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Flashbangs in Room Entry

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:48 pm
by Ryan
For some people flashbangs seem to be the 'get-out' card when it comes to committing to an entry - even one that takes on obvious risks. I have a problem with this philosophy and I was wondering what your take on flashbangs during entry were. For example I know that a flashbang will not mechanically and physically stop someone pulling the trigger, I know that objects and furniture can get rid of aspects that prevent the flashbang being so effective and therefore they may utilize their weapon at a high enough gradient to still injury, maim or kill. Another example is when you mention problems with immediate entries and how some perceive the 'fix all' solution to be a flashbang. So, thoughts and opinions? Do you utilize them during entries? I know not every unit uses them, especially in the field and especially from conventional backgrounds. Do you prefer single or multi-bangs? How effective do you deem them - if used correctly (relying on the enemy too)? They are for assistance only in my eyes.

Re: Flashbangs in Room Entry

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:47 am
by jimothy_183
You are right about the over reliance on flashbangs, they are just another tool to be used and the survival of the team comes down to good tactics at the end of the day. Not to say that they are useless but at the same time they do not grant invisibility or invincibility to the team during the entry.

Re: Flashbangs in Room Entry

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:29 pm
by tacticalguy
Ryan wrote:For some people flashbangs seem to be the 'get-out' card when it comes to committing to an entry - even one that takes on obvious risks. I have a problem with this philosophy and I was wondering what your take on flashbangs during entry were. For example I know that a flashbang will not mechanically and physically stop someone pulling the trigger, I know that objects and furniture can get rid of aspects that prevent the flashbang being so effective and therefore they may utilize their weapon at a high enough gradient to still injury, maim or kill. Another example is when you mention problems with immediate entries and how some perceive the 'fix all' solution to be a flashbang. So, thoughts and opinions? Do you utilize them during entries? I know not every unit uses them, especially in the field and especially from conventional backgrounds. Do you prefer single or multi-bangs? How effective do you deem them - if used correctly (relying on the enemy too)? They are for assistance only in my eyes.
The last line of that statement is where I think a lot of teams go wrong. Assistance. It's not supposed to be the crux of the entry but, simply an aid. Surprise, speed and violence of action. That's the crux of an entry. Aided by good intel, of course. Flashbangs, teargas, breaching charges, armored vehicles, those are items to support your entry.

Re: Flashbangs in Room Entry

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:09 am
by Ryan
It's amazing how many people think it will support a poorly planned or poor form of entry in terms of 'survivability'.

Re: Flashbangs in Room Entry

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:12 pm
by tacticalguy
Ryan wrote:It's amazing how many people think it will support a poorly planned or poor form of entry in terms of 'survivability'.
Good icing on a bad cake won't make the cake taste better. It just covers up the first bite.

Re: Flashbangs in Room Entry

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:44 am
by seal236
If used correctly just like all other assets are a force multiplier.

Train as you fight. The idea is you enter on the crash with multi bangs and train that way. This way its not a distraction to you but to THEM. I don't believe in crashing a doorway before you enter. Crash deep because thats where people are.

Re: Flashbangs in Room Entry

Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:45 am
by tacticalguy
seal236 wrote:I don't believe in crashing a doorway before you enter. Crash deep because thats where people are.
Dead on.

Re: Flashbangs in Room Entry

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:35 am
by AidanMacc
Well the Flashbang or Stun grenade was created by the SAS and they primarily use that piece of equipment for Hostage rescue. And they only use flashbangs on key rooms such as where the hostages are. You are actually supposed to go in with the flashbang rather than throwing it in then waiting for it to explode then go in. You can easily get used to flashbangs but you have to practice with them nearly everyday of the week. Flashbangs obviously work better in smaller and darker rooms where in Britain where the stun grenade was created the average room size in the UK is small.

So how I would use a flashbang would be to:
-Not use it in wide open areas.
-Use flashbangs on key rooms (Hostage room, high priority room).
-Use flashbangs in smaller and darker rooms to get increased affect.
-Go in with the flashbang when doing a room entry.

Re: Flashbangs in Room Entry

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:08 am
by Ryan
seal236 wrote:If used correctly just like all other assets are a force multiplier.

Train as you fight. The idea is you enter on the crash with multi bangs and train that way. This way its not a distraction to you but to THEM. I don't believe in crashing a doorway before you enter. Crash deep because thats where people are.
Which is strange because training would tell you to expect people in the hardcorners say? In entries that advocate corner clearance... Or do they believe that the corners will be cleared without hassle but the rest of the room gives true danger? I think it can be a distraction to the entry, in which they utilize it believing it will temporarily cease enemy activity. If it does not, it is a distraction in thought, and in survival. I'm not advocating around operating around knowing the flaws, I'm pulling away from the traditional thought of "flashbang, no worries". No doubt it is a force-multiplier in the right circumstance.

1. They know you're coming when you've utilized it and they can ready themselves.

2. They have confirmed your presence. It may alert people deeper into the structure, especially if the DD was utilized on initial entry.

3. The effects can be diminsihed through simple methods. This is separate for visual effects and hearing effects. For example eyewear, earplugs, looking away or simply being out-of-angle with the flash zone.

4. Teams become over-reliant on them and often become slower by attempting to utilize them into an SOP entry for example staging a throw before entry. This said there are ways to counter-act this, but the over-reliance stretches to processes of "if we use a flashbang, it'll fix all the problems."

5. Room entries are not 'fixed' by distraction devices. Inherit flaws will still get you hurt and often flaws are pushed aside for a DD to be utilized as a 'fix them all'. For example there are many shab courses out there that advocate clearing room with DD's to ALLOW movement, to ALLOW competition of the room. This may not be the case, trial it FOF.

6. They can cause fires, especially multibangs. Explosive material? Good luck. They can smoke up - which has been taught to be concealment on entry, but can have just as much damaging effect to you.

7. It does not cease enemy activity. It will not stop someone from pulling a trigger.

Inherent flaws with gear have to be recognized and adjusted for. Do not rely on gear.

(P.S. I know you already know this, a post for those who don't, and I fully agree with you)
AidanMacc wrote:Well the Flashbang or Stun grenade was created by the SAS and they primarily use that piece of equipment for Hostage rescue. And they only use flashbangs on key rooms such as where the hostages are. You are actually supposed to go in with the flashbang rather than throwing it in then waiting for it to explode then go in. You can easily get used to flashbangs but you have to practice with them nearly everyday of the week. Flashbangs obviously work better in smaller and darker rooms where in Britain where the stun grenade was created the average room size in the UK is small.

So how I would use a flashbang would be to:
-Not use it in wide open areas.
-Use flashbangs on key rooms (Hostage room, high priority room).
-Use flashbangs in smaller and darker rooms to get increased affect.
-Go in with the flashbang when doing a room entry.
Some good advice. Target rooms should be where they are utilized. True. That said, they may not stop a hostage execution from not taking place. For example... the movies and some real operations may tell you they distract a hostage taker. Some others may tell you they force a hostage taking into a position to kill another, because it's an absolute threat - it tells the person they're going to get into a bad situation. Fight or flight, and you can't rely on people with a weapon, a will and training to choose flight.

That said, too, DD's are utilized in all kinds of areas. Open areas, included. For example on protected shrines and mosques in Iraq. Wide open courtyards. There are a few videos on Youtube demonstrating this.

You and SEAL state utilizing when entering, or post-entering, why is this?

Re: Flashbangs in Room Entry

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:42 pm
by AidanMacc
Ryan wrote:
seal236 wrote:If used correctly just like all other assets are a force multiplier.

Train as you fight. The idea is you enter on the crash with multi bangs and train that way. This way its not a distraction to you but to THEM. I don't believe in crashing a doorway before you enter. Crash deep because thats where people are.
Which is strange because training would tell you to expect people in the hardcorners say? In entries that advocate corner clearance... Or do they believe that the corners will be cleared without hassle but the rest of the room gives true danger? I think it can be a distraction to the entry, in which they utilize it believing it will temporarily cease enemy activity. If it does not, it is a distraction in thought, and in survival. I'm not advocating around operating around knowing the flaws, I'm pulling away from the traditional thought of "flashbang, no worries". No doubt it is a force-multiplier in the right circumstance.

1. They know you're coming when you've utilized it and they can ready themselves.

2. They have confirmed your presence. It may alert people deeper into the structure, especially if the DD was utilized on initial entry.

3. The effects can be diminsihed through simple methods. This is separate for visual effects and hearing effects. For example eyewear, earplugs, looking away or simply being out-of-angle with the flash zone.

4. Teams become over-reliant on them and often become slower by attempting to utilize them into an SOP entry for example staging a throw before entry. This said there are ways to counter-act this, but the over-reliance stretches to processes of "if we use a flashbang, it'll fix all the problems."

5. Room entries are not 'fixed' by distraction devices. Inherit flaws will still get you hurt and often flaws are pushed aside for a DD to be utilized as a 'fix them all'. For example there are many shab courses out there that advocate clearing room with DD's to ALLOW movement, to ALLOW competition of the room. This may not be the case, trial it FOF.

6. They can cause fires, especially multibangs. Explosive material? Good luck. They can smoke up - which has been taught to be concealment on entry, but can have just as much damaging effect to you.

7. It does not cease enemy activity. It will not stop someone from pulling a trigger.

Inherent flaws with gear have to be recognized and adjusted for. Do not rely on gear.

(P.S. I know you already know this, a post for those who don't, and I fully agree with you)
AidanMacc wrote:Well the Flashbang or Stun grenade was created by the SAS and they primarily use that piece of equipment for Hostage rescue. And they only use flashbangs on key rooms such as where the hostages are. You are actually supposed to go in with the flashbang rather than throwing it in then waiting for it to explode then go in. You can easily get used to flashbangs but you have to practice with them nearly everyday of the week. Flashbangs obviously work better in smaller and darker rooms where in Britain where the stun grenade was created the average room size in the UK is small.

So how I would use a flashbang would be to:
-Not use it in wide open areas.
-Use flashbangs on key rooms (Hostage room, high priority room).
-Use flashbangs in smaller and darker rooms to get increased affect.
-Go in with the flashbang when doing a room entry.
Some good advice. Target rooms should be where they are utilized. True. That said, they may not stop a hostage execution from not taking place. For example... the movies and some real operations may tell you they distract a hostage taker. Some others may tell you they force a hostage taking into a position to kill another, because it's an absolute threat - it tells the person they're going to get into a bad situation. Fight or flight, and you can't rely on people with a weapon, a will and training to choose flight.

That said, too, DD's are utilized in all kinds of areas. Open areas, included. For example on protected shrines and mosques in Iraq. Wide open courtyards. There are a few videos on Youtube demonstrating this.

You and SEAL state utilizing when entering, or post-entering, why is this?
It's to maximise the Surprise affect and confusion factor. Its made so that it seduces everyone in the room to shock. You've got to remember its not just the Hostage takers getting the shock, it's also the same for the Hostages themselves. With the added fact of the actual team going in with the flashbang it adds more confusion factor. I would say it gives the team more time to react as well.

I'm sure you have seen firework wake up pranks. Well its the exact same affect as a flashbang would have. It's unexepected, loud bangs and sometimes there is light. Just see for yourself. These are the type of affects a flashbang would have on you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQtU-82-mcY

A flashbang by itself would not stop an execution of a hostage but a Flashbang used by a very good team can stop an execution of a hostage. It's down to the team to save the hostages not the flashbang, the flashbang just buys time for the team :D

Re: Flashbangs in Room Entry

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:45 am
by Ryan
AidanMacc wrote:It's to maximise the Surprise affect and confusion factor. Its made so that it seduces everyone in the room to shock. You've got to remember its not just the Hostage takers getting the shock, it's also the same for the Hostages themselves. With the added fact of the actual team going in with the flashbang it adds more confusion factor. I would say it gives the team more time to react as well.

I'm sure you have seen firework wake up pranks. Well its the exact same affect as a flashbang would have. It's unexepected, loud bangs and sometimes there is light. Just see for yourself. These are the type of affects a flashbang would have on you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQtU-82-mcY

A flashbang by itself would not stop an execution of a hostage but a Flashbang used by a very good team can stop an execution of a hostage. It's down to the team to save the hostages not the flashbang, the flashbang just buys time for the team :D
Exactly, it comes down to the team. I'd still argue that it may not buy time because it is a compromise but that's only a theory. The real question is WILL it maximize surprise or confusion? This is essentially the main component of its use as you describe, but I am talking about its fail point. People generally tend to over-represent such items, for example the whole M4 vs M16 argument years ago. At the end of the day no one really discussed fail points in select criteria. Flashbangs in the criteria of room entry can be bargained. If against an immediate or barricaded threat, people have to understand the effects may not work as intended; may even play into the hands of others.

Can you be confused to the point of not aiming at an entry point from one distraction device? Sure, but therefore what is its likelihood? Flashbangs are plastered all over the media, a 12 year old playing a videogame knows what a flashbang is and has a general idea of its utilization. If you understand utilization, you understand how to fight and counter it. This is what tactics can essentially be described as. Can you counter the physiological/psychological effects? Unlikely with surprise but sometimes, and a trained person would 'ride the wave' of fight or flight. A prepared person would put up more of a fight in the right circumstance.

That's what I like about multibangs. You expect one flash, one bang, some sparks and some. With a multibang you get many, in random order. That would be more intimidating. Going away from someone's expectations makes surprise or oppositely going beyond someone's expectations makes surprise happen. You have to sit right at the edge of someone's perception to scare them, to shock them. If you intend to use it for a purpose but do not account for its drawbacks, you're behind the power curve.

Re: Flashbangs in Room Entry

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:33 pm
by AidanMacc
Ryan wrote:
AidanMacc wrote:It's to maximise the Surprise affect and confusion factor. Its made so that it seduces everyone in the room to shock. You've got to remember its not just the Hostage takers getting the shock, it's also the same for the Hostages themselves. With the added fact of the actual team going in with the flashbang it adds more confusion factor. I would say it gives the team more time to react as well.

I'm sure you have seen firework wake up pranks. Well its the exact same affect as a flashbang would have. It's unexepected, loud bangs and sometimes there is light. Just see for yourself. These are the type of affects a flashbang would have on you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQtU-82-mcY

A flashbang by itself would not stop an execution of a hostage but a Flashbang used by a very good team can stop an execution of a hostage. It's down to the team to save the hostages not the flashbang, the flashbang just buys time for the team :D
Exactly, it comes down to the team. I'd still argue that it may not buy time because it is a compromise but that's only a theory. The real question is WILL it maximize surprise or confusion? This is essentially the main component of its use as you describe, but I am talking about its fail point. People generally tend to over-represent such items, for example the whole M4 vs M16 argument years ago. At the end of the day no one really discussed fail points in select criteria. Flashbangs in the criteria of room entry can be bargained. If against an immediate or barricaded threat, people have to understand the effects may not work as intended; may even play into the hands of others.

Can you be confused to the point of not aiming at an entry point from one distraction device? Sure, but therefore what is its likelihood? Flashbangs are plastered all over the media, a 12 year old playing a videogame knows what a flashbang is and has a general idea of its utilization. If you understand utilization, you understand how to fight and counter it. This is what tactics can essentially be described as. Can you counter the physiological/psychological effects? Unlikely with surprise but sometimes, and a trained person would 'ride the wave' of fight or flight. A prepared person would put up more of a fight in the right circumstance.

That's what I like about multibangs. You expect one flash, one bang, some sparks and some. With a multibang you get many, in random order. That would be more intimidating. Going away from someone's expectations makes surprise or oppositely going beyond someone's expectations makes surprise happen. You have to sit right at the edge of someone's perception to scare them, to shock them. If you intend to use it for a purpose but do not account for its drawbacks, you're behind the power curve.

What I mean by "buys time" is not for the overall mission but for the actual clearance of the room. It buys the team around about half a second of extra time to clear the room because of shock and disorientation. Some SAS operators say it buys even more time such as up to 2 to 3 seconds. As for the immediate threat the SAS way of room clearing is specifically catered towards an immediate threat and as for barricades and objects in the room. Well people have misconceptions of how to use a flashbang like just feeding it in threw the doorway so that it lands about a yard into the room. WRONG!!! You're meant to actually throw it when your team is in the room and if their is a barricade, throw it at the barricade or even past it. So people behind furniture or barricades get full affects of the flashbang.

As for the prepared person. Well if they are prepared you have lost the surprise already haven't you? Russia found this out in 2004 with the Beslan School Hostage crisis. Spetsnaz tried to raid the school with no reconnaissance and failed negotiations. And the mission ultimately failed drastically.

Personally I agree with multibangs as the better piece of equipment to disorientate and confuse and shock a person.