Infantry Drills

6-200: Short Range

Previous: 6-199: Observation Plan for an Area Reconnaissance

6-200. On nearing the objective, the patrol leader should establish a forward release point. It should be sited so it is well-hidden, no closer than 200 meters from known enemy patrol routes, observation posts, or sentry positions. The forward release point provides the patrol leader with a temporary location close to the objective from which he can operate. While the close reconnaissance is in progress, it should be manned by the patrol second in charge and RTO. Only vital transmissions should be made while in the forward release point. The volume setting should be as low as possible on the radio, and if available, the operator should use an earphone.

6-201. The close reconnaissance team should make its final preparation in the forward release point. Movement from the forward release point must be slow and deliberate. Leaders should allow sufficient time for the team to obtain the information. If time is limited, the team should only be required to obtain essential information. If the enemy position is large, or time is limited, the leader may employ more than one close reconnaissance team. If this occurs, each patrol must have clearly defined routes for movement to and from the forward release point. They also must have clearly defined areas in which to conduct their reconnaissance in order to avoid clashes.

6-202. The close reconnaissance team normally consists of one to two observers and two security men. The security men should be close enough to provide protection to the observer, but far enough away so his position is not compromised. When moving in areas close to the enemy position, only one man should move at one time. Accordingly, bounds should be short.

6-203. Once in position, the patrol observes and listens to acquire the needed
information. No eating, no talking, and no unnecessary movement occurs at this time. If the reconnaissance element cannot acquire the information needed from its initial position, it retraces the route and repeats the process. This method of reconnaissance is extremely risky. The reconnaissance element must remember the closer it moves to an objective, the greater the risk of being detected.

Next: 6-204: Multiple Reconnaissance and Surveillance Teams

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