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The purpose of the training guide is to give trainers a handbook to deliver Advanced CQB training in a consistent format. Each module should be taught in order, and you should not proceed to the next section without completing any demonstrations or assessments listed.

  • Demonstrations - Actively showing trainees the content you have been teaching them, this aids people who learn from watching rather than listening.
  • Assessments - A checklist to mark against to ensure that trainees are competent before moving on.

Responsibilities of the Trainer

As a CQB trainer, it is at your discretion as to whether the participant has completed each module to an adequate level.

Responsibilities of the Training Assistant

As a SOCOMD training assistant, your responsibility is to ensure that the training content is delivered properly and to aid in demonstrations listed within the guide.

Additional Remarks

This course is not a prerequisite to any other course, however inadequate conduct will negatively affect section quality and may cause poor technique to be spread as misinformation throughout the unit. Trainees are permitted to have access to this document in order to assist with their learning and usage of CQB TTPs in the field.


Term Definition
Breaching The use of a mechanical implement or explosive to open a locked door.
Entry/Entering Crossing the threshold/going inside the building.
Clearance Clearing a building of hostiles.
Threshold The line between the outside and the inside, or one room and another.
Doorway The entry point.
SSE Sensitive site exploitation, gathering intel. Typically conducted in conjunction with CQB following clearance.
Force-Multiplier Anything that improves the odds of success in CQB. Flash bangs, frag grenades, using NVGs.
Obstruction An object obstructing movement eg; crates taking up half of a room.
Barricade Potential or actual cover used by enemy, eg; sand bags, couch.
Pointman The man in the lead is dictated by the situation, and who has the initiative. It is a dynamic position which may adjust throughout a clearance.
Limited Penetration A method of CQB where operators conduct the majority of the clearance from outside of the room prior to entering. Decision making can be conducted prior to entry.
Dynamic Clearance A method of CQB where operators enter the room immediately. Problems are solved inside (Dangerous/Risky).
Hybrid Entries Taking advantage of as many of the benefits of “Limited Penetration” as possible before conducting a dynamic clearance.
Combat Clearance Passing by a building and watching windows, doorways etc but not entering the building.

The Rules of ARMA CQB

The "Big" Rules

Do not double-pie a corner (Eg; one man pieing out past another man already pieing).

  • One man can do the job.
  • Double pieing can lead to multiple operators being killed.
  • Can lead to friendly fire incidents.
  • Reduced situational awareness.
  • If necessary, conduct a high/low instead.
Do not open a door and run straight in. Consequences could be dire.

If your buddy is watching an angle, doorway or person, watch something else.

  • Try to achieve 360 security.
  • We do not need five eyes on one suspect.
  • Trust your buddy. If your buddy fails, that is something to unpack in the debrief.
  • Look before you go.

Do not open a door and run straight in.

  • Try and pie corners prior to entering to minimise unknown areas.
  • Running in prematurely will likely get you shot by friendly forces who have spotted enemy inside the structure.

The pointman is always “right”.

  • Always move to compliment the man in the lead. The man in the lead has a better view of the scenario and will likely make the best choice for the situation.
  • If the pointman goes left, go right. If the point man is moving and watching the front, watch his off angle for him.
  • By working to compliment the pointman rather than disrupt the flow of a clearance, CQB is more simplified and easily conducted.

The "Minor" Rules

It’s not always going to be 100% realistic.

Prioritise a limited penetration approach over a high-speed dynamic approach, simply due to limitations of movement in the arma engine.

Most CQB should be conducted in teams of two to three, generally with no more than half of a section committed to clearing a single building.

With all aspects of CQB it is a case of balancing risk vs reward. To determine what level of risk should be acceptable, consider the reward at stake. Risk can be mitigated with force multipliers.

Room Types

Room Type Diagram
Centre Fed Room
  • The door is relatively central
  • Moderate unknown spaces on both sides of the door, equal potential for enemy
  • Criss cross entry preferred
Corner Fed Room
  • The door is offset to one side
  • Minimal or no unknown on one side
  • Large unknown space on one side
  • If space is available to maneuver, criss cross entry is preferred with the larger unknown side preferenced.
  • An elongated room (centre or corner fed)
  • Essentially only two directions of fire, up and down the room
  • Eg;
Large Room/Compound
  • Eg; compound, atrium, large room
  • Can be centre or corner fed
  • Wall flood preferred
There are other room types, these are just the basic ones.

Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs)



  • Preferably a carbine with a shorter barrel.
  • Laser/Light combo.
  • 1x RDS or Holographic site, optionally with 3x flip up magnifier.
  • Pistols should have a light and RMR in place to assist in low light/reactive shooting.
  • Always reload from cover.

Night Vision

  • Darkness will act as a force multiplier favouring the operator. NODs are used to gain the advantage over the enemy in this scenario. Light should be taken from the enemy at any chance.
  • IR strobes should be attached to the operator where possible to aid in IFF.
  • BettIR provides access to IR illuminators which can provide supplemental light only visible under NODs.
  • The IR laser should be utilised when aiming under NODs rather than the sight due to scope blur.

Laser/Light Combo

  • A weapon light can:
Assist in seeing in lighting conditions not suited for NODs.
Disorient the enemy.
Light up a suspect to effectively PID friend/foe.
Make SSE easier.
  • Lasers achieve a smaller height over bore and thus may provide a more accurate indication of the path a bullet will follow in close quarters.
  • Lasers and lights should be micromanaged and not left in a constant “on” state to reduce the risk of telegraphing your location to the enemy.


  • Flashbangs are considered a force multiplier and should be utilised where indicated to improve chances of success.
  • Flashbangs can be used while sweeping or entering. User action should commence immediately following detonation to take full advantage of enemy disorientation.
  • Some indications for flashbangs include:
Known or suspected enemy occupied room or building
Known or suspected HVA or Hostage
Large or risky unknown area

Utilising Frag Grenades

  • Frag grenades should be utilised to disrupt or destroy the enemy.
  • Some indications for frags include:
Known barricaded enemy.
Clumped up enemy.
Known HVT (Non-capture).
Large unknown/uncleared area with confirmed enemy.
  • Some contraindications for frags include:
HVA or, hostage.
Non-combatants confirmed or suspected/Civilian area.
High likelihood of detonation eg; IED factory.
  • Some precautions for frags include:
Enemy higher than operator (Grenades fall down).

Building Demolition

Demolition blocks, hellfire missiles, thermobaric grenades etc. can be utilised to completely destroy a building deemed too entrenched with inconsequential enemies. Rather than enter a heavily occupied building that holds little to no tactical value.

Breaching Charges and Shotguns

Breaching charges can be used against a freestanding wall or any door and remotely detonated to gain entry. Especially useful for opening doors while retaining some stand off distance, especially in tubular environments. Shotguns open locked doors when shot within 3 meters.


Opening the Door

  • Open the door from cover.
  • Do not stand in the doorway and open the door, you will die.
  • Typically, the door should be opened from the handle side to provide a small level of concealment to the operator opening the door.
  • Door security should be held on side which offers the best view into the room if the door were to open. (Eg; door opens away, hold on hinge side).

Slice the Pie (Sweep)

  • Incrementally clear an area from cover.
  • Keep the muzzle back from the threshold.
  • Pie one sector at a time, typically at least Left, Middle, Right.
  • Pie out as much of the room as possible to minimise the “Unclear” areas prior to entry.

Step Centre

  • Checking the centre of the room briefly prior to crossing the threshold, and then continuing to enter.
  • Approach the doorway and pie opposite corner.
  • Step out to the centre of the doorway approx 1-2m back from threshold.
  • Take a snapshot of the 90deg arc of the room.
  • Continue past threshold in criss cross or buttonhook.

Bail Out

  • If the initiative is lost, bail to cover. In these scenarios, it is best to bail to cover and re-approach the situation.
  • Some indications for bailing include:
Spotted an enemy, but not prepared to shoot.
Missed several shots at the enemy, enemy is now aware.
Enemy has demonstrated awareness of operator.
  • Upon re-approach, consider:
Waiting for the enemy to reload.
Approaching from another angle.


  • Typically used if there are multiple dangerous arcs to the front, or the pointman must reload or has had a weapon malfunction.
  • One man crouched, another man standing looking over.
  • Ensure the crouched man is aware of the man looking over them to prevent friendly fire.
  • Two eyes front, double security front, no side or rear.

Standard Train

  • Pointman looks in the direction of travel, Second man looks at his offset angle. Good all round security.
  • Approach target buildings from the side with the fewest windows/doors.
  • Second man must be very close to pointman to ensure any exposed angles he walks past are covered effectively

Urban Operations

  • Stick to one side of the road to minimise the risk of:
Enemy spotting/contact.
IED detention.
  • Utilise a smaller footprint to remain undetected while out of contact, or utilise a more spread out footprint to maintain good spacing while in contact.

Entry Procedures

Entry Type Diagram
Button Hook
  • An older technique
  • Less preferred, more dangerous to perform
  • Sometimes necessary based on lack of maneuvering room
  • Each operator clears the side of the room they were stacked on
Criss Cross
  • Preferred entry style, should be utilised wherever possible.
  • Pie the room, minimise possible enemy locations to the corners of the room.
  • Operators enter and clear straight ahead, moving to the opposite side they were stacked on.
  • Operator who decides they have the greatest unknown area/greatest chance of enemy enters first.
  • Second operator enters as soon as possible.
  • Sweep corners, turn out to face into the room in case of a hidden enemy.
Bound and Snap/Run the Rabbit/Wallrun
  • Typically used on a corner fed or asymmetrical room.
  • First operator pies as much as possible, then enters straight clearing laterally while moving (Bound).
  • Second operator immediately enters room and achieves stable firing platform facing into uncleared portion (Snap).
  • First man acts as bait/fast and unsteady firing platform, the second man typically neutralises the target.
  • Typically utilised in an area with a large unknown or large number of potential obstructions such as an atrium, compound or warehouse.
  • Operators pie as appropriate, flood one single wall and face into room.
  • Concept is to get as many guns facing into area as possible in case a threat presents itself.
Same Side Entry
  • For some reason, entry must be made from the same side of the door frame for both operators.
  • Utilise a flashbang.
  • First man must buttonhook, taking advantage of flash disorientation.
  • Second man takes the more biomechanically fluid entry path (criss cross) to achieve entry time on par with pointman.
  • Once entry is achieved, clearance is identical to other methods.

Room Control

Entry Procedure

Entry Procedures

Limited penetration techniques call for the operators to clear a room and engage targets from the doorway or remaining very close to the door, without penetrating deeper into the room.

  • Pros include:
Stable stationary firing platform sooner.
Avoid over-penetrating room and being surprised by hidden enemy.
  • Cons include:
Poor spacing; single massed group, may be focus fired by enemy.
Poor angles; hard to control room well.

Points of Domination

Points of Domination

The points of domination technique calls for the operators to rapidly penetrate deep into a room and assume points of domination with interlocking fields of fire from 2-3 of the room’s corners.

  • Trying to create an L shape within the room.
  • Pros include:
Well dispersed.
Speed and confusion force multiplier.
Immediately clear hidden enemy.
  • Cons include:
Fast penetration into room increases risk/danger.
Easier to friendly fire.
Long time to achieve a stable stationary firing platform.

Take Away Points

A strict P-O-D approach emphasis speed and as such is not easily conducted within Arma 3, instead a hybrid approach is recommended.

  • Initially enter a room with a Lim-pen approach, progress into a P-O-D approach to continue the clearance.
  • Lim-pen initially will ensure no operators are out-running the section, however by continuing into a P-O-D style of “Creating an L-shape” operators can more effectively sweep/control a room or space.
  • Dynamic or concurrent entries with multiple teams should take the L-shape into consideration and work to ensure any entry points are building the L-shape rather than causing crossfire incidents.


Communication is to be kept concise and descriptive.

  • Whilst visualising a room it is good to vocalise what you see in simple terms. Eg; “Stair way right side, barricade centre. Hostile, engaging”
  • If reloading, call “Black, Black, Black” rather than “reloading”.
  • Callout all actual or potential threats prior to engaging to prevent friendlies crossing in front of you.
  • Contact = You have received contact eg; been shot at. X-ray = an unknown or potentially hostile person.
  • When a side or room is clear, state so.
  • Upon entering a room, if there are doors or a stairwell present, state what you are covering so others may work around you.

Instructor Lesson Plan


  • Run through terminology and the big rules
  • Brief overview of room types
  • Overview of TTP
  • Freeflow/Dynamic/hybrid entry theory covered
  • Demonstrate Freeflow/Dynamic entry on mock site (emphasise value over strict LP or PoD)
  • Demonstrate “appropriate clearance” on mock house
  • Introduce appropriate equipment
  • View instructional videos as required


  • Operators prepare NVG equipment
  • Operators Demonstrate managing laser/light effectively. Comfortably able to shoot on indoor range under night vision.
  • Operators practice utilising shotguns and breaching charges in conjunction with mock entry
  • Operators practice 2x flashbang 2x frag, try realistic scenarios/banking grenades off walls
  • Practice demolishing an enemy occupied building


  • Operators Demonstrate proper pie in each room type
  • 5min workshop on managing doors, security on doors, emphasise opening in cover
  • 5min workshop on step centre
  • 5min workshop on bail out
  • 5min workshop on good callouts/communication
  • 10min workshop on standard train, 2 man + 4 man.
  • Point man watches direction of travel, second man recalls “Pointman is always right” work to cover off-angles
  • In 4 man team conduct the same but 3 and 4 watch rearwards arcs

Entry Procedures

  • Run through all 5 entry methods and their applications until fluid.


  • Split operators into two man teams
  • Operators move approx 200m through urban area utilising standard train + 360 security


  • Operators split into two man teams
  • Operators clear approx 15 small rooms per team eg; barracks building where basic techniques are refined
  • Further clearance practice (Especially more complex/large rooms)


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No new roles are opened up by this course, it is not a requirement to conduct this course. It may be re-run as required. The training maps are available for candidate self directed learning.