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Trigger Puller Boots on the ground, steel on target -- the pointy end of the spear.

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Old 02-01-2007   #21
jcustis
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As I shot this out to one of the Marines whos sevres as a scout section leader within the unit (and as a LEO on civvy street), as some food for thought on his training mindset, it became clearer why we have a fixation with such drills.

It's not necessarily b/c the drill is easy, or sexy, but rather because conducting ancillary training would require non-organic assets and expertise that line companies rarely have the pleasure of employing.

The default training situation is to work on skills that get everyone involved, but don't always require the platoon sergeant or platoon commander to be around. The fixation may arise from the fact that the drill has simply been performed so much that it falls into a subtle area of muscle-memory and is the first card to be thrown down.

Against the highest-risk threats, the preferred tactical decision may be to have an attached engineer emplace a satchel charge against the fortified structure. How often do you see engineers training with the infantry, save the integration that occured when we knew for certain we would be crossing into Iraq? For that matter, how many times have battalions conducted a training rotation at MOUT town with non-organic assets/units other than trucks and maybe AAVs?

I think that this article highlights a deficiency within our typical systems-approach-to-training. We simply do not train together enough to build that familiarity on capabilities and limitations of supporting assets. When we do, it is for a finite period of time such as a Combined Arms Exercise, or when a MEU "locks on" six months out from its float date. Even then, the raid is often the critical task trained to, not high-intensity urban combat.

Hmmm...time, time, time. Maybe I need to edit my thoughts over on the drill and ceremonies thread.
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Old 02-01-2007   #22
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JC, your are right about the breeching charge. Originally the charge was set to make what they used to call a mouse hole.The reason was we never went through a door or window unless you have to, cause they will shoot you! We used to stack up 5 men. After the hole was blown you enter through the hole. Surprise!! this was late 1970's style SWAT. We had to go back to using doors and windows because the local government is responsible for damage to the structure, even if you are going into a known criminal hide out Sometime in the early 80's I think it was that I first saw some shields coming into use, but back then they only stopped handgun rounds, but we don't have to do that know more
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Old 02-02-2007   #23
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I feel the same way about the convoy live fire. For some reason, in mobilization stations it has become THE event.

I seriously doubt it does any good. I would like to see some numbers on bad guys killed v. innocent bystanders killed by CS and CSS types shooting out the window of their vehicle while rolling along.

Combine that with the incidence of even seeing who just popped the IED.
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Old 02-02-2007   #24
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Default Tactical shield videos

Here is a link to some good videos on the use of a ballistic shield.


http://www.bakerbatshield.com/video.asp#tactical
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Old 02-02-2007   #25
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Default Tactical Shields

Hey Slapout,
Thanks for the videos ! Just sent the link to our Central Criminal Folks. Their shields are big enough for three to crowd in, complete with lights and window.

Stan
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Old 02-02-2007   #26
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Having done this stuff in Iraq, and trained National Guardsmen in it at their mobilization stations, a couple of thoughts. Battle Drill 6 came out of Bragg, not Law Enforcement. When the 39th eSB was training at FT Hood, the cops were the hardest to get to understand how to execute it. They wanted to treat like law enforcement, but it wasn't. As far as shields go, where are you going to transport it, and who is going to lug it around. It isn't very practical in that sense. J Custis summed up the pro's as to why it is trained. Team Leaders can run it. J Custis also summed up the cons, in that the ability to train with vehicles is somewhat lacking. Battle Drill 6 is a single team single room concept. For that, it is highly effective. Implied in that task, is that the rest of the squad/platoon is providing some level of external security/shaping op in order to enable the team to execute the battle drill.

Convoy life fire, CSS units tend to have the highest density of crew served weapons, but are allocated the least amount of ammunition to train with, and the least amount of communications for command and control. The lessons of the 507th and others has driven Convoy Live Fires to be very important. Having rolled on plenty of these with the Iraqis, the "collateral damage" issues happen, but they aren't indescriminate. Convoys usually open up only when engaged by direct fire. Escort vehicles usually do most of the shooting, usually at vehicles, and usually with rifle fire in accordance with ROE when locals fail to stop and clear out.
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Old 02-02-2007   #27
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Default FM 7-8 Battle Drill Six or 6 and 6A?

Jimbo, I understand about training LE folks, they are hard headed aren't they? I don't have AKO access so I have not read the article, how ever I have seen FM 7-8 and under Battle Drill Six right after figure 4-10 is a note which states that if the room is occupied by civilians or non combatants than the normal ROE may change and normal combat power may not be available. Maybe there should be a battle drill 6 and 6a one for dealing with a known enemy and one for an unknown enemy. According to the manual the two situations are to be handled differently.
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Old 02-03-2007   #28
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I just finished the article and I have to say that I disagree with most of what the author says. As I understand this, and please correct me if I am wrong, the author is calling for us cordon off the building, and then wait while the interpretors try to convince the non-combatants to come out and the bad guy to give up. And then, after some unspecified time, the commander can choose to send in troops to attack. This all assumes, of course, that the bad guy is at the house, that we are surrounding the right house, that the house does not have tunnels or connections to other buildings that will allow the bad guy to escape while we are outside shouting at the building, that the "non-combatants" aren't being armed and/or booby trapped before being sent out, that any actual non-combatants have a choice to come out even if they want to, that bad guy isn't using the extra time now that he has been awakened and alerted to our presence to barricade/booby trap himself inside to await our assault. And that is just what I came up with off the top of my head. A lot of times when we go into a building there are no shots fired, either because the bad guy wasn't really a bad guy (wrong guy, wrong house, wrong Intel etc.), he wasn't prepared to resist, or by the time he woke up and shook the cobwebs out there was a barrel chested freedom fighter standing on his neck pointing his M4 at him. You would waist a hell of a lot of time setting up a cordon and then calling out the non-combatants every time and worse yet you would be giving up the initiative. The article actually reminds of the air force article on COIN which basically put forth the idea that you can safely and surgically kill the enemy from a distance without putting boots on the ground and we have already proved that this is not the case.

SFC W
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Old 02-03-2007   #29
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I don't object to training convoy live fire, I object to spending up to half your training time on it as a "gate" to get out of mob station. Especially when you're looking at guys who aren't going to EVER go on a convoy.

Frankly, it's something even the most rock-headed O-6 and above can comprehend.

As an aside, if you think the 507th Maintenance Co. problem was a convoy marksmanship issue, we need to talk. It was a leadership issue. It was a mindset issue and it was a map-reading issue.
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Old 02-06-2007   #30
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Default Swat TTP's in Iraq

I agree with most of you on this matter. The swat tactics of old are just that...OLD. we didn't use the "stack" method when we went into a house. We had trucks. If we took fire from a specific building, we drove through the front door. Yes, barbaric, but effective. Discussions can be had on every aspect of this war, but overthinking things sometimes slows progress.
PS i am a new member and just want to say hello to everyone.
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Old 02-06-2007   #31
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Default Precision UO

Quote:
Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
Tom, in the old days the first man did not go through the door! he would lie on the ground OUTSIDE! the door and look first. If he fired nobody else went through the door until he yelled go, if he didn't fire, he yelled go and the rest of the team would enter and clear their sector. Not perfect but better than going through blind and low tech and cheap to.
Agreed if it's safe to be out on the street in the first place. But everything is METT-T dependent; we worked this issue hard in 2003-2004. You can see the result as CALL Newsletter 03-4.

The debate over situations is on the mark. And one not subject to a checklist approach. Precision UO is just such a case; precise is a relative term. Aachen WWII and Fallujah 2 are at one end of the spectrum; the other is as discussed here the "call out" to the locals. Each has their place depending on situation.

Best
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Old 02-06-2007   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGTMILLS View Post
I agree with most of you on this matter. The swat tactics of old are just that...OLD. we didn't use the "stack" method when we went into a house. We had trucks. If we took fire from a specific building, we drove through the front door. Yes, barbaric, but effective. Discussions can be had on every aspect of this war, but overthinking things sometimes slows progress.
PS i am a new member and just want to say hello to everyone.
SGTMILLS,

Welcome and keep contributing. Hard-won experience is critical to adding depth to all of our discussions.

I can see where some of the impetus comes from. On my own initiative, I attended a TREXPO training seminar run by Bob Taubert, a veteran Marine, gun-writer and FBI HRT plank holder. He stated that over the course of actual operations and training sessions, the British SAS determined that ehy had a very finite amount of time after entry (especially dynamic) before the tangos got their wits about them and could start doing harm to hostages.
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Old 02-06-2007   #33
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Have to agree with Tom. Battle drill six is an effective tool for a young infantry fire team to execute but conditions must be set prior to execution. I remember as an infantry LT when battle drill six included tossing in a grenade to "prep the room" prior to entering. CTC bulletin 97-01 recommended changes to battle drill six resulting in what most units are familiar with today.

The author's point in this article, however, has a lot of merit. Leaders must have the mental agility to consider other options, determine the risk versus gain of a forced entry and then make a decision. Do we need to replace or bid farewell to battle drill six? Definately not. Are our small unit leaders more adept at determining when and how to execute a clearing mission than pre-2003? I'd definately say yes.

Good article and discussion to get leaders thinking about other options prior to executing the dogma.
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Old 02-06-2007   #34
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Thanks, J
back to the topic...Battle drills, to include A-1 (left/right hook) etc. had merit on a conventional battlefield. We even used them in the desert, but in MOUT (read: unconventional warfare), however, the tactics have to be flexible. I.E. busting down doors with trucks. Now, the problem(s) (yes, plural) that a group would encounter on any given day can be categorized, but what does that tell us? We can develop battle drills until we are blue in the face, it's still not going to make our troops ready for every situation. I guess what I am trying to get across, is...smarter troops, with common sense are 100 times more likely to be successful than any SOP could dictate. Muscle memory training is great for the soldier just out of basic, but the real training begins with instilling a bit of "check your surroundings, then adapt." Using your training and keeping within the confines of ROE and SOP under (adaptive) movement is how we kept our unit at 100% through our tour. Just a bit of thought from a lowly buck-sgt.
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Old 02-06-2007   #35
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Default Spot On...

Sgt Mills,

Good point on adapting in an urban environment. The first combined arms battalion that went through the Marine Corps' Basic Urban Skills Training (BUST) program commented that there were too many scenarios thrown at them and they would never see even a fraction of the same. After they went through OIF 1 they said, yes we did not see all those scenarios - but we sure saw a lot of things we DID NOT expect and the BUST training had instilled a mindset of adapting and quickly thinking out complex problem sets...

As many have said - don't teach and train what to think, teach and train how to think...
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Old 02-07-2007   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
Agreed if it's safe to be out on the street in the first place. But everything is METT-T dependent; we worked this issue hard in 2003-2004. You can see the result as CALL Newsletter 03-4.

The debate over situations is on the mark. And one not subject to a checklist approach. Precision UO is just such a case; precise is a relative term. Aachen WWII and Fallujah 2 are at one end of the spectrum; the other is as discussed here the "call out" to the locals. Each has their place depending on situation.

Best
Tom
Tom, glad you brought this up. Tom's too modest, but this product was his brainchild. Far and away it's the best and most operationally relevant resourse I've come across regarding this subject. And it works.

Going through the door works, but if you can take the corner of the building off with a Bradley, tank, or truck, you established a breach in a direction the occupants just aren't oriented in. After that, there must be a logical order of operations. This Newsletter is just that.

Regardless of the method, the old saying "slow is smooth and smooth is fast" always applies. This only solidifies through rehearsals and good training.
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Old 02-07-2007   #37
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Default Bubba Swat

Here is a nice picture of how most modern SWAT teams go through the day today. If you don't want to shoot them you just run into them with the shield, sounds crazy but it is a very effect hostage or capture technique.
http://www.tacticalcops.com/boston-p...entry-team.asp

I have seen the truck routine done with an Wells Fargo Armored truck. It is also a great ruse to use, people think here comes the money
I have seen grappling hooks and steel cables used for people that have burglar bars on their doors and windows.

Last edited by slapout9; 02-07-2007 at 01:11 AM. Reason: fix stuff
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Old 03-31-2007   #38
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Default Tough subject...

This is a very interesting subject that often comes down to two factors, the current ROE's and your (in)ability to precisely pinpoint an enemy position. There are many times when you "know" the enemy is in a particular place but are unable to provide the evidence to higher that would warrant a JDAM or AC-130 response...OR can not justify the use of higher order munitions because said enemy is (intentionally) lodged inside a mosque, or near a piece of "critical infrastructure," or embedded within the civilian populace. It is in times like these (and these days they seem to outnumber any other kind) that all of the CQB pays off.

In the scope of small wars and unconventional conflict we tend to gravitate towards surgery as opposed to wholesale destruction. This preference lends itself to the close fight. There is a reason why we are NOT fighting standing armies, with uniforms and formal, extended supply lines. There is a reason why conflict has largely evolved from the fields and plains to the rooftops and apartments. The reason is that they really are "safer" (nowhere is safe) not because we can't get to them, but because we WON'T get to them or at the very least, are far more HESITANT to get to them.

I dont think anyone here is saying we should have less focus on CQB but rather remember that there are other options out there, and to get entrenched with one method is going to be fatal, is that right? The message I would want to take away from this is that if circumstance and situation warrant, stop take a breath, assess, and then go ahead and call air or arty or the neighborhood Abrams and don't just rush into the stack because that is what you have been training on for the last X number of years. Training and muscle memory tend to have us dialed in on the last thing we worked with or on and it is critical to stay mentally flexible so that when the tactical situation arises you are not leading or being led by lemmings.

As an aside and in defense of the stack. In my experiences there were very few times where we would have been able to send one person to look inside a doorway, room etc... because of a courtyard system or the construction of the building or door itself. I like the idea though and will certainly take that tactic and put it into my mental Rolodex! We were decidedly not allowed to drive our vehicles through ANYTHING, (why trash our trucks?) except in the very rare occasions when ROE's were loosened, but even THEN that kind of liberty was time and space dependent. As I said above the majority of the times we "knew" someone was somewhere, but couldn't provide the pictures, birth certificates and fingerprints of the person there to appease the popular press should the attack go wrong. It is the fear of the fourth estate that is the catalyst for highly trained soldiers and Marines to line themselves up and thow themselves into a potential meat grinder. We may not have cracked the code (yet! )and MOUT/CQB may still be one of the more dangerous components of modern combat but in spite of all of this, we are getting better and learning new ways to integrate technology with the commanders need to know what is in the building next door, without having to send in CSI afterwards.

Last edited by Ender; 03-31-2007 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 03-31-2007   #39
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Quote:
I dont think anyone here is saying we should have less focus on CQB but rather remember that there are other options out there, and to get entrenched with one method is going to be fatal, is that right? The message I would want to take away from this is that if circumstance and situation warrant, stop take a breath, assess, and then go ahead and call air or arty or the neighborhood Abrams and don't just rush into the stack because that is what you have been training on for the last X number of years. Training and muscle memory tend to have us dialed in on the last thing we worked with or on and it is critical to stay mentally flexible so that when the tactical situation arises you are not leading or being led by lemmings.
You're dead on the money.
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Old 03-31-2007   #40
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Not the best picture but, here is what a lot teams are using. The battering ram is attached to the vehicle and is used to punch a mouse hole in the building and allows the team to enter from an unexpected direction. It will not tear up the vehicle either. This is a picture of an older model MP type vehicle converted to LE colors. Notice the smiley face

http://www.swatguide.com/photos/9705STMIE.gif
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