Written by Ellis Pines – April 11, 2019
Urban warfare: clearing a house with live fire.
Military Live Fire – Series #1
In this series, we will explore best practices for the most realistic live-fire scenarios. Our first article discusses preparing for a common situation in urban warfare: clearing a house. Since the beginning of the Global War on Terrorism, infantry have faced special challenges in these close-quarter-battle (CQB) and Military-Operations-on-Urban-Terrain (MOUT) situations. Warfighters must often enter an unknown structure, respecting civilians while finding combatants, who can easily hide.
Small units, isolated from their “parent units” must depend largely on individual leaders and fellow warfighters. In a highly volatile environment, these combatants must have the confidence and competence to execute their objectives swiftly and correctly. To do so, they must train in situations that mirror the real-life experiences they are likely to encounter.
The “shoot house” provides a realistic training opportunity for rehearsal of an intense house-clearing scenario. During these exercises, the instructor will typically look at four criteria in judging trainees:
- Tactical movement – how did they move from covered positions into the house?
- Breaching – how did they use ballistics to open doors or knock down walls?
- Engaging targets – how did they effectively neutralize combatants?
- Protecting civilians – how did they physically and culturally honor the non-combatant lives in the domicile?
Of course, an effective shoot house requires a design that realistically duplicates a volatile urban environment. At the least, it should provide a platform for learning critical skills:
- Room navigation
- Forced entry
- Room clearing
- Team tactics
- Judgmental shoot/don’t shoot engagement
In addition, the design must accommodate both environmental safety features and a venue for comprehensive evaluation. Attention to detail is essential for adequate training as well as the health and well-being of trainees.
That is why Meggitt designed its SHOTT™ House (Shoot House for Optimized Tactical Training) as a state-of-the-art, complete, integrated training facility. It is a 360° ballistically-secure shoot house that is available in fixed or modular configurations. It includes live-fire target systems as well as virtual simulation. It also includes an area for after-action review.
In terms of environmental impact, SHOTT incorporates a unique ballistic containment system with 5″ thick walls that incorporate 2″ thick ballistic rubber over 1/2″ AR500-rated steel panels. This unique design eliminates ricochet, splatter, bounce back and dust, creating a cleaner and safer shooting environment. Lead dust and bullet fragments are captured within the walls and can be removed via a patented bullet management system.
To see the SHOTT House in operation, check out this video.
In our next article, we will discuss how to make targets as realistic as possible.