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Section I. General

D-1. Patrols.

a. This appendix provides guidance on patrolling. It describes various types of patrols and patrolling techniques.

b. A patrol is a mission. The unit that has the mission organizes for the conduct of the patrol. When organizing for the patrol, unit integrity is maintained as much as possible.

c. The requirements of the mission determine the size, organization, and equipment of a patrol. Some missions may require only two or three men, lightly armed with no special equipment; some missions may require a squad or platoon, specially armed and equipped. A unit is always tailored for the mission it is to execute.

d. The effectiveness of a patrol is limited only by the ingenuity of the planner and the skill and aggressiveness of the unit leader. For this reason, they are one of the commander's most valued tools. Patrols are especially valuable in counterguerrilla operations. Aggressive patrolling in an area greatly reduces the guerrillas' freedom of movement, hampers their operations, and weakens their influence on the local population.

e. Patrols are classified according to the nature of the mission assigned.

D-2. Reconnaissance patrols.

They collect information and confirm or disprove the accuracy of information previously received. Reconnaissance patrols are further classified as:

  • Zone reconnaissance patrols.
  • Area reconnaissance patrols.

D-3. Combat patrols.

They provide security and harass, destroy, or capture enemy personnel, equipment, and installations. Combat patrols also collect and report information whether it is related to the assigned mission or not.

Section II. Planning

D-4. Five phases.

There are five phases involved in mission planning: patrol steps, reverse planning sequence, the warning order, the time schedule, and the operation order. The patrol leader uses patrol steps (derived from troop leading procedures as discussed in FM 7-10) in planning the mission. The leader considers all steps but executes only those required by the mission. The steps may occur in various sequences, and some are considered and accomplished simultaneously.

D-5. Patrol steps.

(Consider all steps; accomplish those necessary; sequence may vary.)

  • Study the mission.
  • Plan use of time.
  • Study terrain and situation.
  • Organize the patrol.
  • Select men, weapons, equipment.
  • Issue warning order.
  • Coordinate (continuous throughout).
  • Make reconnaissance.
  • Complete detailed plans.
  • Issue operation order.
  • Supervise (at all times), inspect, rehearse.
  • Execute the mission.

D-6. Reverse planning

The unit leader uses reverse planning sequence to allot time for each action of the patrol. He plans this schedule around any critical times specified in his order.

D-7. Warning order.

There are two orders that the unit leader issues: the warning order and the operation order. The warning order is issued as soon as a tentative plan is made so that the men may have maximum time to prepare for the patrol.

D-8. Time schedule.

When the warning order is issued, a time schedule is given for all activities that must take place.

D-9. Operation order.

The second order that the unit leader gives is the operation order. This is issued in a standard (five-paragraph) field order format. The situation determines whether the order is written in detail or prepared in note form. The operation order, as well as the warning order, maybe shortened by reference to unit SOPs. In addition, items unchanged from the warning order are covered by stating "same as warning order."

Section III. Reconnaissance Patrols

D-10. Information requirements.

a. Reconnaissance patrols provide the commander with timely, accurate information of guerrillas and the terrain they control. This information is vital in making tactical decisions.

b. The commander may require information of a specific location or small specific area, usually a known or suspected position or activity. An area reconnaissance patrol secures this information by reconnoitering the location or by maintaining surveillance over the location.

c. The commander may require information of an extended area, or may desire information of several locations within an area. A zone reconnaissance patrol secures this information by reconnoitering the area, by maintaining surveillance over the area, or by making the coordinated area reconnaissance of designated locations within the area.

D-11. Security.

a. In addition to reaching the objective without discovery, if possible, a reconnaissance patrol also tries to conduct its reconnaissance or surveillance without being discovered. Stealth, patience, and maximum use of concealment are mandatory.

b. A reconnaissance patrol fights only to protect itself or, when authorized, to accomplish its mission. The commander dispatching the patrol is responsible for informing tha patrol whether it is to fight, if necessary, to accomplish the mission.

c. Day and night reconnaissance patrols use essentially the same techniques. The principal differences are:

(1) Day reconnaissance requires greater use of concealment. The patrol is more likely to be seen than at night and usually will not be able to move as close to the objective.

(2) Night reconnaissance requires stealth. Sounds carry farther at night, and reduced visibility usually requires a closer approach to the objective.

d. When two or more teams of a patrol are to assembly at a linkup point, one team is designated to secure the linkup point for the arrival of other teams. The route and tasks of this team are arranged so that it can reach the linkup point first and accomplish these tasks.

Section IV. Combat Patrols

D-12. Seek and attack.

a. A combat patrol has the general mission of seeking out and attacking targets of opportunity. An ambush is a combat patrol (Appendix C).

b. In conventional operations, the enemy's general location is usually defined. Specific targets for patrols are not difficult to locate and designate. Missions for patrols can be, and usually are, specific and limited.

c. This situation seldom exists in counterguerrilla operations, however. Specific targets for raids and for other forms of attack are much more limited, because of the characteristics of guerrillas. They are elusive and highly mobile; they avoid decisive engagement; they avoid prepared positions and establish relatively few fixed installations.

d. A combat patrol searches for and, within its capability, engages targets when and where found. Engagement is by raid, ambush, or any form of attack suitable to the situation.

D-13. Flexibility.

a. The combat patrol is one of the commander's most flexible weapons. Uses vary from a two-man patrol executing a harassing ambush of opportunity to a reinforced platoon conducting raids, ambushes, and target-of-opportunity operations. In some instances, a patrol encountering a superior force may maintain contact with the force until reinforcements permit decisive engagement. Effectiveness of the patrol depends, not on size, but on the suitability to a given situation.

b. The use of combat patrols forces guerrillas to engage in decisive combat at unfavorable times and places. They can be used to locate and destroy enemy camps, elements, and supply points. Saturation of an area with patrols forces the guerrillas to either curtail operations or consolidate in larger groups, which are favorable targets for air, artillery, and large-scale attack.

c. Patrols may be inserted by parachute, helicopter, surface or subsurface watercraft, or ground methods. The conduct of the patrol itself remains unchanged, even though the method of insertion changes.

Section V. Motorized Patrols

D-14. Missions, organization.

a. Patrols may be motorized (usually as an economy-of-force measure) to allow them to:

(1) Cover greater distances in less time than dismounted patrols.

(2) Operate in contaminated areas too dangerous for dismounted patrols.

(3) Carry more or heavier equipment, weapons, and ammunition.

b. A motorized patrol is organized into elements and teams in the same manner as a dismounted patrol. Substitution of tracked carriers for wheeled vehicles provides an increased potential for battlefield mobility (Figure D-1).

c. When soldiers are assigned to vehicles, squad or fire team integrity is maintained as far as possible. One soldier is designated commander of each vehicle.

d. A motorized patrol is prepared in the same general manner as a dismounted patrol. In addition, however, vehicles must be checked to ensure that they are in good mechanical condition and properly supplied with fuel, oil, and water. Drivers and other personnel are as thoroughly prepared for the mission as regular patrol members.

e. Motorizing enables a patrol to carry heavy and bulky equipment such as:

(1) Antitank weapons and ammunition are placed near the front and rear of the patrol. Personnel are designated to man and support these weapons when they are employed.

(2) Surveillance equipment.

(3) Additional automatic weapons and ammunition.

f. Communication between vehicles and between the patrol and higher headquarters is essential. Within the patrol, radios, voice commands, and visual signals may be used. Vehicular-mounted radios are usually the best means for communication with higher headquarters. Light aircraft may be used to drop messages and to relay radio messages.

D-15. Movement.

A motorized patrol moves by one of three methods: continuous movement, successive bounds, and alternate bounds:

a. In continuous movement, all vehicles travel at a moderate rate of speed, with all personnel alert. The lead vehicles stops to investigate only those areas that appear dangerous. This is the fastest, but least secure, method of movement.

b. In successive bounds, vehicles keep their relative positions in the column. The first and second vehicles operate as a team in moving from one observation point to another. The second vehicle is placed in a concealed position, occupants dismounting if necessary, to cover movement of the first vehicle to an observation point. On reaching this point, occupants of the first vehicle observe and reconnoiter, dismounting if necessary. When the area is determined to be clear, the second vehicle is signaled forward to join the first vehicle. The commander of the first vehicle carefully observes the terrain to the front for signs of guerrillas and selects the next stopping point. The first vehicle then moves out and the process is repeated. Movement distance of the lead vehicle does not exceed the limit of observation or the range of effective fire support from the second vehicle. The lead vehicle and personnel are replaced frequently to ensure constant alertness. The other vehicles in the column move by bounds from one concealed position to the next. Each vehicle maintains visual contact with the vehicle ahead but avoids closing up (Figure D-2).

c. In alternate bounds, all except the first two vehicles keep their relative places in the column. The first two vehicles alternate as lead vehicles on each bound. Each covers the bound of the other. This method provides more rapid advance than movement by successive bounds but is less secure; it does not allow soldiers in the second vehicle enough time to thoroughly observe the terrain to the front before passing the first vehicle. Security is obtained by the vehicle commander who assigns each soldier a direction of observation: to the front, flank(s), or rear. This provides each vehicle with some security against surprise fire from every direction and provides visual contact with vehicles to the front and rear. For maximum observation, all canvas is removed from the vehicles.

D-16. Actions at danger areas.

a. The commander of the leading vehicle immediately notifies the unit leader when he encounters an obstacle or other danger area. Designated soldiers reconnoiter these places under cover of the weapons in the vehicle. Obstacles are bypassed, if possible. When they cannot be bypassed, they are cautiously removed.

b. Side roads intersecting the route of advance are investigated. Soldiers from one vehicle secure the road junction; one or two vehicles investigate the side road. The amount of reconnaissance of side roads is determined by the patrol leader's knowledge of the situation. Men investigating side roads do not, however, move past supporting distance of the main body of the patrol.

c. Bridges, road junctions, defiles, and curves (that deny observation beyond the turn) are danger areas. Soldiers dismount and take advantage of available cover and concealment to investigate these areas. The vehicle is moved off the road into a covered or concealed position; weapons from the vehicle cover the advance of the investigating personnel (Figure D-3).

d. When approaching a village, two or three soldiers may go forward on foot to reconnoiter. Other soldiers cover their movement from covered or concealed positions.

e. Actions on contacting guerrillas depend on whether the mission permits or prohibits engaging in combat. For example, if the mission permits or requires the exploitation of opportunities for combat and the lead vehicle detects, or is attacked by, an ambush, then soldiers in the lead vehicle move to positions from which the guerrillas can be brought under fire. The soldiers dismount and maneuver to destroy the ambush. Higher headquarters is notified of the situation.

f. In any situation where the soldiers dismount, drivers remain with and protect their vehicles. The vehicles are moved off the road, after ensuring that the shoulders of the road are not mined. If possible, they are positioned so that the drivers can support the attack. At least one automatic weapon remains with the vehicles.

g. Higher headquarters is notified when the action is completed and the unit continues the mission.

Section VI. Dismounted Movement

D-17. Techniques.

There are many movement techniques that can be utilized. This section describes basic and linear movements, and combat, zone, and area reconnaissance.

D-18. Basic movements.

a. In all cases, the unit moves from a start point (SP) to an objective rally point (ORP) and then on to its objective (OBJ) area (Figure D-4).

b. The unit may then return to the ORP upon mission accomplishment, or it may proceed through the objective area and onto a linkup point (LUP) (Figure D-5). From there the unit continues with a follow-on mission, or returns to base.

D-19. Linear movement.

a. Stream and trail. This technique of movement calls for the unit to use a trail or stream as a navigation guide. The unit may not be traveling on the trail or stream, but only in the vicinity of it for security (1).

b. Contour. The unit selects a contour interval and follows that elevation (2).

c. Cross-compartment. The unit travels in a generally straight. path regardless of terrain features (3). Reference Figure D-6.

D-20. Combat and zone reconnaissance patrols.

These techniques are general and illustrate how units operate on sections of terrain in guerrilla territory (Figures D-7).

D-21. Area reconnaissance patrol.

a. This type of patrol differs from the others in that it has a specific location to be observed for intelligence. There are several methods that may be utilized by an area reconnaissance patrol to conduct its mission. Four of the most common are illustrated (Figure D-8).

b. The movement techniques described in this section are basic methods. Many other techniques may be developed depending upon the terrain, the mission, and the unit leader's initiative. The leader always ensures, however, that no outline or pattern is established that would allow a guerrilla force to ambush his unit.

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