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4 tips on how to clear a room, according to a Navy SEAL

Room clearing is a fundamental skill for all ground troops to learn and eventually master as we continue the War on Terror.


The art of clearing a room looks simple on the surface, but peel back the many important layers of the maneuver, and you'll soon realize just how tough the act can be.

Thankfully, once you understand the basics, the operation starts to feel like second nature and muscle memory kicks into gear.

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So, check out these four tips on how to clear a room, straight from a Navy SEAL.

4. Identify the number of troops entering the room

It's crucial each man communicates and understands what their exact role in the "stack," or the lineup, will be. The number one man goes in this direction, number two goes this way, and so on down the line. Each troop must be accounted for by everyone.

This group has decided to go with a four-man clearing team before breaching the door of their objective. (Image from Wikipedia Commons)

3. Predict the shape of the room based on what it looks like from the outside.

It's primarily up to the number one man to clear sector one, also known as the "uncleared sector." This is the area of the room you won't see until you've entered the room — in the case of a corner-fed room, this is the far corner and corner on the same wall as the entryway.

2. Consider the size of each step taken

When entering in through a narrow doorway, the size of the step taken by the number one man can affect the second man's progression as the team files into the room. Switching up the size of the step in a compressed environment could result in the second man getting knocked off of their path, which could be deadly.

These contractors decide to take wide steps as the practice clearing a room.

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1. Once you clear or first sector, move on but don't "flag" your teammates.

In a small room, each member of the team must avoid "flagging," or pointing your weapon in the direction of fellow teammates. This can be avoided by maintaining your sector of fire at all times and not forgetting the basic principles of room clearing.

In this figure: The clearing team maintains their sector and never point the weapons in the direction of a teammate. (Source: Global Security)

Check out Tactical Rifleman's video below to watch this Navy SEAL take you through the proper steps of clearing a room.

 

(Tactical Rifleman | YouTube)