The Joy of Paintball


the joy of paintball

Aaron Pylinski | Community Writer

Come warriors one and all to the Crossfire Paintball redux. Pull yourselves away from the gaming console, unplug from your smart device, and put your warrior mettle to the test. There is no greater feeling than suiting up for a fast-paced round of paintball so grab your buddy and head down to Penny Lake Field.

The air station hasn’t seen paintball since the former Crossfire Paintball ended in 2010. During a recent Single Marine Program Council meeting, we announced a new paintball activity on MCAS Iwakuni is opening this Spring under the same name


"Paintball programs not only provide the community with a fun and challenging recreational activity, but will also provide active duty personnel with military training opportunities."

Curtis Brown | Chief of Semper Fit

According to Curtis Brown, Chief of Semper Fit, recreational shooting is a core Semper Fit program.

Bringing paintball back was no easy task. Over the course of a six months, we worked with other departments on station to assist in critical planning that included location, environmental, equipment, and safety. We visited other paintball activities throughout Japan during the planning process and decided on a 220’ x 140’ inflatable paintball arena located at Penny Lake Field.

Having an inflatable arena offers Crossfire Paintball numerous variations for gameplay. Though none of the other activities offered an inflatable arena, we identified a number of best practices from them to incorporate in our program.

The arena includes 47 inflatable bunkers and future plans are in the works for netting to surround the field of play to make the arena more stable. Initially, Crossfire Paintball is offering Elimination, Scenario, Capture the Flag, and Speedball games. The activity will solicit ideas from community patrons to offer more options for future gameplay.

"We are exploring the feasibility of offering paintball as an Intramural Sports program or as a Competitive Events program tournament."

Curtis Brown | Chief of Semper Fit

To help run the program, an overall supervisor, two shop employees, and game proctors as well as referees will monitor safety and facilitate gameplay throughout the day.

Rental equipment includes: Tippman paintball markers, Ninja portable air tanks, V-Force Armor paintball masks, Valken hoppers, as well as Infinity and Graffiti paintballs. The industry standard for safely firing paintballs from a marker is between 285-300 feet per second (fps). Anything over 300 fps is considered dangerous, and anything lower would reduce accuracy and effectiveness. For safety purposes, every paintball marker available at Crossfire Paintball will be governed at 285 fps pressure.

The rental and service fees are still under cost analysis, but the basic rental kit will include: 500 rounds, marker, mask, hopper, and tank for $35. There are 50 full kits available for rental and will be available at the concessions booth area at Penny Lake Field near the parking lot. Before the activity will open, we opened the field to various servicemembers on base.

Military personnel are eligible to participate as well as all MCCS community members and those with access to the station who are 12 years of age and older. Those under the age of 18 who are participating must have a signed parental consent to participate. JMSDF is eligible to use Crossfire Paintball as well.

Tips for Beginners:

• Don’t be scared. It’s no secret that you know when you are marked by a paintball, but if you are afraid of how bad it will hurt, layer up and don’t leave any exposed skin. Paintballs hurt less than you would expect.

• Mask on at all times. The only other incredibly important thing about paintball safety besides trigger/muzzle awareness is maintaining your mask during gameplay or while on the field of play. The consequences of removing your mask before the game is over could be catastrophic.

• Don’t give yourself away. Firing your marker is loud, and your opponent knows it, so fire only when necessary.

• Spotting your opponents is an important advantage. Just like you don’t want to mark yourself to your opponent, getting the drop on them is equally as important. Move fast and take the advantage.

• Don’t expose any more of your body than you have to. Silhouetting yourself against the bright sky is a sure-fire way to get yourself marked.

• Communicate with your teammates. Communication is key. Paintball moves fast and command and control is paramount for overtaking your opponents.

• Don’t call yourself out too soon. If a paintball hits you and it doesn’t break, you are not out. If someone next to you is hit and their paint hits you, you are not out. When in doubt, though, call out to a referee and have it confirmed before prematurely calling yourself out.

• Keep your eyes on the prize. Losing is not an option in paintball, so always know your objective and continue to move forward on it.

Don’t get pinned down. One of the biggest rookie mistakes in paintball stems from fear of being hit which gets you pinned down in what you would consider a safe location. Remember, paintball is fast-paced and the worst thing you can do is take your eyes off your opponent. You may think you are safe until your are swarmed and marked.

• Have fun. Paintball isn’t war, it’s recreation. Have fun, meet like-minded people and learn something new

Basics of Paintball Gear:


"The gear was easy to use. I’ve never participated in paintball before and I was able to jump right in with no problems."

Sergeant Kenneth Hack | CLC-36

Basic Paintball Rules:

Each field has variations of rules, but here are the general rules to go by.

• Never remove your mask on the field of play for any reason.

• Fire from beyond a minimum safe distance. Usually, it's 10-15 feet, and some fields have a surrender option where if you are within this minimum safe distance you can give your opponent the opportunity to surrender. A shot within this distance could hurt.

• If you are hit check if the paintball broke, if it did, call yourself out. If it didn’t your still in. If in doubt ask a referee.

• Raise your marker or hand if you are hit and call out “HIT” or “OUT”. If you are unsure, see Rule 3.

• Don’t cheat. Cheaters never win

• Avoid head shots. There are obvious reasons for this, and safety is the main one.

• Don’t cross boundaries. There are usually out of bounds areas marked on the field if there are maintain in-bounds play to remain in the game.

• Listen to the refs. Ultimately it is the referees on the field who have a say on rules and regulations during game play, so pay atten-tion to their commands. Making sure the players are safe is their main concern.

• Check up on the fields rules and regs before game play.

"The gear was easy to use. I’ve never participated in paintball before and I was able to jump right in with no problems."

Lance Corporal Derric O'Connor | CLC-36

With all of the work put into bringing paintball back to the station, the fundamental purpose behind it is to get those aboard involved and have an outdoor activity that all can enjoy.