Individual Task 1-1: Prepare for Combat
Before you can play, of course you have to be prepared. Like any other hobby, Airsoft requires equipment. You wouldn?t play football without a helmet ? and you shouldn?t play Airsoft without the right tools to play well.
At a minimum, you will need these to play Airsoft:
Eye Protection - Check the MAA Charter and Safety Manual for proper specifications.
BDU or other combat clothing
Magazines ? 3 or more are recommended.
Carrying system ? LBE, vest, or other system
Batteries ? at least one backup battery is recommended.
Your gear needs to be quiet, secure, and accessible. Let?s look at each of these in detail:
Noise discipline is key in the field. An enemy player may not see you, but if they hear you that will quickly get their attention.
Make sure you secure (with tape or other materials) metal and moving parts (for example, weapon slings, canteen cups, identification tags) to prevent them from making noise during movement. Keep hicaps ?topped off? and secure in their pouches to keep the ?hicap rattle? to a minimum.
If you are taping parts of your AEG, make sure it does not interfere with the operation of the gun. Remember, you may need to access your hopup, change batteries, or use the sights in the field.
AEG accessories such as tac-lights, suppressors, and scopes might look cool, but take a moment consider if they are practical. Do you really need a tac-light during the day? Does the cool ?look? of a suppressor make your gun too long to maneuver? Don?t forget about weight ? as the day goes on, your gun doesn?t get any lighter.
Remember that ?quick-detach? items are just that, and are prone to falling off. Make sure you backup the QD system with tape or zip ties. Real soldiers do this, so you should too.
Make sure your gear is properly secured. Inexperienced players are prone to leaving a ?gear trail? behind them as they maneuver on the field. More than one player has been let down by a teammate who is searching for lost gear instead of watching his buddy's back.
An ammo pouch is easy to replace, but the $100 worth of magazines in it are not. While most Refs and other players may pick up your gear for you after your drop it, a lot of times when something is lost in the field, it stays lost.
If you have a hydration system, make sure the drinking tube does not flop around. You don?t need the distraction in the field. Also be sure to test your hydration for leaks. Getting wet in the field can be inevitable, but a system that leaks is robbing you of water you will need.
Ensure your gear is durable enough for Airsoft use. Check fastening devices, snaps, and zippers to make sure they work properly. If you use modular gear, such as ALICE, MOLLE, or STRIKE, make sure detachable pouches are secured attached. ?Backing up? the attachment system by tying it on with paracord or zip-ties is recommended.
While you do ?get what you pay for? gear doesn?t have to be expensive. ALICE systems, which have been used effectively by the US military for nearly 50 years, can be found very cheaply. If price is a consideration when choosing your gear, a proven effective military surplus item will usually serve you better than a cheap copy of the latest tactical fashion.
Last, but by no means least, is accessibility. If you can?t get to your gear, it?s no good to you. Before you go into the field, put your gear on and practice moving around. Make sure your gear does not encumber your movement, or prevent you from getting into a good firing position. Be sure to check and see if you can reach your magazines, radio, and other equipment you might need.
Knowledge is Power
Having the right gear is important, but just as important is knowing what you need to do. Prior to the start of the game, the team leader should brief all of his team members. This briefing should include the following information:
1. The team?s overall mission
2. A tactical plan for accomplishing the mission
3. Any contingency plans
4. Chain of Command ? who will be leading the team
5. Communications, including how to identify other team members ? passwords, uniforms, radio call signs and channels.
It?s also important to understand any special rules for the game you will be playing in. These can include regens, medic rules, out-of-bounds areas, and other rules regarding gameplay. As a player, it?s your responsibility to know this information. Check out your teammates too ? if they don?t have this information, be sure to pass it on.
Don?t be the Weak Link
If you aren?t prepared for the game, you will be letting your teammates down. They are counting on you to watch their back, and you need to have the right equipment to do that. Being properly outfitted is not just about your enjoyment of the game, but your teammates too.
(C) ATAC 2005. All rights reserved.
Forum dedicated to the MAA Sanctioned Basic Airsoft Training Course (BATC). An Airsoft Bootcamp weekend teaching basic Airsoft safety as well as individual and squad tactics.
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