Main Themes• Most Use of Force is Reactionary• Default Defensive Response• Situations That Enable Offensive Response• Realities of Threat Engagement• Examples• Catastrophic Entry• What a good CQB system should provide
Reactionary Use of Force• Most police use of force is reactionary in nature even if it is officer initiated.• This especially applies to deadly force incidents due to the rarity of the event in similar situations- traffic stops, SWAT warrant service, hold up alarms, etc…• Police officers, and more recently most soldiers, are conditioned through repetition and expectation not to be ready to shoot. It is the nature of their work and a requirement of their good natured personalities.
Default to Defensive Actions FirstDespite their training, when dealing with close range, sudden,immediate threats, almost all operators at any level will…• Flinch before doing anything else if they are shot at or even just have a gun suddenly pointed at them• First take measures to immediately survive before taking measures to engage the threat – This is most often moving backward away from the threat – Moving quickly and completely behind cover – Moving sideways or dodging in place – At the very least, Stopping forward movement to avoid getting closer – At closer range the defensive action will include reaching up to swat away the gun or simply putting the hands up between the operator and gun
Self-Preservation is Rational• Rational people will move into a threat with no other obvious choice, such as when caught at close range, due to physical momentum, or when they have a tactical advantage and the threat is surprised or not directly oriented on them.• The only people who move directly into the face of an immediate threat are the desperate, suicidal, psychotic, or those overly conditioned to ignore their own safety. This most often leads to unacceptable often catastrophic results.• Closing on an oriented, ready threat will most often get an operator working within restricted rules of engagement and expectations of social behavior towards populations, wounded or killed, unless there is an overwhelming advantage in capability of at least 3 to 1.
Offensive ResponseTrue Deliberate Offensive Initiated Deadly Force is Rare. At least some of theseelements must be present.Anticipation/Deliberation The suspect has already displayed an immediate deadly force threat (most oftenshooting or attempting to shoot first) and the suspect has already been identified orisolated. A gunfight is the only obvious course of action. Other means are not viable.Duress The operator is not under the duress of immediately trying to survive from adisadvantaged situation. (time, position, cover, distance, orientation, etc)Decision The operator has made the deliberate decision to kill and is fully ready to engage. A deliberate rational decision can be made more quickly through awareness, experience, training, and conditioning A non-deliberate decision may be made through rage, inappropriate conditioning, or confusion Exceptional deliberate clarity may occur due to lack of fear of death and other complex mechanisms
Offensive ResponseExamples:• The threat is shooting at someone else• Rounds are thrown wild, are expected, and from a distance• Threat is running or driving away• Suspect surprised and operator has a significant advantage in initiative and readiness• Threat fully identified but distracted and oriented on someone elseThese situations are rare in the first few moments of fights, evenincluding police CQB operations involving warrant service,unknown active shooters, or response to typical crime, orstandard military cordon and search or raid operations inprecision environments
Realities of Threat EngagementBasic Premise• Deadly force incidents, even during pro-active operations, are mostly reactive in nature• Action beats reaction and causes high levels of duress• High levels of duress often cause a primary defensive response• Offensive operations require a 3 to 1 advantage in force at a minimum for expected positive outcomesProblems with traditional CQB• Requires entering and closing with a threat as the primary response• Does not allow a 3 to 1 advantage against equally armed threats until multiple operators are in the room• Advancing on threat takes other operators out of the fight making it a 1 on 1 gunfight• Requires surprise or non-resistance to be successful and requires operators to use tactics that are against human nature and offer little to no defensive or offensive tactical advantage
Realities of Threat EngagementDespite training, almost all operators at any level will…• Stop and engage threats from the area of the breach point if they have any choice• Avoid moving closer to an active danger in anything more than a cautious shuffle, unless the threat has temporarily or most likely stopped• Move away or evasively to avoid being shot when under duress• The most important part of a gun fight is not hitting the threat with the first accurate shot, it is avoiding the first shots of the threat. Immediate survival is how the subconscious body is wired• Even well-trained, equipped, and ready operators will not move forward into a threatAsk yourself, does your CQB method hold up when there is an actual threat,or is it only good against non-resisters, people totally caught by surprise, andpaper targets? Does it require operators to move forward into a threat as adefault?