Countering terrorist teams, part 2: The different response

Editor's note: Two weeks after the attacks in Mumbai, India—in which fewer than a dozen militants held at bay some 800 police for 60 hours—PoliceOne presented a special report consisting of articles from Police1 Columnists Lt. Dan Marcou and Sgt. Glenn French, as well as analysis from Stratfor and opinion from P1 members. Today we present part two in this three-part series from Police1 Columnist Dick Fairburn on the important subject of police readiness and training for a Mumbai-style attack. Be sure to check out part one here, and watch for part three in coming weeks.

In part one, I outlined the need for police agencies to establish policies and training for a response to teams of terrorist active shooters attacking their community like the attacks we recently saw in Mumbai, India. In recent years, we have taken a major step toward the necessarily cohesive, team-oriented response techniques by developing Active Shooter Response tactics.

Part Two: The Different Response
The next step in that evolution—Rapid Deployment version 2.0—must layer additional tactics for breaking a contact team into two fire and maneuver elements to either pin down and destroy enemy attackers, or at least to drive those attackers away from highly concentrated groups of victims. This isn’t rocket science, boys and girls, it’s basic infantry tactics for effectively moving platoons, rifle squads, or even two-officer buddy teams during battle. These tactics are so basic and effective, they worked well for the terrorists in Mumbai. Can we hope to deal effectively with similar attacks unless our police officers can respond in like fashion?

The Tactics
Before making contact with the enemy, the moving teams will alternate between a covering position (with cover) and a bounding movement (see “Related BluTube” videos in the sidebar of this column). Any solo officer who may have responded prior to our teams being assembled, should provide valuable on-scene Intel and serve as a Pathfinder to guide the teams more quickly to the battle.

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