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Tactics, Techniques and Procedures

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Old November 22nd, 2009, 01:57   #16
Kimbo
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Picking the command structure 'the day of' sucks for everyone involved. They should be selected as far as possible in advance so they can have a plan on how command will be structured come game day.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 02:42   #17
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I've been trying to wrap my head around how the CF Leadership Institute can be of assistance to this thread and here are some thoughts.

Flexibility of command structure: I think that the only thing that games will have in common will be that there is a person or persons in command. Leadership must be adaptive to the team (direct vs indirect) and to circumstances.

Simplicity: Milsim is just that, simulation, and as a result, there is no way in hell that participants will have the training, education and professional development that is found in soldiers, sailors and airmen and women. There's no place in airsoft for the full Operational Planning Process, nor joint targeting and so on. Accordingly, it is a grave mistake to overthink planning and execution.

Situating yourself: Airsoft is played at the tactical level, with some improvisation and assumption on the operational and strategic level. Since there is no joint staff, no J2 Int or J5 Plans, most of the higher stuff is played out by the game admin (Kokanee and Brian come to mind as excellent examples of this). As a result, it is the role of the tactical commander (likely Capt) to organize his or her company to directly effect the fire and movement necessary to acheive his or her operational commander's (LCol, HQ not participating) aims of mass and maneuvre (the operational level).
In short, you dictate the fire and movement only, the rest is out of your control.

With that in mind, the Company commander, his senior NCM, and his platoon commanders (Lt) with their own senior NCM, divided up into sections/squads whatever (some Recce/ Sniper dets in there too). To keep things lean, the senior NCMs could act as right hand men and I don't see much use in DCOs, nor do I see much value in having Int O, or Sig Ops in airsoft. While I'm also not a huge fan of the separate radio guy in airsoft at the company command level, but I'm sure whoever does it has their reasons.

Problem: That's alot of leaders. But the placement of the staff is very important. An institutional leader (the Coy OC) should select his small team leaders based on their ability to follow orders and their soldiering skills (orienteering, communications etc) while Platoon commanders and the Coy OC himself, should focus on their ability to implement the commander's guidance through effective interpersonal skills and team management. As far as arriving at that plan, organizational flexibility: maybe Coy OC gets together a fake Operational level staff with a J2 and a J5 and does the stuff that I outlined in "Operational Planning and you..."

In a perfect world:
Squad leader...................Platoon Leader................................Company OC
Linear thinking -----------------------------> Creative thinking, agility, adaptability
Soldiering ----------------------------------> Organization, people skills, inspiration etc

Last edited by scottyfox; November 22nd, 2009 at 02:58.. Reason: Some people write drunk posts about wrestlers, I write about command...
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 00:49   #18
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Ill Add

To what Scottyfox said

All AS ops are tactical in their nature..

Where many commanders fall down is widening the scope beyond their ability to control.

Company sized operations in airsoft in Canada are very rare.. consequently few ever get any practice keeping 100 people on task.

Simple structures and simple tactics will have greater success than complex movements.

Airsofters tend to have the attention spans of 3 year olds ... and getting groups of them moving in any one direction akin to herding cats. In these situations effective leaders can always make the difference.

The biggest mistake I have seen with many people who Fancy themselves leaders make is getting caught up in individual combat while forgetting that they need to be directing fire and movement... many engagements grind to a halt and devolve to at range plinking.

The company Commander hasn't a hope of execution of any action if his section commanders can't engage.. win and move on.

I know lots of guys that could be capable Jr leaders and have a decisive effect on the field if they just stood up and said something.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 13:47   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian McIlmoyle View Post
Where many commanders fall down is widening the scope beyond their ability to control.

Company sized operations in airsoft in Canada are very rare.. consequently few ever get any practice keeping 100 people on task.

Airsofters tend to have the attention spans of 3 year olds ... and getting groups of them moving in any one direction akin to herding cats. In these situations effective leaders can always make the difference.

The company Commander hasn't a hope of execution of any action if his section commanders can't engage.. win and move on.

I know lots of guys that could be capable Jr leaders and have a decisive effect on the field if they just stood up and said something.
With large games being rare and few opprotunities to do planning and execution, how can we build this thread as a 'Huh, I'll think about it".

I've also seen that the Jr Leaders need to be decisive (as you stated), but how many of them actually have that drive to -be- decisive. So often they're wishy washy in asking their people to do things, sometimes a good yelling is what's needed.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 13:50   #20
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When it comes to Nominating a Commander - the Event host would select those that they know would be up to the task. Sorry if I worded it to sound like have the players nominate or vote for.
No worries, the issue is that I've seen large events where the commanders are nominated. It takes a long time to actually build concensus to elect a Commander. You've lost half your development time to nominations, and then there are numerous threads on a variety of tactics or proceedures and trying to sort the wheat from the chaff and build a concise tactical plan that players & Jr Leaders can -find- then becomes a challenge for all involved.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 14:18   #21
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With large games being rare and few opprotunities to do planning and execution, how can we build this thread as a 'Huh, I'll think about it".

I've also seen that the Jr Leaders need to be decisive (as you stated), but how many of them actually have that drive to -be- decisive. So often they're wishy washy in asking their people to do things, sometimes a good yelling is what's needed.
Leadership is not about being loud.. and yelling .. it's about knowing when to be loud.. and when to yell.. and when not to.

The issue is that a large part of effective leadership has to do with trust.. if you have just met someone today... it's not that easy to subject yourself to their will .. particularly if you don't have to.

I've seen lots of games where everyone stands around the "commander" nodding and agreeing to a course of action then as soon as they are out of sight saying "screw that.. lets go get some action"

Most Airsofters are not diciplied enough to be content with tasks as assigned.. they came to "play" and "playing" means running around shooting stuff,, not sitting in defense watching a defined arc of fire.

From an airsoft standpoint a big part of the leader's job ( which simply does not exist in RW ) is ensuring that everyone has a good game and they enjoy themselves.. and seeing that tasks perceived as "better" are shared fairly.
Often rotating people out of tasks will reduce operational effectvness.. but in AS sense your success as a leader has a lot to do with the "fun quotient" experienced by the players , Obviously a perception of "winning" games goes a long way to people's perception of fun.. Being on the "winning" team is fun even if what you ended up doing may have been less fun.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 19:44   #22
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What we had to do on our sim days is assign rank- people who stay on task and play within the spirit of the mission were promoted and the fuck ups who screwed around or were not team players were not. After a season we now have a list of players that we can rely on to work as an effective 'Blue' team, good players and leaders who follow orders and commands- we also have a list of people who make great 'untrained' rebels and insurgents who dont listen to a damm thing and can be counted on to play in a chaotic and untrained fashion lol.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 02:30   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian McIlmoyle View Post
Leadership is not about being loud.. and yelling .. it's about knowing when to be loud.. and when to yell.. and when not to.

The issue is that a large part of effective leadership has to do with trust.. if you have just met someone today... it's not that easy to subject yourself to their will .. particularly if you don't have to.

I've seen lots of games where everyone stands around the "commander" nodding and agreeing to a course of action then as soon as they are out of sight saying "screw that.. lets go get some action"

Most Airsofters are not diciplied enough to be content with tasks as assigned.. they came to "play" and "playing" means running around shooting stuff,, not sitting in defense watching a defined arc of fire.

From an airsoft standpoint a big part of the leader's job ( which simply does not exist in RW ) is ensuring that everyone has a good game and they enjoy themselves.. and seeing that tasks perceived as "better" are shared fairly.
Often rotating people out of tasks will reduce operational effectvness.. but in AS sense your success as a leader has a lot to do with the "fun quotient" experienced by the players , Obviously a perception of "winning" games goes a long way to people's perception of fun.. Being on the "winning" team is fun even if what you ended up doing may have been less fun.
Something silly to add. Leadership is not about how competent or organized you are. Having the Best organization and plans is not effective leadership being competent, walking the talk are two of the many factors of effective leadership.

Airsoft is not RW, it is more like a team sport football or soccer. When you are in the championship game everyone on the team wants ice time. You need to rotate people around and make sure that people have a crack being part of the 'team'
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Old November 26th, 2009, 14:24   #24
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When you are in the championship game everyone on the team wants ice time. You need to rotate people around and make sure that people have a crack being part of the 'team'
So, how do you rotate units around when units don't follow orders?

The best that I can figure is hope that the game has mulitiple scenarios and have people on the 'front' for one scenario, then in 'guard' for a different scenario.

Now, I just have to figure out how the elite units (i.e. actually have a structure, obey orders, and are goal orientated) need to figure into this.

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Old November 26th, 2009, 14:49   #25
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I think a good aproach for airsoft would be the one used by Mujahadeen commanders in the 1970 Afghan war with the russian.

Since most of the mujahadeen where farmers and other jihadist, all they wanted was some trigger time on the infidels. They did not want to participate in long, complex operations. And keeping them organised and in position was as complex as herding cats.

So they kept it simple. With limited comm, they organised simple but effective groupes that each had simple orders and erea of activity.

To study their SOP, I highly recommand the book: Afghan guerrilla warfare, by Ali Ahmad Jalali and Lester W. Grau. Very detailled battle report with maps and commentary by the person involved in the command of each battle, when available.

I use some of it's principle when organising milsim with people not part of team that are not cohesive on their own.

Also, having team releave other team on boring but essencial mission is a big plus. It allow a team on Surveillance to have some trigger time, it make some movement on the field for the opfor to respond, and it create a momentum of action. + it keep moral high.

Moral is something rarely taken care off in airsoft. When a team is successfull on it's ennemy, the ennemy moral get low, for real. And the bitching start, and the chairsofters start to camp in the base, chatting about their newly aquired musle break that is sooooo nice... A good CO will notice this shift in morale and exploite it. Either by attacking demoralised troop to gain more gorund or objective, or to send demoralised troop on candy mission with rapid and easy success.
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Old November 26th, 2009, 17:05   #26
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I highly recommand the book: Afghan guerrilla warfare, by Ali Ahmad Jalali and Lester W. Grau. Very detailled battle report with maps and commentary by the person involved in the command of each battle, when available.
This book? Just double checking, because I agree with your analysis. And I like your term "Candy Mission". I think I'm going to create a book thread...
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Old November 26th, 2009, 17:39   #27
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Moral is something rarely taken care off in airsoft. When a team is successfull on it's ennemy, the ennemy moral get low, for real. And the bitching start, and the chairsofters start to camp in the base, chatting about their newly aquired musle break that is sooooo nice... A good CO will notice this shift in morale and exploite it. Either by attacking demoralised troop to gain more gorund or objective, or to send demoralised troop on candy mission with rapid and easy success.
I was at a game like that over the summer (and it had self nominated CO's which is as noted not a good idea).

Team A and B spent the most of the morning bumping each other and then finally settled into a grinding shootout with A surrounding B's defensive position. After some time A started to feel the spirit of the game wasn't being followed and complaints started.

The organizers called a break and split the groups up. After the break most of A stayed in the safe area while B re-occupied their base.

B then waited for A to show up and re-initiate the festivities to no avail; B then picked up en masse and went looking for A. At this point the remaining A players, infiltrated the B base, snatched the VIP, and then transported him to their base and ran out the clock.

One lesson from that was that a team with radio net in a big event can make all the difference even when out gunned.

As an aside this is not a poke at the CO of Team A. He was about the youngest, greenest guy in the group it appeared and he was picked by the group as no one wanted to the CO (myself included).
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Old November 26th, 2009, 17:52   #28
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This book? Just double checking, because I agree with your analysis. And I like your term "Candy Mission". I think I'm going to create a book thread...
That's the one!
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