Balance The Odds Pt. IV – an interview with Sky One
Sky One, possibly the least visible online and more importantly, or relevantly in game – are Task Force Exorbitance‘ two man ‘Reconnaissance’ element. Often found deep beyond friendly positions, deep behind enemy lines and far in advance of the TF’s other elements, HHK (Hestehovkompaniet) Hermes (Medics), Trident (EOD) and Arquebus (Communications).
Providing real time intelligence visually and over the TF’s communications net as well as providing long range overwatch utilizing their specialized and custom blasters.
As the fourth part of our series, with TF Exorbitance we sit down with one of their elusive members to get the insiders perspective of being a ‘Recce’ patrol group.
S23: Welcome aboard and thank you for being apart of this series. Rather than the obligatory ‘Plastic Deth‘ (Airsoft) history – we’ll jump straight in with this opening gambit, what exactly does the ‘Reconnaissance’ role you and your counterpart play as part of TF Exorbitance ?
SK01: Thank you for letting us be a part of the series. Yeah, the reconnaissence part is actually really basic. We are the guys in the front, scouting the area and observing the enemy, and the occasional “sniper” missions too. We are only two guys at the moment, so our team is light and fast. That is one of the key parts.
S23: Whilst I’m aware, in part from a rare photo of you guys taking part in a VBSS training exercise – you have access to more ‘commonly seen’ gears and blasters as sported by the remainder of the group. How does the specialist gears, kits, equipment and blasters differ from everyone else, specifically with application to your ‘Recce’ role ?
SK01: Well our equipment is more long range oriented. Heavy upgraded rifles with long range optics, concealment gear, a good spotter scope, and basically stuff that will make us survive three day or more. Big ass rucksacks and long range communication is also very important.
S23: Often working far in advance from the rest of the TF, often in less than hospitable conditions and seasoned veterans of Norway’s RealSim community, your experience in the field must be really put to the test on regular occasion. What have you learned, and what additional or specialist equipment do you utilize to make your time in the AO a little easier and bearable ?
SK01: Most of what I have learned is from my time in the military, but this gets put on test from time to time because there is no one around to guide us and the environment can easily kill you if you are not smart. Warm and dry clothes is crucial to make it easy.
Knowing when to take it off and when to put it on. No actual special equipment other than standard (Norwegian standard that is) winter survival gear. But the best equipment I can point to is the Eagle Industries hand warmer, Salomon Quest 4D boots and Outdoor Research Gaiters.
S23: Gunngir recently commented that comm’s are put to good use amongst your TF, I’ve used over the last few years similar if not identical systems to not only keep good communication with team mates but larger elements to good effect, he furthered that comm’s and the benefits of investing in such equipment is key to making teams not only more effective but opening up new tactics and options possibly otherwise not afforded to those who overlook this facet of RealSim, what’s your experience with using a good command net and how does it benefit your role and the rest of the TF ?
SK01: For us it’s absolute bread and butter. We can’t go out and recon the area without good and stable comms. We can’t pass information to the rest of the team, and without us they often has to go in “blind”.
We need to know where the enemy is and their strength. And It’s good to know where HVT’s are and where patrol units go.
If we have good comms and a good spotting position, we can guide the DA teams pretty close without being seen. This lessen the risk for large casualties and mission failures …
S23: You both often employ some specifically unique blasters, which really give you some real long range capabilities – talk us through these ?
SK01: We have two SR25 DMR’s, which is what we usually use for our primary blasters.
One M40A3 which is for when we are going on sniper missions to take out MG positions, HVT’s or counter sniper missions. This goes on one of our backpacks usually and one is always a spotter and radio man.
We also have basic Tokyo Mario NGRS 416’s. One is a bit more longrange oriented with shortdot and long Geiselle rail.
And ofcourse our custom Salient Arms Glocks …
S23: As such, most modern militaries boast in some shape or form, a ‘Recce’ capability – however, rarely heard of, shrouded in OpSec or rarely seen in the wild, has this made researching your gears difficult ?
SK01: Yes it has, but we have some basic guide lines …
S23: What was the primary influence or inspiration for your Recce builds, as research material is scarce to say the least ?
SK01: It’s a role we both enjoy so after trying it out a bit here and there, we decided to make a proper kit for it and we also got a tip from H-47 that they needed a recon team in Exo, so a lot of the inspiration comes from there …
Not much is known about CAG recce units, so we use some aspects from DA such as certain brands they have been seen with and use our imagination for the rest, this allows for some freedom, but we thought through very thoroughly when building our kits.
S23: Now, whilst HHK are storming compounds and putting squeeze on the OpFor, Trident busy breaching and clearing positions or taking care of disposal of enemy ordnance, Arquebus coordinating it all over a tightly maintained command net and Hermes keeping everyone in the fight, what is often your perspective of the action, or even overall an event – is somewhat slightly more sedate and a game of patience or do you still get to participate in at least some of the action ?
SK01: Most of the time we spend we’re taking shifts in looking through a spotting scope, taking notes and reporting, but if we are needed, we will ditch our backpacks and all the gear we don’t find necessary and join in on the action.
It’s a game of patience, but when we have set up the gear and we’re high up on the side of a mountain you can see all that the enemy are doing, It’s actually really fun and exiting, especially when we are stalking someone. Like when you are hunting for large game.
S23: … and, if you get ‘bumped’ – what’s your escape and evasion plan ?
SK01: When s*** hits the fan, we pack fast and run like hell and let the rest of the team know that we are compromised or we hide nearby, leaving the “camp” behind and either wait or ambush them unless its a large group.
S23: Immersion, realism and attention to detail amongst the entire TF have brought admiration and applause from the globe over. Despite this, you’ve a passion for Airsoft, gears, kits and blasters that is refreshingly pleasing to see such longstanding passion – what do you have planned next for Sky One ?
SK01: Next plan is perhaps a new long-range bolt rifle and upgrading our DMR’s. Also work on our sneaking/infiltration game and camouflage.
S23: Before we part out, with our trademark question, could briefly talk us through your personal ‘Recce’ load out, what LBE (Load Bearing Equipment) Boots, Clothing etc you are currently using ?
SK01: We are both running Blue Force Gear ‘Rack Minus‘ with a combo of Crye and TYR pouches.
Crye combat/field and our signature LEAF Jacket and Boonie. Boots are Salomon Q4D. Outdoor Research Gaiters. TRI and TCA PRC 152. S-04 is running a Arc’teryx Khyber 80, and S-10 is running a Mystery Ranch SATL assault pack.
S23: … 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 ?
SK01: We really like the idea of ‘real cap’ in CQB and MilSim events. It would make people think a bit more before they pull the trigger. We don’t shoot much anyways so we wouldn’t notice any difference in it.
Huge thanks to René from Sky One for an awesome interview. Stay tuned for part five coming soon. Don’t forget to catch up with parts one, two and three of our Task Force Exorbitance series featuring Hestehovkompaniet, Arquebus and Trident too – S23
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