Basic Room Clearing Tactics

Discussion of Airsoft Tactics.
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CliffnoteUSAF
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Basic Room Clearing Tactics

Post by CliffnoteUSAF » Tue Sep 04, 2012 22:13

Room clearing is something many airsofters hope to become experts in. Everyone loves a cool headcam video of a stack of guys (milsim or the real-deal) pouring into a room and taking the occupants by surprise. Whatever your team’s needs (or your personal Tier 1 operator fantasies) are, hopefully this will help.
Many teams develop their own SOPs; however with team membership turnover, sometimes SOPs get lost in the mix and are seldom recorded somewhere (if at all) that everyone can access. There are countless A-thru-Z detailed CQB how-to's from Mil/Gov sources and the civilian tactical community alike. I've received instruction from a few different courses and agencies; I'd rather go with the most widely available, simplest to reference document, and this one works for me.

For reviewing, I've hosted a PDF excerpt from FM 3-19.4, the Military Police Leader's Handbook:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-j_TGX ... jg/preview
For the full FM, and downloading/printing:
http://armypubs.army.mil/doctrine/DR_pu ... 3_19x4.pdf
(full PDF pgs 171-207, pub pgs 4-52 - 4-88)

NOTES ON ROOM CLEARING
- This isn't a refined science. Every example shown is just a baseline. Go ahead, master these skills :neutral: but once you run into a room and stumble over some desks & chairs, you'll feel like you're back at square one. And that's ok. Adapt & overcome.
- Where the #1 guy is concerned: Always take the path of least resistance. Your eyes are the first in, you'll likely be the first gun in place covering the room. The faster and sooner, the better. (that's NOT what she said)
- The guy in front of you is never wrong. Maybe you're the #2 or #3 guy, and already know the dimensions of the room you're clearing and therefore exactly where you'll end up. BUT…the guy ahead of you went the wrong way; because maybe the guy ahead of him went the wrong way. Whaddya do?! Go the opposite way of the guy in front of you. It keeps your team's coverage of the room as dominant as possible.
- What precautions should a SAW gunner take? 1) There may be game/event ruling specifically governing SAWs within structures. 2) If the building interior is very cluttered, you may want to be the #4 man instead of weaving through tons of crap with your SAW. No offense, but the guy with the M4/AK-47/SMG will get there faster and smoother, and respond to a threat quicker.
- Standardized communication/prowords. “I’m up.” is generally regarded as being good to go. Of course, so does “Good to go.” But then there are phrases like “I’m down.” On some teams, that means you’re out of the fight, such as weapon malfunction; and of course there’s the “I’m down” that means you’re hit/wounded/asthma attack/stubbed toe. On a mag change, do you call out “Reloading”, or “#2, Down”? The main concern in most cases is what the enemy in the next room/building is hearing your team hollering. Maybe that matters to you, maybe not.
- My personal preference for a fire team: once entry is made and he's not needed, #4 guy should about-face and cover back out the doorway. Whether you've breached a one-room structure, or exited a hallway into a room in a multi-room/multi-floor structure, I say CoverYourAss. This is another good reason for keeping the SAW as #4.
- My personal preference for clearing a multi-room w/ squad: whether it's a squad of 15 or small as 7 or 8, keep some guys in the central hallway, or at entrances to the floor/building if possible. Seal off the objective while you make it your bitch :36
-Worth quoting verbatim >>
(FM 3-19.4, pg 4-62) wrote:The muzzle of the clearing team's weapons should always be pointing wherever that soldier is looking.
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Re: Basic Room Clearing Tactics

Post by Jason_Cain » Wed Sep 05, 2012 00:32

Anyone ever tell you your little notes in tiny font are hilarious? Well received on my end.

I remember reading a few of these and the main point seemed to be the same as yours: This is just a guideline. Train so the skills are at your fingertips. Think on your feet. Adapt and overcome. Each situation is different so adjust your tactics to fit the scenario--in this case, clear the room in the manner that is fastest, with minimal risk to yourselves and teammates and provides the most coverage of the room to eliminate all threats.


Fire team of 4? Sounds good to me, so long as khan is our saw and I'm second in lol.

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Re: Basic Room Clearing Tactics

Post by PC-02 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 22:58

Plenty of good pointers in there guys, def worth a read.

If I may add one myself, that is a PATCOM SOP....... Never go in alone. Ever.
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Re: Basic Room Clearing Tactics

Post by Switch556 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 02:21

Another tip, violence of action. The actions must be performed with a speed and controlled ferocity as to dominate the area you are breaching with such intensity as to overwhelm the enemy and get into your positions of domination and overlapping sectors of fire.

This doesn't mean reckless... slow is smooth, smooth is fast... It means you train until there is no hesitation and zero loss of energy in your movements.

"Amatures train until they get it right, professionals train until they cant it wrong."
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Re: Basic Room Clearing Tactics

Post by CliffnoteUSAF » Mon Sep 16, 2013 15:49

In the last few months I've adopted a saying, and use it when I'm teaching our Urban block of training:
"If you feel unemployed, get a job."

In a dynamic, ever-changing CQB environment, everyone should be able to find something, ANYTHING to do. If you can't contribute to the mission, you shouldn't be there! As a group, watch your 360 and "720" (720 = 3-dimensional, not just your 12, 6 & flanks, but overhead and below too). And if every possible angle is covered, double up at key areas. If not behind cover, go high-low, one player on a knee, the other one taking aim over his shoulder or head. But don't just stand around waiting your turn; it's tactically unsound, and *GASP* what's even worse? It looks crappy on YouTube.

The specific reason I'm addressing this point is VIDEOS LIKE THIS (9:48 - 10:54). We've seen it a million times, and IMO it always looks like a bag of smashed asses. No matter how L33T-DEVGRU-MUNKEYBAWLZ you think your tactics are, you always look like garbage when the scene outside the door is a tactical & hurried semblance of the waiting line at the DMV. Zero situational awareness at the unit level, nevermind the individual players. Who's observing the surrounding town and buildings? We're assaulting an occupied structure, but who's watching the high ground (the windows above)?

And once inside, it shouldn't be a camouflaged congo-line to the next doorway or stairwell. Set up security on the unknown, continue to maintain a 360/720, wait for additional buddies to stack up, then make the next entry. Everyone else..."Oh gee do we keep getting in line and form the biggest stack of fake operators EVAR?! *sigghhh* NO. Spread out and occupy that lower floor. Make it a defensible position. This isn't simply a Point A to Point B path you're on. If the area outside the building is semi-secure, then leave a couple friendlies out there. You don't need a million-man entry team! Plus, if your entry causes the enemy to turn tail and jump out a window, is there anyone outside to cut 'em off? (ok maybe in this case, but often it's ignored), everyone is still in line, auditioning for American Entry Team Idol.

Maybe everyone is just too preoccupied with getting their "busting into a room RAWR!" experiences that they paid good money for. But it's not like any enemy were left for the 8th thru 54th player to even shoot at.

:END RANT:
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Re: Basic Room Clearing Tactics

Post by Jason_Cain » Mon Sep 16, 2013 23:27

HAHAHAHAAA that part of the clip is priceless. Very good points.

I'm not exactly sure but I remember an article using the phrase "keep looking for work." It can be used in combat (looking for angles to cover, other things to take care of) or in training (look for work to do to improve yourself mentally, physically, tactically, or technically). Essentially: don't become complacent

I feel like one of the hardest things to do at first is to cover your sector and not keep looking around to make sure your buddies are covering theirs. You've just gotta trust that they're watching their areas and your back. Take turns busting in the doors (figuratively) and running security.

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