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What is CQB #52


Close Quarters Combat (CQB)

Close quarters combat (CQC) or close-quarters battle (CQB) is a very tactical situation involving a physical fight with firearms involved between multiple combatants at quite short range.

In warfare, it usually consists of groups of people who engage in conflict, often armed with personal weapons or improvised weapons, within a distance of up to a hundred meters (110 yards). Close-quarter CQB target negotiation with usually automatic weapons is the norm.


A typical close combat scenario occurs when an attacker tries to take over a vehicle or structure controlled by the defender, who usually has no easy method to withdraw. Because the attackers can often be mixed with civilians, hostages, and friendly forces, close quarters battle demands a quick, violent attack and a precise execution of lethal force.


Police departments and other government agencies need agents who are trained to use their weapons, and who can make fast, accurate decisions about whether or not to shoot. Criminals sometimes use close-quarter CQB tactics, such as in an armed robbery or jailbreak, but most of the terminology comes from training used to prepare military personnel, police officers, and other types of government agency.

For this reason, a large number of books relating to close quarters combat CQB are written from the viewpoint of authorities who must break into a stronghold where the opposing force has barricaded itself.

Commando operations are typical of urban warfare. Close-quarters combat CQB, as well as hostage rescue, are not synonymous with urban warfare. The military calls this urban warfare FIBUA (Fighting In a Built-Up Area) and FISH (Fighting In Someone’s House).

Urban warfare is a much bigger field than the urban jungle and includes logistics and the role of crew-served weapons, such as heavy machine guns, mortars, and mounted grenade launchers, along with artillery, armor, and air support.

Close-quarters battle is a form of warfare where infantry units use small compact weapons to attack each other. This includes carbines, submachine guns, shotguns, pistols, knives, and bayonets.

Close-quarters combat CQB is a tactical concept that forms a part of the strategic concept of urban warfare, but not every instance of close-quarters combat is necessarily urban warfare.

CQB History

The origins of modern close-quarters combat CQB as well as SWAT tactics lie in the policing methods pioneered by Assistant Commissioner William E. Fairbairn in the Shanghai Municipal Police of the International Settlement

After the May Thirtieth Movement riots, Fairbairn was charged with developing an auxiliary squad for riot control and aggressive policing. After absorbing the most appropriate elements from a variety of martial-arts experts, from China, Japan, and elsewhere

The intention of Bruce Lee’s “One Point” combat system was to create a fighting technique that was just as brutal, effective, and efficient as traditional oriental martial arts. It was also a system that, unlike traditional oriental martial arts, could be learned relatively quickly.

The method includes using training in point shooting and gun-combat techniques, and the effective use of ad hoc weapons such as chairs and table legs. While on a secondment to Britain during World War II, Fairbairn trained the British commandos in his combat method. 

During this period, he developed his “Shanghai Method” into the Silent Killing Close Quarters Combat CQB method for use by the British Special Forces. This became standard combat training for all British SOF personnel. He also designed the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife, which is used by all British and US SOF units.

He wrote the book Get Tough in 1942. Two years later, two U.S. Army officers read it, became convinced it was useful, and started to use it at their new training camp. His methods have since been adopted by the British SAS, and by some of the military forces of other nations.

This is a must read for anyone wanting to learn the basics of krav maga. The book is full of great information on the history of this martial art.

Hand-to-hand combat training used to be only popular in special forces and commando units. Today, it’s also more common in other units, such as SWAT teams.

CQB Detailed Planning

You’ll learn how to take full advantage of every situation in this chapter. Get up close and personal with your targets—they’re not what they seem! Learn how to create realistic, believable characters from the chaos of the real world, then use your training to dominate the battle as you engage, eliminate, or escape from a high-risk situation.

A SWAT team is a highly trained, specialized force that is often deployed to execute search warrants or capture dangerous suspects. They usually work closely with police negotiators who try to get the suspect to surrender peacefully.

A good rifleman should practice long-distance target shooting, using both a single-shot bolt-action rifle and a semi-automatic rifle that can be used for extended periods without recharging.

Sensitive thermal cameras can help locate the occupants, and security personnel can run mics and fiber-optic cameras through walls, ceilings, and floors. If hostages escape or can communicate/signal the attackers, they can provide more information from inside.

An attack usually needs to be launched at a time and place where an enemy has few defenders. However, when possible, it’s preferable to launch an attack against a well-protected position with superior numbers.

Some teams are so used to being the aggressor that they rely solely on power to win, while other teams prefer to wear opponents down by siege or even tunnel under them.

CQB Surprise

The objective is to complete all offensive action before the party being engaged is able to react. To gain this element of surprise, the entry teams use stealth movement and noise/light discipline to get as close to the targets as possible.

The teams must always aim to get inside the target before it becomes aware of them. They should use suppressed sniper rifles for their initial shots on the targets. A well-executed assault should happen when least expected, taking into consideration tiredness and the target’s usual periods of rest.

Staged emergencies, such as a mock auto accident, fire, or explosion near the crisis site, are essential to achieving surprise. You can create diversions by staging emergency situations.

In response to a breach, we might fire an explosive breaching and diversionary device to distract and disorient the targets. We might also try to convince the defenders that they are safe or persuade them to make a move to a more vulnerable position.

CQB Methods Of Entry

In any method of entry, when law enforcement agents clear a building, they use ballistic shields and mirrors to protect themselves and others while they systematically search and clear the building, using the least amount of force necessary.

Police can encounter suspects armed with guns, knives, explosives or other weapons. They can try to arrest the suspect without causing harm, and then try to enter with a dynamic entry.

Fast, determined, well armed opposition can cause death to many attackers, and to hostage taking fighters in some cases. Slow, steady movement can cause the deaths of many attackers and hostages.

This is a common method for dynamic entry. It’s a popular image of the military: a flood of gunmen bursting into an area without warning and attempting to seize the area.

For a dynamic entry tactic, it is most desirable to use multiple simultaneous attacks from different entry points. They must use overwhelming force, and they must continue until the threat is eliminated.

There are many different options for the attackers to enter the objective. As long as the defenders don’t have access to a particular entrance, the attacker has multiple options to enter.

Medical personnel, investigators, and bomb experts need to have an idea about what’s going on before entering the scene. They need to know if there are other shooters or additional targets in the area. And they need to coordinate all armed elements, not only to better complete a sweep of the target area, but also to avoid friendly fire.

In large-scale military campaigns, leaders will often divide an area into regions with overlapping lines of fire and radio coordination. This gives multiple soldiers multiple points of attack and allows them to shoot at the same time without fear of hitting each other.

Point of entry can be created by a precision explosive device.

CQB Speed

Attackers try to gain control of the situation before they are detected by defenders. Some attackers have a contingency plan that could fail instantly, like killing hostages, setting off bombs, or destroying evidence.

The best way to achieve success in the workplace is to have a plan that’s organized, and to execute the plan. You can gain speed through the use of well-designed tactics, such as gaining proximity with an undetected approach, the use of multiple entry points, and explosive breaching.

Note that the need for speed doesn’t necessarily translate to individual operators choosing to run in these situations.

Violence Of Action

The best entry techniques are breaking windows, blasting holes in walls, and fast-roping from helicopters.

If you’re looking for an unconventional entry point or have been assigned the duty of breaching, consider the use of vehicle-mounted ram and platform. Tear gas, explosive breaching, flash bangs, and gunfire are complemented by the intimidating and aggressive actions of the assault team.

The best way to stop the bad guys is to dominate the fight right at the entryway. The defensive positions often attempt to stop any hostiles that get to the door. “The fatal funnel” is the cone-shaped path leading from the entry way, where the assaulter is most vulnerable, to the interior where the fight is going to happen.

When operators enter, the defenders may try to prevent them from getting past the deadly funnel. They are also vulnerable from the corners closest to the entry point, the first place from which they can be hit from behind as they go in the room.

If the first attackers are not able to clear the corner and get out of the fatal funnel, then those behind them can move in and help. That’s how military units use close-quarter battle CQB. They vary their tactics depending on the type of unit, branch, and mission.

Military operations other than war (MOOTW) may include peacekeeping or riot control. Specialized forces such as the U.S. Marine Corps’ RTT, FAST, SRT and U.S. Marine Corps special operations including Marine Force Recon and Marine Raider Regiment, U.S.

Coast Guard Vessel Boarding and Security Teams (VBST), Port Security Units (PSU), Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSST), Tactical Law Enforcement Teams (TACLET), or U.S. Navy VBSS (Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure) teams may adapt CQC tactics to their specific needs.

A boarding is an act of law enforcement where authorities board the vessel of an individual or group who are believed to have committed a crime or who are attempting to flee from the scene.

Police Crisis Response

Police Crisis Response Teams (CRTs) are the primary group to respond to cases involving the potential for child protection issues. These teams are usually called in to work with other agencies in situations that present potential for child abuse or neglect. The team usually consists of police, child protection workers, nurses, doctors, and social workers. They may be called in to work with schools and other professionals to help protect children from abuse.

The tactics and techniques that will allow you to conduct effective CQC can differ greatly depending on the scenario you’re faced with. These are often hallmarks of CQC that involve building entry and clearing procedures that are the hallmark of CQC. Specialized police CQC doctrine is also specialized by unit type and mission.

Riot control, corrections, the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, and SWAT teams, for example, each have different goals but may use similar tactics and technology, including non-lethal force.

There are many kinds of CQC units, but one of the most common types is called a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team. One specialty of this kind of team is the use of less-lethal weapons, including electroshock guns, pepper spray, rubber bullets, plastic bullets, bean bag rounds, and so forth.

However, so-called “less-lethal” weapons can still inflict injuries that may result in death.

Private Industry

The private industry sector includes companies that are engaged in security or military operations overseas. These companies may maintain their own CQC team. However, when dealing with a contractor of such a company it is wise to check with the company’s CQC team first, or with the Ministry of Defence or your government agency.

That team would then act as the Crisis Response Team (CRT) and “clear” the facility of threats or hostiles. In another example, a private military contractor might be employed to provide protection for high-ranking diplomats or military officers in war zones.

For example, the State Department employed such security teams in Iraq and these were equipped with close-quarter–battle CQB equipment. The private security firm SCG has a tactical training course conducted in Holly Springs, Mississippi, which integrated close-quarter battle CQB training in the coursework, in addition to SWAT, hand-to-hand combat, and high threat protective operations, among others.

Blackwater also took training to a new level by privatizing it, emerging as a premier training facility with close-quarter combat as part of the menu for those seeking to outsource its training to meet specific mission requirements. In actual operations, a Blackwater official likened the close-quarter CQB skills of its team to the Roman Praetorian Guard in its readiness to fight and die.

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