Will your SWAT team's tactics survive first contact?

If all team members are trained to a common standard, every one of them should be interchangeable within the team

Anyone who has participated in a decent number of tactical entries knows that these operations are high risk. Risk is a given and it is every entry team member’s job to work toward minimizing that risk while still accomplishing the team’s assigned mission or task. One of the biggest risks a tactical entry team will face is movement through a hallway. Hallways, typically devoid of cover or concealment, present the same tactical problem to an entry team as a large open field might present to a squad of infantry advancing toward an objective. We learned in Army Special Operations that to expose a team too long in either situation is inherently risky. We also learned — through experience and more than a little bit of blood shed — that most of the basic principles which apply to a squad attempting to cross an open field also apply to the entry team making its way down a hallway.

Tactics should be principle-based rather than based on one specific technique for each task. In other words, an entry team — just like its infantry counterpart — should have basic tactical principles that they do not violate, and should then apply techniques that both adhere to those tactical principles and address the context of the individual situation. For example, infantry soldiers understand that massing fires can be effective but massing personnel is often deadly.

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