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Lion Claws Tactical Challenge - Airplanes and Airsoft Anyone?

Posted by Matt Meraz on

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Airsoft Guns, Airplanes, Hostage Rescues out of a Boeing 747 – all wrapped up in an epic competition between 9 teams. This is what we call the 1st Lion Claws Tactical Challenge. I had the opportunity to compete this last weekend in a 6 man team representing ICS. This was an incredible event - definitely the most unique and challenging in 18 years of playing airsoft. The event was different than most large scale national events -  this was a small team competition. The AO (Area of Operations) was one of the most challenging I’ve been to – the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave California.

Terry with his ICS PAR MK3 moving through the Boeing 747

We played on a section of the airport that has a full airplane boneyard.  It was filled with many different types of airplanes. This includes Boeing 747s, Boeing 737s, MD-80s, DC-10s and many more. Some of the airframes were in a total state of disrepair while others were fairly intact.  The sheer number of airplanes was overwhelming even to look at - again a very unique and challenging place to play.

Team ICS: J.D, Terry, Jeff, Casey, Troy, & Matt (Not Pictured)

Each team was allowed to have between 6 and 8 team members in their choice of uniform. Our Team (Team ICS) consisted of 6 players: Matt Meraz (Myself), Casey Meraz, Troy Showell, J.D. Gardiner, Jeff Smith, and Terrence Timmerman. All of us were using an ICS AEG variant. Casey, Jeff and I used the ICS TransforM4 (CXP-UK1), Troy used an ICS M4 CQB (ICS-127), JD used an ICS HOG, and Terrence used the PAR MK3. All of these guns feature ICS’s new generation split gearbox design.

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This is the MAP from the VIP Rescue Mission - you'll notice multiple types of aircraft

The competition consisted of 3 stations in which the team would complete a mission against a designated opposition force (OPFOR). The competing teams were scored on their time until mission completion. They would also receive time penalties for not completing objectives or going outside of mission parameters.

J.D with his ICS HOG and Troy with is ICS CQB getting ready to take the 2nd level of a Boeing 747

Each of the 3 stations provided unique challenges. For team ICS our first mission was to take down an enemy airfield and capture a VIP. This was the longest and most challenging mission of the day. The second mission was to take down an enemy cargo plane and extract a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) before the enemy team could load it onto their airplane. This was the shortest mission and our fastest time. The last mission was a hostage rescue on a Boeing 747. One word to describe this - Awesome!  The staff did an excellent job creating challenging scenarios and role playing them very well.

Training and preparing to raid a 747 presented a unique challenge as we didn’t have a 747 lying around. We went to “old fashioned” training and used glass walls to simulate the cabin and practice our maneuvers.

Casey & Matt with their TransforM4 training at Flat Acres Farm Airsoft Field

There were 9 teams to compete in the event - Team ICS, KWA, Amped Airsoft, G&G, MIR Tactical, Evike, Airsoft GI, Airsplat, and eHobbyAsia.  In addition to all of the major companies, many well known players were there including Jet Desert Fox.

At the end of the day Team ICS took 1st Place in the competition with a score of 32 minutes and 39 seconds combined time between all 3 missions. The 2nd and 3rd place teams, KWA and Amped Airsoft, were only a mere 2 minutes behind us – making this a very tight competition.

Jeff with his TransforM4 and Terry with his PAR MK3 move up the Air Stairs onto the Boeing 747

I definitely want to express my gratitude to the teams who competed – they made it a genuine competition, and if we were to do this again, it could land completely differently.

I’ll be doing a detailed review on each mission in the upcoming weeks, as well as individual videos of each mission. Do us a favor and let us know what you think – how can we improve on our strategies and tactics? Also, let us know if you like the idea of a Tactical Challenge as a way to make airsoft a more competitive sport?

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