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Academy Entrance


Tactical Simulations

TACTICAL DECISION GAME 13-06P: Hell in a Very Small Truck Stop

It is 5:00pm on a sunny day in June, on a rural interstate highway in the upper Midwest.

Your church group consists of 62 elementary and middle-school aged children with six adult chaperones split between two school buses, accompanied by four adults (including yourself) in two SUVs. All four of the latter, and one adult on each bus, are legally armed with concealed handguns (with which they are individually proficient), carry handheld GRS radios as well as cell phones. You have all trained together in the past in close quarter combat tactics in the context of an active shooter event at your church complex. You have meant to discuss and conduct training for mobile and off-site venues, but that has not happened yet.

You are en route to a summer camp, and have stopped at a small truck stop off the interstate for fuel, refreshments, and a restroom break. Many of the children, with adult escort, have gone inside, some have returned to their buses, some are moving across the parking lot in both directions, and from your vantage point near the parking lot entrance you have no clear picture of how many are inside or where they are between the store, restaurant/coffee bar, and restrooms. It is controlled chaos in a relatively benign environment.

There is a moderate amount of traffic in and out of the truck stop, including commercial trucks and private automobiles, both parked and fueling at their respective fuel islands.

You have noticed two crew-cab pickups and two SUVs parked in a cluster near the back corner of the lot. Several young males are visible around the vehicles, and there appear to be several more inside the vehicles. Your initial assessment was that these were local kids, loitering on a Friday afternoon in the liveliest spot their little community offered.

But then things become interesting.

Tactical Sim1

Your attention is drawn back to the cluster of vehicles by several loud POPs, followed by an eruption of yelling, running figures. One pickup and one SUV pull away rapidly and speed through the car parking area toward your position at the exit – and incidentally toward your school buses and the foot traffic in the lot. As pedestrians (including members of your group) scatter and dodge, another vehicle that had not previously drawn your attention pulls out of its parking place to block the oncoming vehicles, colliding with the first. More gunfire erupts between the vehicles. The second escaping vehicle seeks to evade the fight by going around the truck stop building, but the driver loses control and collides with a light post near the building corner. Five persons exit the vehicle and run toward the back side of the truck stop – which you cannot see. By this time, the remaining suspects from the back of the lot have shaken out into what looks like a skirmish line, and are advancing toward the truck stop from the south, with three long guns – Kalashnikov variants – and an assortment of handguns firing toward the rear of the truck stop.

Tactical Sim2

You are in charge. What do you do now? Briefly and concisely describe your immediate orders and communications and the actions you will personally take, and provide a short rationale for your actions.