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MARINE MAIL: WE NEED A STANDARD PUBLICATION FOR RECONNAISSANCE AND SURVEILLANCE
 

By Gunnery Sgt. Jon C. Couch

WASHINGTON (Feb 3) -- The following Marine Mail was submitted by Gunnery Sgt. Jon C. Couch, MAFC Noncommissioned Officer in Charge, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.:

Sir,

Over the past 18.5 years I have been involved with either reconnaissance units, Marine expeditionary units/Marine amphibious units, special operations training groups, and G/S-2s on both coasts and Okinawa. I have come to realize that whenever I go to a new unit (of whatever type) it seems to have a "new and better way" of doing spot reporting, requests for resupply (in the field), bridge reports, etc. I've talked to various officers around here and their experiences have been generally the same.

Currently, I am assisting some folks in getting ready for Strong Resolve (Norway) and the two reconnaissance units going with II MEF work off of slightly different reporting data. I am coordinating between the S-2s involved, but this illustrates a basic problem -- commonality. I recommend the following:

a. Have Quantico make a "Reconnaissance and Surveillance Reporting Handbook" that will be used in the entire Fleet Marine Force (vice each battalion, regiment, reconnaissance unit, etc. coming up with their own). The U.S. Army Rangers use one and it is pocket-size. It could be used as a basic pattern. I recommend Quantico do the project since they are at the level and have the authority to direct and coordinate between, for example, the various amphibious reconnaissance schools (Fort Story, Va. and Coronado, Calif.), scout snipers schools (division and instructor at Quantico), and the folks directing the special operations training group training and standardization.

b. I recommend the following be put in the handbook, but I'm sure there are some things I may have left out.

(1) Patrolling data (five paragraph order, fragmentary order, troop leading steps, etc.)

(2) Reconnaissance reporting (NATO formats and ConBch reports, bridge reporting, spot reporting, tunnel reports, etc.)

(3) Reconnaissance and surveillance reporting (overhead matrix, HUT reporting, etc. used by various direct action units within the Marine Corps)

(4) Sniper reporting data (data sheets for "milling out" targets, etc.)

(5) Boat handling and basic HRST data (knots, boat descriptions for MARS, RRC, etc.)

(6) Basic communications data (improvised antennas, basic radio nomenclature, propagation data, etc.)

(7) Basic SERE data (E&E planning guidance, basic survival tips such as land navigation, fire starting, etc.)

I believe, if instituted, this would greatly benefit the Marine Corps' ability to win wars. I don't believe we can win wars if we all report in our "favorite" formats and confuse the various G/S-2s, SARCs, or sniper control centers. Standardization is the key.

Semper Fi. /s/ Gunnery Sgt Couch, MAFC Noncommissioned officer in charge, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
 
 

The following response was provided by Col. G.P. Fenton, Expeditionary Policies Branch, Plans, Policy and Operations, HQMC:
 
 

Gunnery Sgt. Couch,

On behalf of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Lt. Gen. Steele, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policy and operations directed the Expeditionary Policies Branch to report to you on our Corps' efforts in developing a Marine Corps wide Reconnaissance and Surveillance Handbook. The following is a summary of what is currently taking place:

The Marine Corps Reference Publication (MCRP) 3-11.6A, Reconnaissance Patrol Leaders Handbook, is going through final editing at Ground Doctrine in Quantico, Va. It will cover such areas as patrol planning, boat handling/surf passage, Helicopter rope Suspension Training, and basic Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape.

The MCRP 3-11.6B, Reconnaissance Reports Guide, will be published following completion of MCRP 3-11.6A. It will cover such areas as basic communication, standard reporting formats, reconnaissance and surveillance reporting, and Maritime Special Purpose Force sniper reporting.

Thank you for your concern in making the Marine Corps a better force, and in the welfare of its members.

Semper Fidelis. /s/ Col. G.P. Fenton, Expeditionary Policies Branch, Plans, Policy and Operations, HQMC
 
 

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