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Old 03-31-2007   #41
Ender
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Default Key to the City

Yes that looks as though it would certainly do the job! I love the face, I mean come on, a little special delivery from your local APC is sure to make anyone smile.
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Old 08-07-2008   #42
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Here is an older article that addresses the problem as well. This one is from the JRTC perspective. I love the quote at the beginning, which is from the fighting in Aachen in Sept 1944:

Quote:
"(Streetfighting) is a bad misnomer, because the last place you see any sane man is in a street where every yard is usually covered by a well-sited machine gun. It should be called house-to-house fighting, which it literally is."

--Denis Johnston, BBC Correspondent, On the Front Lines, John Ellis, pg 90
STREETFIGHTING: The Rifle Platoon in MOUT

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Old 08-07-2008   #43
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I no longer have AKO access, so I could not read the article, but I read the comments and agree with most regarding the train how to think versus what to think and the use of BD 6 as a training tool.

The biggest downside that I have seen when some units conduct MOUT training is that they act as though they are doing something completely different from non-MOUT training. I have had to emphasize to numerous junior leaders that the complement to MOUT is MOT. The former is urban and the latter is not. (That rhymes). You're still maneuvering over terrain. It just happens to be urban terrain. They tended to get too focused on the stack and room clearing and start losing sight of the fact that they were maneuvering across terrain, often forgetting everything that they've ever learned about IMT, tactical movement as a member of a fire team, and the basics of suppressive fire and bounding. They don't forget that stuff when clearing a bunker, but seem to forget it when it comes to clearing a room. For me, that was always the red flag that told me that the leaders were not getting it.

I guess my point is that BD 6 is a useful training tool, but that a significant number of leaders do not realize that it is a tool. They see it as some magical collective task that will make their units lethal. For example, one of the last live fire exercises that my unit did prior to OIF III was a "shoothouse" exercise that consisted of nothing more than 4 guys stacking outside of the room, entering, engaging targets while moving to their points of domination, declaring the room clear, then clearing their weapons and walking out. It never progressed to the squad level or beyond. That was partly due to absurd range restrictions, but largely due to a fundamental misunderstanding of the value and purpose of the drill. Clearing the room, while dangerous and crap-your-pants scary, is the easy part.

Fortunately, I saw dramatic improvement after they got some OJT in OIF. And by "improvement" I mean that clearing rooms largely amounted to verifying that the enemy had been killed by the SBF as the assault element entered the building.
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Old 08-07-2008   #44
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Default Not to mention that everyone doing the same thing

over and over sets up an easily exploited pattern. I always appreciated it when the evil enema displayed patterns in their futile attempts to shorten my days...
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Old 08-07-2008   #45
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Originally Posted by VMI_Marine View Post
The mighty mighty republic of Cortinia!! I fought them often in my days as an airborne paratrooper. Crafty devils they were. Ah the memories
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Old 08-07-2008   #46
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Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
For example, one of the last live fire exercises that my unit did prior to OIF III was a "shoothouse" exercise that consisted of nothing more than 4 guys stacking outside of the room, entering, engaging targets while moving to their points of domination, declaring the room clear, then clearing their weapons and walking out. It never progressed to the squad level or beyond. That was partly due to absurd range restrictions, but largely due to a fundamental misunderstanding of the value and purpose of the drill. Clearing the room, while dangerous and crap-your-pants scary, is the easy part.

Fortunately, I saw dramatic improvement after they got some OJT in OIF. And by "improvement" I mean that clearing rooms largely amounted to verifying that the enemy had been killed by the SBF as the assault element entered the building.
I agree on so many levels!
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Old 08-07-2008   #47
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Default Second Guessing Our Decisions

I read the BD 6 article too late - and it cost me. When I was a CO CDR I decided to enter and clear a house, which resulted in one of my SSG's KIA. He later received the Silver Star, posthumously.

For the story, read this article from the March issue of ARMY magazine below, compiled by the CompanyCommand.mil Team at West Point.

I'm the B/2-37 AR vignette.


Quote:
In May 2006, elements of my company and Iraqi police were engaged in a conflict with an unknown number of gunmen located in a house on the outside of town.

.....

I arrived and dismounted on the ground with a squad-sized element of engineers and infantrymen. After receiving heavy small-arms fire, I authorized a section of M1 Abrams and an M2 Bradley to open fire on the house. They fired eight tank rounds and about 100 rounds of 25 mm into the structure, severely damaging it. The small-arms fire ceased, and I decided to lead my two teams to clear the single-story house. My battalion commander offered to let me employ Hellfire air-to-ground missiles from some AH-64s that were now on station to finish the job, but I waived off, trying to contain any collateral damage, and my troops were already inside the SDZ zone] of the weapon. So I continued with the plan to do room-by-room house clearing.

One of my squad leaders, SSG Legaspi, pulled me aside and asked me to let him lead the entry team and for me to follow in the second team. We also had about 10 Iraqi police with us. We advanced on the house and threw some grenades inside to prepare for entry. After they detonated, SSG Legaspi’s team began entering the house and clearing the first rooms. The IPs cowered and refused to enter, so I led the second team in, flanking around the side of the house. As SSG Legaspi led his men into the rear first floor room, shots rang out, and I watched in horror as SSG Legaspi collapsed on the floor about 10 feet in front of my position. The Soldier behind him was pinned by fire behind a pillar and screaming for help. I was stunned—one of my Soldiers just got hit, another was trapped, and the only way to get to either of them was to traverse the same open area that they just got shot in. Not a good set of options.

.....

A few weeks later, a partner commander was in a similar situation. Instead of charging in, he used police tactics and brought in the TPT [tactical psychological-operations team] truck to demand surrender, which the insurgents eventually did. I immediately began kicking myself. Why hadn’t I done that? Or, why hadn’t I dropped a bomb to begin with since my commander was willing? I kept doing my mental AAR, and each time I found myself wanting. Soon after, I read an article in Infantry Magazine arguing against the current training for house entry—that it was getting too many people killed because the extensive training for it makes it a first—rather than a last—option to many commanders.
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Old 08-07-2008   #48
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I'm the B/2-37 AR vignette.
Thoughtful, striking piece, Niel.
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Old 08-07-2008   #49
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Default We were lucky...

Neil, thanks for the example. Don't second guess yourself, s*** happens in combat. At least you made a decision.

As Ken said,

Quote:
over and over sets up an easily exploited pattern. I always appreciated it when the evil enema displayed patterns in their futile attempts to shorten my days
We almost learned the hard way that routine becomes deadly. In early 2007, the threat changed inside the target house. The enemy learned not to fight directly. Instead, they would rig the entire house to blow.

For a time, we mastered the art of battle drill six. We lived by the mantra that "slow is smooth and smooth is fast." My teams could flow through a town seamlessly.

During clearance operations in the DRV, I chose an abandoned home to strong point. To date, we had cleared over 400 homes. Given the location and vantage point, it was key terrain. The location seemed ideal. It was all too inviting. Unfortunately, the enemy identified it as well.

After we secured the house, I had a platoon inside establishing our defense and a platoon outside consolidating. Still something felt odd about the house. In the past 48 hours, we had lost 4 paratroopers to a suicide bomber and discovered an EFP production facility.

An alert NCO continued to search discovering a wire hidden under a rug leading to a hidden basement. Inside the basement, the receiver flashed connected to over 1000lbs of explosives. Thankfully, the det cord was flawed. I would have lost at least 15 soldiers.

Another unit was not so lucky and lost 10 soldiers.

Afterwards, we adopted the crawl approach to clearing.

There is no golden egg with TTPs in sustained COIN. BD6 is not a thing of the past. The key is to be erratic, innovative, and decisive. Sometimes you storm the house; sometimes you call TPTs for surrender; sometimes you blow the house up. As long as you are anything but predictable.

We mastered a similar TTP for driving- always change the tempo. Sometimes we bounded; sometimes we sped; sometimes we crawled.

In any case, the enemy was perplexed and the casualty rate decreased.

v/r

Mike
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Old 08-07-2008   #50
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Neil,

Virtually the same scenario is what prompted the writing of Nightmare on Wazir Street using Duffer's Drift.

Tom
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Old 08-08-2008   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
Neil, thanks for the example. Don't second guess yourself, s*** happens in combat. At least you made a decision.

As Ken said,



We almost learned the hard way that routine becomes deadly. In early 2007, the threat changed inside the target house. The enemy learned not to fight directly. Instead, they would rig the entire house to blow.

For a time, we mastered the art of battle drill six. We lived by the mantra that "slow is smooth and smooth is fast." My teams could flow through a town seamlessly.

During clearance operations in the DRV, I chose an abandoned home to strong point. To date, we had cleared over 400 homes. Given the location and vantage point, it was key terrain. The location seemed ideal. It was all too inviting. Unfortunately, the enemy identified it as well.

After we secured the house, I had a platoon inside establishing our defense and a platoon outside consolidating. Still something felt odd about the house. In the past 48 hours, we had lost 4 paratroopers to a suicide bomber and discovered an EFP production facility.

An alert NCO continued to search discovering a wire hidden under a rug leading to a hidden basement. Inside the basement, the receiver flashed connected to over 1000lbs of explosives. Thankfully, the det cord was flawed. I would have lost at least 15 soldiers.

Another unit was not so lucky and lost 10 soldiers.

Afterwards, we adopted the crawl approach to clearing.

There is no golden egg with TTPs in sustained COIN. BD6 is not a thing of the past. The key is to be erratic, innovative, and decisive. Sometimes you storm the house; sometimes you call TPTs for surrender; sometimes you blow the house up. As long as you are anything but predictable.

We mastered a similar TTP for driving- always change the tempo. Sometimes we bounded; sometimes we sped; sometimes we crawled.

In any case, the enemy was perplexed and the casualty rate decreased.

v/r

Mike
I think I'm going to frame that and keep it. Smart. Very smart.
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Old 08-08-2008   #52
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Default CALL Handbook 03-04 Small Unit Leaders Guide to Urban Ops

Gents,

I am lookig at updating Handbook 03-04 the Small Unit Leaders Guide to Urban Operations in the next year.

I have asked on of the OC divisions to take it on. But I would love to get direct input from the field. Vignettes are great, especially if tied to TTPs.

If you have something send me a PM and I will send an email address.

Best

Tom
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Old 08-08-2008   #53
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Lt Ackerman's article Relearning Stormtroop Tactics talks about isolating strong points and reducing them with supporting assets:

Quote:
After finding the enemy's position, the infantry would make contact, isolate and suppress the objective, and then either bring up a tank or a D-9 bulldozer to reduce the position.
The key point that I learned last year from the Army is that in a non-kinetic environment, the same idea still applies; only now the supporting assets brought up to "reduce" the strongpoint are an interpreter and/or psyops team.

Mike and Neil, thanks for sharing your experiences.
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Old 08-08-2008   #54
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Lt Ackerman's article Relearning Stormtroop Tactics talks about isolating strong points and reducing them with supporting assets:



The key point that I learned last year from the Army is that in a non-kinetic environment, the same idea still applies; only now the supporting assets brought up to "reduce" the strongpoint are an interpreter and/or psyops team.
In a non kinetic environment, once you isolate - i.e. build a fence around a neighborhood - there is no urgent need to reduce. For example, you can spend a couple months - or even years - negotiating with people until they lay down their weapons.
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Old 08-08-2008   #55
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In a non kinetic environment, once you isolate - i.e. build a fence around a neighborhood - there is no urgent need to reduce. For example, you can spend a couple months - or even years - negotiating with people until they lay down their weapons.
Unless you are the police in Prince Georges County MD

Seriously, the key phrase in this discussion remains METT-T. Everything else is but a guideline to consider.

I can tell you we have seen "stacks" running down streets as units wrongly applied CQB ttps to movement. Very little in my business begins with the phrase "Thou shalt not..."

Tom
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Old 08-09-2008   #56
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Default Vignette and second guessing-Listen to the audio

I'm reflecting this weekend...

On the Job with Operation Minotaur

This segment was done 72 hours prior to us discovering the rigged house. As for the reporting, we considered her a "one-night stand" reporter. She shows up, indulges you, and leaves never considering a long-term relationship.

This NPR segment cost me a Senate Armed Forces investigation so I'll put it into the appropriate context...

1. We did not torture anyone...Jamie states the detainees were interviewed out of view. While accurate, it is misportrayed. We handed over the detainees to the MPs.

2. "Let's get Rocky and beat these guys up." Rocky is a 110lbs kurdish iraqi. On patrols, he would scream, "STOP!!!" We'd immediately halt our convoy assuming that he identified an IED or ambush. Instead, he would be concerned with a dog being run over...During an interrogation, Rocky's emotional intelligence disarmed detainees in a way that often provided accurate intelligence.

3. As per my earlier post, we found the rigged house days later.

For additional context, we were penetrating into the denied areas of the Islamic State of Iraq. Moreover, for security reasons, we conducted a major deception operation with the media, Iraqi government, and Iraqi populace. Unfortunately, NPR choose not to leave before understanding the entire operation.

What she failed to document was that we bypassed over 100 deep-buried IEDs and secured an area devestated with sectarian violence, genocide, and terrorist training camps pushing fighters to baqubah, baghdad, and possibly Saudi Arabia.

I suppose those are minor sound bites within the grand scheme of things.

After she left, I felt bad for the curfew that I enforced on the populace. I lifted it to allow them to grab food, water, and electricity....Hours later, four of my soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber.

I never made that mistake again. I still had to write the letters to the families of my fallen.

v/r

Mike
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Old 08-09-2008   #57
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Default "Operation Minotaur"

If I had listened to that broadcast when it was originally aired, I would have thought it was a measured report of the situation as it was. The foreign accent and sober delivery would have had me fooled. She did not do your soldiers justice.

You mentioned in the broadcast, perceptions of impunity. That is also a problem for law enforcement here in the States as Slap can probably attest.
Hard, bad men (or often boys, juvys get away with a lot) get back into the town with vastly increased confidence and their neighbors wonder if the cops can really do anything. I read this problem was particularly bad in New Orleans.

If it is of any interest, in the state I was in, going into houses wasn't done much. The suspects were gassed out or talked out. This even extended to cell extractions at the state pen. We practiced cell extractions in training, mostly because it was fun. We even did one once at a county jail. But in the big prisons, they just pumped in the gas until the prisoner agreed to come out. Not very dramatic but safer for all.
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Old 09-27-2009   #58
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I need this article again, but my AKO is acting squirrely and I doubt I'll get to rectifying the problem easily. Could someone pinch a copy for me? I need to get this and some good commentary from another site out to the coy cmdrs.
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Old 09-27-2009   #59
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There is a time and a place for surgical, precision and hi-intensity MOUT. I have freely transitioned between the three, sometimes on the same day doing all three, depending on METT-TC.

While some units are enamored of "the one way" and hone their skills to be perfect at one skill set, I will settle for "good enough" at a wide range of skills which will allow the tactical flexibility to prosecute targets in a variety of ways.

The ROE is usually THE definitive variable on what is allowed, which has the unintended effect of causing escalation with regards to a situation. If others find themselves in that situation, then the transition from precision (or surgical) MOUT to hi-intensity must be trained on or else they will quickly find themselves out of their depth when that situation arises.

With regard to the enemy, here is a little personal vignette:
We were doing some training with a LE SWAT team (a double booked range...what are the odds!) and we watched them, and they watched us. Eventually, we started to compete, as we are wont to do...
Long story short, they attacked we defended (10 on 10) and we defended like we were taught. Concertina in the stairs, crew served covering the avenues of approach, etc. We won. Crew served weapons vs. SWAT = dead SWAT.
They defended, we attacked. We attacked hi-intensity (using a borrowed M-113 as cover) and using "bait" to troll for shots... Again, we won.
There was some good natured discussion afterwards (after a full day of fun, including one night iteration) which basically boiled down to "don't attack a well defended position with SWAT tactics"

SWAT stuff is nifty and a very acceptable TTP IF certain other criteria are met. Simply doing it because that is the only thing you know is the wrong answer.

-STS

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Old 09-28-2009   #60
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Default I'm not getting exactly ...

what you are driving at with this:

Quote:
from STS
The ROE is usually THE definitive variable on what is allowed, which has the unintended effect of causing escalation with regards to a situation. If others find themselves in that situation, then the transition from precision (or surgical) MOUT to hi-intensity must be trained on or else they will quickly find themselves out of their depth when that situation arises.
Could you illustrate what you mean re: ROEs in the three intensity levels, transitions, etc. Draw me a word picture - like the SWAT vs INF vignette.

Or attach a Powerpoint

Best

Mike

PS: welcome to the shop.
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