Case 4

Chapter 4

Riot Shield and Riot Baton Techniques

A soldier may be required to be part of a riot control formation where his primary weapon is a riot baton and his only protection a riot shield. A riot baton in the hands of a well-trained soldier is an invaluable weapon in a crowd control situation and may also be the most appropriate weapon. A riot baton is a very versatile weapon that can be used as an offensive and/or defensive weapon. The riot shield offers protection from the top of the head to just below the knees.

Overview

4-1. Use of the riot baton and riot shield is based on METT-TC and the commander's choice-of-force option. Formations committed to a riot with riot batons must have lethal overwatch, lethal weapons, and NLW employed within the formation and reserve forces with additional NL and lethal capabilities. These forces are positioned to rapidly reinforce the control force formation.

4-2. During the termination phase of the disturbance (when the violence has subsided and is expected to remain that way), soldiers are placed in a defensive posture. They may be equipped with a riot shield and a riot baton to perform their tasks. The riot shield is primarily a defensive weapon, which may be used in an offensive mode. It is primarily used as an offensive weapon when the formation is in close contact with rioters. The riot baton can also be used when formations are on the offensive and in contact with the crowd. However, crowd control elements employed with riot shields and riot batons must have lethal weapons and NLW available.

 

WARNING

Riot control formations are never employed with riot shields and riot batons only. There must always be lethal overwatch elements in position and lethal and NL capabilities within the riot control formation with a ready reserve force armed with lethal and NL capabilities.

Riot Shield

4-3. In the hands of a properly trained soldier, the riot shield has proven to be the first line of defense for a formation. The riot shield may be used as an offensive weapon when in contact with an aggressive crowd.

4-4. The riot shield may be held with one arm. It is secured to the weak side arm with a self-sticking strap system and a handle. This system is designed to make the riot shield an extension of the soldier's arm. The riot shield is held at a slightly inward angle. This allows for debris thrown at the soldier to fall harmlessly to the ground (see Figure 4-1).

 

Figure 4-1. Riot Shield Positions

                              

At the Ready
On Guard
On-Guard Profile

Riot Shield Carries

4-5. The two basic riot shield carries are as follows:

·         At the ready. The at-the-ready position is used while in a column formation or on the move toward hostilities. This position is designed for rapid movement. It should not be used when in contact with a crowd.

·         On guard. The on-guard position is used when the riot control formation is in contact with the crowd or contact is eminent. It is used primarily in the following formations:

§         Line.

§         Wedge.

§         Echelon.

§         Diamond.

§         Circle.

Defensive and Retention Techniques

4-6. The primary purpose of the riot shield is for defense. However, each riot shield holder must be proficient in riot shield retention techniques.

Defense

4-7. The first line of defense for the formation is the riot shield. It is designed to withstand strikes from objects thrown by the crowd. In addition to protecting the riot shield bearer, it also protects other members of the formation from thrown objects.

Retention

4-8. When the control force is in contact with the crowd, the crowd will attempt to strip the riot shield from the bearer. When a subject grabs the top of the riot shield (see Figure 4-2), the riot shield holder slaps the riot shield with his strong hand near the subject's hands and gives the following commands (while continuing to slap the riot shield until the subject releases it):

·         "Get back."

·         "Get away."

·         "Stop."

 

Figure 4-2. Riot Shield Retention Technique (Top Attempt)

 

4-9. If the riot shield is grabbed from the bottom (see Figure 4-3), then the riot shield holder forcefully drops to one knee, pinning the subject's fingers and/or hands to the ground. This must be done quickly and with force.

 

Figure 4-3. Riot Shield Retention Technique (Bottom Attempt)

Riot Baton

4-10. A riot baton in the hands of a properly trained soldier is a formidable weapon. However, it must be used in conjunction with other measures to be most effective. Soldiers must be trained with the riot baton to the point that its various techniques are automatic to them. This training must also include learning the vulnerable points of the human body so they can avoid areas that may cause permanent injury or death when struck.

 

WARNING

The riot baton is never raised above the head to strike a subject in a club fashion. Not only is it likely to cause permanent injury; but it also gives an unfavorable image of the control force. The soldier is also vulnerable to an attack on his rib cage when his arm is raised.

Target Areas of the Human Body

4-11. The target areas of the human body are divided into three areas that represent the primary-, secondary-, and final-target areas. These areas are color coded as green (shown as gray in
Figure 4-4), yellow (shown as white in Figure 4-4), and red (shown as patterned gray in
Figure 4-4).

Primary-Target Areas

4-12. The primary-target areas are those areas which, when struck or restrained, cause the least amount of trauma to the body. These include the meaty or muscular areas of the body, such as the—

·         Foot, shin, and instep.

·         Inside and outside of the thigh.

·         Lower abdominal region.

·         Fore- and upper-arms.

Secondary-Target Areas

4-13. The secondary-target areas are those areas of the body which, when struck or restrained, cause a moderate level of trauma to the body. This type of trauma tends to be longer lasting because the time to heal is longer than with other parts of the body. If these areas are struck with a riot baton, serious injury may occur. However, some of these areas are used for control or restraining holds that tend to lessen the threat of injury. Some secondary targets are the—

·         Collar bone and shoulder blades.

·         Elbows and knees.

·         Upper abdominal region.

Final-Target Areas

4-14. The final-target areas are those areas which, when struck with a riot baton, cause serious trauma that tends to be fatal or critical. However, there are some areas that (when used for restraining only), will not cause death or serious injury. Some final-target areas are the—

·         Front and back of the head (eyes, ears, nose, upper lip, and hollow behind the ear).

·         Neck and throat.

·         Upper chest.

·         Xiphoid process.

·         Spinal column.

·         Groin area.

 

Figure 4-4. Escalation of Trauma Chart

Joints of the Human Body

4-15. The joints of the human body are often described as hinges and, when manipulated in a certain fashion, allow for better control of the subject being restrained, especially if he is aggressive. When applied correctly, minimal pressure is needed to control the subject. When a subject attempts to resist, he creates additional pain for himself. By anatomically locking out these hinges, the subject will be forced to comply. When restraining a subject, emphasis must be placed on locking out two of the three joints of the upper body or two of the three joints of the lower body. The joints are as follows:

·         Shoulder. Apply pressure to the shoulder to prevent the subject from freely moving the upper portion of his body.

·         Elbow. Apply pressure on the elbow or just above the elbow on the ulner nerve.

·         Wrist. Apply pressure by pancaking the hand to twist or lock out the wrist. Apply pressure at the break of the wrist and push the subject's thumb toward a stationary object (the wall or the ground) to lock the hand out.

·         Hip. Apply pressure to the hip to knock the subject off balance or alter his center of gravity.

·         Knee. Apply pressure to the knee by pushing outward on it to cause the subject to be placed off balance, or use the knee as a hinge for pain compliance.

·         Ankle. Apply pressure to the ankle by clasping and turning it in a counterclockwise manner to lock the hinge out.

Types of Riot Batons

4-16. The Army is currently fielding two types of riot batons, wooden and expandable. The most common riot baton is the 36-inch hickory riot baton with thong. There is also the 24- to 36-inch expandable riot baton, which has been added to the nonlethal capabilities set (NLCS). Regardless of which riot baton the soldiers are equipped with, all techniques for blocking and striking are identical. Similar to the riot shield, the riot baton offers soldiers both offensive and defensive capabilities.

4-17. Soldiers must be properly trained in all blocking and striking techniques. Improper use of the riot baton by an untrained soldier has the potential for creating a greater problem than what already exists.

Nomenclature of the Riot Baton

4-18. The riot baton is divided into four basic parts: the long end, long portion, grip portion, and grip end (see Figure 4-5). Although the expandable and wooden riot batons differ, their nomenclature is quite similar.

 

Figure 4-5. The Riot Baton

Types of Riot Baton Carries and Positions

4-19. As with any other weapon that the soldier will use, there are certain carries and positions from which the riot baton may be used offensively or defensively.

Two-Hand Carry

4-20. The two-hand carry is the most common carry for the riot baton. It is intended for executing all blocks and returning with strikes. When the expandable riot baton is in the collapsed position (at 24 inches), the long end of the riot baton is angled downward approximately 45°. When it is extended to 36 inches the long end is angled upward approximately 45°.

4-21. The wooden riot baton is secured with the soldier's hand by means of a leather thong. He hooks the thumb of his strong hand (palm down) in the thong, pulls the thong across the back of his hand, and grips the riot baton. This provides him with a very secure grip (see Figure 4-6).

4-22. The two-hand carry is intended for executing all blocks and returning with strikes. The soldier grips the riot baton with both hands. His strong hand grips the short end of the riot baton, and his weak hand grips the long portion of the riot baton, 2 to 4 inches from the end. His palm is down with his strong hand pulled in close against his strong side hip.

4-23. Wherever the long portion of the riot baton is pointed is where the soldier will strike or jab. The riot baton should be kept at a 45° angle to the ground. All blocks and two-hand jabs and strikes are executed from the two-hand carry.

 

Figure 4-6. Two-Hand Carry

        

Outside-Arm Carry (Expandable Riot Baton Only)

4-24. The outside-arm carry (see Figure 4-7) is used with the expandable riot baton in the collapsed (24-inch) position only. Assuming a wide-based defensive stance (knees slightly bent and feet shoulder width apart), a soldier draws the grip portion of the riot baton with his strong hand. Without striking out or widely swinging the riot baton, he brings the long portion up against the outer part of his strong arm (the tricep area). The soldier's weak hand should be raised in a position to protect and block strikes from an aggressor. It is from this carrying position that a soldier can effectively use both the front and rear strikes. Front and rear strikes should never be performed with an expandable riot baton in the expanded position or with a 36-inch wooden riot baton.

 

CAUTION
The expandable and 36-inch wooden riot batons provide a greater risk of injury to the soldier's wrist.

 

Figure 4-7. Outside-Arm Carry

Vertical High-Profile Carry

4-25. Assuming a wide-based defensive stance, the soldier draws the riot baton with his strong hand by the grip portion. Once the riot baton has been drawn from the carrier, the soldier swings the riot baton in a downward motion, fully extending the arm and holding the riot baton down and parallel to the strong side leg. The soldier's weak hand is raised in a position to protect and block strikes from an aggressor (see Figure 4-8). Although this carry can be used with both riot baton systems, it is best suited for the expandable riot baton collapsed to 24 inches. The vertical high-profile carry clearly shows the soldier with a drawn riot baton in an effective defensive posture and ready for attack. A drawn riot baton in the hands of a trained soldier may offer just the kind of deterrence needed to stop the activity of an aggressor.

 

Figure 4-8. Vertical High-Profile Carry

Vertical Low-Profile Carry

4-26. Assuming a wide-based defensive stance, the soldier draws the riot baton with his strong hand by the grip portion. Once the riot baton has been drawn from the carrier, the soldier swings the riot baton in a downward motion, fully extending his arm and holding the riot baton down and parallel to his strong side leg. His weak side hand is raised in a position to protect and block strikes from an aggressor (see Figure 4-9). Although this carry can be used with both types of riot batons, it is best suited for the expandable riot baton collapsed to 24 inches. This position portrays the soldier in an effective defensive position ready for an attack, but with a possible hidden weapon. The major difference between the vertical low-profile and high-profile carry is that in the low-profile carry the soldier hides the riot baton behind his strong side leg, allowing for some element of surprise to a potential aggressor. A drawn riot baton in the hands of a trained soldier may offer the deterrence needed to stop the activity of an aggressor.

 

Figure 4-9. Vertical Low-Profile Carry

Riot Baton Blocking Techniques

4-27. There are five basic types of riot baton blocking techniques that are executed from the two-hand carry position.

High Block

4-28. The high block is very effective in blocking a downward, vertical strike directed at the top of the head and shoulders. This type of downward, vertical strike may be from a club, pipe, or similar object. The high block is a two-step movement. To perform a high block the soldier performs the following steps:

Step 1. Raises the riot baton straight across his body until it is parallel to the ground (see Figure 4-10).

Step 2. Brings the riot baton straight-up in front of his body until the long portion of the riot baton is in front of his forehead (approximately 2 inches from his head). The riot baton should be in a horizontal position above his head and slightly angled down toward his weak hand, as it absorbs the shock from the strike (see Figure 4-10). The fingers of his weak hand should be open and behind the long portion of the riot baton when blocking the object to protect his fingers from being smashed by the strike.

 

Figure 4-10. High Block (Steps 1 and 2)

         

 

Low Block

4-29. A low block is very effective in blocking an upward vertical strike directed at the groin, lower abdomen, chest, or chin. This upward vertical strike may be from an individual's foot, knee, or fist (for example, an upper cut to the chin). To perform a low block, the soldier performs the following steps:

Step 1. Raises the riot baton straight across his body until it is parallel to the ground (see Figure 4-11).

Step 2. Brings the riot baton straight down in front of his body, bending at his knees and keeping his body upright until the long portion of the riot baton is just below his knees (see Figure 4-11). The riot baton should be horizontal and parallel to the ground as it absorbs the shock from an upward strike. His weak hand fingers should be open and behind the long portion of the riot baton when blocking the object to protect his fingers from being smashed by the strike.

 

Figure 4-11. Low Block (Steps 1 and 2)

               

Strong Side Block

4-30. A strong side block is very effective in blocking a horizontal strike directed at the strong side of the head, neck, chest (or flank), or hip area. The horizontal strike may be from an individual's foot, fist, elbow, knee, or weapon. To perform a strong side block, the soldier performs the following steps:

Step 1. Raises the riot baton straight across his body in a vertical position where the grip portion is in his strong hand and the long portion is in his weak hand with the fingers straight up (see Figure 4-12).

Step 2. Turns his body laterally by rotating his hips toward his strong side and moving the riot baton across his body, keeping the riot baton vertical (see Figure 4-12).

4-31. The strong side block provides protection for a soldier from the front to the rear of his body. A riot baton held in the vertical position absorbs the shock of a strike coming from the strong side. The fingers of his weak hand should be open and behind the long portion of the riot baton, when blocking the object to protect his fingers from being smashed by the strike.

 

Figure 4-12. Strong Side Block (Steps 1 and 2)

    

Weak Side Block

4-32. A weak side block is very effective in blocking a horizontal strike directed at the weak side of the head, neck, chest, or hip area. The horizontal strike may be from an individual's foot, fist, elbow, or knee. To perform a weak side block, the soldier performs the following steps:

Step 1. Moves the riot baton in a vertical position toward his weak side, ensuring that the grip portion is pointing straight down and the long portion is pointing straight up.

Step 2. Keeps the fingers of his weak hand open and behind the long portion of the riot baton when blocking the object to protect his fingers from being smashed by the strike. At the moment of contact with the opposing strike, the blocking surface of the long portion should be at a right angle to the opposing object.

Step 3. Assess the situation following a weak side block, and take appropriate follow-up action, as needed.

Middle Block

4-33. A middle block is very effective in blocking a front horizontal strike directed at the face, throat, chest, abdomen, or hip. The horizontal strike may be from an individual trying to tackle near the waist or shove or punch at the face. To perform a middle block, the soldier performs the following steps:

Step 1. Moves the riot baton toward the middle of his body at a 45° angle, keeping the long portion pointed up and slightly forward of the grip portion (see Figure 4-13).

Step 2. Keeps the fingers of his weak hand open and behind the long portion of the riot baton when blocking the object to protect his fingers from being smashed by the strike. However, his weak hand may have to grip the long portion when pushing an individual away or forcing an individual down on the ground if the individual is trying to tackle.

 

Figure 4-13. Middle Block

Riot Baton Striking Techniques

4-34. Seven strikes can be executed using the riot baton. Two of these strikes come from the outside-arm or vertical carry. The other five strikes come from the two-hand carry.

One-Hand Forward Strike

4-35. The one-hand forward strike is a very quick and effective offensive strike. It is usually employed as a countermeasure to an attack from the front that has been blocked effectively.

4-36. Target areas can be as high as the outside upper arm, down to the outer thigh region. An effective one-hand forward strike must be aggressively quick, with the purpose of distracting, disabling, or altering behavior. Therefore, those employing this technique must be sensitive to what part of the riot baton they use to strike the individual. Strike the target with the last 2 to 4 inches of the long end for optimal results.

4-37. A one-hand forward strike may be employed in one of the following three ways. When selecting available targets, use the principles in Figure 4-4.

·         A horizontal manner.

·         A downward diagonal manner to destabilize an individual.

·         A vertical manner in front of the body to clear an aggressor's hands.

NOTE: When the one-hand forward strike is used in a vertical manner, keep the long portion straight up, not angled forward. By keeping the long portion up rather than angled forward, the chance of striking the individual in the face or head is significantly reduced. For the counterstrike to be effective, follow through with the technique when the baton makes contact with the aggressor and/or his object to destabilize him. A pattern of movement such as a forward shuffle, forward pivot, strong side step, or rear pivot may enhance this technique.

WARNING

Do not execute the one-hand forward strike with the wooden or expandable riot baton in the extended position. It has been shown to cause injury to the wrist of the user.

4-38. When using the vertical or outside-arm carry position (see Figures 4-7 and 4-8), the soldier quickly moves the riot baton across his body using the strength and power of his hips, moving from his strong side to his weak side (see Figure 4-14). Ending this strike leaves the riot baton positioned under the weak side armpit in preparation for the one-hand reverse strike (see Figure 4-14). When delivering this strong side strike technique (in a horizontal or downward diagonal manner), ensure that the palm is facing up. In a vertical delivery, the palm will be toward the chest rather than up. Pause following the one-hand forward strike and assess the situation. Take appropriate follow-up action, as needed. If the situation does not call for additional strikes, avoid striking again.

One-Hand Reverse Strike

4-39. The starting position for the one-hand reverse strike is under the weak side armpit (see Figure 4-14). The one-hand reverse strike is used as a follow-up strike and is quick and effective.

4-40. Target areas can be as high as the outside upper arm, down to the outer thigh region. An effective one-hand reverse strike must be aggressively quick, with the purpose of distracting, disabling, or altering behavior. Therefore, those employing this technique must be sensitive to what part of the riot baton they use to strike the individual. Strike the target with the last 2 to 4 inches of the riot baton for optimal results.

4-41. A soldier may employee a reverse strike in one of the following three ways:

·         A horizontal manner.

·         A downward diagonal manner to destabilize an individual.

·         A vertical manner.

 

Figure 4-14. One-Hand Forward and Reverse Strikes

 
 Forward Strike
 Target Assessment
Reverse Strike

4-42. In front of the body to clear an individual's hands. When the one-hand reverse strike is used in a vertical manner, keep the long portion straight up, not angled forward. By keeping the long portion up rather than angled forward, the chance of striking the individual in the face or head is significantly reduced. When selecting available targets, use the principles in Figure 4-4.

4-43. The one-hand reverse strike is considered a follow-up strike to the one-hand forward strike. As a follow-up strike, it is important that soldiers are taught the discipline of assessing the target. An aggressor may not require another strike, based on his condition and actions after enduring the one-hand forward strike.

4-44. When using the one-hand reverse strike, the solder quickly moves the straight baton across his body, using the strength and power of his hips (from weak side to strong side). When the strike is completed, the soldier's arm will be back in the outside-arm carry position (see Figure 4-7). The soldier ensures that his palm is facing down when delivering the counterstrike in a horizontal or diagonal manner. This will prevent injury to the user's wrist. In a vertical delivery, the palm will be toward the chest rather than up. Following the one-hand reverse strike, assess the situation and take appropriate follow-up action, as needed. If the situation does not call for additional strikes, the soldier should avoid striking again.

4-45. When the one-hand reverse strike is used in a vertical manner, keep the long portion straight up, not angled forward. By keeping the long portion up rather than angled forward, the chance of striking an individual in the face or head is significantly reduced. For the counterstrike to be effective, follow through with the technique when the baton makes contact with the aggressor and/or his object to destabilize him. A pattern of movement such as the forward shuffle, forward pivot, strong side step, or rear pivot may enhance this technique.

 

WARNING

This strike will not be executed with a 36-inch wooden or expandable riot baton in the extended position. It has been shown to cause injury to the wrist of the user.

Two-Hand Strong Side Horizontal Strike

4-46. Starting from the two-hand carry position, the two-hand strong side horizontal strike can be aggressively quick. The purpose of this strike is to create distance, distract, disable, or alter behavior. Strong side horizontal strikes are quick and effective offensive strikes, usually employed as a countermeasure to close frontal attacks that have been effectively blocked. When selecting available targets, use the principles in Figure 4-4.

4-47. The two-hand carry position enables soldiers to use riot batons at the 24- or 36-inch length. To effectively employ this strike, use the strength and power of the hips to thrust the riot baton in a horizontal manner. Simultaneously, pull back with the weak hand as the strong hand drives the grip end toward the target, striking a rib or the abdominal region of the aggressor (see Figure 4-15). Following the two-hand strong side horizontal strike, assess the target before following up with another strike. An aggressor may not require another strike, based on his condition and actions after enduring the one-hand forward strike.

NOTE: A pattern of movement such as a forward shuffle or forward pivot may enhance this technique.

Two-Hand Weak Side Horizontal Strike

4-48. An effective two-hand weak side horizontal strike must be aggressively quick to create distance, distract, disable, or alter behavior. The weak side horizontal strike is a quick and effective offensive strike usually employed as a follow-up strike to the strong side horizontal strike. It is a countermeasure designed to close frontal attacks that have been effectively blocked. When selecting available targets, use the principles in Figure 4-4. Maintaining a strong defensive stance after employing a strong side horizontal strike puts the soldier in position to execute a two-hand weak side horizontal strike.

4-49. Use of the two-hand carry position enables soldiers to use riot batons at 24 or 36 inches. To effectively employ this strike, use the strength and power of the hips to thrust the riot baton in a horizontal manner. Simultaneously, pull back with the strong hand as the weak hand drives the grip forward toward the aggressor, striking a rib or the abdominal region of the target (see Figure 4-15). Following the two-hand weak side horizontal strike, it is important to assess the aggressor. An aggressor may not require another strike, based on his condition and actions after enduring the one-hand forward strike.

NOTE: A pattern of movement such as a forward shuffle or forward pivot may enhance this technique.

Figure 4-15. Two-Hand, Strong Side, and Weak Side Horizontal Strikes

      

Two-Hand Front Jab

4-50. The two-hand front jab starts from the two-hand carry position (see Figure 4-16). It is aggressively quick and creates distance, distracts, disables, and/or alters behavior. Front jabs are effective offensive strikes, usually employed as a countermeasure to charging and overpowering frontal attacks. When selecting available targets, use the principles in Figure 4-4.

4-51. Use of the two-hand carry position enables soldiers to use riot batons at 24 or 36 inches. Use the strength and power of the hips to effectively employ this strike in a slightly downward or horizontal manner. Simultaneously, use both arms to shoot the long end of the riot baton straight out from the body to the target area. Immediately, pull back the riot baton to the two-hand carry position (see Figure 4-16).

 

Figure 4-16. Front Jab

              

4-52. Forward jabs drive the long end of the riot baton toward the aggressor, striking a rib, a hip flexor, or the abdominal region (see Figure 4-4). Following the two-hand front jab, it is important that soldiers assess the aggressor before following through with another strike, as the aggressor may not require another strike.

NOTE: A pattern of movement such as a forward shuffle will enhance the power of this technique.

Two-Hand Rear Jab

4-53. Starting from the two-hand carry position, the two-hand rear jab is aggressively quick and creates distance, distracts, disables, or alters behavior. Rear jabs are quick and effective offensive strikes usually employed as a countermeasure to charging and overpowering attacks from the rear. When selecting available targets, use the principles in Figure 4-4.

4-54. Use of the two-hand carry position enables soldiers to employ riot batons at 24 or 36 inches. To effectively employ this strike, use the strength and power of the hips to thrust the riot baton in a slightly downward or horizontal manner. Simultaneously, turn the head to the rear to see and assess the target. Use both arms to shoot the riot baton straight back from the body to the targeted area and immediately pull back the riot baton to the two-hand carry position (see Figure 4-17).

NOTE: A pattern of movement such as a rear shuffle will enhance the power of this technique.

Figure 4-17. Rear Jab

                 

Two-Hand Middle Strike

4-55. The two-hand middle strike starts from the two-hand carry position. It is aggressively quick and creates distance, distracts, disables, or alters behavior. It is proven to be an effective follow-up technique to a two-hand weak or strong side block or to destabilize an individual by pushing him back and away. The two-hand middle strike is used as a two-count movement. When selecting available targets, use the principles in Figure 4-4.

4-56. To perform a two-hand middle strike (see Figure 4-18) the soldier does the following:

Step 1. Brings the riot baton up to chest level and slightly off parallel to the ground.

Step 2. Steps forward aggressively, simultaneously thrusting the long portion of the riot baton forward in a horizontal manner. Both arms are fully extended at the end of the movement with a quick snappy return to the step 1 position. Use the entire body to generate the power.

NOTE: It is important that soldiers assess the aggressor before applying a follow-up strike. If the soldier steps forward as he employs the middle strike, it will afford greater impact and power.

Figure 4-18. Middle Strike

  

Riot Baton Retention

4-57. A common technique an aggressor may use is grabbing for a soldier's riot baton or, in some cases, even taking the riot baton and using it against the soldier. This causes a disruption or distraction.

4-58. Maintaining physical control of the riot baton is essential for the safety of the soldier and the control force as a whole. Aggressors will generally attempt to grab the riot baton where they can get the strongest hold. Soldiers must resist the instinct of getting into a tug-of-war match over the riot baton, which often proves to be ineffective.

4-59. Using the momentum of the aggressor to pull the riot baton away, the soldier simply steps into or closer to the aggressor with the weak side foot. With the momentum created, the aggressor's hold on the riot baton is lessened. The soldier then rapidly uses the tracing-C technique to recover the riot baton.

4-60. A soldier using the tracing-C technique does the following:

Step 1. Pushes up on the riot baton.

Step 2. Pulls the riot baton around in an upward swing as if tracing a C in the air from bottom to top with the long end.

NOTE: This movement seems to wrap the aggressor's arms around themselves (see Figure 4-19).

Step 3. Drives (immediately with a quick and forceful movement) the long end of the riot baton straight down, as if slicing the C in half (see Figure 4-19).

 

Figure 4-19. Riot Baton Retention

      

4-61. Once the soldier reaches the top of the C and the aggressor is tied up, it is impossible for the aggressor to maintain hold of the riot baton. Further actions such as a strike may or may not be necessary. Soldiers must be able to assess the situation and react accordingly.

Working as a Team

4-62. Soldiers never have to rely solely on their own skills or abilities in riot control operations. Although individual skills were discussed in this chapter, it is important to remember that well-trained soldiers employing offensive, defensive, riot shield, and riot baton techniques will perform the collective task of crowd control well.

4-63. Riot control operations are dynamic and often chaotic. Soldiers armed with riot shields provide a first line of defense while those armed with riot batons and firearms provide overwatch as the formation moves toward engaging a hostile crowd. To work effectively and in concert, soldiers must be properly trained, drilled, and exercised. If an aggressor approaching a line of skirmishers violently grabs a riot shield, help is required to maintain control (see Figure 4-20). A soldier armed with a 36-inch wooden riot baton or an expandable riot baton (extended to 36 inches) can be of assistance. The soldier simply moves forward into a gap between the riot shields where he can quickly strike the top or side of the riot shield, slicing the long end across or straight down onto the hands and fingers of the aggressor (see Figure 4-18).

4-64. Riot batons are not the only way to effectively knock an aggressor's hands from a riot shield. Soldiers armed with 12-gauge shotguns or M16/M203s can just as effectively smash the hands or fingers of a persistent aggressor with the barrel of their weapons using the technique described above.

 

Figure 4-20. Clearing a Riot Shield

              

Nonlethal Munitions

4-65. With the inclusion of NL munitions, commanders now have additional tools that afford excellent standoff capabilities. This is critical because commanders now have intermediate options for dealing with a hostile crowd. No longer will a commander issue a proclamation, have it ignored by the crowd, and then be forced to use lethal munitions to backup the proclamation. Now he can use NL munitions to gain the same standoff distance but without the catastrophic results of lethal munitions.

4-66. NL munitions include (but are not limited to) a 12-gauge shotgun and 40-millimeter rounds. These blunt munitions have the capability of effectively engaging targets as close as 5 meters and as far as 50 meters. Range is dependent upon each round. These munitions are used from a distance to dissuade, discourage, and disperse the crowd. If the crowd disperses from 50 meters and soldiers are in close contact with the crowd, then the mission has been successful.

Tap-Down Technique

4-67. Commanders must be familiar with the characteristics and capabilities of all rounds to use them effectively. When 12-gauge and M203 weapons are used within a line of skirmishers (usually located behind the riot shields), it is imperative that a method is developed, trained, and practiced to effectively operate as a team. Operators of these weapons may encounter problems in riot control situations when trying to identify and effectively engage legitimate targets. The tap-down technique is used to overcome target identification and engagement with NL munitions. If ordered to engage targets or the situation authorizes an engagement, soldiers armed with NL munitions may step forward, level their weapons, and fire upon legitimate targets (see Figure 4-21).

4-68. A soldier that is armed with a NLW and is using the tap-down technique must first tap on the shield holder's shoulder. Tapping on the shield holder's shoulder alerts him that the gunner is preparing to fire. In response to the tap, the shield holder drops to one knee while keeping the riot shield firmly affixed to their front for protection. The gunner takes a step forward and fills the gap. He then leans into the riot shield bearer's back with his knee and fires. This technique ensures that the long end of the weapon is extended beyond the riot shield.

 

WARNING

The long end of the weapon must be projected beyond the riot shield before firing. This is a critical safety step, which will prevent NL projectiles from hitting the riot shield and injuring soldiers.

4-69. Once soldiers firing munitions have fired, they raise their weapon back to a high port arms. The soldiers clear their weapons and tap the riot shield bearer a second time, signaling them to rise to a standing position.

 

Figure 4-21. Tap-Down Technique

 

 

 

End