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Train hard/fight easy? Or, train easy/fight hard and die?

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:50 pm
by Jack
We have all heard the motto of "train hard/fight easy." Which is to say make thing difficult on yourself in training and in combat hopefully your training will kick in and it will seem easy.

I believe in this motto, but often times what we are really doing is "train easy/fight hard and die."

This thread is about doing things right. This is a "debrief" if you will. A chance to share about common mistakes people make in training that will get them in trouble on game day.

Here is an example of what I am talking about. I HATE ending a shooting drill with an empty weapon. However, many times when other people run a drill they design it so that if it is a 50 round course, you have 50 rounds, when you run out of ammo, your done.

What? Wouldn't running out of ammo be the worst moment in a fight? I am programing myself to stop fighting once I run out of ammo and don't have anymore magazines? Is that what I really want to do on the street? No. I better be getting out of their or be beating the crap out of the guy with an empty weapon.

Why not instead run a 45 round course, that way when the drill is over, you can unload the remaining 5 rounds?

Dose that make sense to anybody? Or is it just me?

What are some examples of this type of thing have you noticed?

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:49 am
by jimothy_183
You've probably read this already but in this article written by Jason Wuestenburg it explains how teams should train force on force with no tactical equipment except for one weapon system for each operator as well as facing bad guys who are ready to shoot to kill and are better than you in terms of skills.

The reason for this is obviously to make the scenario as hard as it possibly can be so that everything else you will face will become easier for you. Train hard, fight easy.

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:12 am
by Jack
Certainly force on force training is a must, however this doesn't cancel out other forms of training, such as traditional range work.

The key is to layer your training, or as the military calls it, CRAWL, WALK, RUN.

But I agree, if you never get to the RUN stage, in this case, force on force training, then you are not training hard.

Good post.

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:47 pm
by jcheng14
Actually, this was noticed by me not long ago as well. I play highly competitive CQB airsoft now and run one of the most successful teams in the area.

We regularly get marines from Quantico, State police or Local police units, and have SWAT train or play at our facility.

Technically, these operators are very good, but when put up against 13 year olds, they as often as not fail. You would think that these people training for most of their lives could easily wipe the floor with some kids that have been playing airsoft for the last 3 months.

The thing is, when you train you train with rules. People should be here or here, they are never over there. People should not do that. Etc. Same thing with the ammunition counts. The rules of the range and training courses do not necessarily apply to real life. I've seen one kid slide around a corner and take out 4 SWAT members simply because they do not expect to be attacked as they move through the course. The mindset of "we are going after them and they are running and hiding" does not work any longer. Neither does the mindset of "they do not want to be shot" Iraq and Afghanistan show they will come and keep coming, simply to kill one of our soldiers.

Again, force on force training is a must. But you would also want to mix it up with people not generally associated with the same tactics. Back in the day, pilots trained against aircraft of the same type. Nowadays they practice dogfighting against all different sorts of planes. This allows them to break out of the "what we can do, and what they can do" "or what is a stupid tactic and what is not" etc.

Jack - In my opinion, it would be more valuable to run a 50 round course with perhaps less then 50 rounds. We have several rigged training scenarios that present a worst case scenario unexpectedly. Having used them has probably contributed to our team being one of the finest in the area.

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:16 am
by jimothy_183
I know what you mean with the mixing up of scenarios. I must admit that my team is used to the classic attack/defend scenario often seen in CQB where the bad guys are waiting for thee good guys to come get them and is not at all used to the scenario where the bad guys are more aggressive and are coming towards the good guys.

Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:04 am
by Jack
When both sides are armed and ready to fight such as in an airsoft match it is going to be messy. 50/50 is a bad thing and of course both sides are going to suffer casualties. Real world isn't about 50/50. It's about doing everything to avoid 50/50.

Airsoft has its value but it doesn't begin to replicate real life. If the 13 year old kids found themselves in a real combat environment they would be begging and pleading for the SWAT guys to protect them.

You see it is Airsoft that actually restricts tactics and introduces rules that do not exist in real life. Imagine an airsoft game where red team goes into a house and waits for the blue team to attack. Instead of entering blue team takes up covered positions around the house then calls green team and black team to help trap the other team in the house. Now they call red team in the house and tell them that if they don't give up they will send a dog in to bite them and if that doesn't work they will put C/S gas in the house and make red team come outside to play.

I'm not against airsoft, but I'm just saying..........

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:00 am
by geryban
Airsoft is a good fun, and a good simulation system.
What will do the blue team, if have no K9, gas, or CAT, or Air strike, or handgrenade? How can U simulate a home defense situation "mano a mano"? With airsoft (simunition is better, and.... much more expensive). I think, FOF trainings is very important.
Fact: It cant simulate some things: combat stess, mortal fear, and...death. This three things why the red guys put there hands to the air maybe. If not, they will kill the dogs, use gasmasks, know the blue guys SOPs, well trained, overdosed, armored, and they have AKs, and PKMs, have warskills from Bosnia, and they mined all entries....

Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:38 am
by Nightwolf
I agree with that the airsoft can not simulate the "combat stress".

In that case if you don't have dog, gas etc I would use 2 team to go in. Both of them with "blown entry". Why? Because if you blast the door in it will detonate the other device was planted against you. So you have a "clear" entry.
The second team should go through the wall(blast entry also). Both of them using shield, light(fight with light-thats why we teach it) and flashbangs.
The blast sound, smoke, light, entry from where they don't expect can help you. If they use PKM that means the machinegunner is slow(not easy operating with PKM especialy in rooms).
This is how I would do. Sometimes we have to hit a fly with hammer, right?!

The other part: I agree with Jack 100%. Thats not good if you run out of ammo. Just check the operation Nimrod when the terrorist was hidden between innocent. What if you have to shoot him down (while searching people) and you don't have ammo-because you think the fight is over...but not.

Re: Train hard/fight easy? Or, train easy/fight hard and di

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:32 pm
by badger
I hate arrears. Jack mentioned range and 50 bullets. If you have not bullets, you have baton, knife, hands, legs and head, finish your work.

I hate CQB training like this.
Shooting in Killhouse, you have several targets, Tangos and Sierras. If somebody train clearing the structures (I talk about the LEO mainly) cant replace it with IPSC shooting.
When we train, each target is treat. The treat is elminate only when I secure it.
Explanation: Target = Man with gun cloth in jacket. I shot him two times in chest. We secure the area (room), then we must secure the "target". When I shot I decided it, because he has a gun in his hand. I have to check if is he realy "dead", if he hasnt BP vest .... "handcuff" him and put the gun away from him. Only then I can move on.

Re: Train hard/fight easy? Or, train easy/fight hard and di

Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:22 pm
by geryban
IPSC forever! :mrgreen:

Re: Train hard/fight easy? Or, train easy/fight hard and di

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:58 pm
by tacticalguy
I don't train for specific scenarios outside of bare parameters. I feel that operators MUST understand that by dint of it's very nature, combat is a very fluid animal. Operators who train for specific operations with hard limits are limited. Operators should be flexible within their roles and cross trained to take over ANY team member's role. The more training and the more "out of the box" it is, the better. Interestingly enough, I've seen some airsoft combat scenarios that were VERY ingenious in their approach to "standard" ops. Train in all kinds of weather, train with prosthetic braces, even, to simulate the stress of overcoming a wounded arm or leg and still completing the mission. Always remember Murphy's Fourth Law of Combat, "Professional soldiers are predictable unfortunately, the world is full of dangerous amateurs." They don't know the rules of your "playbook".

Re: Train hard/fight easy? Or, train easy/fight hard and di

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:14 am
by Ryan
Great post tacticalguy. A lot of cross-training comes into that, and having secondary or tertiary roles. Especially a small team, you have to be ready to adapt - that means you have to be pretty generalised in what others do and how they do it, some being specialised for assisting or taking over.

@Badger. How do you certify death for that scenario? Poke the eye with your barrel? :P Check pulse?

Re: Train hard/fight easy? Or, train easy/fight hard and di

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:51 am
by badger
We checking the hits. When we train force on force we can simulate more realistic wounds and behavior of suspects and operators.