GFTS was formed as an International Joint Combat Training Facility for all squads originally playing Delta Force, Rogue Spear and Urban Operations – now ARMA3. The 12 week course aims to take some of the burden off squads in training new recruits, by offering a course compiled by currently serving and ex-military personell, many of who served in SF units themselves.

The basis of the course is to train new recruits in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) of  military combat, followed by basic training, weapons phase, bush phase and urban operations. Then, Hell Week (week 12) during  which candidates will  be subjected to five days of combat exercises alone against Instructors in which their dedication, combat skills and endurance will be tried and tested.

Only the top 50% of those  who complete Hell Week will go on to Active Service and be awarded the GFTS beret. The rest will be RTU’d (Returned to Unit). Every action of recruits will be fully documented and reported in an online system that each squad CO can access to view the performance of his recruits.

In a nutshell. The main purpose of GFTS is a selection process – a process to eliminate the not serious from the dependable and dedicated. Candidates must have staying power. Those who fail these 12 weeks, may return to try GFTS selection once only.

Selection Criteria

  • You must have a working copy of ARMA3 with the latest patches.
  • RS Candidates who plan to apply for Section Leaders Training will need to acquire SWAT 3 as well.

  • You must be prepared to obtain both sim’s if requested for training purposes.

  • You will make yourself available for training at least twice a week and in Hell Week every night for seven consecutive days.

Overview – The Basics

Candidates spend the first 3 weeks at Camp Hell in what is known as the “weeding process”. Emphasis is placed on timeliness to be online, ability to make RV’s, general map reading and route planning skills. Subjected often to sheer boredom or repetitiveness, the idea is chop the number of recruits down to 50% in the first 3 weeks. Instructors use this time to form a good evaluation of the candidates basic skills and nature. Course Material consists of a fair amount of theoretical training tested sometimes in the thick of a skirmish.

Using the vast maps of ARMA, candidates will have to make RV checkpoints, kilometer’s apart, which are timed to allow only for a few seconds in error. Challenged by Instructors at each checkpoint, candidates would be asked theoretical questions. Failing to make a RV or answer correctly, means failing the course.

Throughout the 12 weeks, online activity is increased consistently to make further demands on the candidates, dropping the time wasters by the wayside.

Basic combat and patrol skills are covered, such as OP’s, LUP’s, Emergency RV’s, camouflage and movement techniques. Game Hosting, radio comms skills are also tested.

Weapons Phase

Those who made it to week 4, begin DF Weapons Phase. Training covers all use of weapons including theory. At the end of the week the candidates have to pass the “live fire” exercise, in which they are tested on each weapon. Tests here include for example

M4 – Stationery targets – one shot @ 300,500,800
M4 – Moving target – three shot @ 300,500,800

Candidates get one chance at this. You have to be able to deliver a 40mm grenade through a window  from up to 300m away – or fail selection.

Week 5 moves candidates out of the bush into RS Weapons phase. Familiarity and testing of RS weapons will be conducted by 51Recce Instructors with a  “live fire” exercise at the end of the week.

Continuation Training

This is probably where most candidates will drop out, or some come into an element of their own here. DF and RS candidates are split. ARMA recruits spend the next 3 weeks in the bush learning combat skills, such as fire and movement, immediate action (IA) drills, causing diversionary raids, intelligence (recon) gathering, directing sniper and SAW fire, escape and evasion techniques, search and locate, ambushing, etc.

RS candidates go to FanDance for advanced urban operations training, including room entry and clearing techniques, door breaching, covering fire procedures etc. Mistakes are counted, those who repeat mistakes get dropped. They would be threat to the team and themselves.

The 4th week at continuation, the teams are reversed i.e. ARMA recruits go to RS and vice versa for a week of urban or rural combat training.

Advanced MOS

The few that are left now  choose a specialty that will remain with them throughout their careers. They will  spend 2 weeks with advanced training in the chosen MOS (be it sniper, SAW, electronics or demolitions). For example SAW gunners will be taught how to move most effective in a patrol to provide maximum covering fire to the troop, snipers how to recon ahead unseen and direct movement. Candidates also choose and train in a secondary MOS.

Section Leaders

Those applying for Section Leaders at this stage are split from the training to a further 3 weeks of theory and practical training. At the end they need to be able to lead a 4 man patrol in combat, being able to plan, brief and execute successful attacks on various targets. RS Section Leaders will spend time in SWAT 3 learning how to direct and move their troop. Failing Section Leaders means RTU (Return to Unit) and back to Week 12.

Hell Week

Week 12 is Hell Week and culminates at the end to put candidates through 5 sheer days of combat readiness testing. Those who made it to here – face the final hurdle. Failing here means failing to be badged. (candidates who fail throughout GFTS are allowed only one more attempt at the 12 week course).

For five consecutive days, candidates go solo against the Instructor Hunting Team. Every skill learned in the 11 weeks will be needed to pass this phase. Candidates have to pass 3 of the 5 days against the 3 man Instructor Team.

Graduation

Graduation means being badged GFTS. Candidates are awarded the GFTS ribbon at the end of the 12 weeks at Camp Hell. They are allowed one week R&R before reporting to their squads, as a trained and experienced operator. They are now truly specialists and secure in the knowledge that they would serve their unit in active combat against the enemy as an elite – the elite that they are.

Mad Dog – XO – The Black Brigade

Flying helicopters is a lot of fun and the Advanced Flight Model (AFM) is not bad, but the lack of proper systems and some issues with the flight model engine make it a bit short of what it could be.

The fact that you can transport other players or vehicles, provide support from the air or even simulate SAR/CSAR missions with real players around the world, makes is very immersive and powerful. Add to it a stunning mission editor, some great talents working on those missions and you have a recipe for success.

If only helicopters were better… Don’t get me wrong, though: the fact that helicopters are not perfect or at the level of, let’s say, DCS or X-Plane, doesn’t mean it’s easy to fly these birds. It’s not; especially if you use the before mentioned AFM.

It can be a bit of a struggle to dominate these machines. If you have no to little experience in helicopters overall, that struggle will become bigger, which can be very frustrating – we know that, right?

If this is your case – even if you are an experienced helicopter pilot – CAS Flight School can help. Students have the option to go through up to 6 different courses. They all start at the Introductory Flight Training course, where they learn the basics of flight, using the T-6A Texan II. The lesson is short (usually a 2-hour class) and will get you ready for the next step: Basic Rotary Flight Training.

In this course, which spans over 4 weeks (1.5 hours/week) you will learn everything from VFR flight, hovering and taxing, to night flying using NVG. From then on, you will have access to Advanced Transport Flight Training, Combat Rotary Flight Training, Fixed Wing Flight Training and, eventually, JTAC.

You are not forced the courses by this particular order. You can go directly to fixed wing from the basic rotary course. The Introductory and Basic Rotary courses are the basis of everything you will learn at AFS.

To enroll on the JTAC course, though, you don’t need to do the previous ones. You can step right into it.

CAS Flight School takes you through all these courses to help you evolve in your path as a pilot. In each of the different modules, you will be taught a series of skills that will allow you to better control your aircraft as well as understand how the ever-changing battleground influences your way of flying and vice-versa.

The team is comprised of veteran players as well as real-world pilots that will help and guide you throughout the whole process.

If you are serious about flying aircraft (and mainly helicopters) in ARMA III but are struggling to get the hang of it, these courses could be the answer.

But the thing is: most of what you will learn in these courses will help you on other sims as well, since, obviously, helicopters work fundamentally the same across the different platforms: you have rotors, collectives, cyclics, anti-torque, everything.

Yes, sims are different, and helicopters behave differently from sim to sim, but the fundamentals are there. Having someone help you get started goes a long way. Especially since there’s someone that’s willing to spend her/his time teaching you and answer to all your questions.

Beware though: the process is not simple and it’s designed for those that are really serious about enrolling. You will be taken through a series of questions that will both test your current knowledge and, realistically, help the team triage the candidates.

Why would they do this? Well, all the instructors are volunteers and they are taking time from their lives to teach these classes. You don’t want to waste people’s time, right? It’s not right and that would discourage them and, eventually, get them to give up. No instructors means that there would be no school at all, which would be a shame.

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