Infantry Drills

6-18: Initial Planning and Coordination for Patrols

Previous: 6-17: Search Teams

6-18. Leaders plan and prepare for patrols using TLP. They must identify required actions on the objective, plan backward to the departure from friendly lines, then forward to the reentry of friendly lines.

6-19. The patrol leader normally will receive the OPORD in the battalion or company command post where communications are good and vital personnel are available for coordination. Because patrols act semi-independently, move beyond the supporting range of the parent unit, and often operate forward of friendly units, coordination must be thorough and detailed.

6-20. Patrol leaders may routinely coordinate with elements of the battalion staff directly. Unit leaders should develop tactical SOPs beyond what is found in ATP 3-90.90 with detailed checklists to preclude omitting items vital to the mission accomplishment.

6-21. Items coordinated between the leader and battalion staff, company commander or CoIST include:

  • Changes or updates in the enemy situation.
  • Best use of terrain for routes, rally points, and patrol bases.
  • Light and weather data.
  • Changes in the friendly situation.
  • The attachment of Soldiers with special skills or equipment (engineers, sniper teams, military working dog teams, forward observers, or interpreters).
  • Use and location of landing or pickup zones.
  • Departure and reentry of friendly lines.
  • Direct and indirect fire support on the objective and along the planned routes, including alternate routes.
  • Rehearsal areas and times. The terrain for rehearsal should be similar to the objective, to include buildings and fortifications if necessary. Coordination for rehearsals includes security of the area, use of blanks, pyrotechnics, and live ammunition.
  • Special equipment and ammunition requirements.
  • Transportation support, including transportation to and from rehearsal sites.
  • Signal plan, call signs frequencies, code words, pyrotechnics, and challenge and password.

6-22. The leader coordinates with the unit through which his platoon or squad conducts its forward and rearward passage of lines. The leader also coordinates patrol activities with the leaders of other units patrolling in adjacent areas at the same time.

Next: 6-23: Leader’s Reconnaissance

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