US Troop Support

US Troop Support

One year ago today, the United States was attacked by terrorists and over 3,000 of our fellow citizens and visitors to our country were killed, murdered in cold blood. Many hundreds more were injured. We remember them and their loved ones today. praises and wishes to encourage the men and women of our armed forces who train and prepare daily toprotect us at home and abroad. recently paid a visit to Danger Zone Paintball at Fort Lewis, a United States Army post near Tacoma, Washington in the very northwest of the United States.
Nick Goobin and his wife Denize are owners and operators of Danger Zone Paintball. Aside from providing recreational paintball games to the public, their field is also used to help United States Army troops prepare for specific types of military action using paintball equipment.
Paintball is not a good fit for traditional infantry, armor and artillery skills and situations. It is, however, very useful in simulated training situations for cavalry troops who use small group maneuver and mobility tactics and come in contact with the enemy through ambush and in urban situations; combat in close to the enemy in unplanned or unexpected situations.
The need for a new approach to training became apparent after the analysis of US troop involvement in Somalia in the 1990s. If you have seen the movie, Blackhawk Down, you got a glimpse of what US soldiers in Somalia faced and what they need to be prepared to face in the future. You can imagine a simulated village or city and unexpected encounters between small groups of opposing troops. If you have seen the movie, We Were Soldiers, you can imagine a large field paintball scenario encounter with a group of players surrounded and defending themselves from attack after attack.
How will soldiers react to sudden, close in contact combat? How will they communicate? How will they react to loss of on field leaders? How can they practice the leadership and group skills they will need to survive and be victorious? How will they conserve their supplies so that they can continue the battle until reinforced or withdrawn?
At Fort Lewis, some leaders are using the training potential of paintball equipment to help answer the questions asked above. Troops spend the morning in the classroomdiscussing the skills and tactics they will use in the simulations on the paintball field. In the afternoon they take the “textbook” to the field and experience the stress and duress of sudden ambush. When the paintballs start flying, the adrenaline kicks in and the simulation becomes real, or as real as you can get without lead bullets and the overpowering noise and smell of a real firefight. Squad leaders get to experience the “heat and fog” of battle and the troops see the importance of teamwork and communication to survive. The best part of it is that they can do it again and again until it becomes “second nature,” without injuries and at low cost.

When it comes to urban warfare, highly trained teams can practice entering buildings to clear them. They practice a “room clearing” exercise that begins with a clear plan to get them into the room and eliminate the enemy without endangering civilians. They enter through “the funnel of death” which is their term for the doorway. In short order the room or building is “cleared.” In larger structures with multiple rooms, they practice “flow drills” to clear the structure. They follow “the path of least resistance” to eliminate the enemy within.

Other systems such as MILES (Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement Systems) are used for other training situations, but anyone who has even had a “rec ball” paintball encounter knows how the adrenaline flows and how important teamwork, leadership and communication are to team victory. salutes the United States Army for its willingness to take a look at the value of training with paintball equipment for appropriate combat simulations.

Our appreciation and prayers go out to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces on this anniversary date of the Attack on America. Thank you for your dedication and willingness to put yourselves “in harm’s” way to protect us, our great nation and our way of life.

'Light Towers' photo courtesy of

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