MOUT is the acronym for Military Operations in Urban Terrain. Broken down into civilianeese, it means combat in the city. Most troops today who go through basic training have extensive schooling on this form of “street fighting” do the the current "popular" war location and they do a lot of practice in the types of procedures they need to take when the battlefield is all around you. As predominantly staff soldiers, we don’t receive that much training on how to do things like clear a building or moving (on foot) through an urban environment since our jobs mainly keep us in fortified bases in which we only move from base to base in the protection of armored vehicles. However, the battlefield is constantly changing, and now everyone needs to know how to fight in the city, even the potential staffers.
We’re lucky enough to have a great wealth of knowledge on our team in the form of law enforcement personnel who do urban combat on a day to day basis. Combining their skills with the teachings of seasoned veterans who have performed sweeps and patrols in the cities of Iraq and Afghanistan and you have yourself not only a very useful day of training, but one that is very physically demanding, not to mention having a slight fun factor to it.
I’d go into all the details of what we did and how we did it, but I think something would get lost in the translation. From the pictures of our practice runs, you can see that there is definitely a SWAT influence to the stacking technique and there are reasons for every deliberate movement we make. The instructors were impressed with us since this wasn’t our first time moving in this manner. Our prior training from the Task Force Commander helped us to quickly bypass the standard “crawl” phase of training and jump right into the “walk” and “run” phases.
We were taught that movement in a city is like a 3 dimensional chess game, and you have to be both physically and mentally fit to stay alive. Also, knowing your job in the team and knowing the jobs of everyone else helps to make you an effective “4 headed monster spitting bullets,” to quote the instructor.
I don’t think they will send me over to theater to do this as my primary job, but the information we learned will help us in case we are ever in a situation where we don’t have the protective blanket of the base security or the layers of steel armor of the tracked or wheeled vehicles to keep us safe.
Alas, another “good Army day” to put in the archives.
A four headed monster spitting bullets, or blanks in this case