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Ballistic Shield Tactics

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 50 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2002 Pages: 110-113
Jim Weiss; Mary Dresser
Date Published
4 pages
This article describes the Ballistic Hand Shield Operator’s Course from Armor Holdings.
This course offers tactical shield training including basic shield positions, unconventional use of the shield, weapon clearing, shooting positions, and downed officer rescue. The course starts with the basic shield carrying and holding positions. The Shoulder Shield position is used for lower threat situations, both stationary and moving. In this position, the shield is held upright on the officer’s support side using the hand bar system. The Combat Shield position is the primary fighting position. In this position, the shield operator’s torso is completely behind the shield. The handgun should be held as far out in front as the shooter can manage without having the shooting arm touch the shield. In the Close Quarter Shield (CQS) position, the shield is held upright straight up in front of the operator’s body and in firm contact with the helmet. The Horizontal Shield position is when the shield is set on its side and used by an officer in a prone position. In stacking behind the shield, team members are in a line, one behind the other. Officers are taught how to draw and holster with one hand while focusing on the threat through the view port. Lipping means moving the lip or side of the shield against a substantial object like a wall, and can be done while stationary, but more commonly in going around corners. This course deals with many other aspects including soft body armor, helmet and goggles, tactical accessories, and light sources. The ballistic shield supplements body armor, but does not replace it. Tactical accessories might include wedges for doors, a rescue sling, rescue rope, and a second hand gun worn on the support hand side of the shield bearer. The shield bearer is also taught to reload one-handed and on the move. The ballistic shield allows the team to move to a downed officer under the cover of the shield to make the rescue without waiting for the arrival of an armored vehicle.