Sam Brady Sends: Close Quarter Battle Training and Tactics in the United States

View Latest Activity

Home Forums Tactics & Leadership CQB and Urban Operations Sam Brady Sends: Close Quarter Battle Training and Tactics in the United States

Viewing 27 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #96094
      Max
      Keymaster

        Barry (‘Sam Brady’) sent this in and asked that I post it. This is coming on the back of the CQB video I posted, and the advent of the CQBC, which Barry is trying to get to in May. I am fully in agreement with what he says. What we are teaching at MVT is a form of Combat Clearance, and current SOF TTP’s for ‘diminishing returns’ and ‘step center’ entry techniques.

        (Note: ‘CQB’ always meant simple close quarters in the UK, including Jungle Combat, so he is right in that there is a different meaning here in the US. I now adopt the US definition, which means fighting in structures. “MOUT’ or military operation in urban terrain is the bigger picture military definition. Think of CQB as the room entry part, MOUT as the bigger operation. That would be ”OBUA’ in the UK (operations in built up areas) or better still: ‘FISH’ – fighting in someones house!)

        In addition to what Barry says in the intro, he was also a Ranger Company officer in Vietnam, at least one tour if I recall, and Purple Heart. And yet he still trained at MVT, Combat Team Tactics, 67 years old at first attendance. And wearing a set of green Vietnam era BDUs! Can’t beat it.
        _______________________________________________________

        Barry Sends:

        With the advent of your first CQB course, I thought I would attempt a ‘short history of CQB’ as defined in the United States. Unfortunately I cannot attend the first evolution of this class but I am very interested in attending the next one! I was fortunate to be working during these times. For ten of those years I had the privilege of being the FBI SWAT team leader in Washington DC. I was equally privileged to serve under several Special Agents in Charge (SAC) that supported the team with funding, training time and operational opportunities. During this time frame, I had a chance to observe and participate in training with a wide variety of military and law enforcement teams from around the world.

        Close Quarter Battle Training and Tactics in the United States

        Close Quarter Battle Tactics as we understand them today as well as the definition did not exist in either the military or the civilian law enforcement lexicons in the United States. US Military defined room clearing, tactics in urban areas as either Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) or Combat in Cities. Law Enforcement clearing was pretty much a very basic tactic of partners going right and left thru an entry way. Little thought was given to sweeping corners, fields of fire, etc. Not much specific training was given by both the law enforcement and the US military for hostage rescue scenarios.

        In the late 70’s the climate and the thinking began to slowly change. Terrorism began creeping out of the Middle Eastern countries into the West. Aircraft Hi-jacking’s, hostage takings and assaults with firearms were occurring with frequency. As Israel hardened itself these attacks began to take place in Europe and other Western Nations. Weapons of a military nature and design began to proliferate. Hi-capacity magazines and pistols began to make their way onto the scene. (In the 70’s there were very few options for hi cap pistols available. The Browning Hi-Power and the S and W model 59 were chiefly all that was available. Law Enforcement officers mostly carried revolvers and the 1911A1 was still the issue pistol of the US Military) AR-15’s and Ak-47’s were rare.

        The Hanafi Muslim seizure of several DC government buildings was a wakeup call. These early day terrorists held hostages and they sealed themselves off in a government building by pushing all the furniture down the stairwells and disabling the elevators. Law Enforcement had no viable option to free these hostages. US Military Special Operations forces had no trained forces to deal with this either. Someone in the Pentagon dusted off a paper written by Colonel Charlie Beckwith (after a tour with the SAS) and the counter terrorism force known as “Delta” was born. Not to be out done, the Navy began to stand up ST-6 for maritime counter-terrorism.

        Large law enforcement agencies such as NYPD and LAPD developed specialized units to deal with these situations. The police concept of “SWAT” originated with LAPD and the “Emergency Services Unit” of NYPD are examples of professionally developed teams based upon needs. Their origins were developed by smart men that had a lot of operational experience based on the sheer number of calls for service in large jurisdictions like Los Angeles and New York City.

        The catalyst for change and the development of the “CQB” concept occurred after the Iranian Embassy was seized in London in 1980. Operation “Princess Gate” was a daring well executed plan that captured worldwide attention. The video image of the SAS entering the balcony and charges going off, etc., was dramatic and interesting. Law enforcement agencies and the US military saw a need for a hostage rescue capability. Military teams that trained with the SAS brought the term, CQB back to the United States. The term “CQB” was defined in the United States as “interior combat” and/or dynamic hostage rescue tactics. The term CQB, I believe is used by British Military Forces to describe all aspects of combat in cities. This is where the confusion comes in.

        Specialized military teams began looking for training venues in cities and also looked at law enforcement training to enhance their capabilities. Thus an exchange of training information and doctrine began. Law enforcement agencies needed a hostage rescue capability and they eagerly adopted certain techniques from military units.

        Dynamic entry tactics became the instant hit in the law enforcement community. As always the quality of the training varied. Many teams had no capability of 270 or 360 degree live fire training. Simunitions training was non-existent at the time. Law enforcement and military teams were using revolvers with wax bullets for force-on-force training.

        Unfortunately training in empty buildings’ with card board targets was a lot of fun! Teams developed the “false confidence” that comes from little or no opposition. Operators “forgot” that the dynamic tactic was developed for what I would call “Innocent hostage rescue” and not the rescue of evidence or the arrest of an aggressive suspect that is aware of your presence. Since most suspects do not resist, law enforcement moved in the direction of dynamic tactics without much thought towards what might happen if they encounter suspects that did not comply and were willing to shoot back without concern for the consequences.

        Another problem is that some teams began to develop what I would call “shoot house tactics.” That is, tactics that worked very well in empty structures. How many houses or office space have you been in that has no furniture around the perimeter? Without the worry of furniture you can run to the corners. With furniture, tables lamps, etc. you have to be much more aware of these factors. They limited dynamic movement (nothing like watching an operator that trips and goes “ass over tea kettle” trying to dominate a room from a corner!)

        The next evolution in CQB began around the time that:
        • Teams realized they were not always successful with dynamic entries without surprise and positive breaching (explosive breaching is very limited in use by police teams).
        • Simunitions technology became widespread. This gave teams the ability to “test” their tactics in a realistic manner against an armed OPFOR.
        • The tactical incident known as “Blackhawk Down” or the Battle in Mogadishu occurred. Military teams recognized a different tactic might be needed for room clearing in a tactical setting that lacked surprise vice a hostage rescue setting.

        When my team purchased simunitions technology we began to realistically assess our tactics. After looking at the large number of soap markers on our uniforms (not just the ones on the body armor!) we realized that our tactics were not always the safest. We experimented with ballistic shields and slow clearing thru structures as taught by LAPD. Ultimately, we decided on a mix of tactics suggesting slow movement whenever possible and dynamic for hostage rescue or life threatening situations. (my personal experience ended about 1995).

        CQB as a tactic has and will continue to evolve based upon real world experiences by both law enforcement and returning military veterans.
        Construction of homes in the middle east seem to be made of concrete vs. stick builds that we find in the United States combined with an unconventional opponent that is not unwilling to die forces another evolution in tactical thought and doctrine.

        Our enemy was also evolving and studying our tactics. Some houses were literally turned into indoor bunkers where the enemy had no thought of surrender or escape. Conventional dynamic entries against indoor bunkers resulted in an unnecessary losses.

        Combat clearing techniques were developed that allowed soldiers to clear 70-80% of a room from doorway. Slowly moving and assessing the threat. This tactic works very well in hardened structures. I am not sure how well it will work in stick built structures as the opposing force can simply shoot thru the walls when they become aware of the movement on the other side of a wall.

        UTM technology is now on the scene and is definitely the way to enhance training. These rounds work well, with minimum maintenance issues and you can use your own weapon. This technology allows for more realistic training and a “pain penalty” for exposing yourself.

        What I have learned over the years of training and application of CQB tactics in a law enforcement role:

        • The school solution is the starting point. Best practice is to blend the school solution with real world experience.
        • Understand what exactly it is that you are trying to accomplish.
        • Apply a tactical solution that fits the situation and not try to force the situation into one specific tactical response.
        • In order to be successful it is more important to have strong operators. CQB is a bottom fed tactic. This means that operators have to know what to do and where to go without being directed by a team leader.
        • Unless you have access to a shooting house and can apply your tactics with life fire and with UTM training rounds you are just fooling yourself.
        • You must train in as many real structures as is possible. Furniture and everyday clutter changes your perspective (I have been in rooms so tight in housing projects that one operator is all you could fit around 4 bunk beds and clutter….)
        • Don’t rush decision making.

      • #96095
        JohnnyMac
        Participant

          :mail:

        • #96096
          Max
          Keymaster

            On this note, does anyone have any shitty furniture they can donate to the CQB site to fill the rooms in a little? Nothing too large, each room is only 12 x 12. Chairs, little pieces of stuff. We may leave one totally empty for initial drills, and have another more furnished, or move it around, or similar.

            Obviously for some classes, such as CLC, we will have people sleeping in there and therefore maybe some cot beds etc.

          • #96097
            Joe (G.W.N.S.)
            Moderator

              This is a excellent point rarely discussed.

              How many houses or office space have you been in that has no furniture around the perimeter? Without the worry of furniture you can run to the corners. With furniture, tables lamps, etc. you have to be much more aware of these factors. They limited dynamic movement (nothing like watching an operator that trips and goes “ass over tea kettle” trying to dominate a room from a corner!)

              I had the opportunity to participate in Simunition training in the mid 1990’s. A two story building was being emptied for demolition. The military instructor was very experienced. The first floor was empty and used for initial training. The second floor had furniture and students didn’t know until they entered.

              Very interesting results, the “ass over tea kettle” brought back some memories. ;-)

            • #96099
              trailman
              Participant

                On this note, does anyone have any shitty furniture they can donate to the CQB site to fill the rooms in a little? Nothing too large, each room is only 12 x 12. Chairs, little pieces of stuff. We may leave one totally empty for initial drills, and have another more furnished, or move it around, or similar.

                Obviously for some classes, such as CLC, we will have people sleeping in there and therefore maybe some cot beds etc.

                You should ask the neighbors down the hill. Lots of outbuildings there. Excellent article

              • #96100
                Max
                Keymaster

                  That’s Fred’s ex-wife’s hells half acre. She hoards there, to spite him. Nothing helpful is coming out of that shit pile.

                • #96101
                  Robert
                  Participant

                    I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen go right past a couch, the space next to a fridge, etc. in shoot houses and never check them, then get lit up from behind.

                    Excellent article and great history, thanks!

                  • #96102
                    wheelsee
                    Participant

                      This is where training scars can cost you your life……

                      90s…..sheriff Dept in NW LA, our TTP was to clear as we moved, usually at a fast walk but adjusted as needed. Same time period, the municipal police dept’s TTP was totally different. Theirs was to send an officer running to the back door to prevent escapes…..anyone see a problem here?? Robert is dead-on…..officer ran past a bathroom door where the suspect had taken refuge….suspect pops out and shoots officer from behind, with bullet entering the ass cheek, ricocheting off upwards off the pelvis, taking out the descending aorta…..the officer died on the operating table……

                    • #96103
                      Sam Brady
                      Participant

                        On numerous occasions I have seen officers and agents not shoot thru furniture such as a couch. When presented with a lethal threat they will shoot only at what is exposed, not wanting to shoot up the furniture!

                      • #96104
                        Robert
                        Participant

                          Nobody is shooting the plastic off my couch! :)

                          So the May CQB class-

                          1. Still has openings?
                          2. Is there any live fire ammo needed or no? Seems like previously it had a live ammo round count and now doesn’t?

                        • #96105
                          Max
                          Keymaster

                            Yes the May CQBC has a couple of openings.

                            The CQBC page has not changed, and still has a live round requirement. What page are you looking at?

                          • #96106
                            Robert
                            Participant

                              My bad, it’s there.

                            • #96107
                              SeanT
                              Keymaster

                                Max

                                I will bring up some camp type chairs for the CQB March that we can trip over LOL, maybe if you bring a tea kettle we can have asses go over it.

                              • #96108
                                Sam Brady
                                Participant

                                  Going thru some old lesson plans, here are a few tips:
                                  If your shoulder weapon fails, safe it and go to your handgun
                                  If you are injured or unable to continue movement, kneel down and others will flow around you. (this lets others know you cannot continue, etc)
                                  If you fall down,kneel down, etc, Stay Down! Let another operator stand you up or, crawl to a wall and stand up (this prevents the operator from standing up when someone may be taking a shot)
                                  Stay out of hall ways-stack in a room and flow to the next door.
                                  (these may be horribly out dated.

                                • #96109
                                  trailman
                                  Participant

                                    On this note, does anyone have any shitty furniture they can donate to the CQB site to fill the rooms in a little? Nothing too large, each room is only 12 x 12. Chairs, little pieces of stuff. We may leave one totally empty for initial drills, and have another more furnished, or move it around, or similar.

                                    Obviously for some classes, such as CLC, we will have people sleeping in there and therefore maybe some cot beds etc.

                                    craigslist

                                    https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/search/nva/zip

                                    or freecycle. Could probably get a few truckloads off freecycle.

                                  • #96110
                                    wildbill
                                    Participant

                                      In preparation for the May CQB class and general information gathering I came across an ebook on Amazon Single -Person Close Quarters Battle: Urban Tactics for Civilians, Law Enforcement and Military. Anyone read this and if so thoughts on it’s usefulness. Being a novice on these TTP’s I still see this as useful information since we may have to do this by ourselves.

                                    • #96111
                                      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                      Moderator

                                        Being a novice on these TTP’s I still see this as useful information since we may have to do this by ourselves.

                                        Given the following comment by John3X, the instructor.

                                        It is primarily focused to an element but portions of the class will be single man entries and clearances. There will also be defensive scenarios designated to stress a single individual in attempts to recreate a home invasion.

                                        – John3X

                                        I would wait until after this class before reading any material that maybe contradictory.

                                        Obviously John3Xhas been vetted, this “Special Tactics” group author (supposedly developed by Special Operations Veterans) has not.

                                        After this class you will have better discernment with a point of reference when exposed to other material.

                                        YMMV

                                      • #96112
                                        wildbill
                                        Participant

                                          I would wait until after this class before reading any material that maybe contradictory.

                                          Obviously John3Xhas been vetted, this “Special Tactics” group author (supposedly developed by Special Operations Veterans) has not.

                                          After this class you will have better discernment with a point of reference when exposed to other material.

                                          YMMV

                                          Thanks, that’s what I needed to know :good:

                                        • #96113
                                          dg
                                          Participant

                                            @Sam Brady,
                                            Thank you very much for the original article and the follow-up comment!
                                            Much appreciated.

                                            Disclaimer: I have never been in a combat, and I have never got any CQB training. So, what I am saying below can be completely nonsensical.

                                            I noticed that some tactical trainers in Russia use building/room clearing techniques which presume that the walls are impenetrable to commonly used rounds (up to, and including, 7.62×39, if not bigger).

                                            While this presumption may be statistically true for most of Russia, where all the buildings that I had ever lived in were made of bricks or concrete, this is definitely not true for the U.S., where walls in the majority of residential buildings – including my own suburban house – are made of sheetrock. In other words, tactical teams in Russia have an opportunity to hide behind walls, and we don’t.

                                            Still, there’s at least one technique that I believe can borrowed from those russians:
                                            1. While “slicing the pie”, quickly look into the room and then quickly pull back. The feet stay in place, only the minimal amount of head and upper body movement is done.
                                            2. That fraction of a second while you saw what’s inside the previously-not-viewed part of the room, should be enough for you to realize if there’s someone in that “slice” of the room.
                                            3-a. If you saw no one, move the feet a bit and work on another slice. Needless to say, the noise discipline is important, and the feet can be moved only so much as to be seen from the already-checked “slice” of the room.
                                            3-b. If you saw someone:
                                            (1) If you can, get to cover. Find other ways.
                                            (2) If you cannot get out, shoot the enemy, but after changing the level: i.e., he has just seen you and will be shooting – most likely – at where your head or “center-mass” is. Make sure that your head and body are NOT where they were half a second ago: drop to your knee, then bend your torso to start shooting from around the corner/door, and thus you may have gained a second or so advantage while the other guy thinks you are standing upright, whereas in fact you are already working on the lower level (his bullets flying above your head).

                                            Also, I liked their staircase clearing techniques. In a nutshell: move slowly; maintain not only 360 degrees awareness, but also 3-dimensional awareness; be ready to GTFO fast (for example, if an enemy whom you failed to discover before he discovered you, starts shooting from above); and have your buddy – at least one – cover your 6 while you are checking out what’s going on above and around you.

                                          • #96114
                                            Max
                                            Keymaster

                                              Hmmmm. Heading up to CQBC in the morning, by coincidence. Hard and soft wall consideratuons are taught. I suggest you get on a class. May is currnently full however, so I will talk to John about a further date.

                                            • #96115
                                              hellokitty
                                              Participant

                                                Advocating going slow and incremental slicing of pie, although not necessarily wrong, assumes that there are no innocents at risk or that the bad guy is not shooting your team from inside the structure. After all, why are you clearing the room to begin with? Also, it assumes you only have 1 room to clear. What if you have 10 classrooms to clear in a school and you can hear shooting further inside the structure? You cannot take 30 minutes to clear those rooms. Also, the longer you hang around a doorway the more of a chance your going to catch a bullet coming thru the wall.
                                                MVT teaches excellent techniques that address these issues.

                                                HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
                                                HEAT 2 (CP) X1
                                                FOF X3
                                                OPFOR X2
                                                CLC X2
                                                RIFLEMAN

                                              • #96116
                                                wildbill
                                                Participant

                                                  Need thoughts/advice on optics for May’s CQB Course. Presently I’m running a 3x optic which is fine for CTT etc. but I’m thinking that in a CQB situation/class with the optimal word being CLOSE I need a unmagnafied red dot and was looking at getting a MRO red dot.

                                                  So what advice can I get, is it yes no maybe? :scratch:

                                                • #96117
                                                  wheelsee
                                                  Participant

                                                    Need thoughts/advice on optics for May’s CQB Course. Presently I’m running a 3x optic which is fine for CTT etc. but I’m thinking that in a CQB situation/class with the optimal word being CLOSE I need a unmagnafied red dot and was looking at getting a MRO red dot.

                                                    So what advice can I get, is it yes no maybe? :scratch:

                                                    IIRC, Max talks about a way of holding the front stock with the thumb pointing inline. For very close battle, simply point your thumb at the target and bang.

                                                  • #96118
                                                    Max
                                                    Keymaster

                                                      And I’m at the actual CQBC……Any kind of non magnified red dot works well for CQB and indeed fo any engagements within usual ranges to 100ish meters.

                                                      Holding a vertical or angled foregrip so the fingers point, not actually gripping a vfg in the fist, is the way to go. Naturally points the rifle.

                                                    • #96119
                                                      wildbill
                                                      Participant

                                                        Thanks Max for verification I’ll get it ordered, zeroed and get some range time on in preparation for CQB class.

                                                      • #96120
                                                        John3X
                                                        Participant

                                                          Bill, yeah any red dot will do well. I personally like eotech, trigicon MRO, the aim point Micro or even the bushnell ar15 red dot optic of you want something conservatively priced.

                                                          These are all great choices for cqb, I will however recommend that when we go force on force you take the optic off if you do not have an anti reflection device (ARD) or sacrificial objective lens cover. We had an issue where two eotechs took sim rounds and cracked unfortunately.

                                                          Sorry for the delayed response but I hope this helps

                                                          – John

                                                        • #96121
                                                          John3X
                                                          Participant

                                                            @ Sam Brady

                                                            You’re article of the brief history of CQB is absolutely spot on. The points you articulate are all points that you will hear while conducting CQBC. I want to personally say thank you for sharing your time and experience with the group, and it’s a breathe of fresh air to see someone as well versed as you are expressing the same thought processes that both max and I put before all else when pertaining to CQB. As you well know many people get fixated on “what they know” and how “they were taught”. Unfortunately these folks are hard to persuade even when they are attempting to utilize grade school techniques at best, and have no actual real world experience or even sim training. Thanks again for the article it was a fantastic read and can’t wait to see you in May

                                                            – John

                                                          • #96123
                                                            Dennis W
                                                            Participant

                                                              Here is one possible fix for the Eotech vs UTM. It’s made out of the same wire mesh as in the face masks. Just slides in the space around the lense.
                                                              Dennis

                                                          Viewing 27 reply threads
                                                          • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.