Airsoft Action 07 - Mar 2012 - Page 60

Pathfinder was formed over 20 years ago by Sgt Roy Mobsby and Lance Bombardier Ron Ball. Both former Paras, they wanted to jump around the world on other country’s Para courses and earn their Wings – that’s what you call badge collecting the hard way! Apart from the basic parachute course Pathfinder teaches in Holland, the group also jumps at WWII anniversary events using either a DC3, Polish AN2 or the good old Cessna Caravan. They are not too worried about the type of aircraft they use (after all it’s just a hole in the sky that they can jump from) – it’s more important to put green round parachutes over the drop zone to remind the youth of today what it would have looked like in 1944. Pathfinder has clocked up some impressive firsts and was the first group (since they were originally dropped onto in WW2) to jump a round canopy onto these former war time DZs: Arnhem, Ginkle Heath, Wolfheze, Oosterbeek, Renkum Heath, Ede, Dreil, The Alps in support of Peter Churchill’s SOE, Sannerville and Merville in Normandy, as well as DZ N at Pegasus Bridge and the DZ that should have been used in 1944 at Arnhem Bridge. Pathfinder jumped this last one twice, to prove it could have been done. Would it have shortened the war by a year? We will never know – but Pathfinder proved that the jump could have taken place, and much nearer the bridge. ■ “The type of aircraft isn’t important – it’s more important to put green round parachutes over the drop zone to remind the youth of today what it would have looked like in 1944” PATHFINDER GROUP AIRSOFT MILITARY SIMULATION WWII anniversary events are just a small part of Pathfinder and its activities. Roy, a Warminster-trained small arms weapons instructor, has always had an interest in airsoft and deactivated weapons used as training aids. On leaving the army he set up a training establishment using airsoft. Pathfinder has been given space at the former RAF camp at Sopley in the New Forest, near Bransgore and a stone’s throw from Bournmouth. Pathfinder shares the site, using the camp on alternative weekends. Registered with UKARA under company name Black Ops Solutions, several of their club members have also served as PMCs in Iraq so you are guaranteed to be trained by professional soldiers who have seen service in hostile environments! Pathfinder Group Airsoft Military Simulation concentrates on doing it properly and currently trains Cadets, Territorials and other airsoft groups in the art of CQB, FIBUA and battlefield drills. The use of casualty simulation and radio controlled explosions keeps its members on their toes – not to mention the booby traps in the Killing House! Just when you think you have finished and can see the light seeping through the exit door you feel the tug of the tripwire on your boot and, for you, the war is over… So whether you want to experience a military parachute course and earn your Dutch Military B Wings, stalk targets in the darkness of the Killing House or maybe just get your battlefield drills right, Pathfinder Group Airsoft Military Simulation is for you. Contact: Roy, Pathfinderuk1@aol.com, www.pathfindergroupuk.com Keepers of the Gateway to Hell is available as a Kindle download (£1.94) from Amazon: amzn.to/KOTGTH 060 March 2012