Well…now we are starting to move into kindergarten level material, but since I kind of like the “tactical preschool” title I’m going to leave it as is.
Today we are going to learn about how to make an entrance…into a room that is.
I am sure that I will be getting all sorts of “well yes but’s…” on this post. Nothing draws opinions from the tactical crowd more than room entry techniques, but since this is my blog I will be the “expert” in my own little domain so …”pbbbhttttt!!!”
Seriously though, I acknowledge that rooms come in all shapes and sizes and we can debate how best to deal with what’s inside them; but for all intents and purposes, when it comes to dealing with them, rooms can be boiled down to 2 basic types, “Center door” and “Light/Heavy”.
I believe that my illustrations are self-describing so I wont belabor the differences too much. Suffice it to say that, “Center door” rooms have equal lengths of wall to each door-side corner, while “Light/Heavy” rooms have varying distances from door to corner. The long wall is the “heavy” side and the short wall “light”. Each type will determine what the “optimal” entry technique will be.
The next time you are wandering around a building take a look at the doors as you walk the hallways. Pretty soon you will notice that there is a pattern to the “door/wall/door/door/wall” sequence. Soon it becomes fairly easy to figure out which wall will be the “heavy side” if you were to enter the room.
That’s not to say that sometimes the room just isn’t going to be what you expected once you go in. Sometimes you have to work from an educated guess. Unless you are in an operation where you have LOTS of intelligence on the building, most of the time you just have to “go with the flow” and work with what you have on hand.
When it comes to room entry you will find yourself in one of two fundamental situations. You are either methodically searching a structure for a threat that you do not know the exact location of OR you are going in dynamically to deal with a threat of (hopefully) known location or severe necessity.
If you are “stealth searching” a structure, the process of entering rooms is more a matter of “slicing the pie” on doors and then going in. When you are going dynamic you cant take the time to “slice” so you have to sacrifice some safety for speed. In reality..as in most of life..the lines tend to blur between these techniques depending on your circumstances. When I was an active member of a tactical unit, I found myself having to do “mini-dynamic” entries on rooms while stealth searching and “slicing the pie” on areas on dynamic operations. This stuff is all “rule of thumb” don’t become a slave to the text book.
To keep this lesson simple I will be describing a simple 2-man entry sequence.
For Center Door rooms, the operators “stack” on a side of the door to avoid the Fatal Funnel. To make the entry the first man will enter quickly and either cross the doorway towards the far corner or “button hook” into the near corner. The second man, while maintaining strict muzzle awareness and keying off the actions of the man in front of him, will take the opposite corner. Some people instruct that all operators will have pre-designated corners, but I find that Mr. Murphy and “brain farts” tend to screw up over-planed operations.
It is vital that these corners be cleared immediately AND that the operators stick close to the walls and not move to the center of the room. After clearing these corners the operators “run the walls” and move to positions of room domination with overlapping fields of fire.
For “Light/Heavy” rooms the technique is almost identical, with a few small differences. In these types of entries it becomes important that the first person in takes the “heavy side” of the room. The reason for this is because, depending on just how “light” the light side is, the person taking that side may block the entrance-way and bog the two of you up in the doorway…which is a BAD thing.
Also, depending on the “lightness” of the light side, the second man may only be clearing that corner with a quick visual because there may not be enough room to physically get into or point his weapon into it. After clearing their corners, the operators again move to positions of room dominance with overlapping fields of fire. Typically, the light side operator will move up the room to the far corner. That becomes even more of a necessity when you have more than 2 operators coming into the room.