Man, oh man! I told you guys things would get better the next time around. This tac-tues was a total blast and very informative.
Last time, our group discussed ways to make our Airsoft Training more realistic and a better training tool. Yesterday, we put it to the test. Our gracious hosts at the Range allowed use of an upstairs office for our training. It was completely abandoned and there were four separate rooms including a stairwell and bathroom. I really wish I could link a floorplan, but you will have to bear with my computer ineptness. I will walk you through each of my scenarios and you should get a mental image of what the layout is.
FIRST SCENARIO: Basically, just a room clearing exercise. I started at the top of the stairs with Fearless Leader Greg as the RO. He trailed behind and watched as I cleared the first half of the office space. From the stairs, I turned left and entered a glass lined hallway. Turning immediately right, I am going down the long corridor to the back of the office. I cut the pie into the first room on my right. No threat. I pie back to the hall and proceed to the opening on my left. Tricky corner here. I suck the wall behind me and have to clear the area to my left and rear. I turned about 180 and traversed to the wall and cleared that length of the room. Moving back to the corner I stop and assess the door in front of me and the open doorway across from me. I press check the door to make sure it is secure and from there I traverse the hall and clear the next office across from me. Moving back to my original cover, I get ready to breach the next room.
This room is completely dark and I have to either go in by flashlight or find the lightswitch. I force the door open and immediately retreat back behind my cover. There was no easy way to open the door and clear it without someplace to hide. I sweep the area with my light and am faced with a big room. Approx. 30 meters wide by 10 meters deep. If I am facing 12 o'clock from the middle of the room, there is a kitchenette alcove at 10, closet at 12, door to the back room at 1, desk at three, and two closet doors at my seven and eight. The door I entered is at my six. I slide along the wall to my right and hit the light switch. I keep moving with my back against the wall and clear under the desk until I am in the corner. This happens pretty fast. I am standing in the corner clearing the rest of the open space. I move back to clear the closet doors on the left side of the entry. I threw open the first door and pied the entire area. All clear. I secured that door and did the same procedure for the second one. This door opened toward me (note it for scenario 2) and I used it for cover and "thought" I cleared the whole area. At this point, the RO told me I was dead. Further back in the corner was the No Shoot Target we were using to represent the threat.
What made that hard to clear is the fact that the door opens into me. Trust, but verify. I should have swept it and then gone in closer to make damn sure it was clear.
Instructor Greg said I did fairly well. It also helped that I had prior knowledge of the layout and watched him rehearse how to get through that tricky door. I always say, if you ain't cheating, you ain't trying hard enough to win the fight. Even with prior knowledge, I still had a helluva time clearing that big room. Remember campers, I am new to the whole defensive pistol thing. Greg is a state ranked IPSC shooter. We also have a couple of Army Rangers and other sport IDPA and IPSC shooters and some LEOs to boot. Another point he made was that I saw the forest for the trees. Remember, the first hallway and offices were the glass cubicle kind. Bend down and look through the glass. That will give you plenty of time to focus on other targets and problems. I really didn't have to go into each room. All I had to do was look through the glass. If you are trying to clear a door and aren't sure what's beyond, push open HARD and move to cover. Doesn't have to be inside the room, but it could be a bush, planter, or a convenient corner to get behind. Also, you don't have to necessarily crowd a corner to clear an area. Remember that you can step back and clear more area from an arm's length away.
SCENARIO TWO: This was a two-fer-one special! One defender against two agressors. The kicker is the fact that they have a hostage (one of the guys brought his daughter's baby doll from home). Same situation as before, but I have to figure out how to neutralize the threat and rescue 'my child.' Sounds tough? Yeah, it is.
I clear the glass partitions with ease. Came back up to the closed door and prepared for the worst. I pushed the door open and retreated. I heard voices from the back room but could not verify the exact location. I called out to whoever to show themselves. The voice was still hidden and I cautiously entered the room. I pied the corner to the right and shifted left until I was right next to the first closet door. I checked the door and it was locked. I learned a trick from a State Dept. DSS agent that if you jam a boot/shoe/foot into the bottom of a door, it will not open or close, depending on what you want it to do. I planted a foot at the door and reached over to the other door. It was open and I cleared this closet. I took extra care to verify it was clean and then assumed cover near the pantry in the kitchen alcove. That door was clear and I was able to take up cover from behind that door. I could easily see my threat and noticed he had the baby in his hand with a knife to its throat. He was able to put a light on me so I was not able to get a clean shot off.
I thought better of entering the room. I still did not know where the other Bad Guy was. I tried to coax the Hostage Taker out, but no joy. He started to goad me and made movement towards me and into the other room. I felt like I was about to be pincered (remember, the first closet door was locked when I came in -- unknown area=still hostile). I retreated to my first cover outside the first door. Just then, Bad Guy Greg busts out of the closet and bee lines it for the other room. He blew three rounds my way and I took two to the weak side arm. I am now operating with my strong hand only. Hostage Taker handed off the baby at this time. I only knew that he had a knife. Taking a chance, I rushed the room and assumed cover in the alcove. He came out of the back room and threw the knife (it was a trainer) at me. As he turned to get under the desk, I put four rounds into his chest and side. Living out his last adrenaline fueled seconds of "life" Bad Guy Hostage Taker actually threw a chair at me!! Can you believe that?! A chair!!! I verified he was "dead" and then took cover behind the desk with a view of the back room. Still dark and unsure of where my target was, I went to the door and rushed the room. There was an open closet to my immediate left and the room opened to the right. There was a lip of cover in that closet nearest the back bathroom door. I entered, pivoted right to clear that area and sucked the closet wall until I was in that lip of cover. Bad Guy Greg stuck his gun around the corner and fired several more rounds. I returned fire around the corner high over his head. I thought that would drive him back so I could try to clear the corner and back him into the bathroom. It was my plan to lock him into the bathroom and then "call" police.
AAR: I was commended for being able to wait out the suspects until I was ready. Greg and Gary, the other Bad Guy, were trying to sucker me into a pincer in the first room. What I didn't realize until after was that Greg was locked into the closet when I flung the second door open and cleared the second one. Had I know that would happen, I would have insured that the 'locked' closet door stayed that way until the first threat was dealt with. I kicked myself for that one, but what can you do? When the adrenaline is pumping, you don't always catch the neat little tricks that could help you out.
Again, I mention that I don't have the experience to deal with these situations with confidence and tactical skill. That is why I come to the class, for the experience. Remember Dick Marcinko's Ten Commandments of SPECWAR, especially the one that reads: "The more thou bleedest in combat, the lest thou bleedest in war." Also, without prior knowledge of the area, you are best inclined to wait out the aggressor until you have an advantage. Make every available use of cover. Never forget your six o'clock position. Always, always check out every nook and cranny for a Bad Guy. Unless you are absolutely certain that an area is clear beforehand, check it out. What you may assume to be clear really could hold a bad guy.
Republican Ronnie said it before, and I will say it again, "Trust, but verify!"