This Is What Happens When You Don’t Clear Your Back-blast Area

first published on December 6, 2017 by

Ever wonder why the back-blast area is always harped on by your instructors when you’re learning about rockets? This is your answer.


Rockets are probably the most mistaken and misunderstood piece of weaponry on the planet. For some reason, everyone from Hollywood to major video game studios seems to think that a rocket works in the exact same way as a firearm. You pull a trigger or push a button, and the rocket is sent forward by some sort of magic that eventually gets the projectile to its intended target. This is not exactly how it works.

When it comes to rockets, there is actually some science involved. Without getting into the specifics of rocket science, it is easy enough to say that an amount of propellant is violently burned and expelled out of the back of the launcher into what is militarily known as the back-blast area. This violent expulsion of propellant is what launches the rocket towards its intended target, and the size of that cone behind the person shooting the rocket varies based on the size of the rocket they are firing.

While training to shoot rockets effectively, one of the most harped on portions of learning the skill-set is clearing the back-blast area. This is done for good reason, as the violent expulsion of propellant behind the shooter is often dangerous enough to kill a person at the most, and at the very least sending secondary and tertiary shrapnel in the form of rockets flying through the air at a very high-rate of speed.

What you are about to witness is the failure of an individual shooting an RPG to clear his back-blast area. This failure to check behind him, combined with the lack of situation awareness from a second fighter on the ground will ultimately result in the death of an individual who is directly behind the rocket when it is fired.