Entry and Clearance Technique: 4 to a door
Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:06 am
MORE FIREPOWER IS GOOD!
From the enemies perspective there are multiple threats ready to jump on them, from different sides of the door. Certainly not an easy engagement for one contact in the room, and with multiple people on the door team allows for multiple threats to get taken down at the same time. It minimizes chance of contacts running up on them to the threshold or gaining an advantage in numbers through channelizing architectural terrain. It is a staged approach of laying operators on each doorway, hence why the first man is normally low and the second and third higher, it allows them to be layered like a cake on top of each other whilst still allowing for good movement and shooting patterns with their arcs of triangulated fire.
South African technique. Four men to each door, split the door from left and right allowing clearance into the far, superficial areas of the room. Allows for a fast entry with four people without having to stack. Many weapons on threat and if they take a hit they can keep going with reserves. So basically it turns from a front-on, fighting from the door technique to an entry with four people, which could be dynamic and turn into anything; an evolved drill going from 4 to a door to criss-cross hitting the corners to wall-flood to running the walls as they clear the full room.
They change the splits between 2-2 and 3-1. If they cannot split the door then they usually get 2-3 on one side to engage, to free up space for others to split the door. Note: They do not have to split the door to gain entry, they can turn it into an entry at any time point. If they are working in a team of four guys then they can conduct this drill on their initial entry. If they are working only as a buddy team then they split 1-1 which limits effectiveness and ability to recovery but allows them to clear most of the room pre-entry as most doorway drills do. It means that once you enter the room you can have 2 men moving to each side as buddy pairs, usually they enter in a criss-cross pattern so one man clears each corner with the second coming to back him up a second later.
As Tango comments, "If the handgun has same "power" like a long gun, sometimes it is smart to make a transfer [transition to pistol] for if there is no space for "long pistol" (HK MP5) in CQB..." -- Which is true and commonly they operate with pistols but sometimes have conducted this drill with longer weapons like the R5, R4 and R1 rifles.
1:1 split seen here as the third man deployed a flashbang while the fourth man stayed as coverman. It allows elements as noted to split off leaving a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio at the door and clear the room from windows and other areas, thereby increasing their triangulation of fire onto the threat, disorientating, confusing the target and allowing grenade or other equipment deployment. An element on the other hand may, say as low-man, stay in-situ to cover the team moving in and then cover the hallway or area of which the room is attached onto as a cordon/perimeter security group.
They tend to conduct these drills in low-light, but have conducted them in daylight to the same results: Suspects dead, injured or arrested and no STF killed. Normally it means being very stealthy up to the door, if the door and room looks clear they may begin to move into the room without deploying anything so they remain stealthy.
They always tend to work in close proximity as buddy teams upwards, otherwise they would get picked off. With multiple people they get just about the same arcs and lines of fire because they can get so close, allowing two muzzles on a threat and allowing recovery even if one person is hit. "Train for hits!" ... "Train for casualties".
Note: A part previous to the posted youtube video shows training scenarios as they conduct these drills. Note how they position and hold themselves pre-entry and as they peek around the doorway to engage as pictured below.
It allows them to both react to the same threat, even one who protrudes from the doorway. The positioning means there is less friendly fire risk.
With surprise, pre-entry allows them to change position slightly. Above picture is the first man bent over read for a high-low during a 2-2 split of four to a door as the opposite side will be prepared to open the door and conduct the same drill. It is easier with a closed door due to the fact that the enemy has no observation of you. The con to that is that commonly "gangsters" tend to engage through the door, notably through the middle of the door which therefore means the operator is out of the line of fire even though they are under fire, they are not in a fatal funnel or kill zone.
The low man will react very fast and push the door if it does not open all the way. They normally do not pie-off the door but instantly snap to the middle of the room. If they pie it off it is normally conducted on an open door, on an oblique angle until they get to their high/low positions. If they have not split the door, they cover each other across the threshold to allow it to be split, and even allow 3 operators on one side of the door with reserves in place ready to take-up position or enter around the door team.
Splitting the door (open) with cover in a training run depicting a shanty town.
Once you go down, whether it's crouched or ducking inwards, you are controlled by the top-man. You cannot come up without the top-mans orders or hand; that means he can theoretically shoot over the top without any muzzle issues. If he was to move he'd stay crouched until he hit the threshold of the door or he would carry on through the door crouched or when he, as a pointman, knew he was safe to come up via a pro word.
You may see one or another but it's unlikely you can take them all. You're likely to be dead by the time you see these three muzzles looking at you. Now if you're trying to counter them by pie'ing off the door (counter-pieing!) then you will see the last operator first, who will engage and can instantly pull back into cover of either the wall, doorway or his buddy (body cover). His buddy is then ready and can engage you as you continue to pie or if you snap or step out. The last line of defence being your third man. On top of this, the opposite door team will come at you from the opposite side of the door leaving you with little room to take out an operator or at least take out many operators. As stated, poly-kills are possible but are less likely during high-speed and with modern day body armour.
You can step out, drop to an urban prone and a number of positions whilst being under cover from your mates weaponry through most of the drill. The pointman during this drill is the success dealer as he is the first one to expose himself, but usually you want a co-ordinated and synchronized exposure between all members and both sides of the door.
As it's layered, as mentioned before, this means that you gradually increase the amount of body showing the further you get up. If one man is hit towards the back it would be likely the second would get hit in a burst or random spray. They'd get some amount of spall or splinter. But that front man is very hard to catch as he's such a small target. In a moving scenario by this stage they are splitting the door and engaging, it's fast and it has proven to work. Note: It allows for those set in position to aimed shoot rather than instinctive and hostage rescuing shots have been taken from these positions and commonly get headshot groupings with little lee-way.
4 to a door start and burst onto the bus, 2 each way controlling the aisles and working in buddy pairs. Reserves come up and get in overwatch positions (cement themselves higher on the seat surfaces) as the rest move through the bus.
You could simply say it's a high-low on either side, which is true, but also isn't the way I'd put it because you have to: Split the door, cover the threat areas and co-ordinate the high/lows. Plus a three man high/low I've never heard of, but here it is in this drill if needed. It's very dynamic and adjustable in configuration. Some people will also complain of muzzle sweeping and injury but this group has only lost one man over 30 years, with operations literally every day and firefights every week. It is safer to kill a threat, and these guys are big boys who know what they are doing. They have strict IOP/SOP's on contact, with strict actions-on once they get to that threshold and into this position.
They've even conducted similar "multi-weapon engagements" whilst rappelling.
Lock the beaner, let's go for a rappel! Lock-off the rescue 8 and get some!!!
Now, what I don't like about it:
- Muzzle tends to over-expose into the room allowing for an easy target when it comes to penetrating walls, including knowing what height your target is at.
- There are multiple people in grenade distance.
- Corner and door ambushes still happen.
I'm just going to throw it out there that this is the SAPS STF. South African Police Service, Special Task Force (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Afri ... Task_Force). After 30 plus years operating, 700 call outs on average a year, no hostages lost to date and only one man lost in all these years. They literally deal with very dangerous suspects every day and get into at least one gun fight every week. They're one of the most experienced units on this planet. They normally operate in very condensed situations from urban apartments to shanty towns, as pictured in training below.
I find these guys have those tactical influences that only come with constant and true realistic experience and they tend to stick away from Dogma and any artificial thought pattern to their urban combat.