Updated: Mar 23
We've always wanted to incorporate air assets into Blackline events. To do it our way, we needed a company that could train our teams in proper procedures and have the confidence to drop them off and pick them up wherever we needed them deployed. We found that company in North Bay.
Blackline partnered with Helicopters Canada to develop a training program for air assault personnel. On 13MAR21, we ran our first Rotary Wing Operations training.
We brought along Anthony G. to document the experience. He's produced an amazing video that illustrates what it's like to undertake a mission at Blackline. Take a look, and then read on for photos and outcomes!
To create a capable team, our participants spent the morning focusing on learning entry, exit, and stowage procedures along with the safe areas around the helicopter. During the repetitions, teams could identify any issues with their equipment and make modifications before their mission.
With their morning of orientation complete, we moved our teams into the mission phase.
Hours before their arrival in North Bay, a local militia had raided an intelligence safehouse and stole a laptop containing operation and asset information. With the vehicle quickly moving out of the area, our air assault team RAVEN used helicopters to get in front of the militia vehicles and establish an ambush.
Teams inserted in two waves, using AS350s (callsigns CONDOR 131 and 63). The pilots swooped in at treetop height and deployed teams near a cliff in a quarry.
RAVEN teams infiltrated to the ambush position. Thigh-deep snow and uneven terrain slowed their progress; however, personnel were in place by 1500h.
The militia vehicle passing through the area had deployed infantry in a screen to the front and rear. Unfortunately, militia screening forces spotted one of the RAVEN team members, and the ambush had to be triggered early.
Despite being spotted, RAVEN moved quickly and was able to disable the vehicle as well as the militia forces. There in the back of the vehicle was the target laptop.
CONDOR fired up and met RAVEN elements on a nearby plateau and extracted all personnel back to the operations center.
The Rotary Wing Ops course was an extremely successful training operation. Participants learned new skills, had a chance to apply them until competent, and then put them to the test in a high-stakes one-off mission. Keep an eye on our Events page for the next Rotary Wing Training!
A special thanks to:
Nipissing Airsoft and the North Bay Airsoft Community - OPFOR and Hospitality
Rotary Wing Operations Class 001 - 12 Lunatics
Helicopters Canada (and Pilots of Condor 63 and 131!) - Outstanding professionals