Building Clearing – Introduction to Tactical Raid Techniques

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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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About Administrator Ryan

Administrator Ryan has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Emergency Administration and Management from the University of Kentucky, and has been the primary handler for since it's founding. Professional background includes over a decade's experience in survival and preparedness, graphic design, computer programming, website coding, and asset management. Personal background in mountaineering, climbing, rappelling, combat training, and big game hunting.

8 thoughts on “Building Clearing – Introduction to Tactical Raid Techniques

  1. I’ve read all the replies on here so far. All have valid points. The real deal is assaulting a structure sucks terribly, especially when your sure their are combatants in there. All you can hope is that overwatch (if you have it) sees stuff or movement you don’t and you have a good team with you. Speed of movement yet deliberate. Distraction devices are always nice to have. All you can ever really do is practice practice practice with your team to the point everyone knows what the other is doing and their is unconditional trust. Take care cy6

  2. I read a lot of these comments about putting your gun under the arm of another assaulter and shit like that , that gentlemen will get you killed quickly , because that is setting you up for a possible flagging of an assaulter and that means possible shooting another assaulter , that can’t happen ! Period ! I was privileged to be part of a tier one team out of VA , advanced CQC was our game all day every day , hit me up if you would like to discuss. Stay safe gentlemen and train hard .

  3. D. Moore how many houses have you stacked up on? Every infantry Marine and Soldier who has ever had to stack up on a house knows that operations in an urban environment are the most dangerous bc the enemy knows his home better than anyone and it is a lot easier to hold a position than it is to take one. My biggest problem with this article is the fact that it really doesn’t describe Technique or basic movements to greatly improve your odds of success and bring your buddies home. These techniques should be practiced by the unit until there is no more thinking just doing. You should know what your guys are going to do in front of you.
    1. Does the building have enemy combatants inside.(known or perceived?) if so is surprise your ultimate goal? If not then have one element suppress the building as you are closing in on the building. Have a pre arranged signal or position to cut off fires. If surprise is an option you should try to enter any way but the front or rear door. The preferred entry point is the roof or window.
    2. If you have grenades/Molotov cocktails ect use them. Anything that will possibly kill the enemy or that causes him to put his head down gives the entry unit an advantage.
    3. Always guard your fatal front. When entering a building your fatal front is the most dangerous. You should have your weapon under the guys armpit in front of you so you can still fire. You should also have a hold of his flak, clothes ect. If the guy infront of you gets hit it allows you to keep firing as well as move the guy out of the way. Your men should have multiple intersecting fields of fire.
    4. Always mark rooms you have cleared. As well as leaving a man behind to ensure no one comes in behind you when you think an area is cleared. Always leave men outside to protect from anyone entering or to catch combatants exiting.
    5. Communicate. When clearing a house or building talk. You have to communicate with your men. If there is a danger area yell it out. If you see a booby trap, window, closed door, hidden areas, ect communication is key.
    6. Violence of action. When clearing a building you have to make smooth deliberate actions. Don’t become complacent.
    7. Detainees. Search, segregate, silence, separate, safeguard, and tag. 4 S’ and a T.
    -Search enemy detainee. Starting from head and work your way down. Always go in the same order and be thorough.
    -Segregate your detainees by rank, sex, military affiliation
    -Silence your detainees to insure they are unable to communicate with each other. Blindfold, zip tie hands and feet, cover mouth with handkerchief
    -Separate the detainees from each other so they are unable to work together to escape, or collaborate on a story.
    -safeguard the detainees from the possibility the enemy will kill them to stop the spread of information, detainees are allowed to keep religious items, family pictures, and medical aid equipment.
    -Tag. Mark your detainees, with as much info as possible. Name, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, sex, birth place, current residence, phone number, military affiliation, any useful information gleaned from them.

    This is just basic info that I would have liked to see in any building clearing article.

  4. The classic wall stack. This SWAT or LEO tactic has is place under rule of law against unsuspecting civilians or criminals that are unaware behind the door in their underwear. If the bad guy is sitting on the couch eating xanax and pizza, you win.

    But consider the photo in the article… Three or more tactical dudes are sardined against the wall. If the bad guy hears them and is ready, there is no entry, dynamic or otherwise. And consider where this bad guy is in the scenario. He looks ready to me. The first guy in gets eat up by fire… Second guy too.

    These tactics do not work against anyone who is halfway trained, armed and ready for you. Do not do this.

    Add smoke, gas, and/or bangs… Then MAYBE go in if you KNOW what is inside. Intel…
    If it is hot inside, and you have to neutralize threats, then blast them from outside. Oh, what? Too much force? Well then don’t go in! This is suicide.

    Consider the doctrine of digging out an enemy in a fixed position… Requires a force ratio of 5:1 with equivalent weaponry to efficiently get them out. There is a good reason for this. Fixed or barricaded positions will otherwise win.

    There are valuable points in this kind of training but the application is very limited. Think about what you are trying to accomplish and do the right thing… Or die.

  5. Hmmm how about DEFENSIVE WAY of combating a raid!! Im not worried about conducting but protecting myself from a raid of gettng my food…ammo…gear…guns….an preps from being taken…wheres that one?????

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