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Surveillance is the primary mission of LRSU. When conducting surveillance, the leader reconnoiters and selects a hide position and a surveillance position. The two positions can be in the same location. This decision is based on an estimate of the situation and the factors of METT-T. The hide site provides a base from which to stage HF or satellite communications (either a remote communication site or directly from the hide site). It also reduces the number of personnel at the surveillance site, thereby reducing the chance of compromise. The hide site provides an operational base for the team from which personnel can be rotated to and from the surveillance site. The surveillance site is where selected team members observe or survey the objective. Communication between the two sites is by wire, FM, or messenger.


The type of hide or surveillance site employed depends on METT-T. Improvement of camouflage, at a minimum, must be continuous while occupying the site. The enemy situation may not allow a team to improve from a surface site to a subsurface site.

a. Surface Site. (See Figure E-1.)

(1) Advantages.

  • Easy to construct.
  • Requires minimal materials.
  • Can be done quickly and quietly.
  • No large amounts of soil need to be relocated.
  • Stand-off capable optics are used to provide the security that is lost due to less camouflage.
  • Surveillance team can escape quickly.

(2) Disadvantages.

  • Little protection from small-arms weapons fire.
  • No protection from indirect fires or NBC.
  • Risk of compromise by dogs, civilians, and enemy patrols.

(3) Construction materials.

  • Poncho(s) (waterproof).
  • Yetti or camouflage net. (Prevents reflection of poncho; aids in camouflage.)
  • 550-pound cord or bungee cord.
  • Chicken wire (optional).
  • Burlap or canvas cloth (optional).

(4) Considerations for surface site.

    (a) Team members avoid cutting any vegetation. They use man-made or natural camouflage.

    (b) Team members keep all equipment packed when not in use.

    (c) Team members always stay in uniform. They do not remove load-carving equipment.

    (d) Security is maintained 24 hours a day.

    (e) Two to three team members may occupy a surveillance site. With three team members, they can stay longer, and one team member can rest. However, the site is larger and harder to conceal.

    (f) The best time to switch surveillance teams is just after dark and just before daylight.

    (g) Communication is setup between the hide site and the surveillance site.

    (h) Team members take rucksacks to the surveillance site.

    (i) In some situations, surveillance of the objective may only be done during limited visibility; the team stays in the hide site during the day.

    (j) The surveillance site has all-round coverage, with nets or natural camouflage so it cannot be seen from any angle to include overhead.

    (k) Distance between the hide site, the surveillance site, and the communication site (if used) depends on METT-T. Terrain should be the main factor.

    (l) The team changes directions when moving from the hide site to the surveillance site, when possible (dog leg, fish hook, or indirect route).

    (m) The team does not wear gillie suits (at least two per team) during movement. Pieces of the suit will rip off in vegetation and leave a trail. The soldiers put the suits on just before occupying the surveillance site.

b. Hasty Subsurface Site. A hasty subsurface site is constructed when there is not enough time to construct a complete subsurface site. The site is especially useful when there is little natural cover and concealment. The site is planned so that it can be improved to a full subsurface site as time and the situation allows. (See Figures E-1 through E-3.)

    (1) Advantages.

    • Lower profile than surface surveillance site.
    • Better protection against small-arms weapons and indirect fires.
    • Excellent camouflage.

    (2) Disadvantages.

    • Limited construction tools.
    • Soil must be concealed.
    • Requires more time to construct.
    • Construction noise.

    (3) Construction materials.

    • Ponchos or other waterproofing.
    • Yetti net or small camouflage net to assist in camouflage.
    • Entrenching tool.
    • 550-pound cord or bungee cord.
    • Chicken wire (optional).
    • Burlap or canvas (optional).
    • Sandbags.
    • PVC pipe with connectors.
    • Fiberglass rod.
    • Aluminum conduit.
    • Plywood.

c. Subsurface Site. Teams will be underground for a long time. The site must be large enough to accommodate the entire team. The site should be dug in a well-concealed area, away from enemy observation. The site may be dug and stocked with rations, water, ammunitions, batteries, and so on. Equipment, such as rucksacks and communications equipment, should be arranged so that a fast exit can be made in an emergency. A primary entrance and exit and an emergency entrance and exit should be built in the hide site. If the enemy should find the primary entrance, some type of deception should be made at that entrance and the emergency exit should be used. The team should have an SOP for leaving a subsurface site. If surveillance is done from the site, leaving the site depends on where the site is in relation to an enemy objective or on the terrain in which it is located. The basic design for the site is for a stay-behind mission. (See Figure E-4.)

  • The site must have enough room for the team to move around freely.
  • The entrance and exits are covered and concealed.
  • The top of the site should be strong enough so that personnel can walk on it.
  • Dirt is removed from the site in rucksacks, sandbags, socks, or anything that can be used as a container. Most of the dirt is placed back on the top.
  • The team camouflages the leftover dirt. They look for natural depressions, remove the top cover, fill in the depression, and recamouflage, or use streams or waterways during heavy rains. They avoid populated areas as much as possible.
  • The team camouflages the site during construction by using yetti nets with camouflage material, natural camouflage, or chicken wire with camouflage material.
  • The team removes waste by using ziplock bags; meals, ready-to-eat bags; or anything that can be used as a container. They can use a meals, ready-to-eat box with trash bag as a toilet or a portable camping toilet. They have a bag of lime or baking soda to cover the odor.
  • A barricade is built to provide shelter.
  • Sleeping positions should be separate and comfortable.
  • Soldiers do not remove their load-carrying equipment.
  • Shovels are disassembled and carried in rucksacks.

    (1) Advantages.

    • Little risk of compromise.
    • Protection from artillery and small-arms weapons fire.
    • Protection from nuclear attack.
    • Excellent camouflage.

    (2) Disadvantages.

    • Requires considerable time to construct.
    • Soil must be concealed away from the site.
    • Construction noise.
    • Manpower, material, and equipment required to construct.

    (3) Construction materials (dependent on design).

    • Fifty 2-inch by 4-inch by 12-foot boards; six 4-inch by 4-inch by 6-foot boards.
    • Gravel to cover floor.
    • Eighteen inches of overhead cover over entire site.
    • Backhoe or soldiers with shovels.
    • One-hundred sandbags.
    • General-purpose large tent to cover digging operations until complete.


When selecting a site, the leader should consider the following aspects:

  • Line of sight to target.
  • Within a range that can be supported by available observation equipment to meet the reporting requirements.
  • Overhead concealment and cover.
  • Away from natural lines of drift.
  • Away from roads, trails, railroad tracks, and major waterways.
  • Defendable for a short time.
  • Primary and alternate hasty exits.
  • Concealed serviceable entrance; little noise getting into and out of the hide site.
  • METT-T in relation to other site positions (hide, surveillance, communication sites).
  • Not near man-made objects.
  • Downwind of inhabited areas.
  • Not dominated by high ground, but takes advantage of the high ground.


The team leader initially selects the tentative sites during the planning phase. He selects the sites by physical reconnaissance (stay-behind), aerial observation, photographs, line-of-site data, soil and drainage data, or map reconnaissance. At a minimum, the team leader selects primary and alternate hide sites, and primary and alternate surveillance sites. Before the team occupies the sites, the team leader conducts a physical reconnaissance of the tentative site chosen during planning. If necessary, the team leader moves the site to a better location.


When occupying the hide site, the leader has several methods he can select.

a. Fishhook or Dog-Leg Method. These methods are done from the direction of march. (See Figure E-5.)

b. Occupation by Force. Occupation by force occurs as a last resort, usually when time is a major limiting factor. In this case, a leader's reconnaissance is conducted and the team moves directly into the tentative site. (See Figure E-6.)


The team maintains security at all times. Soldiers are positioned either back-to-back or feet-to-feet, using all-round security.

a. The team waits 15 minutes before moving or unpacking equipment, using time as a listening halt. They do not lean against small trees or vegetation. They place Claymores, at least, in the four cardinal directions.

b. If communication is to be conducted from the hide site, the antenna is constructed before dark. The antenna is not raised off the ground until communication is established. This reduces the amount of noise and movement at night.

c. Team members wear their load-carrying equipment at all times. They camouflage all-round the position.

d. The best time to rotate teams is at dusk and dawn. The surveillance team takes their rucksacks or assault packs. The team rests during the day.


Work priorities may vary, depending on the factors of METT-T, with the exception of security. The team has security, alert, evacuation, and rendezvous plans. The team conducts stand-to starting before first light and continue it until after full light. They conduct stand-to starting before dark and continue it until after dark. They vary the starting times to keep from setting a pattern. They select and reconnoiter alternate hide and surveillance sites. They maintain equipment, radios, weapons, and camouflage. They ensure to perform personal hygiene and preventive medicine. They conduct isometric exercises. They have a meal plan. They prepare guard and rest plans.


Before departing hide and surveillance locations, team members must ensure sites and routes have been sterilized.

a. Personnel carry out all foreign debris.

b. If possible, they do not bury waste or trash. Animals will uncover trash and expose it to enemy patrols. If trash is buried, the team buries it 18 to 24 inches deep in sealed containers or covers the scent by using CS or lime.

c. The team sterilizes the sites using displaced earth. They use the site to bury overhead material, which contrasts with the surrounding area.

d. The team camouflages the area by blending the site with local surroundings.

e. As team members withdraw from the site, they ensure routes are camouflaged to prevent detection.

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