This world is full of psychotic, unbalanced, and sinister individuals who assume the role of active shooters. The DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Active Shooter Guide actually advises Americans to make loud noises and throw a stapler at an active shooter, so the world needs people like us… highly trained patriots willing to protect their fellow countrymen and their own in the absence of law enforcement personnel.
This active shooter guide will outline the basic steps and exercises required for tactical units within your survival group or militia. As with all usCrow Survival and Training Articles we advise our readers to train diligently. Simply reading an article does not make you qualified to engage an active shooter.
What is an Active Shooter?
As of 2013 the most noted incident of an active shooter was in Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza’s role as an active shooter has been severely over glorified. He was not an active shooter with a combat mindset. Had a single faculty member been properly trained and armed, the outcome would have been much more different. Adam Lanza knew the school had ZERO defenses. Read survival stories where trained firearm owners save lives on Guns Save Lives.
Definition: Suspect(s) activity is immediately causing death and serious bodily injury. The activity is not contained and there is immediate risk of death or serious injury to potential victims.
Active Shooter Guidelines
During population events many survivors will revert to their basic survival instincts, causing an increase in defensive and offensive postures. In urban centers there will be instances where your unit will confront an individual hell bent on killing. Survival and Tactical Units will need to train in active shooter countermeasures to preserve life and protect resources.
Rehearsed planning and field training is required for active shooter dominance. Your unit must prepare to engage an unknown target which certainly requires skill. Survival unit training for active shooter scenarios typically require; preparation, communication, movement and link-up, movement to breach, movement to threat, threat neutralization, link-up, and site security.
Training and Facility Preparation
TRTs must diligently train for active shooter scenarios. Establish training facilities such as private homes, abandoned buildings and/or commercial buildings privately owned (leased) by members of your survival group, with a focus on urban environments. Urban settings such as these are where your group is more likely to engage an active shooter.
Training should include the inclusion of simmunition (for cost effective measures airsoft or paintball can be used during training). The equipment necessary for active shooter engagement includes; shoulder fired weapons with light mounts (5.72 x 28mm), shotgun with slugs, Level III/IV ballistics body armor (the more protection the better), breaching equipment (halligan, sledge hammer, battering ram), and communication equipment. Never use live ammunition in active shooter training.
Active Shooter Response
Your tactical response team should have a minimum of 4 armed members; the team leader who formulates and implements the force-on-force plan, assisting team leader who communicates with assisting personnel (if any), cover/rear guard unit members, and additional support personnel is ideal. The goal of the TRT and assisting personnel is to work as a team and eliminate the threat immediately. Basic active shooter rapid deployment tactics include these basic guidelines;
- The team leader should quickly assess the predictable target area; where the shooter can potentially move within, where they will flee to, and location of active shooter transportation.
- Is the situation static or dynamic? Is the shooter moving or prone?
- In the presence of additional personnel a 360 degree containment field should be achieved.
- Enter structures using the basic 4-man diamond team formation allowing for 360 degree security coverage. Contact member takes point (direction of movement), team leader and unit members take the flank and rear (cover guard position).
- Quickly move through hallways and corridors securing potential threats using the button hook method by quickly wrapping around the door and minimize exposure in the funnel (dangerous area where the active shooter is covered or silhouetted).
- Evacuate bystanders by having them go through the focal point of your 4-man formation opposite your movement of direction and towards secured exits (TRT entry point).
- If the active shooter has barricaded your contact point you must quickly remove the obstacle to eliminate the shooter. The most common breach method is using a shotgun with a 3” muzzle standoff and breaching rounds on locked doors (in most cases regular slugs will do the trick but pose some risks).
- If contact with the active shooter is lost the TRT leader instructs the team to continue clearing building rooms using stack and hook or criss-cross formations.
- Apprehension is not your goal, you are not a cop. Upon TRT active shooter contact, maintain cover and implement your plan to eliminate the shooter who has demonstrated clear murderous intent.
This guide demonstrates basic tactics and methodology for engaging active shooters. Military and law enforcement personnel train for years to be qualified to engage an active shooter. However, this guide will give you a starting point for your training. For more information read Building Clearing and Tactical Raids. Nothing replaces training by law enforcement and military personnel, use your contacts and train well.
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