January 2007Page 2 of 7
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the dedicated armed suspect, who is the same (if not better) skill level as you, thenanything less than that should be easier. Whatever tactic you use, you have to test it inforce-on-force / reality-based training. If you don’t, then you are operating on theory.There is no specific room entry tactic that will work every time. The goal is tominimize the risk of getting shot the best that you can. So, if your room entry tacticresults in you getting shot to easily during force-on-force training, then you need to re-evaluate the tactic. I have heard many people say, “We have never had anyone shotdoing this tactic.” Well then, the next question I ask is thisIn all the room entries youhave done, have you ever encountered a dedicated armed suspect who was waiting for you? If you haven’t, then you have to question whether the tactic is good, or if you’vebeen lucky so far.
Pre-entry Principles & Tactics
– Prior to any room entry, limited or dynamic,you should clear as much of the room as possible from the outside first. Conduct anangular search (AKA – slice the “pie”) across the doorway first before conducting anentry. This serves two purposes: to locate a suspect, and engage if necessary, beforeentering the room; and to identify the layout of the room. The speed at which youconduct an angular search is based on the situation and your ability to read theenvironment as you see it. For dynamic situations, you would need to do a dynamicpie. For a slow search, you would do a slow pie. Of course, the question comes upabout the infamous “fatal funnel.” I will throw this earth-shattering statement outtherethe fatal funnel concept, as it has been applied to doorways, has been over-used, and abused, in both the military and law enforcement community. I use to be afirm believer that doors are fatal funnels. But, through training, I have learned to treat adoorway the same as corners.
– Let me address the fatal funnel concept real quick. When I wasin the military in the early 90’s learning room entries and CQB, there were some keythings that were drilled into us. One of the key things was that all doors are “fatalfunnels”, meaning that they are choke points that we must pass through to reach theenemy. And, if the enemy is inside, then they can concentrate their weapons on thedoor to kill us (sounds like the dedicated, armed suspect I was mentioning earlier). So,standing in front of the doorway was considered a bad thing. This thought processgenerated the line of thinking that priority #1 in a dynamic room entry is to get throughthe door quickly, and then clear the room. The faster you get in and out of the doorway,the faster you can engage the suspect. This thought process is wrong. If you can seeand engage the threat from outside the room, then that is faster, and far better, thanentering the room first. Keep that in mind when I start talking about dynamic entries.On another note, if doorways are fatal funnels, then why would you ever “slicethe pie” on a doorway during a building search? That forces you to traverse across thedoorway, usually at a slow pace. How can slicing the pie be a good tactic if we have tostand in front of the doorway to do it? The answer is thisa doorway is not a fatalfunnel. It is just another corner. Hallways are more of a fatal funnel than doorways.