A part of room clearing is the ability to gain access
quickly to the rooms to be cleared. Breaching techniques vary based on the
type of construction encountered and the types of munitions available to the
breaching element. Techniques range from simple mechanical breaching to
complex, specialized demolitions. If possible, conduct the breach to allow
the team to continue movement without waiting at the breach (entry) point.
Deception should be used to confuse the enemy as to the location of the
primary entry point. This can be achieved by using stun grenades in an area
other than the actual breach/entry point.
Opening of Doors if
If the team knows that the door isn't locked. One of two simple orders are
used "pull and go" or "Push and go".
A closed door is considered locked in all cases when a breacher is present,
assuming the breacher has the means available to defeat the door.
Pull and go.
When the team reaches a door Operator ❶ gives the order "pull
and go". On this one operator steps out of the
stack, moves to the the door, and pulls it open when operator ❶ signals
by nodding his head three times. This could also be done by operator ❶,
second man in the stack then becomes operator ❶.
Push and go.
This is done the same way as "pull and go" except that the door opens inwards.
In most cases operator ❶ opens the door himself.
Experienced teams do this automatically without any commands.
Mechanical Breaching The mechanical breach requires increased physical exertion by one or more
soldiers using hand tools such as axes, saws, crowbars, hooligan tools, or
sledgehammers. The mechanical breach is not a preferred primary breaching
method because it can be time-consuming and defeat the element of surprise.
Use mechanical breaching as a backup to a ballistic or explosive breach.
Entry gear is electrically non-conductive, features the Sure-Grip handle system
, and is resistant to
100,000 volts AC.
Dynamic Entry gear demonstration
A useful method of breaching is the shotgun ballistic breach for forced
entry of standard doors. Use a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with buckshot or
slugs to breach most standard doors quickly. When done properly the shotgun
breach requires only a few seconds. The two standard techniques of shotgun
breaching are the doorknob breach and the hinge breach. When attempting
either technique, the gunner is announcing his presence by using the shotgun
and is completely exposed to fire through the door. Therefore, exposure time
must be minimized and the operator ❶ must be ready to gain entry and
return fire as soon as possible. While holding the stock of the shotgun in
the pocket of his shoulder, the gunner places the muzzle tightly against the
door, and aims down at a 45-degree angle. If the shotgun muzzle is not held
tightly against the door, splatter may occur that could affect friendly
troops. Also, buckshot and rifled slugs can over penetrate doors and may kill
or wound occupants in the room
For the doorknob breach, the aim point is a spot halfway between the
doorknob and the frame, not at the doorknob itself. The gunner fires two
quick shots in the same location, ensuring that the second shot is aimed as
carefully as the first. Weak locks may fly apart with the first shot, but
the gunner should always fire twice. Some locks that appear to be blown
apart have parts still connected that will delay entry. If the lock is not
defeated by the second shot, the gunner repeats the procedure.
Hinge Breach The hinge breach technique is performed much the same as the doorknob
breach, except the gunner aims at the hinges. He fires three shots per
hinge. The first at the middle, then at the top and bottom He fires all
shots from less than an inch away from the hinge. Because the hinges are
often hidden from view, the hinge breach is more difficult. Regardless of
which technique the gunner uses, immediately after he fires, he kicks the
door in or pulls it out. He then pulls the shotgun barrel sharply upward and
quickly turns away from the doorway to signal that the breach point has been
cleared. This rapid clearing of the doorway allows the following man in the
fire team a clear shot at any enemy who may be blocking the immediate breach
Only use small arms
(5.56) as a ballistic breach on doorknobs and hinges as a last
Do not attempt to open the door by hand. If the
door is locked, this action will alert any combatants inside of the room
of your intentions and possibly expose the breacher to fire through the
Explosive entry The use of explosive charges to breach doors or walls on buildings
and aircraft is an excellent SOP. Although unfortunately, because of a lack of
training, understanding, expertise, and the cost involved, explosive entry
a common standard for entry teams. The two prime advantages of explosive
method of entry MOE are the almost guaranteed entry and the stun effect on
the occupants in the room. Everyone should be stunned to a certain degree,
making it easier to dominate and control the room. However, it is not
recommended that the breaching charge be placed on doors or walls leading
into the actual room where the hostages are being held.
Explosive MOE has been perfected to such a degree that the secondary
fragmentation from the door and the risk of over-pressure injuries to the
hostages have been all but eliminated. Explosives should only be handled by
experienced bomb technician, EOD personnel, or specially trained operators.
Breaching charges come in several forms from factory made linear shaped
cutting charges to improvised systems made from Detonation-Cord. All are
usually command detonated with an electrical firing system and blasting cap.
During explosive MOE training, the team must be protected with Nomex hoods
and uniforms, boots, goggles and ear muffs, entry vests and gloves. If the
door must be breached by more conventional non-explosive methods, e.g.
battering ram, boot or crow bar, then stun grenades should be dropped
through broken windows to temporarily disorient the occupants. Always target
two or more entry points for breaching in case one is too heavily barricaded
to allow entry.
BREACHING INTERIOR WALLS AND
Interior walls generally require
much less explosive to create a satisfactory breach than do exterior,
load-bearing walls. An easily fabricated silhouette charge can further
reduce the amount of explosive needed to breach plywood, Sheetrock, or light
plaster walls. It can also be used to breach wooden or metal doors. This
charge can be emplaced quickly and creates a hole large enough for a man to
(1) Tape two E-type silhouette targets, or similar stiff cardboard, together.
To make the charge easier to carry, it can be built to fold in the middle.
Rounding the corners makes the charge easier to handle.
Place detonation cord or flexible linear-shaped charge (FLSC) around the
edges of the silhouettes, leaving a 6-inch tail for priming. Secure the cord
to the silhouette using sturdy tape (for example, "100-mph tape"). Tape
several small dowels or other materials at various places around the
silhouette if using FLSC. This provides the necessary standoff distance to
ensure the maximum shaped charge effect.
(3) Place three or four strips of heavy-duty, double-sided contact tape on
the front of the silhouette from top to bottom. Construct a sturdy pocket
for a brace stick in the appropriate position on the back of the silhouette.
(4) Pull the covering off the double-sided tape and place the charge against
the wall at knee height, bracing it if necessary. Prime the charge, take
cover, and detonate.
Several different field-expedient charges can be used to breach interior or
exterior doors . Among these are the general-purpose charge, flexible linear
charge, and doorknob charge. All can be made ahead of time and are simple,
compact, lightweight, and easy to place.
CAUTION. Any time explosive charges are used to breach doors, the knobs,
locks and hinges made of steel and metal can become lethal projectiles.
The general-purpose charge is the most useful preassembled charge for
breaching a door or other barrier. As its name implies, it is useful not
only for door breaching, but it can also cut mild steel chain and destroy
captured enemy equipment.
(1) Start building the general-purpose charge with a length of detonation
cord about 2 feet long. Using another length of detonation cord, tie two Uliknots around the 2-foot long cord. The
Uliknots must have a minimum of six
wraps and be loose enough for them to slide along the main line, referred to
as Uli Slider. Trim any excess cord from the Uliknots and secure them with
tape, if necessary.
(2) Cut a block of C4 explosive to a 2-inch square. Tape one slider knot to
each side of the C4 block, leaving the length of detonation cord free to
slide through the knots.
(3) To breach a standard door, place the top
loop of the charge over the doorknob. Slide the uli knots taped to the C4 so
that the charge is tight against the knob. Prime the loose ends of the
detonation cord with a MDI firing system and detonate. To cut mild steel
chain, place the loop completely around the chain link to form a girth hitch.
Tighten the loop against the link by sliding the Uliknots.
Rubber Band Charge
The rubber band charge is another easily fabricated lightweight device that
can be used to remove the locking mechanism or doorknob from wooden or light
metal doors, or to break a standard-size padlock at the shackle.
(1) Cut a 10-inch piece of detonation cord and tie an overhand knot in one
end. Using another piece of detonation cord, tie a Uliknot with at least
eight wraps around the first length of cord. Slide the Uliknot tightly up
against the Overhand knot. Secure it in place with either tape or string.
Loop a strong rubber band around the base of the Uliknot tied around the
detonation cord. Tie an Overhand knot at the other end of the cord to form a
pigtail for priming the charge.
(2) Attach the charge to the doorknob (or locking mechanism) by putting the
loose end of the rubber band around the knob. The charge should be placed
between the knob and the doorframe. This places the explosive over the bolt
that secures the door to the frame.
Flexible Linear Charge
One of the simplest field-expedient charges for breaching wooden doors is
the flexible linear charge. It can be made in almost any length, and it can
be rolled up and carried until needed. It is effective against hollow-core,
particle-filled, and solid wood doors. When detonated, the flexible linear
charge cuts through the door near the hinges.
(1) Lay out a length of double-sided contact tape with the topside adhesive
exposed. Place the necessary number of strands of detonation cord down the
center of the double-sided tape, pressing them firmly in place. Military
detonation cord has 50 grains of explosives per foot and there are 7,000
grains in a pound. Most residential doors are 80 inches tall and commercial
doors are 84 inches tall. This must be considered when calculating the
quantities of explosives, overpressure and MSDs. For hollow-core doors, use
a single strand. For particle-filled doors, use two strands, and for solid
wood doors use three. If the type doors encountered are unknown, use three
strands. One of the strands must be cut about a foot longer than the others
and should extend past the end of the double-sided tape. This forms a
pigtail where the initiating system is attached once the charge is in place.
(2) Cover the strands of detonation cord and all the exposed portions of the
double-sided tape with either sturdy single-sided tape or another length of
double-sided tape. Roll the charge, starting at the pigtail, with the
double-sided tape surface that is to be placed against the door on the
(3) At the breach site, place the charge straight up and down against the
door tightly. If the charge is too long, angle it to best fit the door or
use the excess to defeat the possibility of a door return at the top of the
door sometimes but not always visible from the outside by exposed bolts. If
it is too short, place it so it covers at least half of the door's height.
Prime and fire the charge from the bottom.