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Training for the Unexpected

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Story by Cpl Logan Snyder on 05/31/2017
Advanced clearing is taught to better prepare the Marines for the unexpected and how to handle enemy combatants in tight enclosures.
"The purpose of advanced clearing is to show Marines that there are multiple ways they can clear an enclosure, especially with limited resources. It shows them different options to effectively clear an enclosure," said Staff Sgt. Joseph Pistone, lead instructor, CQB 2-17, Training Co., MCSFR.
Advanced clearing accounts for three of the 34 training days of CQB. Students learn the tactics and are evaluated on the fourth day.
"Advanced clearing demonstrates their capabilities and limitations when working in a small group," said Cpl. David Poirier, instructor, CQB, Training Co., MCSFR. "We show them some of the worst-case scenarios to teach them how to respond to those types of situations with a limited amount of Marines."
CQB students are taught two techniques in the evolution, blitz clear and safety clear. A safety clear is the slower, safer technique. With a safety clear, the Marines clear the room of all danger before moving onto the next room. A blitz clear is when the Marines move from room to room in rapid succession, and would revert to a safety clear only in the event of taking a causality.
"Blitz clearing is typically used when the Marines already know the layout of the structure they're going into. Each Marine going inside the house has a predesignated area of responsibility," said Poirier. "A safety clear is when clear is sounded before going onto the next portion of the house the next room."
During CQB, the Marines spend time going through advanced combat marksmanship, live-fire training, low-light and night shooting, and clearing tactics.
"CQB provides a strong foundation in the principles and fundamentals of close-quarters battle. Advanced clearing adds to that and allows the Marines to do more with less by giving them more options," said Pistone.
The Marines instructing the course are Marines who have previously served with operational units and know how fleet operations work and differ from what is being taught in CQB.
"I try to bring my experiences, serving with multiple infantry battalions, utilizing and taking lessons learned from military operations, conduct drills in urban terrain, and inserting it where it's applicable to the students," said Poirier.
Sgt. Samuel Alvey, CQB student, has served with other commands and spoke on the importance of advanced clearing.
"I believe this training is very important. This course is very good at developing those basic skills and hopefully these Marines are able to take the skills they learned here and implement them in their units training," said Alvey.
This training provides Marines with new techniques that teach the Marines how to handle the unexpected when they are faced with it. Upon graduation from CQB, the Marines will return to their units where they will get the opportunities to implement what they learned and build upon it.


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