A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hook up with Roy Mobsby of Delta Team 3 – a former British Army small arms instructor who served many years as a Grunt in the Parachute Regiment and is also a PSD operator and trainer. So on a nice wet soggy Sunday morning in late November I trekked down to Sopley Camp near Bournemouth to see how a local martial arts club came to terms with some milsim training of a different sort.
Given the limited opportunities for real shooting in this country, and the restrictive gun laws, it was no surprise that most of these lads had never handled or shot a gun before – or even been trained how to shoot. So first on the agenda – after they’d warmed up by knocking each other around a bit – was a basic introduction to weapons functioning, feeding and handling; various shooting positions; and finally, BBs downrange for some target practice on the indoor range. All of this was conducted using milsim airsoft weapons.
After a lunch of grilled burgers and bacon rolls, we all got tooled up for the outdoor tactical lessons and some fast-paced mil-sim, force-on-force CQB skirmishing. With myself and the lead martial arts instructor as assistants, Roy showed the group just how difficult house-to-house fighting can be – as the 3 of us were able to repeatedly eliminate or tie-down a force 4 times our size in numbers. But after several more attempts, and getting a feel for the layout of the buildings, the lads were able to maneuver through our blind spots and take us out by assaulting both ends of the building at once – whilst having over-watch elements in place at the front and rear.
But the tables were most definitely turned when it came time for the lads to try and flush me out of the specially-adapted “killing house”. This building is the old enlisted men’s mess hall – but all of the windows and front door have been boarded up so that virtually no natural light penetrates the interior, and the only way in is via the back, kitchen door (simulating a “mouse-hole” through the wall). The lads rather quickly learned that a lone gunman can put a stop to a much larger force – especially if he sticks to the darkest shadows and never shoots twice from the same spot. Several also learned the hard way about the importance of tactical use of a torch / flashlight – as every flick of the switch was greeted with a well-aimed burst of automatic fire. Eventually, they got the hang of working in pairs, communicating well between each other and moving in a coordinated advance – until at last they had me trapped in the far corner, and going out in a suicidal blaze of glory was the only option left.
Overall, the thing that impressed me the most was seeing how a bunch of guys who were total newbies to everything airsoft and tactical became quite passable airsoft players by the end of the day – and in fact were more tactically-proficient than a lot of milsim airsofters I see who’ve got ALL the “right” kit, but no idea really on how to use it. So that just leaves me to ask in conclusion: What do you want to be? A poser, or a fighter?