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FM 34-2-1: TTPs For Reconnaissance And Surveillance And Intelligence Support To Counterreconnaissance



The R&S overlay is the R&S plan in graphic form. The purpose of the R&S overlay is to show the assets and the key staff officers exactly where the R&S assets are operating. You will extract most of the overlay's graphics and symbols from FM 101-5-1. Additionally, due to the various R&S operational techniques, you will need to construct some "homemade" graphics and explain them in the legend.

There are two parts to the R&S overlay. The first part is the graphic display of deployed or planned deployment of R&S assets. The second part is the marginal data consisting of the legend, administrative data, specific instructions to each asset, and the distribution list.

The marginal information found on the overlay consists of the standard wording found on all overlays. The administrative data is comprised of the following:

  • Classification.
  • Overlay title.
  • Registration marks.
  • Map sheet name.
  • Map sheet scale.
  • Map sheet number.
  • Map sheet series.
  • The "prepared by" line.

Another portion of the administrative data is the legend. The legend contains any nonstandard FM 101-5-1 graphics used. It also contains detailed written instructions to each R&S asset. These detailed instructions should focus on--

  • The required operational times. You should give each asset both a start and a finish time for each mission, as applicable.
  • The target. To answer the PIR, you need to look for specific indicators. Each asset should be told exactly what to look for (such as type units, equipment, and specific activity). Never give broad-based generic missions to "go out and look for and report on anything that moves." Specific guidance will promote specific answers.
  • Coordinating instructions. All assets will, at one time or another, move through or near another unit's AO. To keep units from shooting friendly R&S assets, assets and units must coordinate with each other. It is also important that R&S assets coordinate among themselves.
  • Reporting requirements. All assets should know when, how often, and what format to use when reporting. You should provide frequencies, alternate frequencies, and reaction during jamming. You must also provide the NLT time for specific information to be reported.

Initially, the locations for assets are areas in which you recommend they deploy. After the assets have gone to these areas (NAI), they report to you or the S3 the actual locations in which they can conduct their missions. You or the S3 updates the graphics to show actual locations.

Control measures are as follows:

  • Friendly boundaries, R&S limit of responsibility, NAI, start points (SP), release points (RP), and checkpoints.
  • Graphics depicting route, area, and zone reconnaissance.
  • Primary, alternate, and supplementary positions.
  • Sectors of scan for sensors.

All of these control measures, except R&S limit of responsibility, are found in FM 101-5-1. The R&S limit of responsibility comes down from higher headquarters along with other R&S guidance. This limit is a control measure that informs subordinate units of the limits of their R&S operations. It can be represented by a dashed line (----).

Remember, it is important to include detailed instructions for each R&S asset on the overlay. This method is known as the overlay method for distributing written instructions. Another method is known as the matrix method. The R&S tasking matrix is the matrix used for this method. (See Appendix A.) Figure 6-1 shows an R&S tasking matrix.

Figure 6-2 is an example of the R&S plan graphically portrayed on an overlay with detailed instructions to each asset written on the bottom of the overlay. Attach the R&S tasking matrix to the bottom of the R&S overlay. The matrix provides the following information:

  • The first column shows the priority of each mission. This number should correspond with the PIR number.
  • The next column provides the asset with the NAI number and grid coordinate.
  • The start/stop column informs the asset the times for this mission.
  • The SIR column explains to the assets exactly what they are looking for (target).
  • The next set of columns lists the actual assets tasked to conduct each mission. An "X" placed under each asset identifies the tasking.
  • The coordination column tells the assets which units to coordinate with for this mission.
  • The last column provides the assets with reporting requirements.

We have discussed two ways to distribute instructions; however, the method is not important. What is important is for assets to receive clear, specific instructions.

Disseminating the R&S plan to all the assets can be a problem. When the R&S plan reaches the dissemination phase, the assets are usually scattered great distances over the battlefield. In some instances the R&S plan is disseminated by courier. To ensure all assets receive their copy, write each asset's title directly on the distribution list, plan, or overlay. Exchanging brigade or battalion R&S plans with adjacent units ensures proper coordination, minimizes the risk of shooting friendly soldiers, and cuts out unnecessary redundancy.

Chapter 5 provides additional methods for disseminating R&S requirements. See FM 34-80, Appendix E, for another sample R&S overlay.

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