Single Person Close Quarters Battle (CQB): Shallow Entry Technique aka Limited Penetration

Single Person Close Quarters Battle (CQB):   Shallow Entry Technique  aka Limited Penetration

This short article is a small excerpt from our Single Person Close Quarters Battle (CQB) Online Course and companion training manual. This article provides step-by-step instructions for conducting one of the many techniques taught in the course: the “shallow entry” technique, also sometimes referred to as limited penetration.

Introduction to Shallow Room Entry (Limited Penetration)

A key difference between team close quarters battle (CQB) operations and single person CQB operations is that as a single person, there are many cases when you will not want to penetrate too far into a room. You may want to get into the room quickly to avoid greater exposure in a hallway, but you will want to stay close to the door so you can escape the way you came should more adversaries come at you from adjacent rooms.

The shallow entry technique (sometimes called “limited penetration” technique) is designed to prevent you from becoming over-committed or trapped deep in a target room. In single-person CQB operations, it is often better to stay closer to a door so you can quickly move through it to avoid threats coming from either direction. Don’t commit too far into the room and cut off your own route of escape;  however, still observe the rule of keeping several meters between you and the door to avoid getting hit by indiscriminate fire.
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Single Person Close Quarters Battle (CQB) Training Course

This training will teach you the fundamentals of how to move, fight, and survive as an individual in a variety of combat, defensive, and emergency scenarios. A companion training manual is also available.
Quick Discussion of Pros and Cons
In general, the shallow room entry or limited penetration is most useful if you want to quickly enter and clear the room to momentarily get out of an exposed area or hallway. Once you are ready to keep moving, you will exit the room and move along to clear the next room. The shallow entry technique calls for a 180-degree kneeling pivot movement. If you have trouble conducting this movement it is possible to execute the shallow entry technique without kneeling, though kneeling helps reduce your risk of getting shot by an adversary hiding in the corner of the room. 

If there is a lot of furniture and uncleared dead space in the room, the shallow entry can make you vulnerable since you have not gone deep enough to see if anyone is hiding behind the furniture. In this situation, you might want to penetrate deeper and clear the entire room using the deep entry or deep penetration technique (described in another section of the training course). 

It is also advisable to go on and complete the deep entry if you plan on staying in the room for any length of time.

TECHNIQUE:  Shallow Entry / Limited Penetration  (Center-Fed, Open Door)

The following is a technique used for a single person CQB room clearance via shallow entry / limited penetration with a standard center-fed room with an open door. Refer to the numbered images below as you read the instructions for how to conduct the shallow entry technique.
STEP 1 - Approach the Door.
As you approach an open door from the outside of the room, begin by positioning yourself close to the wall, several meters from the doorway. Stay close to the wall but avoid touching or bumping into the wall because doing so will make noise and might also increase your chances of getting shot, since bullets tend to travel along walls.
STEP 2 - Avoid Indiscriminate Fire.
Staying away from the doorway is also important. Many adversaries, especially terrorists with automatic weapons, will not fire single, well-aimed shots but rather will spray bullets indiscriminately in the direction of any noise or potential threat. This spray of bullets will generally form an arc several meters wide. If you stay close to a door and the adversary detects you, you might get hit with a barrage of bullets coming through the doorway and the walls surrounding the doorway. Remember, that most interior walls are not bulletproof and the chances of getting shot through a wall are very high. By staying several meters back from the door, you minimize the chances of getting hit by indiscriminate fire.
STEP 3 - Watch Your Shadow.
Staying back from the door also minimizes your chances of detection, especially in terms of shadows created by interior lights. Most buildings have multiple light sources in each room or hallway. This means that when you come close to an open door, someone standing inside the room can most likely see your shadow moving across the floor behind the opening. Keep your distance from the door, be cognizant of the position of light sources, and try to remain aware of your shadow as you move.
STEP 4 - Conduct “Sweep” Movement.
The next step is to sweep out in a wide arc, keeping your weapon focused on the doorway. Keep your distance from the door and move all the way across until you are positioned close to the wall on the opposite side of the door. Your aim is to visually clear the room as quickly as possible to identify any threats inside and possibly draw those threats out of the room.

When executing the sweep, move in an arc as fast as you can while keeping your weapon relatively steady and taking care not to trip. You are giving up some weapon accuracy in order to minimize exposure and make yourself less of a target. By moving quickly along the arc it will be quite difficult for an adversary to shoot you since you will be exposed for only a fraction of a second. With practice you will also learn to engage targets as you sweep across the door. Once you have completed your sweep, you can conduct additional sweeps if needed to check the room more carefully.
STEP 5 - Recognize “Dead Space.”
Once you reach the opposite side of the door, keep your distance since the adversary might fire indiscriminately in the direction of the doorway.

Keep your weapon at the ready, focused on the door. One of the main advantages of the sweep technique is that it can draw adversaries out of the room, directly into your sights as you wait covering the door. So, once the sweep is complete, you can wait momentarily to draw adversaries out or listen to hear movement coming from inside the room. However, do not wait too long since the longer you stay in one place the easier it is for adversaries to maneuver against you. The task of clearing the room is not yet complete because even if your sweep revealed no threats, there will still be two slices of “dead space” that are not yet clear in each corner of the target room.

Refer to the next set of illustrations for the remaining steps of the technique.

STEP 6 - Conduct Half-Sweep and Move Towards the Door.
It is now time to move towards the door to conduct the shallow entry. First, conduct a half-sweep in the opposite direction you just moved until you are facing the open door. Then, move directly towards the door. Moving directly towards the door will give you the best observation into the room.

You will also notice that as you get closer, more and more of the room will come into view as the angle of your vision widens. This means you will be exposing yourself to more of the room little-by-little as opposed to all at once. Stay alert for threats as you approach.
STEP 7 - Quick-Look Opposite the Direction of Clear.
As you approach the doorway begin to orient your weapon in the direction you are going to clear first. If the door opens inward, it is generally best to clear in the opposite direction of the door, unless you detect noise, movement or light coming from the opposite side.

As you break the plane of the door, give a quick look over your shoulder in the direction opposite the direction you are clearing. Then, look back in the direction your weapon is pointing and clear that corner. While at first it might not seem logical or intuitive to look over your shoulder, away from the direction your weapon is pointing, repeated practice will show you that this technique actually makes it easier to hit targets in each corner. If you do not get in the habit of looking over your shoulder when you enter the room, it is very easy to get “sucked in” and focus completely on the first corner and be too slow to pivot and clear the opposite corner. Looking over the shoulder takes only a fraction of a second and gives you a quick snapshot of any adversaries in that corner, which makes it much easier for you to identify them and engage them after you turn. In essence, the movement is similar to quickly looking both ways before crossing the street or checking oncoming traffic before making a turn at an intersection.

Remember, this is single person CQB. You do not have any other teammates to watch your back and clear other corners or areas of dead space.
STEP 8 - Clear the Corner.
After glancing over your shoulder, look back in the direction your weapon is pointing and clear that corner as you move into the room.
STEP 9 - Kneeling Pivot.
From here, pivot 180-degrees, turning towards the direction of the room and clear the opposite corner. If possible, drop to a knee or squat down while you conduct this movement. Dropping to a knee or squatting makes you more difficult to hit in the event that there is an adversary in the corner who was about to shoot you in the back as you entered the room. You would see this adversary when you glanced over your shoulder, coming into the room. That initial snapshot will make it easier to engage the adversary as you turn.

Once you have cleared both corners, remain in the room and back away from the door slightly.
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