Infantry Drills

D-82: Advanced Guard

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D-82. The advance guard reconnoiters and proofs the convoy route. The advanced guard element performs tasks associated with movement to contact and zone or route reconnaissance forward of the convoy. It searches for signs of enemy activity such as ambushes and obstacles. This element focuses on identifying enemy forces able to influence the route, route trafficability, dislocated civilians or civilian traffic disrupting movement. Engineers are attached to the unit to assist reconnoitering and classifying bridges, fords, and obstacles along the route. The advanced guard normally operates from three to four kilometers ahead of the main body of the convoy. If available, unmanned aircraft system s or aerial reconnaissance should precede the reconnaissance element by five to eight kilometers dependent on the terrain and visibility conditions.

D-83. Within its capabilities, the advanced guard attempts to clear the route and provides the convoy commander with early warning before the arrival of the vehicle column. In some cases, an individual vehicle, a squad, or a platoon-sized element may be designated as part of the advanced guard and may receive additional combat vehicle support (tank with a mine plow, or mine roller). The leader plans for integrating engineer assets to aid in reducing point-type obstacles. Command-detonated devices and other IEDs pose a major threat during route reconnaissance.

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Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad