Playing op-for at the shoot house.

Got to try a new role at the shoot house: opposition forces, or op-for, as we call it.

Check out the video below for a quick view of what we did, and I’ll talk about it in a little detail after.

Obviously it’s a lot of fun to run around kicking doors and shooting guns, but there’s a pretty serious undertone to everything done at the shoot house. There’s an unspoken understanding that everything done in that building is for a real, very grave, high-risk application that forms the razor’s edge between life and death for military, law enforcement, and a very small group of concealed carriers.

Being op-for wasn’t new for me, I played the role before during my time in the Army, so there were a few basic rules I knew going in:

  1. It’s not about you.
  2. Do what you’re told.
  3. Good guys never die.

Then there’s a couple more rules that will make op-for fun and give the people training a great learning environment:

  1. Engage quickly, and break contact quicker.
  2. Cheat. Use deep background cover, rat holes, shadows, and obstacles to lure and trap the clearing team.
  3. Try not to get shot.

You’re gonna get shot.

The clearing team can’t die, even if they fail, so op-for has to perish for the scenarios to end. Very few times have I seen a team fail so badly that the instructors shout “end-ex” (End exercise! I always thought they were saying “index”).

So for each scenario, my partner and I would work independently or as a fire team to engage the clearing team early in the shoot house and then resurrect at the instructor’s…instruction…and lie in wait to engage the team deeper in the shoot house.

It was a pretty fun experience that I’m going to do regularly because I got some valuable CQB tactics training out of it, as well as reinforcing my muscle memory with the AR15’s controls and reloads.

I recommend finding  shoot house or turning your own house into one with airsoft guns.


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