirling, what really made the event for you ?
DJ: As you well know I have played at and been part of (what I would consider) some of the best MilSim events around, however time after time Stirling always maintain the bar, they’re briefs and storylines are always immersive and the work the teams do out on the ground directly impact how the event pans out, they really give you the tools to make the OP succeed or not. This event for me was made infintley immersive when we used EMOE ‘explosive method of entry’ to breach a door. Three callsigns were tasked to make a simultaneous breach two with explosives one with breaching tools. It was down to the teams to organsie the breach between them so the pressure was really on to get it right. All teams stacked on the target building, with hand primers wired we were set to breach when two out of three breaching teams started taking fire. Sh*t really hit the fan! But again this is not a staged breach with ofpor there as cannon fodder, these guys do not want us entering thier house and theyre not afraid to let us know! This is where I feel the true MilSim players shine, everyone kept they’re cool and both teams rallied …
using each others medics to get everyone back in the fight, the breach was back on. BOOM … with dust and bits of door everywhere each team went. So many highlights to this event but being given the oppertunity to make an explosive entry just goes to show how far the guys at Stirling want to push things for thier customers.
S23: Before we let you go, you always keep coming back for more – what keeps it all new, exciting on the MilSim scene ?
DJ: I would say along with other long time serving MilSim players I have been very fortunate to do some really cool stuff. Helicopter missions, being inserted into the AO at night via boat, EMOE, plain clothed surveilance. More often than not its the people that you do the MilSims with that make or break an event. If you feel the guys havent got your back or you dont gel then it just isn’t going to work. So heading to events with different people is great, everyone has something different to bring to the table. Also im a bit of a gear whore, not to be confused with brand whore. Doesnt have to be expensive but I’m always keen to be the first to field innovative kit, especially if it will give me a combatative edge.
Huge thanks to DJ for the incredible write up – keep an eye for more events from Stirling here: https://www.facebook.com/stirlingairsoft/
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