View Full Version : FIBUA/MOUT

26 October 2000, 13:07
OK, I'm coming to the source on this one. What are the curent SOP's/ tactics practiced for FIBUA (MOUT)? Ours are very out-dated, EG:"2 man stack for room clearing, first one gains access and throws in a frag. Second man follows after detonation, firing burst". Well that worked fine on European /WWII buildings made of stone or brick, but now things are mostly wood frame or similar and that kind of tactic will probably result in a lot of "own goals". The Brits are now looking at 3-4 man entry with shoot/no-shoot and t-flash. Sounds OK, but I think you would need to train fairly extensively with that. How about stairwells, halls, etc? What type of loadout would you suggest for a 4 man team? All help appreciated.

26 October 2000, 15:07
Go to the SEAL Forum and look for the post "Use of assault rifles in CQB".

I just did a Cheese Post to bring it up from the May 2000 time frame.

There was a dingbat named PT Freak who posted drivel; ignore him.

Read that and come back here with any additional questions.

Don't e-mail me direct; I have a new one now.

26 October 2000, 16:58
Thanks Tracy, good thread. Couple of questions:
1) In your "TASK ORGANIZATION FOR URBAN WARFARE", are the Grenadiers referring to M203 or a troop with a big bag of frags?
2) Concerning assault movement. Max speed and aggression or cautious room-room? Would you think that using CS will slow things down a bit?

26 October 2000, 18:01
Originally posted by TonyM:

Thanks Tracy, good thread. Couple of questions:

1) In your "TASK ORGANIZATION FOR URBAN WARFARE", are the Grenadiers referring to M203 or a troop with a big bag of frags?

I'm referring to Grenade Launchers; M203 or otherwise.

2) Concerning assault movement. Max speed and aggression or cautious room-room? Would you think that using CS will slow things down a bit?

"Perfect Speed is Being There" In other words, go fast enough to do the job. We had a technique of ALWAYS having one foot SOLIDLY on the ground at all times.

Maximum Agression against all targets.

Maximum Force against all LEGITIMATE SHOOT targets.

Measured Force against all NO-SHOOT targets. Measured force is a sliding scale ranging from voice commands, manual holds, impact weapons, sprays, to firearms (God forbid!).

CS is a two-edged sword. I'd retain the capability to employ and operate in a CS environment; and use it when it gives me a tactical advantage. CS canisters rely on a burning chemical reaction to produce the tear gas. Burning means incindiary; heh-heh-heh...

27 October 2000, 14:39
Thanks Tracy, will put this into practice over the next few days.

The CSM loves the part about room clearing with a tank (drive up, put the muzzle into a window and fire. ROOM CLEAR!). Unfortunatly, both of Canada's tanks are in Ottawa for repairs right now so we can't try it out.

27 October 2000, 19:27
I'm taking some of the posts (mine!) and placing in this thread.

27 October 2000, 19:28
22 May 2000:

It not WHAT you hit them with, it's WHERE you hit them. We had four principles of marksmanship "Front Sight, Front Sight, Front Sight and Front Sight".

The concept of Quick Aimed Pair evolved into delivering multiple shots until the threat is neutralized. Your aim point is Center of AVAILABLE MASS; whatever you see, aim for the middle of it. We trained using the 'Mozambique' Drill: Two to the Chest and One to the Head. I had a tough time doing that in real life; those heads are small and moving all the time.

Most Iron Sight Engagements occur at ranges below 200 meters, and the M4 is NOT a 600 meter weapon. The shorter barrel makes it easier in CQB to manuever; but beyond that range it's harder to engage targets than the M-16A2.

I was an XO in Somalia and didn't see as much action as I liked; but the Somalis I shot following those principles STAYED down.

That's my two-bits worth.

27 October 2000, 19:32
23 May 2000:

Razor Said: "I guess its all semantics, but "double tap" has many meanings. I first learned it to mean "finishing" a wounded enemy, even if he presented no obvious threat. A BIG no-no in terms of the law of land warfare..."
Re-read that section on 'finishing'. During the assault phase an raid or an ambush, you can pump as many rounds into someone as you like, threatening or not; it's not illegal. What's illegal, is to deliberately round up the survivors and kill them sometime during the post-assault phase. Besides, if you have survivors, you had a poorply executed operation anyway. We trained ourselves, and our indigenous forces, to shoot any legitimate target during the assault phase they came across. So, many of our guys would kill the same enemy two or three times over as they pass by.

The concept of double-tap came from research that showed no firearm is capable of a one-shot stop. However, two or more shots put some rounds over the threshold of a "hard kill": the effects are immediate and fatal. A lot of rounds used in single-shot engagments gave, at best, a "soft kill": the effects are still fatal, but the enemy can fight back before finally dying.

I have no idea where the term "Mozambique Drill" came from. It's an extension of the quick-aimed-pair; whereas the target is still functioning after hitting at center of available mass. It requires hitting somewhere else with additional rounds because where you're hitting now isn't working. The conventional wisdom is to aim at the head; even though it's a low-percentage shot. Most head shots are hard kills; which works for me. In Rhodesia they called it triple-tapping.

Rat Said: "War is to kill...CQB to rescue..." True, to an extent. CQB is the most over-used acronym in military parlance. It's original intent was to distinguish between typical engagement ranges between infantrymen in rural areas and urban areas. Urban combat is much closer and personal that the rural variety. Nowadays people who study CQB from a book think they're HRT Gods.

CQB is a CONDITON OF COMBAT, not a type of operation. It can apply to rural as well as urban operations. There are rescue ops in the bush, as well as the buildings.

Mike Said: "...do you consider CQB combat? A British guy told he he doesn't think of counterterrorism as combat..." Tell your British Guy what I just described for CQB: It's a condition of combat in which people are trying to kill each at ranges less than 20 meters (hand grenade range). CQB is not counterterrorism. Politicians make noises about what's combat and what's not; soldiers couldn't care less. Dead is Dead.

27 October 2000, 19:33
23 May 2000

Actions taken in RESPONSE to a specific Terrorist act or actions. E.G. Rescue, EOD, Police call for body parts, Chemical Decontamination.

Actions taken by an organization to PREVENT or REDUCE THE EFFECT of Terrorism used against it. E.G. Heightened Personnel Security, Parcel Screening, Barriers, Target Hardening, etc.


27 October 2000, 19:35
24 May 2000:

Razor: If your operation includes a planned withdrawal off the objective, you're still in the assault phase of an operation. Depending on Weather, Enemy and Terrain; you could be doing a planned FIGHTING withdrawal. That means you lay down a heavy base of fire to cover your withdrawal and pursuit; the killing continues. Post-assault in this case begins after you depart the objective rally point.
If your operation is to seize and hold an objective, then your post-assault procedures begin as soon as you consoldiate your position: Establish Security, Account for Personnel (Enemy and Friendly), Re-establish the Chain of Command and Make Plans for Follow-On Operations. In this case, rounding up and killing prisoners who aren't resisting is illegal. If the operation is done properly, what few survivors there are will not want any more guns pointing at them; and will do whatever it takes to stay alive.

Tell your squad to use the ENEMY'S medical supplies to treat the enemy. Don't deplete your personal medical kits to help them.

The 7.62 NATO is a one-shot stop round, if you aim for the enemy's medulla oblongotta (the base of the head, where it meets the neck). In general, no round can do a one-shot hard kill. That's why it's so important to AIM; to increase the effectiveness of your round fired. I guarantee that head-shots during CQB is damn hard to do. Your urban units are doing the right thing with double-tapping.

Hand grenades in CQB (rural or urban) are used to regain tactical initiative or to break the enemy's initiative. During room combat, often a squad (8-14 pers) has to clear an entire floor; room by room. While you're clearing rooms at one end of the building, the enemy could be preparing hasty defenses at the other end. As the squad works its way through the floor, it can use hand grenades to regain tactical initiative; especially if one room takes a real long time to clear.

There are two basic types of hand grenades: Offensive and Defensive. Offensive Hand Grenades do NOT produce shrapnel; they use the noise and light to produce the shock effect needed to disorient the enemy. Offensive grenades can be thrown with friendlies in the same room; because there's no shrapnel.

Defensive Hand Grenades use blast to propel shrapnel; and produce a killing radius of 3-5 meters. Defensive grenades have limited use in room combat; because most internal walls will pass shrapnel right through and possibly injure friendlies. The blast has a side effect of damaging load-bearing walls; but if you're not planning on occupying the building following the assault, who cares? Having a load-bearing wall is no guarantee you'll have fewer problems with shrapnel or collapse.

Study the areas you're fighting in and determine what type of grenade works best for room combat and weigh that against the situtation you face. I wouldn't rule out Offensive or Defensive grenades, but I would alter the mix I carried based on the situation and structure of the operation. In Mogadishu, Somalia, defensive grenades were used ALL the time with no ill effects.

27 October 2000, 19:36
24 May 2000

It depends on whether or not your body armor is rated to stop the round fired at you. U.S. DOJ standards are a Level III-AK will stop a 7.62 Soviet round (AK-47), whereas a Level IV will stop 7.62 NATO and .30-06 Armor Piercing.

If the Armor is rated to stop the round, the next criterion is the Back-Face Deformation the armor allows: How big of a 'dent' does it put into you. US DOJ allows only 44mm, or less, of back-face deformation. Many Armor Vests stop the rounds fired at them but still fail because the dent is greater than 44mm.

Speaking from personal experience, you WANT armor that stops the round and has a small dent allowance. I've been hit twice while wearing armor and it wasn't pleasant: I had bruises where I was hit. The good news was I was still in the fight. Excessive back-face deformation can KILL you outright because of the blunt trauma delivered into the body cavity.

Rule of thumb: ALWAYS use body armor equal to the most powerful round in the room; whether friendly or enemy. E.g. if you go in with 7.62 NATO and the enemy has 9mm parabellum, wear armor to stop the 7.62 NATO. You never know when a stray round from one of your teammates may come screaming through your position.

27 October 2000, 19:37
25 May 2000:

1. Flash-Bangs are classed as Offensive Hand Grenades.

2. Regarding making your door into a building, yes we used explosives quite often. Breaching is the term used to define methods of forcing an entrance through prepared positions. There are three types of breaching: Mechanical, Ballistic and Explosive.

Mechanical Breaching involves using tools to cut, break, ram or go over obstacles; mechanical leverage with human power. Your boots on a door or window is a mechanical breach. Wire/Bolt cutters, door rams, pry bars, gasoline quickie-saws, ropes and ladders are a part of this group.

Ballistic Breaching involves using firearms to go through an obstacle. Machine guns, rocket launchers, grenade launchers and shot guns are a few of the types. One of the most effective, and least used, ballistic breaching tool is the tank. An extremely effective technique is to drive the tank right up to the door and ram the main gun muzzle through a door or window and squeeze the trigger. If the building is still standing, it creates a breach and clears the room all in one shot.

Explosive Breaching uses explosives custom made for breaching; or using existing materials to create a breaching charge. This is the most time-consuming type of breach to do. The training is extensive and time is needed to create the right charge for the situation and structure. There is no generic charge that works for all situations. When done properly by trained personnel, an explosive breach will create your hole and drop the debris at the base of the breach; instead of throwing it around the room.

There are also custom-made explosives for internal breaching of doors. They are used on locked doors once inside the building.

The nice thing about explosive breaching is that you can create your own entrance better suited to your tactical plan; or, use it to clear a entrance you suspect may be booby-trapped (window or door).

Regarding risk and clearing procedures:
There are two types of situations in urban combat: High Risk and Unknown Risk. I treat everything as a high-risk operation. There are pros and cons regarding clearing Top-to-Bottom, or Bottom-to-Top:

Pros: Gravity works in your favor; especially with grenades.
Pros: It's unexpected.
Cons: You need equipment to get on top safely before clearing. That means training and time to do the breaches.
Cons: Over half of your body is exposed during descent (stairs or abseillng) before you can bring a weapon to bear on a threat. This means developing procedures to reduce the threat until your weapon is free to engage.

Pro: Most entrances are on the bottom.
Pro: Less breaching equipment is needed.
Pro: During ascent (stairs or ladders) your weapon can engage targets before the rest of your body is exposed.
Cons: Most entrances are defended.

Regarding equipment any Urban Warfare Unit needs, at a minimum:
Ropes and Grappling Hooks,
Ladders (1 meter wide),
Flashlights (bolted on the rifles),
Light Machineguns,
AT Launchers (man-portable),
Sniper Rifles,
Elbow and Knee Pads,
Crash Helmets,
Personal Radios,
Gas Masks that fit with the helmets,
Ear Plugs.

Thank you for the compliment, I've been teaching military tactics for 20 years; and Urban Warfare since 1990.

If Sweden continues to do UN peacekeeping duties, you guys will definitely need the Urban Warfare training in HUGE doses. One of these days the UN or the EU will realize that the only way to maintain peace is to pound on the troublemakers until the survivors quit.

If you perform your first combat operations with massive force and precise execution; the survivors will think twice before screwing with you a second time.

Don't leave your Mechanized and Tank forces out of your urban operations. Use Light Infantry and Special Ops for Assault Elements; Mech and Panzers for the Security Elements.

27 October 2000, 19:39
26 May 2000

Got quite a conversation going on with the equipment for Urban Warfare, so I'll try to elaborate:

1. Urban Warfare is three dimensional; we have to look UP and DOWN as well as all around. While we clear, we need 'angels' looking over us to watch our backs.

2. Urban Warfare is more like a continuous series of raids on prepared positions (buildings) than a movement-to-contact in a rural environment. Time is always lacking, so we can't prepare for raids the way we used to: plan one at a time and rehearse one at a time.

3. Urban Warfare is manpower intensive: a small three-story building that's 20m long and 20m wide can suck in an entire platoon for clearing. We haven't got the manpower.

4. Our intelligence system is not configured for Urban Warfare. Some new technology designed for Urban Warfare would really be nice; failing that, we have to fall back on providing our own intelligence as we go through the area.

Here’s Tracy’s Theories and Rambling’s on Urban Warfare:

1. Make DAMN sure you have to go in to an Urban Area and clear it; it should be the LAST OPTION, not the first.

2. Task Organize and train for Urban Warfare: Split the force into two equal elements: Recon/Security and HQ/Assault. Always commit 50% (or more) of your force to R/S; believe me, you’ll need it.

3. The R/S Element has the MGs, AT Launchers, Snipers, Tanks, Mortars, etc. H/A has the Infantry, APCs, Breaching Equipment.

4. As goes the Recon, so goes the Assault. If your Recon Element screws up, the Assault Element will die; and the survivors will want to get even. Recon will find the ways to get in; and provide the cover needed for the Assault Teams to get into position. One of the most vulnerable times for the Assault Element is the Breach into the building. All buildings have a natural kill zone all the way around it’s perimeter, and the Assault has to go through that kill zone to get in and do their job.

5. The R/S element also prevents reinforcement AND escape. In general terms, the Urban Force moves like an inch-worm: R/S moves up, H/A catches up. First, R/S performs reconnaissance tasks; Second, they establish a cordon around the site; Third, they cover the approach of the H/A element; Fourth, the R/S element makes sure no one interferes with the H/A element while they’re working. During the assault, the R/S element will have to detach a sub-element to begin the reconnaissance of the next building; and start the process all over again. Communication with Higher and Adjacent Units is the R/S responsibility.

6. The R/S element should have more experienced urban fighters than the H/A. The reason is two-fold: First, they will have a better idea of what to look for. Second, they may have to go in and recover the H/A element if things go really bad.

7. The H/A element is the one that makes direct physical contact with enemy. They have fewer tasks to perform; but have a greater opportunity to die. They follow the R/S element into the area. When they’re moving, they also act as the mule train and bring the additional supplies: The supplies taken are: “35MM”; Class 3 (Fuel), Class 5 (Ammo) Medical and Maintenance. This is also called the Combat Trains. H/A also provides and controls communications inside the Urban Warfare Unit, controls the overall operation and uses the R/S Element to relay information outside the unit.

8. The H/A element starts their work by dropping off the Combat Trains in a secure area marked by the R/S element. Then they begin their pre-combat checks and receive the intelligence from R/S. Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be critical for successful Urban Operations. Because there are so many buildings to clear in so little time, SOPs will help speed up and smooth out the process. Urban Fighters will not have the luxury of planning and rehearsing separate operations for every building.

9. Once they get all the information possible from R/S, the H/A will do their own leaders’ reconnaissance to fill in any gaps and visualize the area. Oral operations orders are next, followed by movement to the Last Covered and Concealed Position (LCC). On the Go Signal, the H/A begins their Approach and Breach. R/S will have the heavy stuff with them, so it stands to reason that they can blow a breach for the H/A every once in a while. After the breach, the H/A enters and begins clearing the building. The HQ sub-element will position themselves where they can best control the operation. During the clearing, the HQ sub-element will call forward a small piece of the R/S to begin looking over the next building and provide a little extra security. Once the building is secured, H/A sends back for the Combat Train and brings the R/S element up to consolidate their position.

10. Then the fun starts all over again…

Stay tuned for the next post....

27 October 2000, 19:54
26 May 2000

Here's the second post----
Organizational Ramblings:

Let’s look at an Infantry Platoon as an Urban Warfare Unit. Remember, this is my fantasy!

First, here’s the personnel to work with:
Platoon Leader
Platoon Sergeant
2 x Radio Operators
3 x Rifle Squads ( 1 Squad Leader, 2 x Fire Teams of 3 personnel each team (Rifle-Grenadier-SAW) )
1 x Weapons Squad (1 Squad Leader, 2 x two-man MG Teams, 1 x two-man AT team)
Attachments: 1 x Medic, 2 x Marksmen/Snipers, 1 x Forward Observer, 1 x Truck Driver (maybe!)

37 personnel total.

Extra Equipment:
3 x One-Meter-Wide Ladders; 4-5m long.
6 x 40m Abseiling Ropes.
3 x Grappling Hooks.
Flashlight per man for attachment to the rifle.
Knee and Elbow Pads for everyone.
Breaching Charges.
Sledge Hammers and Pry Bars.
Construction Material (plywood, poles, hammers, saws, nails, lashings, etc.)
Extra Hand Grenades (one per room to clear).
Extra Light AT Weapons (one per man).
Extra Explosive Demolition Material.
1 x Truck of some sort.


Headquarters and Assault Element--

HQ Sub-Element:
Platoon Leader
Radio Operator
Truck Driver

1st Assault Squad
Squad Leader
4 x Riflemen
1 x Grenadier
1 x SAW Gunner

2d Assault Squad
Squad Leader
4 x Riflemen
1 x Grenadier
1 x SAW Gunner

18 Personnel total in H/A

Reconnaissance and Security Element

R/S HQ and Commo Team:
Platoon Sergeant
Radio Operator
Forward Observer

1st R/S Squad:
Squad Leader
1 x Sniper
2 x Grenadiers
2 x SAW Gunners
1 x MG Gunner
1 x AT Gunner

2d R/S Squad:
Squad Leader
1 x Sniper
2 x Grenadiers
2 x SAW Gunners
1 x MG Gunner
1 x AT Gunner

19 personnel total in R/S

The biggest changes you can see are the two assault squads each exchanged a Grenadier and SAW gunner for two riflemen (the extra rifles came from the other rifle squad and the assistants to the Machine Gunners). Grenade Launchers have limited applicability inside a building because they have a minimum arming distance of about 14 meters. SAWs are not the preferred weapons of choice in room clearing. But a SAW can cover dangerous areas like hallways and stairwells.

Each Assault Squad clears one room at a time while providing its own local security.

The remaining rifle squad and weapons squad were split evenly to provide a recon and security capability. Actually, under the right conditions, one of those R/S squads could stop an enemy platoon dead in its tracks. Remember R/S has to prevent reinforcement also.

Now, If an Infantry Squad ( 9 personnel) is the Basic Urban Warfare Unit, I'd split it into a Light Fire Team of all rifles; and a Heavy Fire Team of Grenadiers and SAWs. I'd breach with the Heavy Team and roll the Light Team into the building.

Instead of keeping the Heavy on cordon security; I'd have the Heavy Team follow the Light Team as roving security inside the building. That way the Squad Leader isn't splitting his meager force. The Heavy Team can take point on the clearing when there's extra resistance.

Well, that's enough for now...

27 October 2000, 19:56
30 May 2000

The R/S squad would react as well, or as bad, as the leadership makes them. There are two classic, real-world examples of the Security Element doing their job of preventing reinforcement:

Operation Just Cause, Panama, 1989: 7th SF Group received tasking to block a bridge leading into downtown Panama City. Reason: to prevent the PDF Battalion 2000 (a Motorized Infantry unit) from coming to the aid of the Comandancia. The Task Force comprised 2 SF A-Teams task-organized for demolition and vehicular ambush. Due to a schedule change, the TF did not pull pitch until AFTER the invasion started. It became a race between BN-2000 and the TF.

The Blackhawks flying the force in arrived 3-5 minutes before BN-2000 reached the bridge. Two soldiers quickly raced up the hill to the roadway, stood in the middle with AT-4s and shot the lead vehicle of the battalion. Their actions slowed up the PDF unit enough for the rest of the TF to deploy and begin calling in Spectre to smash the rest of the PDF force.

In this case, good troops, a good forward observer (calling Spectre) and terrain made the difference. They found a choke point to prevent a motorized infantry bn from getting into an urban area. That PDF Bn had about 300 troops; and there were 20 people and an AC-130 to stop them.

Second example: TF Ranger, Mogadishu, Somalia, October 1993. The mission called for a raid in the middle of an urban area. Purpose: Prisoner Snatch of key leadership of the Somali National Alliance. The Security Element consisted of one Ranger Rifle Platoon, Aerial Snipers and Attack Helicopters (Little Birds). The Assault Element consisted of a personnel from SFOD-D. As per SOP, the Security Element deployed slightly ahead of the Assault Element. The Assault Element did their job and got the prisoners they were looking for.

Security Element prevented reinforcement as they were supposed to. Then two of the transport aircraft went down. The Security Element made a decision to attempt a rescue of the downed aircrew. They rest of story is well known. When the fighting finally ended, 19 US personnel were dead. Over half of the KIA came from the Security Element. While it's always sad that any friendlies die, the kill ratio was decidedly in favor of TF Ranger (20-30 to 1).

Despite what Mark Bowden has to say about the Rangers and TF 2-14INF (the force that punched through to rescue TF Ranger); they did an outstanding job of holding the enemy at bay while the assault element did their job.

Another unique feature of TF Ranger was they did NOT have all the equipment they needed; and they couldn't pick the time or the terrain to fight in. They went into an urban area heavily outnumbered (1,000 to 1) and where the enemy had detailed terrain knowdledge versus a photograph the Rangers had. And yet they accomplished the mission.

Do those two examples give you an idea or two?

Going to the movies, the last 40 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan" is another good example of a security element preventing German reinforcement of the beachhead by using a small group of paratroopers at a bridge in an urban area. While 'Ryan' is fictional, small-unit actions like that occured almost daily during the Normandy Invasion. Many units just barely hung on until relieved by heavier units.

It's a matter of taking what you have and doing the best you can. Being in the Security Element doesn't sound glamorous; but they receive the brunt of the enemy's wrath when things go wrong.

That's why my 'doctrine' (or dogma!) demands that 50% of the available force be dedicated to Security. Sometimes I plus it up to 75% if it's one of those days...

All the known information concerning a raid is usually about the target. So your Assault Element goes into the site with prior knowledge. The Security Element deals almost exclusively with unknown factors: Weather, Enemy and Terrain; and the Raid Commander doesn't want to hear excuses about how the Security Element can't do their job.

If you want medals and be a HERO, get a slot in the Security Element when things go wrong during a Raid.

7 November 2000, 22:38
Cheese post. Another Canuck wants some info..