UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!





This appendix discusses the platoon and squad battle drills executed by
the reconnaissance platoon.  The reconnaissance platoon takes pride on its
ability to operate in enemy territory without being detected.  Avoiding
detection is a high priority for the reconnaissance platoon/squad.  Even
though the reconnaissance platoon/squad seeks to avoid enemy contact, there
are occasions when contact is made.  This contact may be by chance or as
the result of an enemy ambush.  The survivability of the reconnaissance
platoon/squad may depend on its ability to react to these situations.
When contact is made, the reconnaissance platoon/squad breaks contact and
notifies higher headquarters of the situation.  Based on the guidance from
higher headquarters, the reconnaissance platoon/squad either continues or
aborts the mission.


Once enemy contact is made, the platoon leader attempts to break contact (Figure F-1). The actions of the reconnaissance platoon/squad are as follows:

    a. Soldiers immediately seek the nearest covered or concealed position and return fire. The platoon leader requests indirect fire.

    b. The squad leader directs soldiers to bound away from the contact. The remaining soldiers assist the bounding soldiers by placing well-aimed fire on the enemy position.

    c. The distance soldiers bound depends on METT-T. Once the bounding soldiers occupy their positions, they place direct fire on the enemy.

    d. The soldiers covering the initial bound now become the bounding element. These soldiers execute fire and movement and bound to a position beyond the supporting element.

    e. The squad continues to conduct reverse bounding until contact is broken. Soldiers use smoke and fragmentation grenades to obscure their movement and degrade the enemy's fire.

Figure F-1. Break contact.


The reconnaissance platoon/squad may also be required to react to an ambush. The actions taken by the reconnaissance platoon/squad are determined by its distance from the enemy at the time of the ambush. The near ambush is one in which the killing zone is within hand grenade range of the enemy executing the ambush.

    a. When a reconnaissance platoon/squad is caught in a near ambush soldiers in the kill zone carry out one of the following actions without order or signal:

      (1) If cover is not available, soldiers assume the prone position and throw concussion or fragmentation and smoke grenades.

      (2) If cover is available, soldiers assume the prone position, seek the nearest covered position, return fire, and throw fragmentation or concussion and smoke grenades.

    b. After the explosion of the grenades, soldiers in the kill zone return fire and assault through the ambush position using fire and movement.

    c. Soldiers not in the kill zone identify the enemy location and place accurate suppressive fire against the enemy positions. Fire is shifted as the soldiers in the kill zone begin to assault. (Figure F-2.)

    d. Personnel in the kill zone continue the assault to eliminate the ambush or until contact is broken.

Figure F-2. React to near ambush.


The far ambush is one in which the kill zone is outside hand grenade rangeof the enemy executing the ambush. The actions of the reconnaissance platoon/squad are as follows:

    a. Without order or signal, soldiers in the kill zone assume the prone position and return fire. They take available covered positions and continue well-aimed fire at the ambush position. Smoke grenades are used to impair enemy observation of the kill zone and affect his ability to place aimed fire into the kill zone (Figure F-3).

    b. Those soldiers not in the kill zone continue the assault until the ambush is eliminated or contact is broken.

    c. The reconnaissance platoon/squad leader requests indirect fire when the enemy withdraws or the separation between the elements is far enough to avoid friendly casualties. Smoke is used to impair enemy observation.

Figure F-3. React to far ambush.


The reconnaissance platoon/squad must understand the actions that they should take when under attack by indirect fire. The platoon leader or any soldier warns the platoon or squad by shouting, "Incoming." Soldiers assume the prone position and wait for the round to impact. The platoon leader gives the direction and distance for the reconnaissance platoon/squad to move (for example, ONE O'CLOCK, TWO HUNDRED METERS). The reconnaissance platoon/squad runs out of the impact area in the direction and for the distance that was indicated. Once they arrive at the designated location, the platoon leader accounts for all personnel and notifies higher headquarters of the situation.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list