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Have a competent rappel master set the ropes and check each man's harness and hardware. Even under the low stress of training, team members can forget essential safety procedures.

Initial training:
The trainees' first exposure to rappel shooting, after rappel training, should be done on a low wall, a few feet off the ground. This allows the trainee to master the technique and learn to shoot accurately before adding the stress of height and the fear of falling.

Sniper supported:
Whenever moving on the roof or face of a building, the rope team should have available cover fire. Snipers covering the windows and fire escapes have proven an excellent solution to this problem. The snipers should be located on a facing building where they have a clear view of any possible suspect movement.

Simultaneous door assault:
One of the best uses of rappel shooting is where the assault team intends to enter through the interior door but needs a diversion. Two or three team members rappel down the face of the building and engage the occupants with pistol or submachine gun fire through a window. As the occupants' attention is drawn to the window assault, the primary assault team crashes through the door and takes them from behind. This would work very well in high-rise hotels and office buildings where a
hostage situation has developed.
By rappelling weak-handed, the shooter is free to use his strong hand for shooting. If a breaking device like Petzel STOP is used, the operator will be free to shoot two-handed. If a basic figure-8 is used, you will need one hand to break and one to shoot. If the rappel team draws too much fire they can drop down to the ground or the cover of the next level. If a suspect leans out the window to shoot down on them, he will be neutralized by the snipers.

Rappel entry:
When rappeling is the selected form of entry, windows may have to be broken with sledge-hammers, crowbars or sections of pipe. In extreme cases frame charges may have to be used to blow the heavy glass of reinforced windows that are common on embassies.
The entry team will enter from either side of the window by hooking one leg around the window frame while slacking their ropes with the outside hand and shooting with the inside hand (the hand closest to the window) - not an easy exercise but one that should be mastered in training.

Rappels of several floors can generate a lot of heat from friction, and require heavy leather gloves. These heavier gloves are very difficult, if not impossible to shoot with. Tactical rappels should be confined to three or four floors, where lighter gloves can be used and the weapons easily manipulated. Remember, tactical rappelling is not necessarily fast, but it must be Silent. Avoid loose gear, bouncing on the walls, letting a submachine gun hit against the handgun, and accidentally putting a foot through a window.



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