BLACKFIVE: Showdown - The Battle of Fallujah - Part 15 - After Action Report: "Lessons Learned: Infantry Squad Tactics in Military Operations in Urban Terrain During Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq
Historically speaking, military operations in urban terrain (MOUT) have created casualty figures that are extraordinary compared to similar operations conducted in different types of environments. The casualties in MOUT present a significant challenge to small unit leaders. Casualties hit Marine infantry squads and fire teams extremely hard because generally speaking they were already under the table of organization (T/O) standards. Some squads in 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (3/5) commenced the assault on the Jolan with only six Marines. It is the small unit leaders’ duty to accomplish the mission with the least amount of casualties possible. In order for small unit leaders to complete the above task they need tactics and techniques that will prevent casualties.
Section 1 of the Scout/Sniper Platoon has attacked and cleared buildings with all the line companies in 3/5. The authors have observed nearly all the squads in the battalion and have “rolled in the stack” with many of them. This is an experience which few in the battalion have. Knowing this, the authors believe it is their duty to consolidate their observations, produce a comprehensive evaluation of squad tactics and techniques, and pass it onto the squad leaders. The authors’ intent is to give the squad leaders options in combat. It is by no means a “bible,” but it is a guideline. All the tactics and techniques have been proven in combat by one squad or another. Section 1 does not take any credit for the information contained within. The information was learned through the blood of the infantry squads in 3/5.
The entire evaluation has one underlying theme: Accomplish the mission with the least amount of casualties possible.
Super interesting discussion of Marine urban warfare tactics.