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LRS units use movement techniques and battle drills the same as any other unit in the Army. These techniques vary due to the specific needs of an LRS unit. LRS units rehearse movement techniques and battle drills before every mission. After enemy contact they continue the mission or move out of area of operations (evasion and escape). They use deliberate movement. Leaders do not tire out team members (the units watch for trip wires and booby traps). The units use countertracking measures, and sterilization. They use terrain association whenever the situation permits (avoid using direct azimuth). The units react quickly to enemy situations to ensure they have a good chance of survival.


Leaders choose movement formations based on METT-T. All arm-and-hand signals are modified so they are at shoulder level or below. Too much movement over the head may reveal the position. The following are the minimum arm-and-hand signals an LRS team should be proficient in using. (See FM 21-60 for more information.)

  • Security halt (extended).
  • Short halt.
  • Listen.
  • Look.
  • Enemy.
  • Danger area.
  • Move out.
  • Rally point.
  • Hide site.
  • File formation.
  • Diamond formation.
  • Freeze.
  • Head count.
  • Pace count.
  • Increase speed.
  • All clear.
  • Cease firing.

a. File. The distance between team members should be about 5 to 10 feet. This allows each member to help the other team member in front of or behind him from being entangled in the vegetation (Figure J-1).

    (1) Each member can warn the other team members physically or orally of the approaching enemy without a delay or unnecessary noise or movement. If the team members do not take the time to avoid breaking the vegetation, they can be easily tracked. The team moves slowly and easily and takes listening and rest breaks often.

    (2) A variation to the file is to have an observer behind the senior observer in heavy vegetation so they can trade off during movement. Also, if the likelihood of enemy contact increases and booby traps are probable, the senior observer can concentrate on finding the booby traps and the observer can assume responsibility of front security. Weapons stay pointed in a natural direction and the selector switch is on the safe position.

    (3) An alternate formation is the modified wedge or diamond formation (Figure J-2). This formation is used in sparsely vegetated terrain and generally during daylight hours. Distances between team members is increased as the terrain and vegetation allows. Another example of an alternate modified wedge formation is in Figure J-3.

b. Security Halts. For along halt, team members sit with their feet facing outward and shoulders touching. This aids quick and quiet communication, and guarantees all-round security at all times. This technique offers the smallest signature, and it is the most difficult to detect. (See Figure J-4.) During short halts, team members drop on one knee, face out, and freeze in place. The security halt should not exceed five minutes. If the halt exceeds five minutes, the team should deploy the same as for a long halt. Instead of using trees and limbs, team members should help each other stand up. This reduces the signature. When leaving, the assistant team leader cleans the area and covers the tracks.

c. Danger Area. The lead team member identifies the danger area and moves across, placing his left or right shoulder toward the danger area. The second team member faces the opposite direction as the lead team member. This gives security in both directions. Each member crosses in the same manner (Figure J-5). As the last member crosses, he should stop and get back-to-back to the next team member to provide security while the assistant team leader sterilizes the crossing area. The team moves across the danger area as fast as possible. The lead team member should select a hill or curve on a trail or road to help conceal the team's movement across the danger area. When planning the route, the leader tries to avoid all danger areas to include likely avenues of approach roads, rivers, railroads, large open areas, and built-up areas. Some danger areas may not be crossed except during limited visibility.

    (1) When the team crosses a deep gully or ditch, security is established on the near and far side. The team leader ensures that all members are not in the gully or ditch at the same time.

    (2) When crossing a stream or river, the team tries to cross at the shallowest point with the most cover and concealment. A reconnaissance should be made first. The crossing is conducted as quickly as possible.

    (3) When crossing a small open area, the team uses the contour or detour bypass method. They avoid crossing directly through the open area if possible (Figure J-6.)


Well-rehearsed battle drills are critical to the success of an LRS team. The team is lightly armed with a limited supply of ammunition and can expect little or no fire support. They can only provide basic life-saving first aid in the event of team casualties. An LRS team should only count on one opportunity to defeat or delay the enemy. As a result, the execution of a battle drill must be well rehearsed to ensure an instantaneous and instinctive response by all team members.

a. Break Contact. The team breaks contact as soon as possible, since it lacks assets to stay and fight. METT-T determines which drill is executed. Teams use fire and maneuver in two- or three-man groups. If necessary, the team leader may elect to assault through and consolidate and reorganize, then move to the designated rally point (team SOP), or to an alternate rally point selected by the team leader. The team uses hand grenades, white phosphorus, CS, or smoke to cover the withdrawal. If the team is still in contact, they repeat fire and movement. (Figure J-7 and Figure J-8.)

    (1) The team executes fire and movement by two- or three-man teams until contact with the enemy is broken.

    (2) When contacted from the front, the senior observer and another observer return fire with one full magazine each.

    (3) An observer and the team leader move to a position to provide support for the withdrawal of the senior observer and observer. Once the senior observer and observer have fired a complete magazine, team leader and observer begin firing, covering the withdrawal of the senior observer and observer to the next firing position.

    (4) The two-man team that is bounding back throws CS, white phosphorus, or smoke grenades to cover the withdrawal.

    (5) The process of fire and movement continues until contact is broken.

    (6) The team members maintain clear fields of fire to the front. Moving teams should not mask the fire of stationary teams.

    (7) The RATELO and assistant team leader place a Claymore with a time-delay fuze to slow the enemy. It is placed in the position where the RATELO was when the team began the break contact drill. Once the Claymore is emplaced, the RATELO and assistant team leader help the remainder of the team in breaking contact, or move to a rally point and secure it for the team. When using a Claymore mine in a battle drill, the mine is dual-primed (electrically and time fuze). The mine is always placed facing the direction of team withdrawal.

    (8) An alternate method to break contact from the front or rear is the Australian peek This technique is most effective while the team is in a file formation, the vegetation is dense, or during limited visibility. The second through the sixth team members take one or two steps to the left or right, depending on the terrain. One member at a time passes back through the formation. (Figure J-9.)

    (9) When contacted from the front, the first member fires a full magazine (automatic or burst). Every other member does the same, one at a time. Each member waits until the member in front of him is even with him or on his left or right before firing a weapon.

    (10) Individuals move straight back through the inside of the formation, avoiding masking the fires of the members providing covering fire.

    (11) The assistant team leader or the last member throws a hand grenade (fragmentary).

    (12) As the situation permits, team members can also use CS, white phosphorus, or smoke to cover withdrawal.

    (13) During limited visibility, the battle drill may be executed without firing weapons. In this event, the battle drill is still executed in the same sequence.

    (14) Upon completion of the first iteration, the team can emplace a Claymore mine with a time-delay fuze to slow the enemy.

    (15) The team initiates fires only if it has been compromised.

    (16) If the enemy element breaks contact and ceases fire, the LRS team should cease fire immediately to prevent revealing their new position.

    (17) If contact occurs from the rear, the battle drill is executed in the reverse sequence. The first member is the last to throw a hand grenade (fragmentary). Once the battle drill is completed, the team moves to the designated rally point.

b. React to Air Attack. The first soldier who hears or sees an aircraft signals "Freeze." The first soldier who sees an attacking aircraft alerts "Aircraft, front (left, right, or rear)." The team moves quickly into a line formation, well spread out, perpendicular to the aircraft's direction of flight (Figure J-10). As each soldier comes on line, he hits the ground, using available cover. Between attacks, the team should seek better cover and concealment. If the team leader wants the team to move out of the area, he gives the clock direction and distance.

    (1) After the team consolidates and reorganizes, it moves to the last rally point. The team should engage only as a last resort. Massed fires are used to engage attacking aircraft, using the head-on method. Distances for engagement are 50 meters for slow-moving aircraft and 200 meters for fast-moving aircraft. The team leader makes the decision whether to continue the mission or to move out of the area if the team receives fire or returns fire on an aircraft.

    (2) An alternate method is for the team to disperse into two 3-man groups or three 2-man groups. On sight of the aircraft, the team leader designates a rally point and gives the command to disperse. On linkup at the rally point, the team leader again assesses the situation and either calls for extraction or continues the mission. (See Figure J-11.)

c. React to Indirect Fire. Upon receiving indirect fire, the team deploys and takes cover. If more rounds impact, the team leader gives the clock position and the direction and distance to move. The team consolidates while moving or at a distance given by team leader. Once the team is consolidated and reorganized, it moves out of the area quickly. The enemy may adjust fires as the team moves. The direction of movement should remain oriented to the 12 o'clock position. The team may elect to move to the last rally point or as otherwise directed by the team leader. The team leader makes a decision to continue the mission or to move out of the area of operations.

d. React to Flares. If the team encounters flares, it should execute the following actions:

    (1) Ground flares. The team moves out of the illuminated area and takes cover. Each soldier closes his firing eye to protect his night vision. The team leader decides the next direction to move.

    (2) Overhead flare with warning. The team assumes a prone position (behind concealment, when available) before the flare bursts. Each soldier closes his firing eye to protect his night vision.

    (3) Overhead flare without warning. The team gets into a prone position, making the most use of nearby cover, concealment, and shadows until the flare burns out. Each soldier closes his firing eye to protect his night vision. The team leader gives the direction of movement.

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