This lesson will cover an alternative room clearing option from the “room flood” technique most commonly seen.
The “room flood” is the one you see in all the movies and cop shows. The door blows open and all the good guys “flood” into the room, shooting down the bad guys…
The idea is that “speed, surprise and violence of action” will overcome any resistance.
There is something to be said for the technique. The SAS perfected it and most US Special Operations Forces and Elite SWAT Teams still train and use it effectively. But to work when people are actually shooting at you as you enter, you need to be HIGHLY trained and willing to accept losses. In essence you are stepping into a room with the bad guys and shooting it out.
For SHTF situations like hostage rescue where you HAVE to get in and get in fast or else the hostages are going to get killed, this is probably still the best basic method (incorporating other things like window porting, sniper shots, diversions, etc.).
However, when used as a default method for all SWAT entries like high risk warrant execution, single person barricades and other less exigent reasons…well…you are asking people to wade into possible gunfire, expecting them accept losses and “drive on”.
For the average “operator” I don’t see that being something that will work out too well. Over and over again we have seen situations where the team meets gunfire at the breach and bogs down in the fatal funnel:
An alternative method of room clearing gaining ground is commonly called the “limited penetration” technique.
This is a concept that combines two previous lessons.
In Tactical Preschool 11 we covered the basics of room entry/room clearing.
In Tactical Preschool 46 we talked about how sometimes it’s wiser to deal with an armed subject from outside the room rather than trying force your way inside with him.
In this method, instead of rushing into the room to clear the funnel, the operators slice the pie from opposite sides of the door and engage any threat from outside the room. If the room is clear, they button hook the door and clear the corners and then proceed to the next entry point.
This is becoming one of the preferred techniques with the Israelis and the South Africans. If you go to the 1:28 point of the following video you can see the South Africans training in it….live fire….with an instructor inside….
Some detractors of the method don’t like the “loitering in the fatal funnel” aspect of the technique, but I believe there’s something to be said for the idea that perhaps…instead of trying to force a group of armed men into an enclosed space with a bad guy…it may be a better idea to deal with him from the door.