While conducting MOUT there are no uncontested front doors or easy access routes. In order to establish a foothold in a building, the small unit leader must use every available means to gain entry. The assault is the first phase of a successful attack on an urban structure. Assaulting a building is one of the most difficult type of operation that Marines will face in an urban environment.
The purpose of this period of instruction is to provide the Marine with the basic knowledge to successfully gain entry into a building.
INDIVIDUAL TRAINING STANDARDS
Ref: MCO 3501.3B, MCO 1510.10A
03001.3, 0300.1.6, 0311.4.5, 0311.4.6, 0311.4.9, 0311.4.10
SS21.02.02, 0300.5.16, 0351.3.1, 0351.3.2, SS23.03.02, SS23.03.02, SS23.03.04
SS21.01.01, SS21.01.02, SS21.01.05, SS21.01.06, SS21.02.18. SS21.03.05, SS21.03.08
MISSION PERFORMANCE STANDARDS
Ref: MCO 3501.3B
2A.10.1, 2A.10.2, 2A.10.3, 2A.10.4, 2B.1.1, 2B.1.8
TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Without the aid of references and in accordance with MCWP 3-5-35.3, the student will understand and demonstrate the proper techniques for assaulting a building.
ENABLING LEARNING OBJECTIVES
1. Know the three elements used in assaulting a building.
2. Know the ladder entry techniques of entry.
3. Know the grappling hook entry technique.
4. Know how to use a mouse hole charge.
5. Know and demonstrate the proper way to scale walls.
6. Know and demonstrate the six lifts used to gain a foothold into a building.
METHOD AND MEDIA
This period of instruction will be taught by the lecture and demonstration method.
This period of instruction will be evaluated through the use of situational training exercises and practical application.
1. Organization: To gain a foothold in a building the squad or unit may be organized into three elements. They are the assault element, the support element and the security element.
2. Assault Drill: Assault drill is designed to give the squad leader a technique for assaulting a building. The technique must be based on METT-T. The technique in which an assault can be conducted is as follows:
a. Base of fire provides suppression on enemy position(s).
b. Smoke provides concealment.
c. Assault element approaches building and makes entry.
d. Support element enters building on request.
3. Methods of entry: When entering a building, Marines must enter with minimal exposure and must select an entry point before beginning movement towards the building. When approaching the building they should avoid windows and doors whenever possible. Smoke and covering fire will be used to support the advance to the building. Demolitions or direct fire weapons will be used to gain entry when possible. Prior to entry, the clearing team will use a grenade (if ROE and building construction permits). The team will then enter immediately after the grenade explodes and clear the room of enemy personnel.
a. Upper Level Entry
1) Clearing a building from the top-down is the preferred method. Gravity and access to the building's floor plan (when possible) become assets when throwing hand grenades and moving from floor to floor.
2) An enemy who is forced to the top of a building will be cornered and may fight to "the last man" or attempt to escape over the roof. An enemy who is forced to the ground level has the option to withdraw from a building and will become exposed to friendly fire upon exiting the building. This is called "no mans land".
3) There are various means, such as ladders, drainpipes, vines, ropes, or utilizing the roofs and windows of adjoining buildings, of accessing the top floor or roof of a building. Depending on the situation, utilizing the shoulders of another Marine may be sufficient to reach high enough to scale to the next level. Another method is to attach a grappling hook to the end of a scaling roper thus enabling a Marine to reach an upper level, move from one building to another, or to gain entry through an upstairs window.
4) While clearing from the top-down is preferred, upper level entry in a mid to high intensity battle may present a greater risk than lower level entry. In this situation, Marines attempting to ascend a rope or ladder are exposed to hostile fire for a much greater period of time. In this case, clearing from the bottom up may be less riskier than performing an upper level entry.
b. Lower Level Entry
1) If it is not possible to perform an upper level entry, or the risk is too high, Marines may be forced to enter a building from a lower or first floor.
2) Ideally, demolitions, artillery, tanks, or other means will be present to create a new entrance to the building. This means is important in the avoidance of booby traps and to achieve surprise against the enemy. Quick entry is required to take advantage of the blast effects. In the case where the entry point is through a window or door supporting fire should be directed at that entry point. Firing M203 rounds into the breach point can be very effective to clear this area of booby traps and any threat from enemy personnel. Before entering, Marines should throw a hand grenade (ROE permitting) into the new entrance to augment the effects of the original blast. If the building is on the verge of collapse or on fire, caution must be taken to avoid friendly casualties.
4. Entry Techniques
a. Use of Ladders
1) Ladders offer the quickest method of access to the upper levels of a building. When ladders are not part of a unit's table of equipment, they can often be obtained from local civilian stores or other city locations (i.e. fire houses or construction sites). Material to construct ladders should also be readily available in an urban area.
2) The ladder entry will consist of number one and number two man providing security at he bottom and on each side of the ladder. Number three man will place and hold the ladder while number four man ascends and gains entry. The order of following number four is two, one, and finally three. As it is very difficult to throw a grenade from the ground to an upper level, it may be advisable to use a M203 round fired by a supporting unit prior to the assault. Follow on forces must remember to bring the ladder and additional gear forward as it will likely be needed during future breaching operations.
b. Grappling Hooks
1) The common dimensions of a grapling hook are 5/8 to 1 inch and usually contain four or five hooks. The length of the rope should be no less than 20 feet and should have knots tied at one foot intervals. When throwing the grapling hook, stand as close to the building as possible. The closer you stand, the less likely you will be exposed to enemy fire. Making sure that you have enough rope to reach the target, hold the hook and a few coils of rope in your throwing hand. Allow the rope to play out freely using a gentle upward lob. Aim for the highest part of the window or above the edge of the roof. Once the grappling hook is either inside the window or over the roof edge, pull on the rope to obtain a good hold before beginning the climb. When using a window, pull the hook to one corner to increase the chances of a good "bite" and to reduce your exposure to lower windows during the climb. Of note, this technique is the least preferred method of entry due to the extended time of exposure to enemy fire.
2) Considerations: The grappling hook method of entry MUST be rehearsed, requires upper body strength, extends the Marine's exposure to enemy fire and requires security at the bottom of the rope.
5. Mousehole Charges
a. Mouse hole charges are used to breach holes into exterior and interior structures enabling access as an alternative to existing building entrances. The fragmentation effects of the charge should aid the team in clearing the room or building area upon initial entry. The most important thing to remember when using a mouse hole charge is that it must be braced firmly against the wall. Braces must be carried with the assault element. For specific guidance on construction and employment of mouse hole charges, refer to the mouse hole construction and employment lesson contained in the MOUT POI>
6. Scaling of Walls
a. When forced to scale a wall all means of cover and concealment must be used. Smoke and diversionary measures will improve the chances of a successful exposed movement. When using smoke for concealment always plan for wind speed and direction. A smoke cover that is blown off the area to be concealed is useless. As an added deception, Marines displaced into diversion positions can use weapon fire, shouting or fake movement to distract the enemy.
b. The Marine scaling the wall should always avoid silhouetting himself to enemy fire, especially from lower windows or levels. The scaler should climb with his weapon slung over his firing shoulder to enable a quick return to a firing position. Upon a successful scale, the Marine must quickly bring his weapon to the ready in order to engage the enemy. If other Marines are to follow over the wall, the first Marine must be prepared to provide security.
7. Breaching Doors with a Shotgun
a. The recommended standoff distance when employing a shotgun for breaching is 0-2 inches, with zero inches the preferred distance. Having the muzzle of the shotgun against the target area makes it less likely that the shotgun will move off target. When choosing an attack point on the door, choose the side with the least number of attachment points. Most attachment points will be defeated on the first shot, however, you must be prepared for follow-on shots in the event the door does not open. The preferred type of round is the "Lockbuster RD" or "OO Buck". When attacking doorknobs and deadbolts the aiming point is where the lock throw and strike plate meet. When attacking the hinged side of a door, attempt to push the hinge off of the door, attacking from top hinge to bottom hinge. Always remember to get even with the target as an angled weapon tends to fire above or below the target area. Do not use the weapon sight as it may cause underfiring of the target. As good as the shotgun is for breaching it is not the preferred weapon for engaging the enemy - never enter the room with the shotgun as your primary weapon. Additionally, do not get in the way of the clearing team once the door has been breached and immediately reload after engaging every target.
1) Shotguns should be readily available to the clearing team. There is no long process to draw them, as with explosives.
2) Ease of training, not much time is required for a Marine to learn the proper employment of a shotgun and its breaching techniques.
3) Decreased time on target, it requires less time to breach an interior door with a shotgun than with explosive charges. Use of the shotgun is also less likely to disrupt the flow of the "stack position" than with explosive charges.
4) A Marine armed with a shotgun can easily carry an adequate number of rounds to defeat numerous doors as opposed to an equivalent amount of demolitions. The MOUT environment is a great unknown, Marines must be prepared for it.
5) The shotgun can also be used for self defense if the door is opened by the enemy or if an unexpected threat appears.
6) The shotgun can injure or kill fellow Marines if not properly employed.
7) The shotgun can penetrate interior walls if the target area is missed.
8) The breacher is exposed to possible fire from the opposite side of the door while using the shotgun to breach.
8. Buddy Lifts
a. There are several techniques available in the absence of ladders or ropes. Buddy lifts are designed to be done with or without extra gear. They should be done as quickly as possible to avoid unnecessary exposure to enemy fire. The common types of buddy lifts are as follows:
1) Two-man Lift Supported: Two marines stand facing one another holding a support bar. Another Marine steps onto the support bar with his weapon at the ready. Once both feet are on the support bar, the two Marines raise the bar, lifting the third Marine into the entrance.
2) Heel Lift: One Marine, standing with palms flat against the building's wall and with his feet out from the wall, is raised by another two Marines grasping his heels.
3) One-man Lift: One Marine, with his back or side against the building, cups his hands and bends at the knee. The second Marine steps onto the cup and is lifted up and into the entrance. The shoulder is used as a step if necessary.
4) Two-man Pull: In this situation, two Marines have already entered the building and they lift the Marines attempting entry by pulling them in either by use of their arms or rifles.
5) Knee Lift: The knee lift is used to gain access to a lower level window. While resting on his knee, the Marine should have the inboard leg closest to the wall. The other Marines entering the building will use the upper portion of the outboard leg to step off and into the window.
6) Two-Man Unsupported: The first two Marines will place their backs to the wall and get shoulder to shoulder in a squatting position. They will place hands together forming a cup. The Marine entering the window will use the cups as foot holds and will be raised to the window by the other two Marines.
During this period of instruction we have discussed the different building entry techniques. These techniques are general in nature and you, the small unit leader, must decide when and where to employ these techniques during MOUT.
The MOUT Homepage Hot Links:
U.S. Army FM 90-10-1 An Infantryman's Guide to Combat in Built-up Areas (PDF)
FM 90-10-1 Appendix D: Urban Aeas (HOW TO: Move - Enter a Building - Use Hand Grenades - Fighting Positions)
FM 90-10-1 Appendix G: How to Attack and Clear Buildings
FM 23-30 Grenades and Pyrotechnic Signals
Combat Leaders Guide: Chapter 19 - Combat in Cities (U.S. Army - PDF)
Small Unit Night Fighter Manual (CALL - Enter and Clear Buildings and Rooms)
The "Defile" Breach: Tactics - Techniques - Procedures (CALL)
Engineer MOUT Attack Planning Considerations
The MOUT Homepage Comments Site
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