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Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:14 am
by Ryan
It all changes dynamically due to layout, type of room, type of entry, size of team, I know. But where are the best places to position oneself in the room? As discussed in earlier topics; positioning helps with visual identity, clearing your buddies blind spot, creating firing lanes and not over-penetrating the room. An example "cross-center-corner".

It's another type of situational awareness to be on top of this and react. Positional awareness and intelligence is important. If my partner is here or moving here, where do I go? It's as simple as reactive CQB: One goes left, I go right but when you encompass all the angles and pivotal movements then you have to be on the ball as seen in CT teams conducting dynamic entries at emergency pace.

The POD tends to be the "do all" position allowing for the biggest arc of fire and even at the same time of being tucked into a corner allows you to branch off in five directions: left, right, forward, diagonal (x2) meaning it is not only just for placing yourself in a static position but moving on someone or something. Opposing corners allows for similar in more corners of the room.

Typically do you position yourself in the shallow area of the room, around a meter or so from the doorway? How do you statically position yourself? - Do you keep your vision field open? Do you go crouched? Do you secondary check? Do you turn your head often? Do you rotate your upper body? How do you buddy check? How do you status check?

I find there is a difference in whether my contact creates the need for mobility or for a static response. If mobility then that means I'm moving, to create multiple firing lanes and for safety along the wall. I can push forward to create the bypass zone, especially if I was clearing a hard corner only to engage a front-on immediate threat or if I had a threat area that needed covered by a buddy coming up behind me.

If I need to go static, I can push out the fatal funnel and go static to engage. There are situational happenings when stopping in the fatal funnel is applicable but for the most purpose - no. I can side step into a corner on a corner fed room (with two hard corners, one being closest to the door and very shallow, cleared from the entry so you can concentrate on front threats). This creates a path of least resistance and path of movement for fellow operators. You don't want to position yourself so they have to move in front of you, especially in a dynamic high-speed entry.

It's like displacement, it's like stances, it's how you position yourself that puts you as an individual in a team at the best advantage. "Find a hole, fill a whole", "You go left, I go right."

Re: Positioning

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:05 am
by jimothy_183
Wall of text + no diagrams to illustrate...nice. :roll:

Re: Positioning

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:37 pm
by Ryan
I have to illustrate side-stepping out of the fatal funnel and stepping forward while a buddy goes behind? :P Imagination, tool of the wise!

Re: Positioning

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:47 pm
by jimothy_183
Hey you're the one that admitted that you are bad at putting your thoughts into words so yeah. :P

Re: Positioning

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:17 pm
by Ryan
Well, it's all on positioning. Where you can position yourself best dependent on threat and situation, how you can react best to the said threat or situation to put yourself or your team in more of an advantageous position. It was explained clearly in my view. So here are the examples with pictorial and video reference.


Side step. Immediate threat front.
Known as a step in or a step inside.

Front on threat. Corner fed room.
Note that some corner feds are slightly off the corner creating a small corner or pocket which is normally cleared pre-entry.

Side-step into this corner to engage the immediate threat. You're positioned in the POD and you're allowing space for second man to clear "his" AOR. Heck, it might of been your AOR but that dynamically changed because your unit SOP says engage the immediate threat and other team members will fill your gap.

The problems are obvious any threat in the left HC would be able to engage one and two man either one at a time or simultaneously, even poly-killing them both. But that said, the same goes with a centre fed. If your first man clears left and the threat is right - it's all just risk currency.

The obvious pros are that you are front-on at all times, watching the threat. Any sudden changes you can instantly react to. You are front-facing and therefore able to engage at any point in the movement. You can engage at virtually any point; as you come into the room, as you side step or when you are static. If you are static you increase accuracy obviously.

This is better than going on a direct axis and trying to engage something to your full left, add speed into the equation and that target will soon be behind you. That's why upper body rotation can be very important, as can pre-defined movements quite like a choreographed entry to get the most coverage and best firing lane on those immediate threats. A threat on your half-left of course can be engage whilst moving because they will be in plain view for a while. Sometimes engaging these threats away from your front still allows your peripheral vision to react to any movement to your front.

Sometimes you see one threat half right for example and another front, you have to weigh it up - pick one over the other. Sometimes it's based on drill - if you're doing a wall flood and know that a threat front will compromise the team more, therefore being more of a risk, to the other threat then that is the priority to take out. Sometimes it depends on where you are aiming or who your muzzle line is closest to, to be able to react quickly with quick shot placement maybe allowing for a target transition.

If the threat is on a certain angle that you have to turn or rotate to engage, whilst flowing in the opposite direction then it can cause issues. Those issues may be a delayed clearance of your hard corner, a slower reaction to other threats in the room due to target fixation and the possibility for inaccurate shooting due to threat angle. It may restrict you from engaging that threat and make it impossible without neglecting your AOR or the certain type of entry.

You do not really want to get to the point where you're trying to travel and "stretch" to shoot. You don't want to try traveling backwards to shoot. Only the applicable shooting angles allow for accuracy and speed of movement at the same time, which are the angles in your AOR. This is unless you virtually stop and strong point yourself to engage the threat such as in the POD mentioned above.

Laterally engaging is acceptable and dependent on your SOP stopping or turning into the threat might be but that risks not clearing your side of the room. I guess that's weighing up corner clearance versus front clearance and immediate threats versus potential. A corner clearance first approach will mean that not only do you go against human instinct to take out that life-threatening threat but that you will have to check the corner before rotating to engage that threat. I guess practicing your power turns and upper body rotation with co-ordinated lower body movement helps reach out to those hard to hit places at room clearance speed.

This is why some people do ignore the immediate threat, dependent on their placement in the room because another member of their team will have better "access" to engage them. If you tried engaging them you could trip, get in other team members way or miss because of their position plus your job to clear the other... opposite... part of the room.

Actually seen in this video at 0:40...

Front push. Immediate threat front.


One was to buttonhook but immediate threat priority to the front caused him to engage and move on it. He moves a meter into the room allowing for space for second man to clear ones AOR. This space would allowing three and four into the room also. If he were to try and engage whilst buttonhooking he would probably be off, the angle and rotation to hit the left HC would cause him to over-aim and have to draw back onto the threat, putting off his axis of advance causing him to either stop or try whilst walking sideways (diagonally to keep a level muzzle line).

Once he hits a certain point, about 0.2 meters towards his HC, the angle would be at the point where the immediate threat was directly behind him, which would mean he would of had to walk backwards if he were to engage it - never going to happen. You're going into the room to fast to clear the HC and fit in engaging an IT - even if it was only one or two rounds, it's inapplicable unless he delays his entry; that is comes offset from the wall and creates some space (about a meter) before he hits the threshold, allowing him to engage the threat and leave enough distance equating to time to then move into his HC.

Now look back at this picture and imagine moving diagonally about a meter into the room. You allow therefore for two plus firing lanes once your team fills the room and you don't inhibit their target area. You also do not inhibit anyone moving around behind you along the walls if they are clearing the hard corner behind you.

Some examples of how positioning can prevent you be an inhibitor to your team and how speed, angles and movement can inhibit or promote engaging threats in certain parts of the room.

Re: Positioning

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:33 pm
by jimothy_183
First diagram: From what I can see you are over thinking it, but maybe I am mistaken. If the door was closed it would most likely cause the point man to hook around the door to go with the POLR and hook. So now the possibilities that would fit with the scenario presented would be that the door is either open or there is no door to begin with (or perhaps the door hinges were put on the otherside but that doesn't happen very often). Now lets assume that there is no door and the nib wall (thats what the short wall is called on a corner door) is short enough to allow the point man to see that there is nobody hiding in the right hard corner from the outside. From there we can assume that the pointman decides for whatever reason (SOP or otherwise) to cross at the doorway and clear his areas.

Now lets look at the final positions of the 2 operators in that image. The point man after stopping at the right hard corner is not in the best position to assist his second man in engaging threats in the rest of the room. Why? Because he is not taking advantage of the layout of the room to improve the triangulation of both their fires which could be achieved simply by walking furthur down the right side wall. Of course taking up position in the far right corner is not necessary, especially if it's too far, but it would be even more advantageous. On that note you mentioned that a con of the image shown is that the team could be wiped out with enfilading fire from the left hard corner being the same as a center door. This is true but the fallacy of that idea lies in the fact that there is no reason for the point man to stay in that corner in the first place. It offers no advantage and if there is a third man he has no space to move into.

Second diagram: This is an old problem my team has come across. Wall flood fails here if the BG is ready and willing to kill but immediate threat also fails here if there is a second threat in the right hard corner and there is no third man. Oh and the solution that you wrote in the second last paragraph of your post, was already written about but MSG Paul Howe here under the heading "Final Points".

The video: I guess you know this but remember vids of demonstrations normally show things that deviate from what they would do normally in training either because the want to "put on a show" or for OPSEC or a combination of both reasons. That's why I remain skeptical when looking at vids of SOF or SWAT doing their thing in front of cameras for a media event.

Another thing is that the team shown in the video may be operating from detailed intel on the AO or perhaps prior knowledge from previous runs which would allow them to put together ad hoc solutions thats stray from SOP.

Re: Positioning

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:56 pm
by Ryan
You're saying it like it's not used. Sure static training concepts are unlikely to translate to reality but dynamic positioning isn't a static concept and positioning, movement and taking out the immediate threat are actually productive ingredients for success in reality.

We have an example of this being used in our TT: The question marks being potential areas of which the operator can stop or go to at any point in time.

You don't have to take a one frame pictorial reference to state the final positioning is bad positioning. Of course any moment from that frame on is open for question. If he was mobile, he could keep moving and follow the wall as you said, it's not a series of pictures so I can't show the options he would have but if you were trying to make a point there, I agree with it. It was all referenced to front immediate threats, which means he would be in the best positions for triangulated fire and taking out the threat. His final position at that present moment is in a POD which has a large arc, of course this visual arc and field of fire could be interrupted by two man entering which is exactly another point to carry on moving, such as opposing corners.

If there was multiple threats, he could react accordingly; hence why I mentioned in the first post whether you are static or mobile depends entirely on what is happening and your SOP - as you don't want to over-penetrate without first being positioned correctly and supported by at least number two man and how I also stated that it's the luck of the draw both between whether I clear a corner or engage the immediate threat first because both leave empty possibilities.

Now if you're stating that he should of been buttonhooking, yes, but that's the problem with current drills. They carry on even when there is an immediate threat, they clear the corners bluntly ignoring the immediate threat. I can agree and disagree with Howe there because there are points where corners are paramount and times where you see ignoring the immediate threats as a purely tactical failure. You see this in many shoot-out videos on the web. When people don't react to and position themselves for best advantage and I named off a number of reasons why it's hard to make the decision to engage the immediate threat once you've committed to trying to clear the corners. So some of the stated are positioning points within the room, there are also points outside of the room if you were forced to not enter, say due to overwhelming fire. If you do commit then you can only do so much, one of the productive aspects is clearing your corner very quickly to be able to get back on the immediate threat.

And as stated before, it's not easy to get triangulation of fire from the initial stages of entry and with an immediate threat you should do you best to create multiple firing lanes but sometimes it can be a competition one-on-one two second or less engagement. Once you then control that initial part of the room you can branch out to gain triangulation of fire on another position. I suppose that's why splitting the door and that kind of positioning is commonly shown when multiple operators engage one threat.

When you look at the second picture it instantly goes to center fed, the riskier of the two in my opinion because you have two hard corners to clear. Of course this can create tactical dilemmas. Yes, Paul Howe's article basically throws out what I was trying to say - "I promote servicing the target until it falls, while stepping right or left and creating an air gap that allows three or four to pick up and clear your corner while you are preoccupied" - and I added on the reasons why that can fail if you're still maintaining room entry speed, which is what some teams are taught. Teams in Fallujah were taught to move at the same speed, which was fairly fast and in training can cause those scars such as having to turn the whole body to engage which puts your arc away from your responsibility area, which then means you have to sweep back into it. That's a lot of time and energy which you have to put into one area just to put back into another.

The documentary itself of course, limited exposure has always been the way to do it. But these guys were with them for nine months and caught all kinds of footage. I liked the way they did it, how he reacted automatically to that immediate threat to position himself at a point to engage others in the room temporarily and support two man coming through. Yeah, of course they didn't clear their corners through the demonstrations but that's as you stated not the way they'd do it exactly in reality. And sure, real-time intelligence can cause you to negate half of these entries and just go with the direct path, but that's the way it works.

It's very much about "filling the gaps" I was trying to throw out there. If one goes this way, you know to go the other to clear his area. For example you state why would he stay there? He may of been shot and hugging up to the wall, three knows not to cross his line of fire without permission so he can stick near the entry point on the strong wall, he just fills the gap. If "situation dictates" then one of the bearings the operator uses is where to best position himself to threat.

As stated in the tactical trainer under Areas Of Responsibility: "Another method is to allow the first man to pick his direction based on immediate threat. The partner then takes the opposite side of the room. This can only be done once the assault has been initiated. The only time a shooter will cross shoot into his partner's sector, is when that shooter has cleared his side of the AO and is needed to support the other shooter. A shooter may also cross shoot when his partner's primary weapon malfunctions in the face of imminent danger."

"Shoot, move, communicate". As demonstrated in Tango's video* you are engaging the immediate threats and moving on them and as shown there is a mix between going back to clear your hard corner, reclearing if you already swept it or going into the center or elsewhere in the room for another immediate threat. Sometimes targets closest to the door are ignored if you are bursting through it, allowing second to take it up. Other times when you are dead center, the operator crouches to allow fire over his head. Of course later in the video ignoring the immediate threat is shown - either because Tango locks onto the first seen threat (fixation) or is doing so as per SOP as it looked like the team was pouring through rooms.

Breaking off, positioning, transitioning (between room to room), immediate threat drills are all very important topics for dynamic entry. That's how you keep flow, is learning those subtopics and broken down mechanics. If you just simply say the word dynamic, you're not analyzing the topic enough. Dynamic is all about the recent topics I have placed: timing, positioning, speed, movement. Other topics to be made could include closing the gap, exploiting weaknesses and threat perception-come-annihilation, continuation (how to make an operation or entry flow) and similar dynamic principles. These aspects cannot be overlooked.

Many companies teach such, an example being RB1. Watching the RB1 Adv. HR. ( ... =3&theater) They teach more of a distant entry for #2 man where he draws his weapon to the front then turns into his corner with enough space, therefore he isn't exposed to the corner facing away - he's facing it and not in danger. So that out of room positioning ALLOWS for this advantage and still allows for a minimized dispersion gap between operators entering. Not to mention they also tend to teach engaging through the door, pre-entry. It is known to RB1 as "Offensive Stronghold Clearance".


I was just trying to promote this very reactionary view on close quarters and see how that meets the tastes of others. Some prefer to stick to strict entries and drills, some prefer to react to threats as it comes and work in a team manner around that. You'll often note that some Russian units operate in such a fashion, and even the Iranian Embassy Siege "tactics" weren't based around specific entries in my view but the "just go do it" attitude of the SAS, "Who cares who wins?". Anyhow, if anyone has any good positioning points, to analyze, within the room dependent on threats then post them up.

A further example is the 'push method' in which you keep pushing. "Speed and violence of action" is the key to this kind of process. By using a"push" method, moving rapidly to clear the rooms and reach the larger rooms, you can cover a lot of ground quickly. And this works on very little positioning and simply keeping to the basics - moving towards your corners, filling rooms rather than going by techniques or tactics.

Re: Positioning

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:30 pm
by TLS
(One was to buttonhook but immediate threat priority to the front caused him to engage and move on it. He moves a meter into the room allowing for space for second man to clear ones AOR. This space would allowing three and four into the room also.)

That is what he was doing, flexability, deal with the imediate threat whilst giving enough room for your team team mates to get through the door

Re: Positioning

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:23 am
by Ryan
And that's why I stated what he was doing and linking it to much more productive dynamic entry to be able to position intelligently and go with the flow. You may call it flexibility but it's a mixture of subtopics: observation leading to reactive positioning to engage the immediate threat whilst preventing any back-flow or negative consequences for the team coming in. I agree that flexibility in your team dynamics is important, don't get me wrong, and apart of that is the observation-to-action process.

Another adaption of this which is very important is covermen.

They see a threat area and cover it.

You walk into a compound. The main branch of the compound left left but you notice a connecting compound right that needs cleared.

Coverman moves past the opening and covers the uncleared compound as the rest of the team move to clear the opening and right-side compounds.

This is dynamic, it is good because it stops you from getting shot in the back!