MOUT/CQB/Battle Drill 6(A)

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Verified Military
Jan 22, 2018
pert near Lake Erie
I posted this elsewhere attempting not to start a new thread, but I don't think anyone saw it (or no one cared lol).

As I moved from the Army to Law Enforcement I noticed a drastic change in tactics with regards to CQB. The intentions are far different in the two aspects but similar in one way: potentially gun fighting in close quarters. In my Army FM 7-8 days, it was stacking on a door and going in. #1 man goes where he goes (button hook, lease resistance, whatever), #2 man goes opposite of #1, #3 goes with #1, #4 goes with #2. This is how we did it the entire time I was in the Army. I was always told and taught it myself to soldiers, "no matter what happens you go, get through the fatal funnel." Which is pretty funny because what you think you're going to do and what you actually do are two completely different things. Two examples of this happened in Iraq in 2007 while in Dora (AKA Al Doura) (a beautiful neighborhood area of Baghdad, bristling with vast markets, great home values, and great job opportunities in the tech market...).

When we began there it was clear the insurgency was strong and they were there to fight. A lot of the houses or building structures were booby-trapped with grenades or some other form of IED. My team was to establish an over-watch position on a roof on an abandoned building during a daylight clearance operation. When we tried to establish a foothold in the building the door was booby-trapped (no idea with what, HME maybe) and there was an explosion. If I remember correctly, 1, 2, and 3 were through the door and I was in the rear and had not made it in the doorway yet when it went boom. As embarrassing as it is for me to say when the door blew, I did not go in right away. I paused for a few seconds, attempted to gain my composure then went in to help. Luckily no one was hurt badly, small shrapnel wounds but nothing serious.

The second was a night time hit, us conventional guys were in blocking positions and SOF (no idea who) was conducting the raid. Attempting to gain another high-side position we were going to take over a building/home. As we moved toward the door someone on the inside started to shoot through the door (there was no exterior gate/wall which was unusual and made getting in the building easier, we thought). The SAW gunner started on the door and windows and the shooting from the inside stopped (I'm not going to get into the AAR or BDA of that incident it's not relevant and our Command was not particularly happy about how it turned out).

The two stories are relevant because of how I am seeing CQB tactics change. If you watch any number of videos on youtube where guys are actually getting shot at during CQB their animal brains kick in and you can see them fighting the fight or flight urges. The first move every single one of them makes is a step back from the door or hallway. Now, I can bet my house that none of these videos are of Tier-whatever type guys or units so maybe it would be different for them because of all their experience. But generally, people are not really excited or willing to go into a room when someone already has the drop on them. This is where the Military vs LE aspect changes. Military solution: grenade, Carl Gustaf, 25mm, Jdam, whatever (as long as it's not a hostage situation). LE solution: Get negotiator, ask him to stop please(sir), throw in a camera, or the Dallas SWAT technique: put a bomb on a Robot, situation solved (again not a hostage situation, completely different). What I am seeing is the idea of doing "threat assessments" in doorways and clearing most of the room without even entering the room. This isn't my idea or anything and I think it's pretty well known. Robert O'Neill talks about them doing tactics like this (it seemed to me anyway) as early as 2007 in his book.

I say all this because I am curious what most of you guys (SOF, SWAT, Infantry) are doing currently during MOUT operations with regard to battle drill 6 and NOT being a hostage situation. My two very limited experiences I shared were just to explain why I can see where using alternate techniques are being explored. Has it been a common trend in the SOF world to not enter and clear the room but clear the room by pieing or using angles? This is what is being taught at a lot of Police SWAT classes and I completely understand that it's not a "one size fits all" aspect. I would like to see what other's experiences are so I can do everything I can to make sure our guys are being effective, lethal, safe and most important, go home. Also, understand I am not asking anyone to violate any OPSEC, either. I have reached out to a mod about asking these specific questions to check if it was okay.
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