Training Video: OBUA Attacks

‘Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises’
October 7, 2013
Training Videos: The Purpose Of Them
October 8, 2013

SP sent the following videos, with this comment:

Thought you might find these OBUA (MOUT) videos interesting. From 2005 so somewhat old by today’s standards. Each video is quite long but gives a fairly good insight into how urban ops are conducted and serves to illustrate just how slow and disorientating it can be. Certainly shows that using SWAT/LE bollocks to gain entry against even a determined lone opponent would lead to said SWAT team getting minced.
I believe the videos are of a TA unit (i.e. Reserves) that were preparing them for their receiving units before pre-deployment training for Iraq.
Second video shows the importance of covering your flanks, as demonstrated about 6 minutes into the 2nd video when one of the exercise “enemy” sneaks up to them.

You won’t see anything ‘super-high-speed’ or ‘tacticool’ in these videos. You will see confusion, disorientation and and some blank looking faces at times. These guys are training, this may have been the first time some of them were doing this, and that’s why we train.
One of my observations is that the videos illustrate the need on the squad leaders behalf for communication, grip and leadership. In places you can see where they needed to get a little more forward and simply get a grip of the guys, rather than trying to control them by remote control. I’ll explain why they were doing what they were doing in a moment.
The first video has an advance to contact and clearance of two outlying farm complexes. The second video then takes the unit into the clearance of the main suburban/urban area. By watching the videos you will also get an idea for what larger formation (platoon/company size) movement looks like. 
The farm complexes could be a prepper’s retreat. Imagine that, when they deploy the British U.N. Redcoat troops! But then again, killer bees would have been an adequate defense, don’t you think? BTW: killer bees: no, I am not losing my grip on sanity; killer bees was a comment that I love to refer to, from an actual commenter on one of my blog posts whose retreat defense involved shooting into his killer bee hives and thus setting them upon attackers. I have never been able to let that go since….
Once they get into the main urban complex, you can see the challenges presented by angles of fire and the need to cover flanks and suppress enemy in order to get troops up to and into buildings.
What you see them doing is moving up to the complex then laying down suppressing fire in order to get a squad into the first building, in what is called the ‘break in battle.’ Once the first squad is in, they are trying to funnel through the next squads, clearing the buildings as they go. The challenges are crossing the open areas and covering all angles against enemy fire and counter-attack. The final attack takes place in what used to be an actual housing estate so is very real ground – it could be a suburban area in Boston, and imagine how the goons would have done there if it had gone kinetic and fire was coming in from all angles…..not so well I think!
When they are room clearing, they are adopting the classic British Army OBUA tactics of breaking the squad (8 men) down into:
Assault Group 1 – 2 men.
Assault Group 2 – 2 Men.
Command Group – squad leader and link man
Cover group/assault group 3 – 2 men.
This is why you see the squad leader hanging back a little. What they are practicing is for the squad leader to fire an assault team to into a room, they clear it, and declare what exits there are. The squad leader should then make a decision and fire the next assault team through into the next room. In my opinion there are a few instances where the squad leader should be further forward – he should really be into the room on the back of the assault team, as they declare it clear, to rapidly make a call which way to go next. That helps keep momentum up. This all involves planning on the fly because they don’t know the layout of the buildings. 
The ‘link man’ is used to pass messages back and forwards. ‘Every man is a link man.”
Communication, grip and aggression are vital for OBUA, as well as flank protection and fire support. 


  1. Anonymous says:

    In town they have a real advantage with bullpups on full auto BUT. their ammo loads are small, and they carry a lot of gear they don’t use. Out in the countryside 10 men armed with NO4 rifles , SMLEs, Garand’s M-1as , or ’03s could do great harm to them. They bunched up while ditty bopping along oblivious to their surroundings, sucking wind from the massive field packs they had on. “Marching order” has all of their “kit” in the pack- AMMO INCLUDED. Nice time to catch the boys napping wouldn’t you say? Or maybe when they sat down ,all nicely bunched up laying weapons aside and looking up to the heavens dreaming of mums shepherd pie. The terrain was such that there were at least five points where I could have dropped one to three men , without them having the slightest clue where the shots came from and those giant field packs would make reaction way to slow . It would be even worse with three to five “teams” dug in spider holes, at five divergent points and alternating the direction of the incoming fire.—Ray

    • Max Velocity says:

      Ray: I get your point, but it’s not really what I was driving at with the video. It’s kind of easy to be smart about it, but as I mentioned these are guys running through some stuff early in their training level. With a fully up to speed unit yes you could play Taliban but it would not be as easy to run rings around them as ou suggest. I professional regular infantry squad covering ground is an impressive sight, and you can play sneaky but of they locate your position you’ll be in a world of hurt. Keep low, move fast!

  2. Nbosick says:

    Excellent video! Thanks for sharing .

  3. FormerSapper says:

    Ah, yes FISCH training (Fighting In Some *unt’s House). I can remember the very first time we was taught to stack up on the door, no violence of action and a lot of indecisiveness on mine and my buddies part. Copehill Down and Longmoor have gleaming villages, I forget which one has drains that you can muck around in.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s Longmoor. Did some pre Iraq training there several years ago and I remember the DS telling everyone to stay out of the underground drains.


  5. Anonymous says:

    These really get me thinking and questioning. Roleplay: If I see a similar group on approach to my place (assuming I’m actually patrolling and am able to see them first before they get to my gate) what to do? Fire at them? Why? At any distance I don’t know who they are much less their intent. If they didn’t start hostile they certainly will be if I start plinking at them from the next hill over. Do I really want to pick a fight? Do I have a choice? Do I have the skillz and numbers to have a prayer at dealing with them if they are hostile?

    This is a great study, Max.


    • FormerSapper says:

      Patrolling alone? In my opinion you’d be better off laying up and observing so that when you get back to your team you can have a pow wow and figure out a way to ambush them or counteract the tactics. With a few other guys? Slot the bastards.