Planning Exercise #2: Observation Post / Reconnaissance Patrol

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    • #109619

        Observation Post/Recce Patrol: Objective Titan

        The purpose of this planning exercise is for you to conduct patrol planning for an Observation Post (OP)/recce patrol against an enemy location. You can either complete this exercise privately or post your solution on the forum. The information contained below should consist of enough of an ‘aide memoire’ for you to complete this exercise.

        If you are going to conduct surveillance/reconnaissance you have to develop your skills and train for it. It is a detailed process of planning and preparation in order to allow you to gather the required information without compromise.


        The following scenario takes place after a societal collapse, due to a cyber attack on the power grid, and during the ensuing civil war:


        Following the failed assault on Washington D.C. by Southern Federation Forces, the Shenandoah Freefor Resistance Company has evacuated the city, splitting down into squad sized elements, escaping and evading west into the mountains of Appalachia. You and other elements from your Resistance Company,  have found yourself in the Romney area, Hampshire County, WV.

        You the squad leader of an 8 man squad of Freefor Rangers, detached from the Shenandoah Freefor Resistance Company following your exfil from D.C. You escaped from D.C. with another squad sized element of 12 fighters. On reaching Romney both squads were taken in by members of the local Resistance movement, allowed to rest and recuperate in separate safe houses.  The commander of the Romney Citizens Defense Force had asked if you will volunteer to conduct operations against an enemy group in the hills to the west of the town. Agreeing to this, your squad  have established a small squad patrol base in the hills at location  39°19’24.07″N  78°50’55.09″W. You intent is to conduct further operations from the patrol base in order to find, fix and strike enemy forces in the area of operations. The other squad, whose squad leader has seniority to you, is operating independently in a separate area of operations to your south,  with the same intent.

        Local intelligence from the Romney Region Freefor intelligence network has indicated that enemy elements have been infiltrating the surrounding area. The enemy consists of small groups up to squad size (~8 -12), sometimes platoon size (~20),who are conducting terror and reprisal operations against small rural communities and isolated farmsteads. It is believed that these group are made up primarily of members of the criminal gang NT14, which pre-collapse was endemic in the Northern Virginia area. The NT14 is a violent organized crime gang, whose members often have prior military experience and/or a violent gang background. Intel indicates that these gangs are sponsored by the Regime as irregular forces, conducting terror and cleansing operations. Their incursions into rural areas are conducted as softening operations, followed by occupation by ‘blue shirt’ Regime internal security forces, known as Homeland Intervention Tactical Teams (HITT). There is believed to be at least one enemy group, of approximately 14 – 18 members, operating inn the Romney area.

        The Romney area suffered an approximately 50% die off rate after the collapse. In general terms the area was a mix of hard working manual laborers and farmers, and the rest being lazy welfare recipients. Employment was low in Hampshire County and pre-collapse much business was conducted by barter and exchange or services. The effect of the collapse was to cause the welfare recipients to become desperate, and attempt to prey on others. This resulted in large part in the die off of the welfare recipients. The remaining folks in the county are hard working people in touch with the land, many isolated in their farms and homes in the woods and hills around Romney. Romney itself has become a Resistance hub for the local Citizens Defense Force, and also hosts farmers markets and social meets. This situation has been disturbed by the recent infiltration of NT14 elements, bringing extreme violence and homestead raids and burning with them. The NT14 group is not currently strong enough to make inroads into the town itself, instead preying on isolated homesteads in the surrounding countryside in an attempt to destabilize the area.

        This morning, you collected this WARNO from a dead drop in proximity to your patrol base, left there by an agent of the local Resistance network. The WARNO is written by the leader of Charlie Squad, who is your commander. You will take a fire team of 4 men with you on this mission, leaving the rest of the squad to secure the Patrol Base.

        You are an 8 man squad equipped with AR15 rifles, battle belts and ballistic plate carriers. You have rucks/patrol packs and sufficient combat supplies for your patrol base operations. You are all equipped with PVS14 night vision goggles, helmet mounted, and DBAL IR aiming lasers on your rifles. . You have sniper spotting scope with tripod, equipped with a thermal device, allowing observation effectively out to 2000 meters day and night.

        Objective Overview


        Objective location: Objective Titan: Location   39°19’46.77″N   78°49’13.86″W (Google Earth).

        Area of Operations: ‘Ops Box Tiger’: approx. 5 miles to the west of Romney, West Virginia.

        Weather: Hot/humid: it is June. Chance of thunderstorms and heavy rain.

        Area Of Operations


        1. General:

        Following a raid on a local homestead by the NT14 group, they killed the men and elderly relatives from the extended family that was in residence, burning the home. The group is believed to have taken three women hostage, a mother and her two teenage daughters , and moved them to where the force has established  an operating base, located in the farm complex at Objective Titan. It is expected that the women will be brutalized and then sold into slavery, if they are attractive enough. Otherwise, they will be killed. There are likely to be other captives at Objective Titan from previous raids. We have 5 days, based on the normal enemy schedule, before the collection convoy normally arrives to take captives away.

        2. Enemy Forces:

        Objective Titan is assessed to be the forward operating base for a group of NT14. There is believed to be at least one enemy group, of approximately 14 – 18 members, operating within AO Tiger. Objective Titan, with its several farm outbuildings, is assessed to be their base location, where they keep captives before moving them off into the slave pipeline.

        Enemy forces have been equipped by the government of the Former United States (FUSA) with equipment formerly allocated to the U.S. Military. They have received paramilitary training from the HITT teams. They wear green BDU uniforms, plate carriers with ballistic plates and load bearing pouches, and are equipped with M4 rifles, 203 grenade launchers,  Squad Automatic Weapons (SAW), and night vision and handheld thermal capability down to individual and squad level, respectively. They use surplus military Humvee vehicles, unarmored, for movement, as well as stolen pick-up trucks and SUVs.

        They have high morale and effective, if brutal, leadership. However, they have shown poor discipline at times, engaging in drunken rape parties in their base locations. They are often lax at light discipline at night, using white light and fires in their base locations. They can be expected to respond rapidly and aggressively  to any contact with Resistance fighters.

        3. Friendly Forces:

        Alpha Squad (you) will conduct the OP/recce mission and continue to secure the patrol base.

        Charlie Squad will move to link up at your patrol base, in order to plan and execute a follow on raid on Objective Titan, based on the information you gather from the patrol, involving the combined 2 squad Resistance group (Alpha & Charlie). The intent of the raid will be to rescue the hostages.

        The Romney Citizens Defense Force is not sufficiently trained to conduct tactical operations. They are mainly employed in a defensive role, manning checkpoints in and around Romney itself. They are mainly locals with a hunting background, led by military veterans. They will not be in direct support for this mission.

        The local Resistance network are supporting with intelligence and coordination. They will coordinate the move of  Charlie Squad to the patrol base location and coordinate resupply via the local auxiliary.

        4. Civilians:

        The local population is considered broadly friendly although they may avoid contact and consider you a threat if you get onto their property.


        5. Recce: conduct a short term observation post (OP) patrol on Objective Titan in order to gather information for a follow on hostage rescue raid.


        6. This will be a short term, recce/OP patrol. You will go out this afternoon, establish an OP overwatching Objective Titan, and return the following night.

        7. CCIRs (Commanders Critical Information Requirements):

        a) Pattern of life: routines and patterns.

        b) Enemy strength and organization.

        c) Patrol activity/patterns & other defensive activity.

        d) Locations and layout of the objective.

        e) Location(s) and routine of the hostages. Guards and guard rotations.

        f)  Equipment and weapons on the objective – type and location.

        g) Any Resupply/convoy activity.

        h) Obstacles, fields of fire and avenues of approach.

        8. Timings: (it is currently 0900 hrs Day 1, on receipt of the WARNO))

        Day 1 (today): Eyes on target by 2359 hrs.

        Day 2: Eyes on target until 2359 hrs (total 24 hours).

        Day 3: Exfil not before 0100hrs. Return to patrol base.

        Day 3: Planning for the hostage rescue raid, based on information gathered.

        9. There is no QRF for this mission. Actions on enemy contact should include breaking contact and returning to the patrol base. We will link up there and coordinate any casualty evacuation with the network.


        You have the following equipment/supplies available (assume you have all the normal gear for a tactical patrol/class):

        • AR15 rifles and ammunition. ACOG x 4 optics.
        • MRE rations as required.
        • High powered sniper spotting scope, plus tripod,  with thermal (FLIR) attachment (exact make and specs not important – it will do the job out to 2000 meters).
        • PVS14/IR weapon mounted laser per man.
        • Canteens & water purification tablets/filters.
        • Chicken wire – as required
        • Burlap & Camo netting – as required
        • Entrenching tools x 1 per man
        • Thermal shield tarps x 1 per man.
        • Sandbags – as required
        • IFAK per man.
        • White Phosphorous smoke grenades x 4
        • Signal smoke x 4. 2 x white, 2 x red.
        • Pen flare packs x 2. 1 x red, 1 x green.
        • Collapsible litter.


        You are the squad leader, and the leader of this recce team.

        You have no radios.

        Coordination will be conducted by dead drop and rally points. The patrol base is the overall rally point for this operation.

        Control Measures:

        1) Rules of engagement:

        • Uniformed enemy forces/NT14 groups: weapons free. However: the mission is the priority, over and above opportunistic engagements.
        • Hostile use of force by other actors: act proportionately in self defense, extract.

        2) Priorities:

        • First: Remain undetected/do not become compromised
        • Second: Gather the information required by the CCIR’s.

        3) Close Target Recce (CTR): not authorized. Gather the information from as safe a distance as you can.

        4) PW (Prisoners of War): not authorized.

        5) Civilian contact: not authorized.



        For this exercise, you will need to do the following, the processes and considerations for which are laid out in detail below:

        • Detailed map study. Terrain, routes, rally points, inter-visibility, vegetation (season). You task is simplified by using Google Earth, with map/ground view and satellite imagery.
        • Consider, based on your map study and planning as per the notes below:
          • Patrol routes, out and back, from the Patrol Base to the Objective.
          • Locations of Rally Points and the Objective Rally Point (ORP).
          • Actions On (see bel0w)
          • OP Location and alternate
          • Actions On (see bel0w)
          • Equipment
          • Planning/Procedures


        Consider the following as par of your planning, if the information is available to you. These are considerations for you to think about as you plan this:

        Enemy: (some of the information is your mission to gather)

        • Intent
        • Strength
        • Weapons/equipment
        • Dispositions
        • Routine
        • Morale

        Friendly Forces:

        • Your commanders intent
        • Mission and concept of operations
        • Dispositions of friendly troops
        • locations of boundaries/flanking units – in this case you have free rein to set up the OP at any point of the compass from Objective Wasp.
        • Defensive fire/air support

        Planning Aids:

        • Ground/air recce
        • Air photographs
        • Patrol reports
        • Intel summaries
        • Map estimates/recce
        • Weather forecast

        Battle procedure:

        • Receive warning order
        • Time analysis
        • Mission Analysis
        • Issue Warning Order
        • Combat Estimate
        • Orders
        • Rehearsals
        • Inspections
        • Deployment

        Preliminary Moves:

        • Method of movement
        • Load Plan
        • Order of March
        • Location of/route to/security at PUP/DOP


        • Different out/in
        • Cover from view, fire, air
        • Deconflict with other patrols
        • Locations of/actions in Rally Points, Emergency Rally Points, Objective Rally Point.
        • Navigation methods
        • Check navigators/pacers

        Execution (group tasks):

        • Composition
        • Command
        • Tasks
        • Routes
        • Order of march/formations
        • Signals
        • Sectors
        • Timings

        Actions On:

        • Halts
        • Lights
        • Casualties
        • Enemy
          • Pre-seen
          • Contact (chance encounter)/ambush
          • Compromise in OP
        • Obstacles/linear danger areas
        • Lost/separation procedure
        • Separation procedure
        • Lost communications
        • Prisoners of war (PW)
        • Civilians/refugees


        Combat Service Support:

        • SOP Variations: Dress, weapons/equipment, signals, vehicle loading
        • Combat Supplies: ammo, rations, water, batteries, IPE, replen plan
        • Transport: method, recovery, POL
        • Medical: location of CAP, casevac procedure, litters, medical gear, pain meds
        • Other: holding and evacuation of PW (prisoners of war).

        OP Patrol:

        Site Selection:

        • Observation of target
        • Fields of view/fire
        • Cover/concealment, ground/ air/ thermal masking
        • Coverage of sectors
        • Covered approach/exit
        • Concealment/cover of OP
        • Comms
        • Location of rear protection/admin area if applicable
        • Alternate positions

        You may choose to run a split OP with an OP and rest/rear protection location, a short distance apart. Or you may decide to have all 4 people in one location, rotating through the duties.


        • Sentries posted front and rear
        • Comms check, if applicable
        • Digging/construction
        • Report OP operational (if applicable)

        When constructing the OP, you have some stores available in  your equipment list. It is best to dig the OP in, covertly dispersing the dirt (sandbags available) and covering it with concealment. That is what the chicken-wire/burlap/camouflage netting is for, plus locally obtained branches etc. The chicken-wire can be molded to shape above the OP dug in position. If you garnish the top cover with vegetation, you w ill need to change it out every night to prevent the obvious sign of dead vegetation. Make sure leafy branches are laid the right way up.  You are best to dig the OP in at night so you can do it without being seen. You need to consider noise (range) and enemy night vision/FLIR capability. You need to carefully site the OP so it has cover/concealment. You can rig up the thermal shield tarps/cam netting in trees/bushes as a a screen at night to provide concealment to work behind. Consider the background/silhouette of the OP and make sure there is no light behind the observers position in the interior to frame the faces. Rear of the OP must be closed by the overhead concealment/top cover to keep the interior of the OP in darkness.


        • Observation
        • Logging and reporting
        • Changeover procedure

        Depending if you have a split location or a single location, you may consider:

        Single: 1 man on observation. 1 man logging. 1 man resting. 1 man rear security. Rotate every hour.

        Split (4 man team): OP: 1 man observation. 1 man logging. Rear Area: 1 man rear protection. 1 man resting. This will require more movement between the two positions or the OP party will be up forever!

        or OP: 1 man observation. 1 man resting. Rear area: 1 man rear protection. 1 man resting. Change over as agreed, maybe every 12 hours.

        (The split location is done best as a squad, with 8 men, two 4 man teams, who can rotate out of the OP position).


        • Hygiene
        • Food and water
        • Clothing
        • Kit & equipment (including spares/batteries)


        • Priority of work for collapse of OP
        • Routes
        • Covert or in contact
        • Emergency Rally Points: primary and alternate
        • Emergency communications plan/QRF


        Note: this is the format for patrol orders, conveying your solution to this exercise. If you send in a solution, it is best in this, or similar, format. Use the parts that relevant to this mission:

        You will need to plan in order to be able to give orders that cover the following:

        1) Preliminaries: Seating, security of the orders group, task organization, map coordinates, describe the model/ground, weather, moon state, first light/last light.

        2) SITUATION: Enemy Forces/Friendly Forces/Civilians

        3) MISSION

        4) EXECUTION:

        a) Concept of operations:

        • Patrol Commanders Intent (what do we want to achieve?)
        • Scheme of Maneuver (How, outline of the patrol in phases etc).
        • Main Effort

        b) Preliminary Moves:

        • method of movement
        • load plan
        • order of march
        • route to DOP (Drop Off Point)
        • location of DOP
        • action at DOP
        • actions on

        c) Route Out:

        • Navigation legs
        • formations
        • rally points: locations/descriptions/actions in

        d) Occupation of the ORP (Objective Rally Point): This is a  rally point in the vicinity of the objective/where you plan to conduct your OP from:

        • ORP Recce Group: method of recce, signal to move off, time on recce, return to remainder.
        • Remainder: return of ORP recce group, cut off time.

        e) Initial Action on the Objective (OP site):

        • Cover group: signal for fire support
        • Recce group: method of recce, time on task
        • ORP protection party (if applicable): cut off time

        f) Occupation of the OP:

        • OP Group: initial task: observation, radio, sentries, construction, state of equipment, report OP ready.
        • Base group (if applicable): as per OP group.

        g) Routine in the OP:

        • OP Group: observation, logging and reporting, changeover procedure, sentries, food and water, defecation, clothing, kit/equipment.
        • Base Group: Changeover procedure, sentries, food/water. defecation, clothing, kit/equipment.

        h) Withdrawal:

        • By groups
        • Signal to withdraw
        • Order of march and sequence
        • Action in ORP
        • Passage of information
        • Head check

        i) Route Back: to PUP. see route out

        j) Extraction:

        • Method of movement
        • Load plan
        • Order of march
        • Meet up procedures with support team
        • Route to base
        • Action at base (debrief/admin etc).

        5) Coordinating Instructions:

        k) Timings: meals, rest, rehearsals, weapons test, inspection, time out/in, debrief.

        l) Actions On:

        • Halts
        • Lights
        • Casualties
        • Enemy
          • Pre-seen
          • Contact (chance encounter)/ambush
          • Compromise/contact in OP
        • Obstacles/linear danger areas
        • Lost/separation procedure
        • Separation procedure
        • Lost communications
        • Prisoners of war
        • Civilians/refugees

        m) Fire Plan: Not applicable here, but you could replace with coordination with the support/QRF team.

        n) Rehearsals: 

        • Location
        • Dress
        • Equipment
        • Drill/actions on

        o) Deception Plans:

        • Preparatory movement
        • On objective
        • On withdrawal – in and out of contact


        • Sell the Plan/lead!
        • “Notebooks down, look in.”
        • Describe the plan and put it all together on the model/sand-table.


        • SOP Variations
        • Combat Supplies
        • OP Supplies
        • Surveillance Equipment
        • Batteries
        • Medical
        • NBC
        • Transport

        8) COMMAND & SIGNAL :

        • Command succession
        • radio procedures
        • codes
        • passwords
        • signals
        • procedures to coordinate with the support team:
          • Radio procedures and codes
          • Visual recognition
          • passwords
          • signals/signs at rally points /PUP: clear/compromise



        • Time/location
        • Noisy/silent


      • #109620

          Observation Post/Recce Patrol: Objective Titan
           Objective is to recon the farm stead to gather information for a plan raid to take out opposing forces and to recuse captives.
           As the team leader of a group eight men I would ensure that all the necessary gear is on hand to ensure the mission can be completed.
           Current weather is overcast and with rain in the forecast for the next 36 to 48 hours.
           The plan is to follow the terrain following the draws and ridges to get to edge near Parker Rd and the creek bed ( see map)
           At this time have Team B of four men cross the creek bed and Parker Rd and head toward the front of the farm stead following the draw to find a place to set up a hide where the front of the house and out building can viewed. Using the provided material to blend in with terrain.
           I would take my Team A and use the creek bed and follow it down until I am near the back side of the larger barn to see if there is access to it thru the rear of it to gain access to the loft to set a hide to look down into the court yard of the smaller out building and house. If unable to gain access I would set up a hide near creek bed using the trees as a base to place a hide ( see map)
           Once in place I would arrange both teams to operate in two hour shifts.
           One man observing the farm stead.
           One man on rest.
           One man recording with the observer.
           One man on security.
           Team A found (2100hrs) access to into the large barn and was able to set in the loft of the barn able to see court yard, house, small out buildings and both Parker Rd and Northwestern Pike.
           The rovers (2) are not using any sort of time table for the roving, just when there is a Lau in the rain.
           The guard at the small outbuilding is sitting in the door way while looking out in the court yard and also watching something in the building.
           Six trucks are in parked in and around the house with two of them being Humvees with gun turrets.
           0900hrs guard at small outbuilding is changed out.
           0930hrs three member enter small outbuilding with rope and hoods.
           0940hrs two member leave small building with one female bound and hooded going into the house. Two males are tied to the back side of the house with hoods over their heads.
           0945hrs third member switches place with current guard at small building. Off going guard leaving going to house.
           1138hrs two trucks are loaded with six members with weapons and leave heading N.W on Parker Rd.
           1200hrs both rovers changed out with new rovers. Off going rovers leave and go into the house.
           1325hrs female is dragged out of house and taken to the small out building by two members
           1450hrs two trucks arrival at farm stead with four members different from the six the left at 1138hrs unload six ISO pods into long outbuilding behind small guarded outbuilding
           1618hrs three members exit back of house and go to the two men that are tied to the backside of the house and one is placed in a chair and is bound and beat.
           1730hrs man in chair is shot in the head and left tied to the chair.
           1826hrs two members exit the back of the house and relieve two guards at small out building. The off going guards go inside small outbuilding
           1842hrs scream are heard coming from small outbuilding which last for thirty minutes.
           1934hrs the same two guards that were seen entering the small out building are seen leaving and entering the house.
           2000hrs the two Humvees are loaded up with four members and along with two of the ISO pods seen leaving on Parker Rd and them passing the farm stead on Northwestern Pike.
           2139hrs heavy rain starts the rover patrol (2) move to the long out building and guard at the small out building steps inside out of eye sight.
           0030hrs No other movement are seen on the farm stead and Team A take hide down make way back to rally point ( see map)

           Team B is in place (2200 hrs.) and has started to observing the front of the house and road and has noted that there most of the members are in the house due to the rain. One of the small outbuilding has one member standing watch in the door way and two members are on a roving patrol around the front of the house and out building.
           The rovers (2) are not using any sort of time table for the roving, just when there is a Lau in the rain.
           The guard at the small outbuilding is sitting in the door way while looking out in the court yard and also watching something in the building.
           Six trucks are in parked in and around the house with two of them being Humvees with gun turrets.
           0900hrs guard at small outbuilding is changed out.
           0930hrs three member enter small outbuilding with rope and hoods.
           0940hrs two member leave small building with one female bound and hooded going into the house.
           0945hrs third member switches place with current guard at small building. Off going guard leaving going to house.
           1138hrs two trucks are loaded with six members with weapons and leave heading N.W on Parker Rd.
           1200hrs both rovers changed out with new rovers. Off going rovers leave and go into the house.
           1325hrs female is dragged out of house and taken to the small out building by two members
           1430hrs two trucks are inbound from Parker Rd
           1450hrs two trucks arrival at farm stead with four members different from the six the left at 1138hrs unload six ISO pods into long outbuilding behind small guarded outbuilding.
           1830hrs two members are seem going to small out building and relieving the guards and the two off going guards are seen entering the small out building.
           1934hrs the same two guards that were seen entering the small out building are seen leaving and entering the house.
           2000hrs the two Humvees are loaded up with four members and along with two of the ISO pods seen leaving on Parker Rd and them passing the farm stead on Northwestern Pike.
           2139hrs heavy rain starts the rover patrol (2) move to the long out building and guard at the small out building steps inside out of eye sight
           0030hrs No other movement are seen on the farm stead and Team B take hide down makes way back to rally point ( see map)
           0146hrs Team A & B meet at rally point near Parker Rd and make way back to patrol base use terrain under lite rain fall.
           0726hrs arrival at patrol base all accounted for.
           12 members were recorded at the farm stead with four trucks and two Humvees with gun turrets. One single family house two stories two large barns and four small out building.
           One roving patrol two member no set time schedule, one to two guards at small out build believed to contain three or more captive’s. One male tie to the back side of the house and one dead tied to a chair.
           Only heavy weapons seen were on mounted on two Humvee .50cal rests were standard AR-15, AK-47 and side arms on a least seven of the members.
           Small pile of various sizes of green and white ISO pod container under the long out building.
           Terrain is flat around the farm stead with various trees around the house and lining the drive way. A small creek runs along back side is boarded by a small roll of trees of the farm stead which is accessible by foot traffic and a four foot wire fence runs along court yard facing main road (see map).
          Red is where the hides.
          Blue is the trucks and Humvees.
          Green is storage of ISO Pods.
          Pink is where the captives are being held.
          Yellow is path of travel.
          Black circle is where the team break and meet back up

        • #109621


            The situation is that a group of 14-18 members of the NT14 gang, supporting the Regime, have taken over a farm at [coordinates] in the vicinity west of Romney WV, killing all civilians except women they deem eligible for the slave trade. They are heavily armed with M4s, SAWs, body armor, night vision and M203s. Some have military experience. They have unarmored hummers and pickups. Their morale is high, with competent leadership. Should our patrol be discovered, we can expect them to attack with aggression. We have Charlie squad, in Romney, who we can expect to be in our AO sometime during our mission, heading towards our patrol base. For all intents and purposes, we’re alone right now.

            I will be leading a fireteam of 4 men [names] on a recon patrol of the farm, known as Objective Titan, to gain intelligence needed to conduct a follow-on raid with eyes-on the objective NO LATER THAN 2359 today. The remained of the squad will defend the patrol base in anticipation for linking up with Charlie squad, they will get a 5pt contingency plan separately.

            The intent is to gather the following information on objective Titan and our enemy over a 24hr period:
            -layout of the objective: buildings, obstacles, fortifications
            -number of enemy
            -enemy behavior: patrols, daily routine, command
            -enemy support: resupply, etc
            -enemy arms and equipment
            -hostage location, number and routine

            We must gather this intel without being compromised. We are free to engage NT14 but the mission takes priority. Other hostile force should be defensive in nature. We should avoid contact with civilians if possible. Our SOP if we come under contact will be to break contact and assemble at the last established RP.

            Weather conditions will be high of 55F today and 60F tomorrow. Lows 42F and 36F respectively. We’re going to be static so bring snivel gear, as appropriate. Skies will be overcast with no precipitation forecasted. Winds will be 0mph today and 9mph tomorrow. Sunset tonight is 1927hrs, sunrise tomorrow will be 0714hrs, sunset tomorrow will be 1928hrs. The moon will be at 50% tonight and 41% tomorrow night.

            Big picture of the mission is to travel east from our patrol base at 1930hrs, then south, crossing Rt50 and taking to the long ridge that handrails rt 50. We’ll reach the ORP by 2120hrs from which I’ll execute a leaders recon to establish or hide sight. I have a tentative one chosen but we’ll only go far enough down the ridge to get eyes on objective Titan. The tenative spot, should we not find something suitable further up the slope, is approximately 70m off of Rt50, in the treeline, with what appears to be diggable soil. We’ll be at an approximate distance of 450-600m from the farm house overlooking Rt50. This is as far away from the enemy as we can get but still maintain visibility of obj. Titan. We will then have 2 hours 40 minutes to locate and dig in and cover/conceal our hide sight. We’ll keep eyes on until 2359 tomorrow from which point we’ll break down the hide sight, return to the ORP and head back to the patrol base.

            We will depart the patrol base in fireteam wedge . We’ll maintain this until we reach the treeline heading towards Rt 50. Near the treeline will be rally point 1. From there we take a drainage ditch, probably going single file, across the open field and quickly cross Rt 50 and back into the treeline on the other side of Rt50. This is one of our biggest risks for compromise and we’ll need to be fast, quiet and stealthy. We might need to crawl in our approach to Rt50. Within the treeline will be rally point 2. From there we’ll move out in a fireteam wedge up the slope and then move along the ridge at an approximate elevation of 1500ft for about .75 miles. We will then establish an ORP. For the leaders recon I will take [2 names] with me while the other 2 remain at the ORP. Those at the ORP will be given a 5pt contingency plan. I will set the men in the OP location to maintain surveillance and return to the ORP no later than 2200. Once back, we’ll all move out to OP site and start digging in.

            We’ll be in a hurry, so we’ll have 3 men digging, while 2 pull security and rotate in/out every 30 minutes. It’s going to be vital that we are not seen from Rt50. We’ll use the fill from our hole for sandbags and conceal our position with chicken wire, overlaid with tarps and then leaf litter and branches over top of that. We will pile up debris around our sandbags.

            Once in place we’ll have one man observing, one recording, one on rear security and 2 resting, we’ll rotate every hour. No one leaves the hole until the OP is over unless we’re compromised, we’ll just have to suck it up. Everything we pack, we’ll be packing out, shit included- so make sure you have enough ziploc bags, babywipes and hand sanitizer and piss bottles. It’s going to be cold on the ground, bring cold weather gear. For food we’ll need MREs, 2 per man. Water: 6L per man.

            After 2359 tomorrow, we will dismantle our hide site and conceal it as best as possible then move back to the ORP, perform and final check and then head out along our return route.

            Our return route is the same for the first .75 miles. We are paralleled on both sides by roads, with a few houses, and I would rather avoid road crossings. After that, we continue back past rally point 2 and continue to handrail rt50. We will cross Babbling Brook Ln north of Ba Hollar Farm. Once we are past it, we will set rally point 3, before crossing over rt 50. There is a strip of trees wide enough to conceal us as we move across the fields before reaching the creek. We’ll cross the creek and then head into the hills and back to our patrol base via a draw. We should arrive back at the patrol base around 0400 on 22 March.

            Contingencies. As mentioned prior, if we come into contact we will break contact and head towards the last established rally point. Second in charge is [name]. He will take command if I’m incapacitated. If we take any casualties who need a litter, we will abort mission and do our best to return to the patrol base. We may need to seek shelter with a civilian while a buddy team returns to the patrol base to get help because our team is so small. [Name], you carry the litter. If our hide site is compromised by a civilian we will abort the mission. Based on the attitude of the civilian we may need to capture and hold the civilian long enough to make our way back to our patrol base. [two names] will be in charge of a captured civilian. Make sure you have restraints and blindfolds. We need to treat civilians delicately because chances are they are on our side.

            We’re without radios and the enmey has night vision capability so we will limit communication to hand/arm signals and audible if necessary. The challenge is taco and the password is owl. Running password is turtle.

            The time is now 1300. The timeline is as follows:

            Now-1550 Gear prepped and ready
            1600 Inspection
            1615 Eat/sleep
            1710 Spot check
            1720 Rehearsals
            Depart no later than 1930

            Put down your pen and paper, now lets walk through the mission.

            What questions do you have?

            Route to OP
            View near OP

            Route from OP

          • #109622

              Feedback welcome

            • #109623

                Feedback welcome

                I have some feedback and an alternate plan. To make sure I’m giving proper feedback there are some details of your route that a map would cement if you don’t mind reposting.

              • #109624

                  I’m having trouble getting images, but the gist was to move out south, cross rt50, then hug the ridge, with OP at approx 39°19’20.0″N 78°49’13.2″W

                • #109625

                    – Chosen observation point does provide a great view of Objective Titan over 800’m of cleared, flat ground.
                    – Very limited risk of contacting NT14 elements on the chosen route
                    – Multiple opportunities for vehicle insertion/extraction

                    – Limited resolution on positions beyond the open ground at the eastern section around Objective Titan. Follow up Raid will not have information on wooded ground surrounding the Objective on the western section. A raid launched from the East on Objective Titan (the ground observed) will be attacking across open ground.
                    – OP is kind of an island; a thin strip of operable land flanked by roads and civilian properties. To go from Patrol Base to the OP there are multiple danger area crossings. At least 1 stream, multiple civilian properties with cleared fields, 2 powerline cuts, and minimum 2 roads. NT14 may not be there but there is a lot of opportunity for civilian contact. Unpredictable whether they will be friendly, initiate contact, or just report your position to the NT14 elements.
                    – Taking the western face of the ridge to the OP puts forces on the wrong side of the military crest to the Objective. Enemy FLIR will have a fair chance at fixing your force moving along the backdrop of a ridge face. It’s also going to be illuminated by the sun at dusk on Infil. Depending on time of year the sun illumination may help beat FLIR. but right now it’s winter so no foliage and cold ground..
                    – OP is also risky in case anything goes wrong. There are limited escape routes being that it is flanked by Rt 50 to the west and a very steep 800′ climb up the ridge to the east. North and South allow only peeling along the road with civilian houses and clear ground between Objective Titan and the OP.

                    Follow up post will show a patrol out to the NE from the Patrol Base and staying South of Parker Road.

                  • #109626

                      I’ve actually written two plans for this, one for a fair weather assessment and one for fowl weather. This first plan will be for a clear weather situation and be reliant on our long range optics.
                      FAIR WEATHER PLAN
                      1) Preliminaries: Mid June (13-17), Sunrise 0602 Sunset 2052, Hot/Humid with chance of thunderstorm. Avg 84°F High Avg 57°F Low, Full Moon
                      2) SITUATION:
                      An element of NT14 has raided and occupied a local homestead just outside of Romney. It is reported all men and elderly relatives of the homestead owners have been killed while three women, a mother and two teenage daughters, have been kept alive to be brutalized and sold into slavery. Due to patterns in NT14 behavior we believe there to be about 5 days between now and the time the collection convoy arrives to take the female captives away.
                      Enemy forces are reported 14-18 member strength operating within AO Tiger using the captured homestead and its buildings within Objective Titan as their FOB. The female hostages are being held within Objective Titan while waiting for collection.
                      Enemy forces are well equipped with infantry gear and paramilitary training provided by FUSA HITT teams. They are a uniformed force expected to be wearing green BDUs, plate carriers, and LBE. Armament includes M4 rifles, 203 grenade launchers, Squad Automatic Weapons (SAWs), night vision, and thermal capabilities. Expect that their equipment specifications are just as good if not better than our own. Vehicle availability includes unarmored surplus Humvees as well as stolen pick-ups and SUVs. Note that they may be moving in civilian vehicles.
                      NT14 morale is expected to be high with effective, brutal leadership. Their confidence and enthusiasm is high but discipline lacking at times. Expect a rapid and aggressive response to contact. Their discipline erodes at night with alcohol consumption leading to rape parties and poor light discipline. White light and open fires are reportedly common in their base locations.
                      Friendly Forces: We are an 8 man Recce Squad (Alpha) with another 8 man Reserve/Raid force (Charlie) that will link up at Patrol Base at a later time. Alpha Squad are all MVT alumni with sufficient SUT and Patrol training to conduct the mission. Alpha Squad will occupy the Patrol Base first and launch the Recce Patrol from there. A 4 man element will secure the Patrol Base while another 4 man element conducts the Recce Patrol on Objective Titan.
                      We are equipped with AR/M4 rifles with ACOG optics, LBE, plate carriers, rucks, and other pertinent patrol equipment. All members are equipped with PVS14 night vision, DBAL IR aiming lasers on rifles, and at least 1 spotting scope with thermal capability effective to 2000m day or night. No vehicles are available for this operation, this will be entirely dismounted.
                      Morale is on our side in this contest. We are not only confident and enthusiastic but we have superior discipline to NT14. We will conduct this mission entirely undetected maintaining discipline at all times.
                      Civilians are believed to be largely friendly and sympathetic but it is unknown how they will react in our presence. We will be conducting this operation at night and their interpretation of mysterious men walking through their property in the dark is not predictable. Civilian contact is not authorized.

                      3) MISSION:
                      Conduct a short term Recce Patrol on Objective Titan in order to gather intel to facilitate a follow-up hostage rescue raid.
                      4) EXECUTION:
                      a) Concept of operations:
                      • Conduct a short term Recce Patrol observing Objective Titan. Recce party will leave this evening, establish an OP observing Objective Titan, and return the following night.
                      • CCIR:
                      o Pattern of life – Any behavior, patterns, routines
                      o Enemy Strength & Organization
                      o Patrol Activity – Do they conduct patrols? Where? How often? Strength? Positions?
                      o Locations & Layout of objective – horse blanket & sketch
                      o Hostages – Identify locations and routines of the hostages. Where are they, how often are they moved, how are they guarded, rotations, etc.
                      o Enemy equipment & armament – type and location
                      o Resupply/Convoy Activity – We will be overlooking the entire valley and road below
                      o Terrain – Obstacles, fields of fire, avenues of approach, useful info for follow-up raid
                      • Scheme of Maneuver
                      o Day 1: 0900 on receipt of WARNO
                      o Day 1: 1300 Operations Orders
                      o Day 2: Establish OP, Eyes on target by 0000 until 2359
                      o Day 3: Exfil not before 0100 returning to Patrol Base
                      • There will be no QRF available for this mission. Upon enemy contact we will break contact and return the way we came back to the Patrol Base. Any support required including CASEVAC will be coordinated from the Patrol Base.

                      • Main Effort
                      b) Preliminary Moves:
                      • Assuming we are all already at Patrol Base, marked by Blue Triangle on map of AO Tiger
                      c) Route Out:
                      • Navigation legs:
                      • 1.25mi Overall length = ~3hrs
                      o Patrol Base to CP ~0.8mi, ~1hr transit, see map
                      o observe 30 mins, confirm route forward
                      o CP to Road Crossing #1 (yellow circle), hasty
                      o Road Crossing to ORP, ~20 mins transit, see map
                      o Occupy ORP, ~10-20 mins
                      o Establish OP, 30-60 mins until Eyes On Target
                      • Rally points: locations/descriptions/actions on
                      o Point marked CP (Check Point) will be a pre-planned halt for forward observation of the established route. We will observe our planned road crossing point and the route ahead. If possible also observe position marked with orange (!) for activity. Conduct head count.
                      o Conduct Linear Danger Area crossing at Road Crossing #1 (displayed as westernmost yellow circle)
                      o Regroup immediately upon crossing road and head directly to ORP along designated route
                      • Formations
                      o Patrol Base to CP in Staggered Column
                      o Fall into Fireteam Wedge at CP, compass man to TL’s right
                      o Fireteam Wedge from CP to Road Crossing #1, compass man to TL’s right
                      o Conduct Danger Area Crossing at Road Crossing #1
                      o Regroup & continue directly to ORP position
                      d) Occupation of the ORP (Objective Rally Point):
                      • Occupy ORP by force
                      • Set Security
                      e) Initial Action on the Objective (OP site):
                      • Leader’s Recon – TL 1 move ahead ~85m to select OP site on western face of terrain feature
                      o Cut off time 20 mins from departure
                      • Leave 1 man in place at OP to begin observation
                      • Return to ORP to gather rest of team
                      f) Occupation of the OP:
                      • TL returns to OP with the rest of the team from the ORP
                      • Set Security – 1 man
                      • Begin Construction – 2 men
                      • Observation – Original man remains in position
                      • Rotate Construction & Security every hour until complete
                      g) Routine in the OP:
                      • 1 observing, 1 logging, 1 security, 1 rest
                      • Rotate every 2 hours
                      • Hard Routine for meals – no cook stoves. MRE heaters OK
                      • No movement/patrol outside of OP, no resupply.
                      • MAX 1 sleep system setup within OP
                      • Defecation – Cat holes OK, in sight of Sentry. It’s only a 24hr patrol so drop the kids off at the pool before deployment. Pack out any clean-up supplies if you do take a dump.
                      h) Withdrawal:
                      • 0100hrs Day 3 OP Breakdown commence
                      • 2 man security 2 man breakdown
                      • Depart in Fireteam Wedge – TL at front, compass man right
                      i) Route Back:
                      • Descend terrain feature along route to Road Crossing #2
                      • Conduct LDA Crossing for Road Crossing #2 (easternmost yellow circle), approximately shown, exact location may vary by up to 85m for proper cover to avoid open area just south of Parker Road
                      • Regroup at point marked RP. Conduct head count.
                      • Fall into Staggered Column formation
                      • Continue Exfil along selected route ~1.0 mi all the way back to Patrol Base
                      j) Extraction:
                      • Approach Patrol Base from NE
                      • Recce force stop & identify themselves with 1 IR laser flash to ground
                      • Patrol Base force Accept with 2 IR laser flashes to ground
                      5) Coordinating Instructions:
                      k) Timings:
                      • Currently 1300
                      • Gear Prep until 1600
                      • Inspections 1600 – 1630
                      • Rehearsals 1630 – 1830
                      • Eat/Drink/Shit 1830 – 1920
                      • Spot Check 1920
                      • Deploy at 1930
                      l) Actions On:
                      • Halts – fireteam wedge for all around security
                      • Lights – Freeze & Hold, assess situation. If compromised on Route Out, abort mission. If Compromised on Route Back, continue along path with haste to Patrol Base. Set Hasty Ambush as necessary.
                      • LDA Crossing – per SOP. Security up & down on near side, team passes through taking up security on far side, near side pair crosses, regroup & continue.
                      • Civilian Contact – Situation Dependent. Not immediate compromise to mission. May need to hold civilian until Exfil or break contact depending on disposition.
                      • Enemy Pre-Seen: Hold & Remain Concealed. Do not Initiate Contact.
                      • Enemy Contact south of Parker Road: Green Signal Flare
                      o Break Contact to last RP & further back to Patrol base. Hasty Ambush along the way
                      • Compromise/Contact in OP: Red Signal Flare
                      o If contact comes from valley – hold position & allow Patrol Base Unit/Charlie Squad to approach from South providing relief
                      o If contact comes from the same ridge as OP – immediately abandon OP & proceed on Route Out back to Patrol Base
                      • Lost/Separation – On Route Out, proceed to point CP or last known RP. Wait 1 hr MAX. If no friendly contact return to Patrol Base. On Route Back, proceed to point RP or last known rally point. Wait 1 hr MAX. If no friendly contact proceed along azimuth 230° until reaching southern creek bed. Follow creek bed NW until terrain feature split. Patrol Base is located on SW terrain feature.
                      • Casualties – Green Signal Flare
                      o Break contact & exfil as far as possible back towards Patrol Base as close to pre-planned route as possible. Hasty Ambush if possible.
                      • POWs are not authorized.
                      • Civilians are to be left unharmed unless they initiate contact or present imminent threat.

                      6) SUMMARY OF EXECUTION:
                      • Notebooks down, look in! Eyes on the map/model/sand-table. We’re going to do a full run-through of the plan. Hold questions until summary is complete.

                      7) SERVICE SUPPORT:
                      • No more than 2 sleep systems total in patrol
                      • 6 L of water per man
                      • Full LBE w/ combat load, PC’s not required
                      • 2 MREs per man
                      • Spotting Scope, Tripod, & FLIR Attachment
                      • PVS/IR laser per man
                      • Canteens, water purification tablets per man
                      • Chicken Wire x 1 per patrol
                      • Burlap & Camo x 1 per patrol
                      • E Tools x 2 per patrol
                      • IFAK per man
                      • Collapsible litter x 1 per patrol
                      • Thermal Shield per man
                      • 6-12 sandbags per man
                      • Pen flare packs x 2 per patrol
                      • Suppressors on rifles if at all possible
                      • No Radios
                      • No Vehicles
                      8) COMMAND & SIGNAL:
                      • Rules of Engagement
                      o Weapons Free against positively ID’d NT14 elements. Do not initiate contact unless failure to do so would endanger the team or the mission.
                      o Civilians are not to be treated as hostile until they present a threat. Do not point weapons at them. Do not fire unless fired upon.
                      • If TL is incapacitated -> Compass Man -> RM #1 -> RM #2
                      • Green Flare = Enemy Contact south of Parker Road, either Route Out or Route Back (timing will make that obvious)
                      • Red Flare = Compromise in OP
                      • Procedures to coordinate with the support team:
                      • 1 IR laser flash for entry, 2 IR laser flash for confirmation
                      • Running Password: NUTS
                      9) SYNCHRONIZE WATCHES/QUESTIONS
                      10) REHEARSALS/INSPECTIONS:
                      • Wear LBE & Equipment ready for patrol to Inspection
                      • LBE & Equipment not required for rehearsal
                      • Noisy Rehearsal first, Silent Rehearsal second
                      • Location: Patrol Base @ 1600
                      • Dressed ready to patrol
                      • Drill/actions on
                      Map Key:
                      Blue Triangle = Patrol Base
                      Red Circle w/ dot= Objective Titan
                      Red Line = Patrol Route
                      Red Arrows = Indicate direction of travel
                      CP = Checkpoint
                      OP = Observation Point
                      RP = Rally Point
                      Yellow Circle = Road Crossing
                      Yellow bearing line = Visual representation of Line of Sight
                      Red Triangles = Locations of Civilian Houses, unknown occupation status
                      Orange Hazard Triangle = Questionable Clearing
                      Parker Road/County Route 50/2 = As labeled

                    • #109627


                        I think it’s a solid plan, and a good set of orders. I don’t know that the team will be able to see the target through vegetation from the OP.

                        Visibility through vegetation was one of the number one things for me in the planning process. I figured in summertime, it would be extremely difficult to see through the vegetation from any of the surrounding hills (without getting right on top on the OBJ)

                      • #109628

                          Thanks @johnnymac

                          The satellite imagery shows some clearing on the top and East (with summer vegetation growth) face of that ridge in the vicinity of where we would be peering over from defilade on the west face. I feel pretty confident given the elevation drop off and satellite imagery that we will be able to see out. We shouldn’t need a big hole or a big clearing as we’re not trying to see a wide swath of land but rather a very important sliver; the objective, that valley, Parker Road, and adjacent terrain features provide the crucial info and fit into a narrow Field of View. OP is placed essentially at the top and center of the valley so if we can even peek through a bush and get a 5-10° spread on our FOV we’re going to see a ton as this stretches out to 1750m. We’re going for length not girth on this one :whistle: Pictures attached illustrate the clearing and FOV.

                          The part that makes me a bit uncomfortable about this plan is the standoff distance of ~1750m and reliance on optics. The equipment definitely exists for it to realistically be successful just not something I’ve ever done at that range :unsure:

                        • #109629

                            In writing the set of orders for the Fowl Weather Plan it became obvious that there are some major drawbacks to conducting this operation with such a a diminished stand-off distance. This plan could really benefit from some advice from the Cadre.

                            Most of the orders are very similar, so I wont’ regurgitate all that. Notable differences:
                            – Exact OP position would be set by leader’s recce launched from ORP. There’s small terrain features there that I don’t think topo or satellite provide enough resolution to make a decision beyond an area like that.
                            – OP position is no longer on the top of key terrain.
                            – OP is only ~800m from Objective Titan
                            – In the event of contact/compromise in the OP contingency planning gets difficult. There are a lot of directions to receive contact from and what seems like fewer escape routes.

                            Questions for the cadre:
                            – With heavy rain in the middle of summer how far away can we be and still have functional capability with our observation devices? FLIR, NODs, Optics, etc. Subjective I know, but if we can get a ballpark it will let me know if this OP is obviously poorly chosen.
                            – With the enemy’s ability to use vehicles I’m worried they could easily zoom SW along the woodline to the stream crossing and proceed NW cutting us off. Valid?
                            – Should an Emergency Rally Point be considered in case of compromise/contact in the OP?
                            – How can we signal the Patrol Base Unit? If we use an ERP that makes 3 pre-planned routes in and we only have 2 flares. If we try to use both they may not see both leading to confusion. IR laser lasso only works at night and gives us away to NT14.

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