To improve urban warfare skills, troopers with Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, trained on clearing a makeshift residential house, known as a shoot house, Oct. 23.
Before the soldiers were cleared to fire live rounds inside the house, they had to successfully maneuver through varying stages of practice, beginning with glass houses.
A glass house is an imaginary house where the outline is drawn on the ground, and soldiers must maneuver inside the lines as if they were clearing an actual house.
Because there are no actual walls to the glass house, all the trainers within the company were able to observe the training to ensure proper procedures were followed.
Once all the teams qualified in the glass house, they moved on to the half house, which has waist-high walls.
Before the teams were considered qualified, they had individual and collective tasks to complete, such as moving as a member of a team, loading and unloading an M-4 rifle and engaging a target.
Once the teams qualified on both the glass and half houses, they moved on to training in the shoot house.
“I think we kept a really good balance of practicing a lot, but not too much, to where you get complacent,” said Sgt. Corey Taylor, a team leader with Charlie Company. “We practiced step-by-step execution of every scenario, stopping if someone does something wrong, and correcting it.”
Training in the shoot house began with dry fire movements with no ammunition, then graduated to using blank rounds and then to using live-fire rounds.
Most team members agreed that the training took on a new level of realization when executing the live-fire.
Pfc. Alexander Villones, a cavalry scout, said the new realization is the adrenaline rush he got before going in the house and not knowing what to expect.
In the shoot house the teams also had to exercise target discrimination between enemy combatant targets and civilian noncombatant targets, while moving at a rapid rate.
“This is the first time (three-quarters) of our company has done this,” said Capt. Matthew Holtzendorff, company commander. “But I have confidence in them — these guys can go anywhere and do anything at anytime.”