9th Group are an impression based MilSim Team from Washington State with exceptional attention to detail in terms of both their kits and their operating procedure. We had the opportunity of talking to Nick aka \'Welshy\' from the team and asking him a few questions..
Q: When was the team first started?
A: 9th Group was started back in 2008 under the name Task Force Stryker. We were originally just a casual airsoft team, and our only SOP was that everyone needed to own a set of Multicam for events. As we got older and got more involved in the MilSim scene, we finally started doing impressions in late 2010. We lost some of our members to the military and to college, and the people who remained decided that we would become an impressionist team.
Q : You run US Special Forces kits right? Is that US Army Special Forces, or just any US SOF kosher stuff?
A: We focus on Army Special Forces, i.e. Green Berets. Although now almost every member of the team has moved to using Crye Precision equipment such as CPCs, JPCs, and AirFrames, so what we use is closer to CAG/ACE impressions than anything else.We require an Army Special Forces impression to be part of the team, but many of us have other kits that we use as well, such as Russian and Navy SEAL impressions, and about half the team has the clothing, equipment, and weapons for generic Middle Eastern OPFOR kits.
Q: Is there a particular reason you chose those impressions for the team or is it a case of just liking them?
A:We chose Army SF because of the wide range of equipment that they use. Since we wanted to look uniform but also have more freedom of equipment, we went with Army SF because they use many different weapons, plate carriers, and other equipment. They use at least 10 different plate carriers and a wide range of pouches, so we were able to look uniform but still have kits catered to our specific tastes.
Q: What sort of games & events do you primarily attend? And do you have a favorite event host?
A:We attend everything from local skirmishes to large scale MilSim and Force on Force events. We have attended events outside of Washington in Oregon and Idaho, and we hope this summer to start attending events in California. Eventually we\'ll make the trip to New York for Pine Plains, but currently the logistics just aren\'t lining up.Our favorite event host is MilSim West, due to their high quality events and the level of immersion offered at their games. MSW is one of the few event hosts in the US who actually hold Military Simulation games that focus on something more than just Force on Force and Territory Control.
Q: Do you play at many local games?
A: We make a point to play at local games all over Washington. They\'re good opportunities to meet the local communities, introduce people to impressionist style MilSim (and we have gotten many people in to impressions), and practice tactics.We feel that as soon as a team stops playing at local games and concentrates just on going to the \"big name\" events like Lion Claws, they have lost touch with the point of airsoft, that being to go out and meet cool people, and just have fun.
Q: How often do you train as a team? And do you primarily set up specific training sessions, use pick up games, or both?
A: We are geographically separated in to two groups by our locations in Washington. Each group meets every couple weeks to play and train together, and every few months we travel down to Oregon to play and train at a facility used by a local SWAT team. We also organize the occasional training session both for us and other local teams hosted by law enforcement officers and military personnel.While most of our actual trainings are closed to non team members, we find pick up games are the best place to apply tactics. Not to mention we get the opportunity to share knowledge with others and hang out with some cool people.
Q: That brings up a question. Does the team have any currently serving or ex military members?
A: We have several members that are serving and have served in the Army, Air Force, and Marines, both in the reserves and active duty.
Q: You seem well integrated with the local community. Do you do anything else to promote airsoft/milsim or grow the community in a positive way?
A: Several of us are involved with MilSim West, and we are also getting involved with other event hosts in Washington as well as Oregon. Unfortunately many impressionists have taken the stance that impressions are the only way to make something MilSim, and that has created a negative image for impressionists.We aim to change that image and discussion the different levels of MilSim, and the advantages that impressionists can lend to MilSim. In fact we\'ll be publishing some pieces on our Facebook page and we\'re working with the guys from Airsoftology about that subject.
Q: Does the team have any long term goals or objectives?
A: Just to have fun, and start attending some national level events to meet new people and visit friends that we\'ve made over the years. We\'re not out to become a big name thing and get sponsored like some other teams seem to be preoccupied with, we just ultimately want to play the game and have fun doing it.
It\'s very nice to see a team such as 9th Group being so heavily involved in the local community! Showing MilSim in a good light is what we are all about, and teams like 9/G helping to grow the community with such a positive and pro-active attitude is a much needed asset for the sport/hobby as a whole.Please check out 9th Group on Facebook & Youtube and throw them a like while you\'re at it! They have a lot of great pictures on their facebook page as well as good info and some sweet gameplay videos on