Break Contact

Now What do you do?

When your assault didn’t go well or your situation has turned R-triple-D, (Really Deep Dog Doo), you have to do something. Even a bad plan is better than no plan at all. What the military falls back on is one of those Immediate Actions Drills. All services use and practice them. If you are here, your practice and execution of the assault IAD probably wasn’t what it should have been. So lets try to get you out of the mess you have stepped into.

Immediate Action Drill (Break Contact)

Ok, here is the situation: your patrol or team has run into a hail of paintballs. Your immediate assessment is that you can’t stay where you are and survive so you “Break Contact.”

To do this and still inflict the most damage possible on the other team while at the same time covering your butt, you need to stay organized. The lead guy starts this cascade backwards by yelling “Break Contact Front!!” or anything else your team has setup before hand. The words are not that important as long as the team knows ahead of time what the words are.

So, lead guy yells he is in a world of hurt and is breaking off. This signals a series of actions from the rest of the team. The team goes immediately into it’s break contact drill. BUT, before we talk about that, how about an example of what normally happens. I would be willing to bet you have been in this exact situation on the paintball field.

Example of the normal team (I use the term team loosely)

Other team is firing on the guy up front. He yells they are there and starts moving back or gets hit. Rest of the team turns into immediate rabbits and scatters in all directions losing contact with each other and leaving the guys up front that are in the paint storm to go it on their own. Result? Half the team is tagged in the back, the other half now don’t know where anyone is and they are easy prey as they are all alone. Basically a complete breakdown of teamwork. Happens almost every time.

So enough of that. Lets get back to the good stuff:

Again, the lead guy starts this cascade backwards by yelling “Break Contact Front!!” This starts the rest of the team, instead of turning tail and running away, firing toward the front and covering the lead guy as he retreats backwards past your team’s next man.

The lead guy continues to move back through the team until he gets to the back. He stops and starts firing in the direction of the opposing team.

As this is going on the next guy (the one who is now up front) falls back in the same way all the time firing in the direction of the attacking team. As he passes his next team mate, that team member starts to fall back in the same way and it cascades back until either the team can move off safely or the attacking team has stopped pursuing.

Loading goes on continually during this time, communication is constant, and each team member taps the shoulder or grabs the team member who is left closest to the attacking team as he passed. This is to let him know its time move back also.

This is an assault in reverse. Think of it this way because as the firefight turns, the retreat can very easily stop and go right back the other way and assault again.

Breaking contact this way is a very aggressive drill. It puts a lot of paint in the air and it will take several of the attackers out. Remember: if your team practices these drills the other team will fall apart.

The Rangers, Special Forces – Delta, and all highly trained small units use these drills. They work for them and they will work for your team.

Written by:   29RSavoy (pronounced 2-9 ER- Savoy) of: TacticalMarkers.com