It’s important to practice getting out of sticky situations. The following is a video of myself and my colleague demonstrating to a small group of Peshmerga soldiers how to break contact with an enemy force utilizing fire and maneuver. While we are doing this as a two man element it can easily be expanded into a fire team or squad based maneuver. Communication, fire superiority and constant progress are key to the tactic’s success.

As with any “react to contact” scenario, violence of action plays a huge part and that aggression will enable guys being ambushed or overwhelmed to re-acquire/establish firepower superiority. From there they must maintain that dominance until either the threat has been eliminated or the team has egressed and regrouped. This also means taking up the slack if a teammate’s field of fire becomes compromised at any given moment but primarily it’s all about that initial response to the threat that will make or break them.

Communication is huge and it must be maintained at all times to ensure all members of the team are situationally aware, regardless of their location in the scenario. When something happens to an individual or a teammate everyone should know about it, when the enemy does something everyone should know about it and when someone calls it out everyone should pass it to the men closest to them enabling a chain link effect throughout the team. This is of course situationally dependent and vocal communication may not always be the best option but when it comes to fundamentals, that’s the name of the game.

Movement without fire is suicide and fire without movement is a waste of ammo, the two go hand in hand when it comes to maneuver warfare. Stagnancy kills in more ways than one, maintaining a tempo keeps everyone busy and that simple act of being occupied allows training to kick in, preventing people from freezing or over-thinking how fucked they might actually be. My favorite saying is, “Look for work”; a good soldier should always be looking for a way to be productive during a firefight.

Image courtesy of Getty