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Doctrinal Hierarchy
The Operational Framework
Principles of War
Tenets of Army Operations
The Factors of METT-TC
Elements of Operational Design
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Basic Tactical Concepts
Combined Arms
Decisively Engaged
Defeat in Detail
Mutual Support
Piecemeal Commitment
Rules of Engagement
Supporting Distance
Supporting Range
Tactical Mobility
Basic Tactical Graphic Control Measures
   Air Corridor
Area of Operations and Boundaries
Assembly Areas
Contact Point
Critical Friendly Zone
Direct Fire Control Measures
Deep, Close, and Rear Areas
Fire Support Coordination Measures
Fire Support Targets
Forward Line of Own Troops
Line of Contact
Names Area of Interest
Obstacle Control Measures
Phase Line
Position Area of Artillery
Targeted Area of Interest

 INT IMAGES                    XXX  YYY  ZZZ  ARMYINTEL



Dynamic entry versus deliberate entry

For some time now the SWAT community has experienced a debate about the use of dynamic entries and is it a legitimate option for high risk warrant service. Some would argue that the dynamic entry is flat out getting cops shot and the use of the tactic lends to carelessness.

This controversy — from what I can determine — has no merit. It’s my experience that the dynamic entry is very effective. I also believe that the deliberate entry is also effective. The problem seems to be that there is a need for some SWAT trainers to replace one with the other. The question is, why? They are two different applications that can be used best when faced with different tactical challenges.

Proper tactical planning for a high risk warrant service should include the use of a threat matrix. Once the threat level has been determined and the need for a tactical team is warranted, then the tactical commander must review all the intelligence available to properly formulate a tactical plan to execute the service.

The tactical commander’s options are many and they will vary from team to team. Some options include, but are not limited, to:

1. Takedown: Effect the arrest away from his home on a traffic stop or when he his walking down the street, etc. 
2. Ruse: Get the suspect to exit his home for some reason and then effect the arrest. 
3. Surround and call out: Set a perimeter and call out the suspect from the objective and then effect the arrest. 
4. Breach and hold: Set a perimeter, knock and announce, breach an entry point, effect entry, or call out. 
5. Dynamic entry: Knock and announce, breach, bang (if warranted), clear the objective. 
6. Deliberate entry: Knock and announce, breach or breach and hold, clear the objective at a methodical pace.

Once the first four options are ruled out for what ever reason, then the tactical planner is left with the dynamic entry or deliberate entry.

Dynamic Entry 
The standard for many years for many teams across the country has been the dynamic entry when conducting high risk warrant service. The dynamic entry may vary a little from team to team but the basic concept of the tactic is still the same.

I won’t try to define how another agency may describe or use this tactic. However, I will share with you what we teach in our basic SWAT courses.

“Dynamic Entry” is a tactic where surprise, speed and domination are key.

1. Usually accomplished by timing of the execution of the entry. 
2. Use of noise-flash diversionary devices when warranted. 
3. Use of an overwhelming amount of dominating force inside the stronghold.

The dynamic entry is generally the fastest option for clearing large threats. We like to use eight or more operators. The operators stack up at the entry point, knock and announce, breach and enter the stronghold. They then start clearing the stronghold by moving toward the most immediate threat(s).

Generally, two operators enter a room together — three or more operators may enter if the room is large. They may bang the room(s) prior to entry when warranted.

Upon entry into an objective, operators must concern themselves with “points of domination” and “areas of responsibilities.” In other words, clear the most immediate threat first. Take a position of domination that will allow for overlapping fire from the operators inside the objective. This must be done with an overwhelming amount of dominating force.

The operators will step through the door of the room, muzzle up, and take a corner to clear. The second operator in the stack is required to be right on the first man’s tail as he enters the stronghold. The second man takes the opposing corner to clear and takes his point of domination.

When the room is clear they announce “clear.” As they exit the room, they announce “coming out” and rejoin the clearing operation.

The advantage to this style of dynamic entry is that it provides speed through the objective, especially when the location of your adversary is unknown. Speed in the dynamic entry buys you surprise, and surprise affords you the opportunity to neutralize your threat before he engages you.

Another reason this tactic works is that your adversary has to process though the OODA loop as you make your entry. If two operators bang a room, enter swiftly, and then clear and take a position of domination before the two to three seconds that the bang provided has expired, your adversary will still be processing through the OODA loop. If you don’t bang the room, your adversary still has to choose one of the two operators to engage as they split up and are still on the move. We all now it takes time to choose a target. Also, your adversary has to place a lethal hit hitting on a moving target, which we all know isn’t easy and something most criminals don’t practice.

To make the Dynamic entry successful these two points are important:

1. Don’t move any faster than you can effectively engage your adversary. 
2. Provide an overwhelming amount of dominating force inside the stronghold.

Speed of the dynamic entry is critical and I think this is where some tactical trainers have failed. This has created this unnecessary controversary. When teaching or training the dynamic entry, start on the gun range. Have the operators shoot from various positions, various distances, various speeds, and various formations while moving. Try to recreate what they will encounter in hallways, rooms, and other types of objectives. Place hostage targets downrange and most importantly, make them accountable for their shot placement. The operator will then develop the speed at which he can effectively engage his target. That is the speed at which they will then conduct the dynamic entry.

Once the operator is proficient on the range, then he is ready to learn the dynamic entry in a building. The key now is to have them maintain the speed they operated at on the gun range. This is when I notice that operators pick up the pace and they tend to move faster than they can effectively engage an adversary. This is where the dynamic entry becomes problematic.

If you can harness the proper speed to conduct dynamic entries, master the CQB principles utilized during the clearing operation, then the dynamic entry — in my mind — is a highly effective and viable option.

The dynamic entry has worked for many years. We conduct opposing force training in our SWAT schools and when the tactic is conducted properly, it is very safe and very effective. T he operators will experience these results firsthand, which will build their confidence in the tactic.

I don’t buy into the fact that dynamic entry isn’t a safe tactic and SWAT officers are getting killed because they use it. SWAT cops are getting killed because bad men want to kill us.

If your adversary is waiting to ambush you in a well-fortified stronghold it may not matter what tactic you use. He has the advantage because he owns the ground and taking ground is a dangerous business. It just so happens, that’s our business.

High-risk warrants using the dynamic entry have been conducted for many years. I would say there have been thousands or tens of thousands of successful high-risk search warrants served in this country using the dynamic entry since the inception of the tactic. Without any conclusive data available it’s impossible to determine the success ratio.

Deliberate Entry 
The deliberate entry uses the same basic principles as the dynamic entry but the pace at which the clearing operation is conducted is reduced significantly. The speeds at which teams conduct deliberate entries will vary from team to team. I have seen teams use a speed slightly slower than which most dynamic entries are conducted and I have seen teams move at almost a “stealth clear” speed.

There isn’t a right or wrong speed when conducting a deliberate entry. Your team should spend many hours training on this tactic to find what works best for your team.

The basic concept using the deliberate entry is that it’s slower and you can clear objectives from the outside prior to making the actual entry. If you observe a subject inside the room then you can attempt to verbalize commands to have them crawl out of the room to the team or prone out on the floor. Once you decide to enter the stronghold you may then go dynamic or continue the deliberate clearing method.

Here are some advantages to using the deliberate entry:

1. Operators can “slice the pie” into the stronghold prior to entry. 
2. Mirrors can be used to clear corners and other threats prior to entry into the room. 
3. Ballistic shields and blankets can be used during the clearing operation. 
4. Verbal commands may be given to occupants of the room prior to entry to a safe area. 
5. The tactic is easier managed from the team leaders perspective.

Moving through the objective is very much the same as the dynamic entry. You will utilize the same CQB principles. A critical component is that the team must maintain security during the movement. In other words, there must be guns covering all threats all the time. If you loose this security element for what ever reason the team leader should go dynamic to clear the rest of the objective or consider withdrawing. The reason is during a deliberate clear operating your adversary most likely knows you’re in the objective. Your team most likely had to knock and announce your presence, breach a door, banged a room or two and given verbal command to the occupants or team members. Therefore, in a sense your team is already compromised.

Once your adversary is aware of your presence he has ample time to arm himself and take cover. You lose speed and surprise because your adversary now has the time needed to process through the OODA loop. He now has the ability and opportunity to engage you first. Therefore, teams must provide security for the element as it conducts the clear operation.

A great way to achieve success with the deliberate entry is to mandate that the team leader doesn’t make entry into any rooms. He must position himself so that he can “manage” the operation. This works great because when an operator is focused on his most immediate threat he may overlook or miss other critical factors that can compromise the operation.

The team leader doesn’t necessarily have to focus on immediate threats and can now focus on the integrity of the operation. Thus making the tactic and operation very safe. My team leaders have found that positioning themselves 5th in the stack works out best for them.

Another consideration on the use of the deliberate entry, while your element is moving and clearing most interior walls offer minimal to no ballistic value. Thus the slow deliberate clear may provide a false sense of safety inside a typical home especially if your presence is known.

As you can see both tactics have their advantages and disadvantages. In my opinion both are viable options for high risk warrant service. My team is tweaking a variation that blends the two tactics and so far we are happy with the results.

Until some empirical data is furnished that concludes that the use of dynamic entry is dangerous I believe we should stop the controversy and use what ever tactic will work best for the tactical problem your team is faced with.

Stay safe.

About the author


Glenn French, a retired Sergeant with the Sterling Heights (Mich.) Police Department, has 24 years police experience and served as the Team Commander for the Special Response Team, and supervisor of the Sterling Heights Police Department Training Bureau. He has 16 years SWAT experience and also served as a Sniper Team Leader, REACT Team Leader, and Explosive Breacher.

He is the author of the award-winning book Police Tactical Life Saver, which has been named the 2012 Public Safety Writers Association Technical Manual of the year. Glenn is also the owner of Rubicon Tactical Strategies and can be reached at www.rubicontacticalstrategies.com.

Glenn has instructed basic and advanced SWAT / Tactical officer courses, basic and advanced Sniper courses, Cold Weather / Winter Sniper Operations and Active Shooter Response courses, Terrorist Response course, Tactical Lifesaver Course and others. Sgt. French also served in the U.S. Army. During his military tenure Sgt. French gained valuable experience in C.Q.B., infantry tactics and explosive breaching operations.                              

Contact Glenn French.



Adjustment of Fire 1,537kbs

  • Warrior Tasks & Drills



Marines, Taliban and Tactics, Techniques and Procedures

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 7 months ago

This generation’s Ernie Pyle, Michael Yon, has posted a very important Powerpoint presentation.  His post is entitled The Eagle Went Over the Mountain.  Michael has posted some very important prose on the campaigns in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  But sometimes all a good journalist has to do to be good is find and send on the important things he finds.  The trick is in knowing what’s important.  Every unit planning a deployment to Afghanistan, and even those who are not, should spend time studying this presentation for its worth in the fundamentals of tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP).  The Powerpoint presentation is linked just below.


Here is one excerpt on a common tactic.

The bait and ambush attack is one of the most common ambush techniques used by the enemy.  The enemy is very observant and has noticed how aggressive Marines are compared to other coalition forces.  They have use this to their advantage on several occasions and have drawn Marines into complex ambushes with catastrophic results.

In this scenario a platoon minus was patrolling the town when they were engaged with sporadic small arms fire from a distance.  They returned fire and were moving further into the town when they were engaged by a single enemy fighter who fired on the platoon and broke contact.  The platoon chased the fighter through the town when they suddenly found themselves in a dead end.

The enemy attacked the platoon from the rear and pushed them further into the dead end.  The enemy had driven the platoon into a fire sack and they ambushed the platoon from the roof tops.  This continued until aviation assets came over head and broke the ambush.

Here is a visual depiction of the tactic.

This is only the beginning of the discussion concerning logistics ambushes, fire and maneuver tactics, development of enfilade fire, and even the thickness of the mud walls of the Afghan homes (18″ thick, resistant even to 20 mm Vulcan).  As few of the summary points of the presentation follow:

Fire Control: Enemy forces have demonstrated a high level of fire control in numerous engagements.  They have shifted and focused their fires on what they perceived to be the greatest threat.  Ambushes have generally been initiated with bursts of machinegun fire followed by volleys of RPGs.  The beaten zone of the RPGs have been within six inches to a foot.  This shows a very developed system of fire control and points to a section leader controlling these fires.  The complexity and size of some of these ambushes point to a platoon and company level command structure.

Interlocking fields of fire: The enemy did an excellent job of placing fighting positions in locations where they could mutually support each other.  As elements of the platoon attacked one position, they would be engaged from multiple firing positions.  Several times during the engagement elements of the platoon would be pinned down from accurate fire coming from several directions until other elements could maneuver to destroy those positions.

RPG Volley Fire: Almost every time the enemy attacked the armored vehicles, the enemy attacked with volleys of 2-3 RPGs.  This demonstrated a high amount of coordination and discipline.  Often times these attacks came from multiple firing positions.

Combined arms:  The enemy demonstrated an advanced understanding of combined arms.  Most of their attacks on the platoon combined machine gun fire with RPGs, rockets and mortars.  Enemy forces used their PK machine guns to suppress turret gunners while several RPG gunners would engage vehicles with volleys of RPGs. They also attempted to fix the vehicles using RPGs and machinegun fire for attacks with rockets and mortars.

Fire and Maneuver: The enemy proved to be very adept at fire and maneuver. The enemy would fix Marines with RPG and machine gun fire and attempt to maneuver to the flanks.  This happened with every engagement.  If elements of the platoon were attacked from one direction, they could expect further attacks to come from the flanks.  This occurred both with mounted and dismounted elements of the platoon.

Anti-Armor Tactics: The enemy did not attempt to penetrate the crew compartment of the vehicles they engaged.  They fired volleys of RPGs to the front end of the HMMWVs in order to disable them and start a vehicle fire.  Once the crew evacuated, they would engage them with crew served weapons.  This demonstrates a very detailed understanding of the limitations of their weapon systems and a thorough knowledge of our armor vulnerabilities.

“Karez” Irrigation Ditches: The enemy utilized prepared fighting positions built into irrigation ditches to maneuver about the battlefield and attack the platoon.  These ditches ranged from four to seven feet deep and made any frontal attacks very difficult.  The enemy would attack from one position and rapidly maneuver to another.  This facilitated flanking attacks.  The enemy also used tree lines to stage their attacks from.  Many wooded areas are bordered with mud walls and irrigation ditches, which the enemy used for cover and concealment.

Massing Forces: The enemy was able to mass their forces to over 400 enemy on the battlefield on several occasions.  This was not normally the case in Iraq.  Situations here in Afghanistan can quickly escalate and even company sized elements can find themselves outnumbered, outmaneuvered and outgunned.  The enemy will not always mass but they will rally to defend their leadership or protect their interests.  They have conducted ambushes that have swelled to 400 fighter engagements and have also massed to that size to conduct attacks on Forward Operating Bases.

Defense in Depth: The enemy plans their defenses with depth and mutual support in mind.  In one ambush the enemy engaged the platoon from a tree line that was supported by fighting position to the north that were tied into the defense and prevented us from flanking the ambush site.  These machine gun positions had excellent fields of fire and machine guns were set in on the avenues of approach. The enemy fought to the death in the tree line to defend their base 200 meters to the north.  As the platoon attempted to attack the base from the flank, they were engaged from multiple machine gun positions with excellent fields of fire with interlocking fields of fire.

Fire Discipline: Engagements have lasted from two to forty hours of sustained combat.  Marines must be careful to conserve rounds because there may not be any way to replenish their ammunition and it is not practical or recommended to carry an excessive number of magazines.  Marines took a few moments to apply the fundamentals of marksmanship and this greatly improved the ratio of shots fired to enemy fighters killed.  Crew Served Weapons do not always need to be fired at the rapid rate.  Good application of shoulder pressure will tighten beaten zones and lead to effective suppression. Talking guns will help conserve ammunition.

Fire Control: Fire control was critical during the battle from the team to platoon level.  One of the main reasons the platoon did not take many casualties during the battle was due to the effective coordination between crew served weapons, precision fires, CAS, mortars and small arms.  This permitted the platoon to place pressure on the enemy force and focus fires as required to maneuver elements of the platoon to close with and destroy the enemy.  Enemy forces use water to reduce the dust signature around their battle positions and it can become very difficult to locate enemy firing positions in the chaos of battle.  Unit leaders can use tracers in the day time and lasers at night to mark targets for crew served weapons and small arms fire.   Vehicle commanders and drivers can walk gunners on target using ADDRACS, target reference points and the field expedient mil system (one finger, four fingers from the hay stack).  The impacts from MK-19 are easily seen and can be used to orient the other gunners.

Combat Load: Marines had to conduct numerous trench assaults and squad rushes during the eight hour battle and the heavy weight of their armor and equipment greatly hampered their movement.  After this battle all of the Marines reevaluated their combat load and reduced the amount of ammunition that they carried.  After the battle, Marines normally carried no more than 4 to 6 magazines and one grenade.  In the company ambush in Bala Baluk no Marine fired more than four magazines in the eight hours of fighting despite the target rich environment.

This is not nearly all of the important TP observations.  The entire presentation is worth the time to study and re-study, and there are a number of counter-tactics that the Marines found that they could use with success.  This extremely important observation concludes the presentation: Iraq has allowed us to become tactically sloppy as the majority of fighters there are unorganized and poorly trained.  This is not the case in Afghanistan.  The enemy combatants here will exploit any mistake made by coalition forces with catastrophic results.  Complacency and laziness will result in mass causalities.

The Recon Marines and the authors of this report have done a great service to the balance of U.S. forces in theater for providing this analysis both of the enemy TTP and successful defeaters for them.  While a new study is released from the think tanks about every week on Afghanistan, this presentation should be considered the most important thing to come out of Afghanistan in the past two years.  I have discussed this with Michael Yon, and on this we agree.

It deserves as wide a distribution as possible.  Thanks to Michael for posting this, and a special thanks to the brave warriors of the Force Recon Marines.



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