CQB And Room Clearing Protocol

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 4 months ago

Via WRSA, Max Velocity has this video.

Go read his comments on the engagement.  I sent this video to my former Marine, Daniel, who had this to say.

… if you have a team stopping behind a doorway for cover to shoot that creates a bottle neck, that’s what body armor is for.  Go in clearing the room with the bulk of your armor between you and the guy shooting at you and don’t stop moving, that way more guys filter in behind you clearing areas.

Everyone in the team has a very specific area in the room they cover.  You practice over and over again until it’s smooth and fast.  Did you see how long it took for that guy to actually start engaging the fighter?  By the time he started shooting from behind cover three guys could have filtered into … putting rounds in his chest.

The idea that a single individual in a team will clear the entire room is dumb.  So that basically means a team of 4 guys will clear the room 4 times. That’s what they need to do is clear an area and then more importantly keep that area covered and controlled.  So let’s say I am first in the door.  Everyone has to clear their front, but first guy always cleared left after the front is clear.

You clear your front by basically moving into the room – it is cleared by default.  So once the left is clear you keep side stepping left into the corner as you clear from left to right … the next guy is literally right on your ass behind you clearing his front by default and then immediately to his right.  Doing the same thing, side stepping to the right …

The next guy is going straight in forward.  You do it damn fast. This way you can get a entire fire team in a single room … I don’t know about you but 4 rifles is a lot better than one.

To which I replied this.

Okay, so in summary (a) they didn’t follow a protocol, (b) they didn’t act as a team, and (c) they didn’t go fast enough. But what if your family is in the structure, somewhere, you don’t know where, and there is a threat in the structure too, somewhere, you don’t know where, and you’re totally alone without a team?

Daniel.

Then you are forced to clear the whole house systematically room by room following a structured room clearing procedure and being consistent with it. Sometimes I had too [in Fallujah] because we were too spread out in different houses.  So you practice.  Main thing is If you can’t do it perfectly going at slow speeds, then how the hell are you going to do it fast? What I always told my Marines.  Even the hardcore team guys would practice the fundamentals at very slow and systematic speeds to fine tune.

Offered up for your edification.  He did it many, many times in Fallujah and lives to tell about it.


Comments

  1. On September 14, 2016 at 8:44 am, Charles said:

    I speak here as a former 0311 and a multiple class student at MVT. While I have great respect for Daniels perspective I would suggest that his analysis of what Max posted is based on only half the information and perspective offered. A full reading and consequent understanding can be had by joining the forum at MVT. It a pittance at $25. Daniel may find a few kindred souls there too and certainly his experiences and perspectives would be appreciated in the discussions there.

    From your comment to Daniel for clarification, I suspect you also realize that there is more to story than what appeared at WRSA and you are correct.

  2. On September 14, 2016 at 9:16 am, Herschel Smith said:

    For clarification ==> I didn’t send the post at MVT to Daniel. I sent the video. I asked him to comment on the video after I watched it and thought it was a cluster f***.

    Daniel’s comments to me were of the tactics in the video, not anywhere else. I only sent readers to MVT because it’s bad form in the interwebz world to steal links (without sending traffic to the source, and I didn’t find the video, someone else did).

    I asked Daniel the question of clarification not because of some discussion going on at another forum, but because while it’s a sweet idea to have a MC fire team with a SAW and M203, it just isn’t practical to have those assets when I come home from work or the grocery store to find that my home has been breached by someone who is a threat and my family may be inside.

    And finally, I didn’t ask my son to give me the ONLY tactical approach to room clearing or CQB he has ever used, nor did I ask him to criticize other tactics or to give me a complete catalog of what he knows. I ask him to comment on the video. That’s what he did.

    It’s no more complex than that. I’ll take Daniel’s TTPs over what saw in the video any day. That “team” in the video needs to be busted up, retrained and regrouped. That was horrible.

  3. On September 14, 2016 at 4:21 pm, Charles said:

    Thank you. Your clarification is, well, clarifying.

  4. On September 14, 2016 at 5:59 pm, Max Alexander said:

    http://www.maxvelocitytactical.com/2016/09/cqb-those-who-would-get-you-killed/

  5. On September 14, 2016 at 8:33 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    You’re taking this too personally. See response above to Charles. None of this has anything whatsoever to do with your post. I linked your post to be nice and send some traffic your way. I won’t make that mistake again.

  6. On September 14, 2016 at 9:18 pm, Max Alexander said:

    It’s never personal. That’s a typical projection – we have never met and you don’t know what my motivations are – I always find that sort of misreading of my motives a little tedious. It always about the right tactics that will keep folks alive. Its about the right message and not bad information. Unfortunately, inadvertently or not, you put out information that reinforced bad TTP’s. That may get people killed. It’s just more static that professional trainers like myself have to deal with to get the right message out. Hence my posted response. what is all.

  7. On September 14, 2016 at 9:37 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Oh dear. I don’t think I can take the drama. It’s like dealing with a screeching woman. Don’t you have anything else to do now?

  8. On September 15, 2016 at 10:18 am, Josh said:

    What I find tedious is the over-engineering of tactics. It seems the end goal of every other CQB methodology aside from dynamic “flooding” is to minimize casulties. We get too hung up on this. Death comes for us all. Efficiency and speed should be the overarching goal, and in my opinion the more straightforward tactics outlined by Daniel better fulfill that goal.

    I would be more interested to see data sets rather than tedious outlines with points and sub points. What is the overall affect of one methodology or another on efficiency and likely outcome, and what are the logistical and medical impacts on the system as a whole.

  9. On September 15, 2016 at 5:18 pm, Charles said:

    When I was at Quantico, speed and efficiency in operations were indeed goals for the student to strive for with minimizing casualties a thoughtful addition to the plan. The death come to us all so it’s hi ho and away we go charge of the light brigade thing was generally considered bad form. Of course that was a long time ago, things may have changed.

    But more to your point, the gross effect of the one methodology is you get DRT (dead right there) and a couple other guys get shot up hauling your dead ass out of the x. Most authorities agree this is more to the inefficient side of the equation. On the other hand, you could read the article focusing on the after action report and analysis and probably come up with a reasonably decent plan that would be speedy, efficient and the worst that happens to you is a sore back from hauling their (bad guys) dead asses out of the ruble.

  10. On September 16, 2016 at 6:42 am, Daniel Barger said:

    Any way you cut it room clearing gets people killed…..and sometimes the body is one of the ‘room clearers’. You walk through a door into a room that has person(s) armed with rifles, body armor or not you are risking a quick death. The vast majority of the time the person in the house has little to no training. This gives the team an advantage…..not a guarantee.. just an advantage. They can still get the hell shot out of them by a lucky amateur. If the target of the raid has some time and ingenuity they can be behind cover…. and the job just got a lot harder…perhaps requiring the use of high explosives. The .mil and LEO train to clear rooms because it’s something that has to be done…..sometimes. But it’s a job to be avoided if at all possible. The risk vs benefit numbers aren’t very good.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Guns and was published September 13th, 2016 by Herschel Smith.

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