In this guide we will review tactical building clearing techniques that will assist in the training of militia members and the survival minded individual. These techniques can be applied to present day scenarios and post-disaster scenarios when your objective requires your team to enter a building that could possibly house enemy combatants. Your unit will need to understand the differences between dynamic and deliberate building clearing techniques. Additionally you will need to think tactically for a ever increasingly dynamic situation, while training your unit to work together to effectively clear the building. This is an absolute necessity for any survival group and your unit should train diligently to prepare for these scenarios.
To think tactically requires a process where each unit member considers the options and available tactics (manpower, firepower, environment, unconventional methods). Prioritize the safety of your unit above all else, and weigh the costs of the objective. If it’s not worth it, it’s not worth it. Above all else, as with most of the usCrow survival guides and tactical training guides, mental and physical fitness are proximal, contributing to your unit’s overall aggressiveness during the mission. This guide is the introduction, which reviews the basics of clearing. The second article of this guide will review advanced raid techniques and fire team movement.
Building Clearing – The Fundamentals
Be mentally prepared for any challenge you body will be faced with as a result of the human condition known as ‘fight or flight’. Be prepared for increased blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow, and muscle confusion, while certain extremities will suffer from decreased blood flow, making simply movements almost impossible. Beware of tunnel vision; tracking will become difficult if your focus deteriorates. Control your fear, do not let it overcome you, channel it into aggression. Operate in the field in the manner you have trained, but do not compartmentalize each scenario, combat is organic.
Like most tactical operations, silence is your friend. Keep your unit and its movements undetected by maintaining proper order. Avoid unnecessary movement (talking, whistling, sneezing, coughing, tripping over objects, and etc.), by making each action a conscious action. Keep you loadout light, since this is a targeted objective your gear should be kept to a minimal to prevent fatigue and unnecessary clamoring of gear (alerting enemies of your location). Secure all loose items, and assume proper positions.
Controlling the distance is a necessity in building clearing techniques. As a rule of thumb you should avoid distances close than 6 ft for a standing combatant, and four feet for a threat in a prone position. Further distances provide increased reaction time and options to find cover, while allowing the unit to orient itself more efficiently on the threat. Close proximity offers less time to react, weapon retention issues, and can cause target blockage.
Building Clearing – Dominate
Your unit requires a minimum of two men who are well versed in tactical response to active shooters, thus allowing for total control of the target area with interlocking fields of fire. Occupy the entry team move points with interlocking fields of fire to overwhelm your target by providing different angles of fire, while covering potential blind spots. Continuously scan your surroundings to prevent tunnel vision.
Building Clearing – Eliminating the Threat
When the area has been dominated by your unit eliminating the enemy with deadly force must be don’t as effectively and quickly as humanly possible with accurate and discriminating fire. This is achieved by move to their dominating positions as seen in FM 23-35. Above all else, remember to scan the area while eliminating the immediate threat and after. Any control lost of the situation due to a lack of diligence will not be easily retained.
Building Clearing – Control and Clear
Perform an expedient search of the immediate area to determine if another threat exists, this includes ensuring the threat has been sufficiently eliminated and secured. Search blind spots and anything that could possibly be used to conceal a threat (closets, cabinets, doors, furniture, obstructions, and etc.). With a two man team one covers, while one searches (units of more than two will cover the entry points and movement points). Search the combatant’s body for any other potential threats (IED’s, booby traps, comm.), which is ideally done with a three man team with one covering the room, one covering the threat, and one searching the threat.
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