Patrol navigation

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    • #63061
      Max
      Keymaster

        To preface my question 1 i have done a fair amount of solo land nav and 2 im using a small 4 man team as my unit so less manpower. My question is how does the compass man when dead reckoning balance his navigation duties to scan his sectors and patrol mates? I dont keep my face glued to my compass when using DR i pick a point ahead on my azimuth and go to it lather rinse repeat. Maybe im overthinking this.

      • #63062
        DiznNC
        Participant

          No it’s a lot like talking on the phone, bouncing a tennis ball off the wall, and watching TV. You’re trying to do several things at once. It takes practice.

          What I have found helps is for the point and compassman to work off wrist compasses, turned so you can read it when patrolling with rifle. Yeah the rifle can swing it, so you can check it with a buddy.

          I try to keep pulling out the main compass to rest or security halts. I don’t like to fiddle-fuck with it on the move.

          With a 4-man team, the point man will have a wrist compass, and the team leader/compass man will also get the honor.

          I try and split it up with the point man, so neither of us is nav-ing all the time. I want him to have a good idea of the general direction were heading, but I also want him paying attention for target indicators.

          The “radio man” and the ATL can both do pace count, to back each other up. That way the whole team splits up nav duties. Pace count is just as important as azimuth when doing DR in the woods.

          It’s all about scan. Foot placement, scan your sector, tie in with your buddies. Repeat. When you scan your sector, you are also looking for your steering marks, or just checking azimuth/direction of march.

          Keep your legs as short as is practical. Tie in security halts, rally points with the land nav check points. Don’t rush it, especially at night. Take your time to nav accurately. It’s actually faster than rushing around and doing it twice.

          Checking a “less accurate” wrist compass more frequently, is better than not checking an “accurate” compass often enough.

          Use linear control features whenever possible, especially at night. Use off-sets to make sure you know where you came out at.

          Know the moon rise and set times. Know what stars are visible as pointers to the north star at the time of your patrol. Pray for clear skies.

          Practice, practice, practice.

        • #63063
          hellokitty
          Participant

            Hey Diz
            Which wrist compass you use?
            Thanks

            HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
            HEAT 2 (CP) X1
            FOF X3
            OPFOR X2
            CLC X2
            RIFLEMAN

          • #63064
            Joe (G.W.N.S.)
            Moderator

              I have been using a Suunto M9 for many years.

            • #63065
              hellokitty
              Participant

                Thx GWNS
                Another question. I have a compass attachment for my PVS-14. I picked it up decades ago but have never used. Any knowledge or experience with it. BTW it came with a PVS 7 but will fit a 14.

                Thanks again

                HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
                HEAT 2 (CP) X1
                FOF X3
                OPFOR X2
                CLC X2
                RIFLEMAN

              • #63066
                Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                Moderator

                  Any knowledge or experience with it.

                  I know of it, but have yet to use one and have wondered the same. It would seem a good idea for night DR.

                  Robert’s JRH carries them so maybe he will comment.

                • #63067
                  Robert
                  Participant

                    The NV compass is a very overrated accessory IMO. Some people love them, some don’t, I’m with the latter.

                    I think it’s because people expect them to be something really cool, like the PVS14 itself. All the NV compass does is allows you to see a numeric azimuth while you are mashing a kind of hard to manipulate button. It doesn’t spin around when you do, etc. Nothing really cool or sexy about them. I’ve had older guys say they have to take the 14 out of focus to read the azimuth number. I try to talk anyone out of them that asks about them on the phone. I would definitely have a normal tritium or phosphorus compass on your gear and not rely on the NV compass.

                  • #63068
                    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                    Moderator

                      Thanks for the input Robert. :good:

                      I should have considered the generation it came from, had visions of a more HUD type format.

                      Of course that’s why we ask questions here. :yes:

                      Since hellokitty already has one he should probably give it a try, if it isn’t a difficult attachment. If he doesn’t like it maybe a trade or selling it maybe in order.

                    • #63069
                      hellokitty
                      Participant

                        Robert is right. It only gives you a heading. I was thinking of using it like the wrist compass. General heading at night for pointman, as example. Especially since the M9 doesn’t have tritium.

                        Btw, it requires a battery to illuminate the heading. And it’s an odd batt. Also it can be seen by other night vision. So take that into consideration. Nothing perfect about it.

                        HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
                        HEAT 2 (CP) X1
                        FOF X3
                        OPFOR X2
                        CLC X2
                        RIFLEMAN

                      • #63070
                        Max
                        Keymaster

                          DiznNC thanks so much. That is a damn good place for me to start practicing. I appreciate the thorough explanation.

                        • #63071
                          DiznNC
                          Participant

                            I’m using a Suunto.

                            Yeah the NV compass wuz a disappointment for me as well. I thought it would be this super sexy heads-up display in my optic as I patrolled. Not so much.

                            One other thing I wanted to add. As I wuz Tabbing today I thought about night land nav some more. At night it’s almost easier to nav, because you can concentrate visually on the compass for DR, and use your hearing as your main sense for detecting other creatures. Oftentimes it’s so dark anyway that scanning your sector doesn’t yield much in the way of results, so as long as you are listening intently, you can follow your azimuth, FEEL your footing for a step, and tie in with your buddies (ranger eyes).

                            Also, use the security halts as times to really listen in on the surrounding area. Besides the airliners flying over, and the odd train whistle, what can you hear? Again, if you are doing frequent security halts, to hear the other guys first, then you might be able to concentrate on land nav a bit more on the move.

                            This is also where the main compass comes out. After listening, I check azimuth and confer with point man. We agree on an azimuth. Then I talk with RM or ATL to discuss pace count. Do the math. Figure where I’m at, roughly. If stars are out, I’ll take a look-see for pointers to north star. Any towers around with blinking lights? Any airfields with blinking green/white lights? Water towers? The lights on all these things can be very useful at night. BTW civvy airport: green/white; Mil airfield: green/white/white.

                            For map checks I have a low viz green LED finger light (I think it came from Army Aviation) that uses a 357 batt. The green light matches my NV so it works really well. I usually prone out behind the point so I don’t throw any light, especially forward. I think you can find them on ebay.

                          • #63072
                            Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                            Moderator

                              Especially since the M9 doesn’t have tritium.

                              There are plenty of differing opinions, but I am not a big fan of tritium in what we are talking about.

                              I prefer to have more control over my light emissions.

                              The Suunto M9’s chargeable luminescence via a light source can be far more subtle with some experimentation IMHO.

                              As has been discussed with proper training and practice you can embrace the night. Use of NODS beyond the obvious to utilize the shadows present and basic movement principles can have outstanding results.

                              Don’t forget practicing without NODS for well rounded results.

                              I many ways experience with NODS/thermal greatest benefit is not there use to see, but this experience teaches how not to be seen by those with this ability.

                              Slight thread drift, but is worth pointing out.

                            • #63073
                              First Sergeant
                              Moderator

                                I absolutely hate the NOD’s mounted compass. It’s a pain in the ass.

                                I also use the Suunto wrist compass. Have used one for years.

                                FILO
                                Signal Out, Can You Identify
                                Je ne regrette rien
                                In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

                              • #63074
                                hellokitty
                                Participant

                                  Good stuff
                                  Thank you SMEs for sharing.

                                  HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
                                  HEAT 2 (CP) X1
                                  FOF X3
                                  OPFOR X2
                                  CLC X2
                                  RIFLEMAN

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