Story by Sgt Kayla D. Rivera on 05/09/2017CQB training teaches students how to react in a combat environment while engaging combatants and controlling occupants in close quarters. It also provides them with specific skillsets to ensure their team's survival while clearing out an enclosure.
During Phase I of CQB training, students participated in marksmanship training. Although Marines are trained in marksmanship prior to attending the course, CQB marksmanship requires more than firing from a static position.
"We take marksmanship to a different level," said Sgt. Ian Dwyer, a CQB instructor, Training Co., Marine Corps Security Force Regiment.
Students learned how to conduct more advanced drills with time constraints while transitioning from their primary weapon to their secondary weapon. The instructors stressed that the students become proficient in these new drills in order to succeed in Phase II. Students first built confidence with the marksmanship facet of CQB so they can then focus on clearing an enclosure.
"There are many principles of marksmanship the students have to master and they have to master everything, every time they pull the trigger," said Dwyer. "Marksmanship proficiency is very important inside the shoot house. In close quarters, they're trying to take out threats and there's no room for error."
Phase II began with tactics that build from the basics of approaching a doorway to being capable of taking down an entire building with a team as small as four men, according to Dwyer.
During Phase II of the course, students learned how to properly enter an enclosure, use a diversionary device (also known as a flash bang), occupancy control, clear L-shaped rooms, T-shaped rooms, constricted spaces, hallways, breaching, coordinating entries and securing the objectives. Students were evaluated each day to ensure their proficiency.
"The most critical asset, in my opinion, is applying initiative-based tactics. That's something this course can't teach us and will benefit the most if used properly while engaging enemies and taking control of an enclosure," said Staff Sgt. Jesse Williams, CQB student, platoon sergeant, Marine Corps Security Force Regiment.
Initiative-based tactics are tactics that are driven by the actions and initiative of the individual. Once students grasp the knowledge of the techniques and fundamentals of interior tactics and CQB, they have to be able to apply those skills and learn how to react based on the situation with which they are confronted.
"If I had to choose a very important takeaway from this course, I would want the students to always remember three things: cover all danger areas, eliminate all threats, and cover your buddy. If they can remember those three things, they'll essentially accomplish the mission," said Dwyer.
Before the students are able to graduate the course and return to their units, they have to endure the Operations Phase, the culminating event for the course. This 24-hour exercise will test the students on everything they have learned from weapons tactics, engaging targets, recovering assets, and clearing a structure. They will be evaluated throughout this exercise and must pass in order to graduate.