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Chapter 1:  Long-Range Surveillance Trends and Observations at JRTC

The long-range surveillance (LRS) community is small in number but large in experience. Our specialty bridges the gap between special operations and more conventional infantry operations. We trace our heritage back to long-range scouts in armies long past. More recent historical precedents go back to the long-range reconnaissance patrols, Rangers, and Special Forces reconnaissance teams of the Vietnam era. Our central doctrine and training center lies with the Ranger Training Brigade. There are LRS detachments and companies with a number of divisions and corps in today's Army. The LRS element at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) has only one officer and three non-commissioned officers, but these four soldiers have more than 20 years of combined experience in LRS operations in all duty positions.

The LRS team at the JRTC fills a variety of roles. They act as Observer/Controllers (O/Cs) for LRS units going through rotations. In that capacity, they coach and mentor LRS soldiers in reaching difficult operational goals. It is a "teach-by-doing" process, exposing soldiers to new tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) and then walking them through the after-action review (AAR) process. The JRTC LRS team is also involved in doctrine, testing TTPs, and developing doctrinal answers to an always-changing LRS environment. LRS team members suggest and test emerging technical means to improve LRS capabilities.

The JRTC LRS team also exports its doctrinal expertise to the larger LRS community. LRS team members have fielded mobile training teams as far abroad as Europe. These teams advise and train distant LRS units and help establish new detachments.

Overall, the LRS team at the JRTC seeks to actively contribute to the knowledge and success of the LRS community. With that goal in mind, the LRS team has put together the following handbook as a reference and a start point for LRS units coming to the JRTC for a rotation or LRS units seeking to improve their home station training programs.


LRS is absolutely indispensable to this division. What you do is absolutely critical to our success! Many decisions I make are hinged directly on what LRS see and reports.

Major General Robert T. Clark
Commanding General, 101st Air Assault Division

Reconnaissance units are combat multipliers when used appropriately with trained elements. To neglect the opportunity to employ reconnaissance assets when METT-T allows their use is a command failure. Nothing can replace eyes on a target and up-to-date intelligence that is critical to mission success.

If reconnaissance personnel and elements are not selected, trained, and resourced properly, their use is a waste of time and lives . . .

Major General David L. Grange
Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division

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Chapter 1:  Long-Range Surveillance Trends and Observations at JRTC

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