Let's Replace Drill 6 by A 2-14

Let's Replace Drill 6 by A 2-14 - Let’s Replace Battle...

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Unformatted text preview: Let’s Replace Battle Drill 6 Many of the techniques Infantrymen use are based on doctrine, but basic in- fantry tactics boil down to one thing—battle drills. Unfortunately, doctrine has evolved over time while CAPTAIN DREW R. MEYEROWICH our battle drills have not—Battle Drill6, Enter a Building and Clear a Room, in particular, On the basis of my experience as a rifle company com- mander in Somalia, I believe that Battle Drill 6 in ARTEP 7-8 DRILL, Battle Drills for the Infantry Platoon and Squad, is an outdated method of clear- ing a room for any type of military op- eration. May-August 1998 INFANTRY 11 PROFESSIONAL FORUM—___—.—________—____ The drill manual describes the basic room clearing technique by first posi- tioning a clearing team on either side of the room entrance. Once the team is in position, the lead man “cooks-off" a hand grenade and throws it into the room. Following the explosion, the lead man enters the room by engaging all “identified or likely enemy positions with rapid, short bursts of automatic fire and scans the room. The rest of the team provides immediate security out- side the room.” Following the initial entry, the lead man is responsible for positioning the other members of the team as he calls them into the room with the command, “Next man in, left (right).” Depending on the enemy situation, this battle drill can be done with two men entering the room at the same time from opposite sides of the entrance with one high and one low to prevent fratricide. As commander of a company, I had concerns about Battle Drill 6 before leaving for Somalia for Operation Con- tinue Hope. The unit leaders and sol- diers were ready, but hostile activity had escalated since my first tour in So- malia during Restore Hope. This esca- lation led to many conversations within my company and in the battalion about small—unit tactics in urban terrain. Be- cause of the rules of engagement, we knew we couldn’t just enter a room and spray it with automatic weapon fire. CLEARING TEAM ‘ 12 INFANTRY May-August 1998 FATAL FUNNEL Even if we could, the tile floors and substandard building construction typi- cal in Mogadishu might cause ricochets and fratricide. These initial concerns became reality when my company conducted a raid in Mogadishu to capture an enemy mortar tube. We entered the building by first clearing a hallway with a fragmentation grenade. The resulting explosion made the building almost impossible to clear because of poor visibility and obstruc- tions from the collapsed roof. The mortar cache was never found in the rubble, and because of the extra time needed to clear the building, we re— ceived RPG and small arms fire from enemy reinforcements. Following this raid, our internal after-action review concluded that we needed to modify Battle Drill 6 or risk the mission and, more seriously, the lives of our soldiers. Fortunately, a truly professional squad leader from the 3d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, part of Task Force Ranger, brought his squad members to my company area in Mogadishu and taught us the room clearing method they called “The Stack.” My First Sergeant and I then took their technique a step further and developed a room clearing drill with a three-day training plan to teach it to every man in the company. This drill applies not only to the limited operations typical in peacekeeping, but also to operations as intense and hostile Figure 1 as those my unit would soon face. Understanding the basic layout of a room is critical to understanding this drill. In Somalia, more than 95 percent of all engagements inside a building were within 25 feet. Additionally, the entrance to a room was the most vulner- able and critical point (decisive point), because that was where the enemy ex- pected us to enter. Figure 1 shows a ba- sic room with this decisive point or “Fatal Funnel.” We also identified four “Points of Domination” (PODs) and a direction of fire (“No Man’s Land”) using the four comers of the room. The side of the room entrance from which the clearing team enters determines the location of No Man’s Land. The key to this battle drill is to mass the maximum amount of firepower possible at the fa- tal funnel and quickly move through it to the assigned PODS, orienting all weapons toward No Man’s Land. Each man has one mission: Secure your POD. A soldier engages any perceived threat along the route to his POD. Fragmentation grenades should be used only upon encountering heavy resis- tance, and stun grenades are preferred because they offer less obscuration and less potential for fratricide. Both types of grenades should be used sparingly to avoid establishing a pattern that tells the enemy when a room will be entered. The stack of personnel outside the room is vital in getting firepower CLEARING ‘ TEAM \ FATAL FUNNEL quickly through the fatal funnel. Each soldier is responsible for a POD deter- mined by his position in the stack. Un- like the current Battle Drill 6, this drill does not try to synchronize and push two men with equipment through a doorway at once or send one man in to fight a room alone. The physical con- tact of the men as they flow into the room provides the synchronization and confidence they need. Knowing the responsibilities of each position in the stack is essential in ac- tual combat situations. The casualties, fatigue, dangers, and confusion associ- ated with actual combat makes it diffi- cult to maintain even platoon integrity. It was not uncommon in Somalia for soldiers from different platoons to be tasked to clear a room or series of rooms, and it was knowing all the posi- tions of the stack that made this possi- ble. Figure 2 describes the responsibilities for each man in the stack. Regardless of which side of the entrance the stack goes through, the duty of each man re- mains the same. The two primary posi- tions, the #1 Man and the #2 Man, are responsible for the left and right limit PODs. Depending on which way the door opens, one of these men must ride the door all the way to the wall to make sure no enemy are behind it. The #1 Man always moves across the doorway and goes to the deep comer of the room (straight and long). The #2 Man always buttonhooks the doorway and moves to the near corner (buttonhook and short). The #3 and #4 Men follow #1 and #2, 37niriMJMANe’ ,LAND ' Figure 3. Four-man technique. {— it 1 clears across the dodrga‘nd ‘move’sitdi, "back corner of 'room;(POD)y 5 a i ' ‘ “straightandlm‘IQ” — Orients from back left.cornEr'to‘§5»7ftl em; _ frontleftcorner . V , \ "- Rideedoor in (if applicable) : _ a «—:# 2 buttonhooks, doorway aridmove's. o"; : , nearcorn‘er‘of-room (POD)j' “‘buttonhookand‘short’fic « . ‘ , i - Orients from back left corner to .5 ftz'fr‘oml . back right corner ‘ {-{Rides‘do’or in (ifiapplicable)‘~ 5 4: #3 followsf#1i man, staveshohtiEOQ _ a 4 Orient§5ftfrom frentrléftcornecto ‘5“ ’ ' back righteo’rner‘ " , ‘ ~ “ 7 E #4foll6ws #zim‘an,asecure,s'd6dr 99D) :3, .{ Orientefrom‘back left c‘ornertefi rightcomer « I ‘fiftfim‘bk ‘ - Employs deor eh‘argetif necessary respectively, and establish their PODs. Additionally, each man must complete his lead man’s mission in the event he is wounded or a weapon malfunctions (signaled by dropping to one knee). The #4 man has the additional duty of placing the door charge in the event the door is blocked. While it is possible to conduct this battle drill with only three men, using four is preferred. Four men clearing a room gives a team the flexibility re- Figure 2 Figure 4. Three-man technique. quired in the event there are additional, unknown rooms or casualties. In So— malia, rooms were typically cluttered and extremely difficult to move around in, and the fourth man was a big help in clearing each room. In actual combat, the probability of success decreases greatly with less than three men. Two men should attempt to clear a room only under the most extreme circumstance, and one man should never attempt the task alone. Figures 3 and4 illustrate NQMANis ‘ LAND . May—August1998 INFANTRY 13 PROFESSIONAL FORUM this battle drill using four or three men. All soldiers in the stack must under- stand several key points when executing this battle drill. Massing combat power at and through the fatal funnel does not mean running through the doorway. Movements by the members of the team must be deliberate and synchronized. This is why physical contact between members of the team is critical. Each man stacks up outside the entrance as tight as he can with the man to his front. Weapons are pointed downward, with the exception of the #1 Man, who pro- vides front security. Once the #4 Man is ready to move into the room, he pushes his knee into the #3 Man to sig- nal he is ready. The #3 Man does the same to the #2 Man and the #2 the same to the #1 Man. Once the #1 Man feels the tap of the #2 Man, he moves into the room and quickly focuses on the route to his POD. Any threat he sees that prevents him from getting to his POD is engaged with two rounds using the ba— sic quick-fire technique from FM 23-9, M16AI and M16A2 Rifle Marksman— ship. Developing this tunnel vision—as well as trusting himself, his buddy, and his equipment—is essential for success in this battle drill. Understanding the concept of this battle drill, and given the constraints placed on us in Somalia, my First Ser- geant and I began to develop a plan to train the company. Since we operated on a three-day rotation between train- ing, main supply route security, and the quick reaction company (QRC), we had to either train the entire company in three days with pre-range instruction during the QRF cycle or train over sev- eral three-day training cycles. While tasked as the QRC, the unit could con- duct some training similar to that nor- mally conducted in garrison. The result of our planning was five phases of training over a four—day period. Before the three days of range train- ing, we conducted Phase 1 training. This training can be conducted any- where with nothing more than engineer tape to outline different room layouts. Soldiers performed the battle drill in these rooms while leaders evaluated to make sure they understood it. Stressing the importance of box training is critical 14 INFANTRY May-August 1998 20% 10": 7'1 5ft Figure 5. Quick-Fire Range to this plan because it allows soldiers to see what is being done inside the room without actually being in it. This allows the leader to show his soldiers different situations with everyone viewing the battle drill from outside the room. By using different types of room layouts, leaders ensure complete understanding of the battle drill before getting on the range. During my company’s three days of QRF, we continually conducted this training, and junior leaders Went a step farther by rearranging our barracks to further help men understand the technique. The three days of range training gave the company more than enough time to become proficient in this battle drill. The buildings that made up the range layout were outside the city of Moga- dishu and allowed for 360—degree fields of fire. They were constructed of ce- ment and consisted of a series of rooms with tile floors. Additionally, they had no roofs that might have caused falling debris. The area used for the quick-fire range was an open field, approximately 200 square meters in size, across from the buildings. With minimal resources and effort, the training area was cleared :4“ LIVE FIRE AREA-——-—‘>~l DRY FIRE AREA—m» ‘ by battalion assets in less than one day and ready for training. Phase II or quick-fire training is based on the individual technique dis- cussed in FM 23-9. Every soldier fired an M16 for live fire training. Soldiers first practiced the technique using the dry fire method. Leaders ensured that each man correctly identified the target from the low ready position, simultane- ously lifted the weapon and used his thumb to move his M~l6 selector switch to semiautomatic, engaged the target from above his sights, and switched his weapon back to safe. Only after cor— rectly executing this sequence was the soldier allowed to move to the live—fire area (Figure 5). Once on the live-fire range, soldiers executed the quick-fire drill from the stationary position and while moving forward, left, right, and backward. Soldiers had to hit all of the E—type targets at the 5—foot, 7-foot, and 10-foot lines before advancing to the next line. Eighty percent target hits were required at the 20-foot and 25-foot lines. The squad leader's assessment of the soldiers’ confidence in the drill was also required for advancement to Phase 111. We conducted Phases III—V all in the same buildings. Each building was set up in the same manner, with half of it designated a dry-fire area and half a live—fire area (Figure 6). Targets were set up using sand bags as a backdrop and also to frame windows. A wooden pallet was placed against the backdrops with E-type silhouettes stapled to them. Although there was a concern about safety due to the tile floors in the buildings, the leaders maintained strict quick-fire performance standards, and Figure 6. Building Layout no training accidents occurred. Each room contained either two or three tar- gets. To maintain the element of sur- prise, the targets were moved fre- quently. When time permits, furniture and different rules of engagement can be added to increase the difficulty. Phase III training is conducted as an individual drill. Each soldier performs the duties of the 1-Man for every room of the dry-fire area and then the live-fire area. The leader evaluates the soldier by following him into the room, staying behind him to ensure that he performs the same drill he used on the quick-fire range. (In our training, all leaders con- ducted the drill before any soldiers, maintaining unit integrity and under— standing of the standards.) Soldiers en- gaged each target with two rounds to ensure that it was disabled. Any stray bullets that missed the target area (sand bags) resulted in retraining on the quick-fire range. Leaders also assessed the confidence of each soldier on this drill before allowing him to move to Phase IV of training. The standards for Phase IV, the 2-Man quick fire-drill, were the same as for Phase III except that Phase IV also included a night fire. Each two-man team had to complete the dry-fire rooms event before executing the live-fire rooms sequence. Leaders ensured that each man was proficient at both the l-Man and 2-Man duties. Only after successfully completing the day fire were soldiers allowed to conduct the night fire. The night fire was conducted with flashlights taped to the M163 and turned on as the team entered the room. On successful completion of Phase IV, Night Fire, the company was ready to conduct the battle drill Clear a Room. The training events for the final phase of training were identical to those for Phase IV. Platoon leaders and platoon sergeants evaluated their own platoons. Fire-team integrity was maintained throughout both the day and night fires. The battle drill was validated at the platoon level by having soldiers from different squads execute the drill as a team. Company validation was done in the same manner, using soldiers from each platoon to execute the drill. The results of this training were sig- nificant. The soldiers’ accuracy in hit- ting each target was well over 90 per- cent with the first round and close to 100 percent with the second round. In- spection of the targets following the three days of training showed that well over 95 percent of the hits were at cen- ter of mass on the silhouette. The le- thality and precision that every clearing team developed left no doubt that they could effectively clear a room. The company conducted this training in Somalia from 30 September 1993 through 2 October 1993 and returned to the battalion area the next morning, un- aware of just how important this train- ing would be to us that evening. In late afternoon on 3 October, my company became the lead element from 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry, to break through and rescue Task Force Ranger from deep behind enemy lines. For more than eight hours, we fought our way through intense enemy fire down the streets of Mogadishu, secured a shot—down UH—60 helicopter, and res- cued more than 90 members of Task Force Ranger. When we reached the Ranger perimeter, we had to increase its size to accommodate an additional company. The downed UH-60 was cur— rently outside the perimeter with US. soldiers still trapped in it. It was my plan to expand the perimeter around the aircraft and assist in cutting free our trapped soldiers. My men quickly se- cured the necessary buildings and kept the area secured while all the wounded and dead were evacuated. The confidence and proficiency the company’s soldiers demonstrated were even greater than my First Sergeant and I had hoped for. All issues were quickly resolved by conducting box training before going to the range. Every soldier, regardless of his position or weapon system, was required to pick up an M16 and execute the drill to stan- dard. Soldiers received effective train- ing that was both realistic and chal- lenging. Following the events of 3-4 October, the company after-action review discussed the new drill at length and compared it to the old one. Without exception, the leaders felt more confi- dent in this drill. The building clear- ance necessary to secure the area around the downed aircraft had gone quickly and efficiently, despite the con- fusion and the hostile presence. The new drill was proved in combat, and the end result was a company completely confident in its ability to clear a room in any situation. Although the stack task is a difficult one on which to train and maintain pro— ficiency, it is still a useful drill. With today’s operational tempo, maintaining proficiency on even Battle Drills 1 and 2 is a challenge. Troopleading pro- cedures take all this into account by en- suring that the unit conducts rehearsals before any mission, and units must ef- fectively train on mission essential bat- tle drills before deploying to a theater of operation. Urban operations are vastly different from the normal light infantry operational environment. The Rangers, who must be prepared to conduct urban operations, train on this regularly and are unquestionably the light infantry experts on it. But regular units must also be familiar with urban operations and be prepared to conduct them. I believe that this combat proven technique should replace the current Battle Drill 6, but other infantrymen may have versions that are equally ef- fective. The point is that Battle Drill 6 needs to be replaced with a drill that is simpler and more effective. Captain Drew R. Meyerowich commanded Company A. 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry, in Somalia and recently completed an assign- ment as a company commander in the 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry, at the Joint Readi- ness Training Center. He is a 1987 graduate of the United States Military Academy. May-August 1998 INFANTRY 15 ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/14/2010 for the course MILITARY H 510 taught by Professor Davidulbrich during the Spring '10 term at Norwich.

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Let's Replace Drill 6 by A 2-14 - Let’s Replace Battle...

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