Streetside – No Nonsense’ Chris T’s spotlight on ISG’s recent ‘Real Sim’ event
Welcome aboard another guest editorial, this time around from long time friend of the blog Chris T aka ‘Geardo‘ from No Nonsense Airsoft.
Chris, recently got in touch, and as he’s been frequently keeping us updated with his recent CTFO impression project, explained he’d be attending an upcoming ‘training immersion event’.
Here, the organizers have expertly assembled using actors, an immersive scenario based event, utilizing actors, effects and props and assets employed not only by the film and television industry, but moreover of late by the emergency services and military to provide realistic organic training scenarios to test their capabilities in response to either specific crime, terrorism or disaster incidents.
It’s here that the suspension of disbelief, perhaps has cross pollinated and somewhat been borrowed from the world of ‘Plastic Deth’ to offer new and different ways of not only realistically training, but safely and economically too …
Such is the prolific presence, more so than ever, that in recent years, UKSF and specialist Police assets have captured the imaginations of re enactors, MilSim and Airsoft enthusiasts.
Sadly, recent events, here at home have all too readily seen such units deployed, and naturally given considerable airtime on the news and within the pages of the press.
So, the caveat here, is this is presented to historically account this training event, and in no way intended to draw inference or make light of those who serve, protect not only the nations interests abroad and here on the streets of our country.
I think, as you read on it serves well as written piece which gives a broad overview, almost like a documentary of what the perspective from an insiders point of view, would be in such scenario …
Anyhow, without further delay over to Chris – S23
Over the course of a recent weekend, I took part in what I’m certain is the best ‘Airsoft‘ experience since I started playing almost six years ago, and the thing is, I didn’t fire a single shot.
Only a couple months back I decided to start a Counter Terrorism Police inspired impression, based on the Metropolitan Police’ CTFO’s (Counter Terrorism Firearms Officer)
I’m sure you’ll have seen them across the media and news in their Arc’teryx Wolf Grey uniforms and unmistakable Sig MCX carbines.
After getting almost every reference photo of the current equipment to hand, I decided I wanted to bring the gear as close as possible to the real deal. Mike of AM Tactical hooked me up with a C2Rmor Lite plate carrier and Groin Panel, plus some other bits like the roll up Dump Pouch and Radio Pouch. The real ‘C Men’ don’t bulk their rigs out, so I opted for a solitary inverted Fastmag on the cummerbund. There’s still more to do to the rig but some pouches utilised by CTSFO are currently unavailable for civilian purchase.
Tom of E27 (E27G) has been a great help to myself in the hunt for gear. Not only finding a suitable Holster to fit my current CAG Spec Glock 22 that will also run with the Police kit, but also sourcing a pair of Danner DFA boots that have recently been pictured in use with the Metropolitan Police Force. He also gave me the use of his CTT Helmet for this particular event, which is slowly being replaced in favour of the Ops-Core.
With some help and discussion from the UK Armed Police Impressions page I got chatting to some members about an up and coming event located in the UK’s Midlands.
I’d spotted very few images from previous exercises floating around the internet, and ever since I’d been massively interested in joining in on one, I just didn’t have the necessary gear to pull it off.
For this particular event they were looking for participants from the Airsoft/MilSim scene to enact the role of Armed Response Police Officers and Counter Terror Officers, and by this point my kit was shaping up nicely.
Fast forward a month or two, and we’re being briefed on a developing siege situation in a school with hostages taken. Being placed on the Police team we were at the forefront of all activity in the initial confrontations with the gunmen, so I was given a number of different taskings from Close Protection of a negotiation team, hostage handovers and manning an Urban OP on the perimeter of the target building.
There was one instance when I was overlooking the building when a number of shots rang out, the rural OPs had been compromised and started taking fire. Running to get your rig and helmet on as a precaution is something I guess I’m not too used to in an average Airsoft game, and especially when those shots were from simulated blanks, it certainly lends itself to giving you a sense of urgency and added to the suspension of disbelief.
After nightfall we decided to egress from the OP as we couldn’t get any more information regarding enemy activity, and I called it a day. After a remarkably good amount of sleep I got up and was attached to Green Team, one of two ‘UKSF‘ groups that had been on rotation as a QRF since the start of the event. I was briefed on the final assault plan and then went over to the hangar with the rest of the CT teams.
There were plenty of occasions where we were put on immediate standby, such as when a media team went to interview the gunmen, or when tensions were rising in the target building. The call to go eventually came when boiling point was hit. To be honest I’m not perfectly sure what happened myself, there seemed to be a lot of screaming over the radio and we were in the vehicles before I could hear more.
I’m going to gloss over the final assault I’m some respect, unfortunately I didn’t see much due to the section of the building I was in responsible for. One thing I can say is that an IED suspended off the ceiling in the entranceway to the building tends to put a halt on proceedings.
As this was our Emergency Response, the organisers decided to run the assault again but utilising our deliberate plan, what we’d been planning for since the start of the exercise. Our half of the team came in from the same angle as last time but took it much slower and quieter than the latter, to the point where the enemy didn’t actually know we were in their building until we’d cleared the ground floor, and started using flashbangs on the second floor. In your usual skirmish you get used to the shouts of other players and the occasional use of profanity from getting hit. However going into a room with screaming hostages makes everything so much more immersive.
Going into the building was rather painstaking as you could tell that the team wanted to push as much as possible to save the hostages so to start the room clearance was quite soggy. The pace picked up and the training kicked in though and the movements became much more fluid.
As the apprehension of the raid had worn off from the first assault there were no worries when taking down rooms this time. The mantra of ‘Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast’ was ingrained into people’s minds and we moved in as a force effortlessly, making good use of Blank Firing Grenades, GR20’s and GR60’s. X-Rays were dealt with according to how much threat they displayed, and hostages were most definitely not let out of sight.
Pressing on with the assault I was hit in the leg, after some quick use of a Tourniquet I was back to it, and began to check hostages. After cuffing and patting them down, I began to move them to the RV point. All those captured were then laid down and checked for injuries, and once all were stabilised EndEx was called.
It’s extremely rewarding to get to the end of a weekend with such a successful outcome after so much effort has been put in by all participants. Between the first assault and the second assault, we managed to slash the time down from 9 minutes to 7 minutes, our skills seemed to improve tenfold on the rerun.
To finish off, it’s the most immersive event I’ve ever attended. So many assets were utilised from vehicles to crisis actors, and it lead to a prosperous ending for everyone. I’m most definitely due to attend more events like this, and people who’ve also attended them will be the same. I overheard some members of the CT team say they were moving away from MilSims as this is where it’s at.
Many thanks goes to Gaz and ISG for running the the event, E27, Grey Fox and the other CT/Police members for making it such a brilliant weekend – Chris T
You can catch up with more from Chris over at No Nonsense Airsoft here: https://www.facebook.com/NoNonsenseAirsoftNewsAndReviews/
Full credit for photography and thanks goes to Andy at Snook Snaps: https://www.facebook.com/Snook-Snaps-373945083002109/
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