Safety and Training

Close Quarters Battle: An Overview

CQB Stairs

Close quarters combat, or close quarters battle is an especially dangerous type of combat where small units engage enemies with personal weapons at short-range. Typically, the attackers try a very fast, violent takeover of a structure controlled by the opposing force. There is usually no easy way to withdraw for the defenders in this situation. Since all parties are in such close proximity. Most military troops today focus on specialized military combat training related to CQB, since the current enemy is an irregular force who rarely meets in open traditional combat. The objective is to complete all offensive action before the defending party is able to react. To gain this element of surprise, the entry teams use stealth movement, noise, and light discipline to get as close to the targets as possible. SWAT and Military forces typically use these types of tactics to ensure completing their objectives. If all goes according to plan, the attacking force will be in a position to engage an enemy from the moment they encounter them. Some teams use suppressed weapons for their initial shots on sentries or dogs surrounding the fortified positions.

CBQ Training Iraq
CQB Training Iraq

Surprise

An assault should come at a time when least expected, taking into consideration fatigue, normal sleep periods, and other factors that detract from the target’s alertness. Diversions are an essential element in achieving surprise. Staged emergencies, such as a mock auto accident, fire, or explosion near the crisis site, can divert the target’s attention away from the assaulting elements. Explosive breaching and diversionary devices, such as flash bangs, smoke, or gas grenades can distract and disorient the targets. Negotiators can try to manipulate the defenders into a more vulnerable position by convincing them that armed personnel won’t overrun their position, and that they are safe if they stay put.

CQB Stairs
Stairs are Always Dangers for the Attacker

Clearing the Way

When law enforcement or military personnel clear a building, they usually work slowly and deliberately, using ballistic shields and mirrors for searching. Military personnel rarely have the opportunity for slow deliberate moves, since the enemy can escape and hide in friendly surroundings. Moving slowly does afford the highest degree of safety and security for the individuals, as well as for any uninvolved bystanders inside the search area. In an ideal situation, troops or police can identify and safely remove the bystanders without subjecting them to the shock and danger of a sudden assault. When the attacking force encounters suspects, the police can confront them with an alert, armed force and try to take control without shooting. If the searchers meet heavy resistance, they can usually pull back without harm and prepare for a dynamic entry.

The Future

CQB will undoubtedly be an integral part of all future engagements for the foreseen future. While forces will surely be equipped with upgrades for their weapon systems, drones and improved optics will play a role in how teams react to and plan for engagements. Knowing the intricacies of CQB will keep you up to date on the tactics of the modern battlefield. Just make sure you aren’t on the opposing force when the flashbang comes through the door.

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