Previous: 6-176: Fundamentals of Reconnaissance
6-177. The reconnaissance element’s task is to obtain information requirements for the purposes of facilitating tactical decision making. The primary means is R&S enabled by tactical movement and continuous, accurate reporting. The reconnaissance patrol leader decides how in-depth the reconnaissance will be. A thorough and accurate reconnaissance is important. However, avoiding detection is equally important.
6-178. Below are some of the additional tasks normally associated with a reconnaissance element:
- Reconnoiter all terrain within the assigned area, route, or zone.
- Determine trafficability routes or potential avenues of approach (based on the personnel or vehicles to be used on the route).
- Inspect and classify all bridges, overpasses, underpasses, and culverts on the route.
- Locate fords or crossing sites near bridges on the route.
- Determine the time it takes to traverse the route.
- Reconnoiter to the limit of direct fire range.
- Terrain influencing the area, route, or zone.
- Built-up areas.
- Lateral routes.
- Within capabilities, reconnoiter natural and man-made obstacles to ensure mobility along the route. Locate a bypass or reduce/breach, clear, and mark—
- Defiles and other restrictive/severely restrictive terrain.
- Contaminated areas.
- Log obstacles such as abatis, log cribs, stumps, and posts.
- AT ditches.
- Wire entanglements.
- Fills, such as a raised railroad track.
- Other obstacles along the route.
- Determine the size, location, and composition of society/human demographics.
- Identify essential infrastructure influencing military operations, including the following:
- Political, government, and religious organizations and agencies.
- Physical facilities and utilities (such as power generation, transportation, and communications networks).
- Find all threat forces influencing movement along the area, route, or zone.
- Report information.
Note. Infantry platoons and squads typically do not have the expertise to complete a full technical inspection of bridges, roads, and culverts; this task normally requires Engineer augmentation. Infantry platoons and squads do, however; have the ability to conduct a general assessment.
Next: 6-179: Security Elements