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Tuesday, June 8, 2004  12:00 a.m.

The new era in realistic scenario training is "force on force" training.  Simply, officers participating in the training now have to worry about bad guys that shoot back as opposed to prior days of red rubber or blank guns.  What seriously lacked from the traditional training was instilling an instinct to seek cover for the participants.  Now, when the risk of pain becomes part of the equation, this instinct will form.  As one source said, "There is nothing like fear of pain to sharpen concentration."


Agencies are achieving a force on force training program in three main ways.

First, FATS machines are coming equipped with "shoot-back" technology.  Operators of the system can now fire at participants using .68 caliber foam balls.  FATS machines offer numerous, pre-recorded scenarios ranging from high school shootings to motor vehicle stops.  The technology and capabilities of the system are too numerous to list.

Simunition is also becoming more common in academy  and in-service training.  Actual service weapons are converted to be able to use non-lethal Simunition rounds.  (When converted, they will not be able to fire standard ammunition)  The converted weapons can then be used in realistic scenarios where, if cover is not properly utilized, the participant risks getting shot with the semi-painful, Simunition round.

Finally, some agencies are utilizing Airsoft guns. 

Airsoft guns are basically BB guns.  They are full-size 1:1 scale replicas of real firearms. They feature a propulsion system utilizing a small amount of air to fire a 6 mm plastic BB at 200-450 fps with semi and fully automatic action depending on the weapon.

Airsoft guns are essentially of three types. There are spring powered guns in which you must pull back the slide for each shot. Most practical Airsoft pistols run on a gas driven mechanism. “Green gas” is the most popular gas used. The gas is usually injected into a reservoir chamber within the gun or magazine. The latest Airsoft gas guns incorporate a “blowback” effect which causes the slide of the gun to cycle.

Airsoft guns are the most affordable way of achieving a force on force training program.  

Either way, all agencies should start looking toward implementing a force on force training program.


Click here to visit the FATS website.

Click here to visit the Simunition website.

Click here to visit the Airsoft website

Tuesday, June 8, 2004  12:00 a.m.




Before beginning any force on force training program with FATS, Simunition ammunition, or Airsoft guns, prior approval should first be obtained for the proper legal authority as well as from the highest levels of chain of command.  Both Airsoft and Simunition training have a potential for injury during realistic scenario law enforcement training.  Only for Military, Police, Corrections, State Police Sheriffs and other similar law enforcement agencies.


Force on Force Training

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