Training Video: Patrol – Recce & Fighting
Old school training video showing both Recce and Fighting patrol. It is part of the same series. Granted, it does not show the whole picture but it will give you an idea of what it all means. Picture paints a thousand words, even if it is from 1985!
One of the things to notice about these videos is how it shows a little bit of battle procedure. The Corporal who is going to lead the recce patrol receives the mission and gives his team a warning order, then he goes off and observes the ground before making his plan. His 2 I/C does concurrent activity making the model of the ground and then the patrol commander gives his orders to the patrol assembled at the model. This is followed by rehearsals of the patrol actions, admin/rest as necessary/possible, and then they go out and do the patrol.
Importantly, they are debriefed immediately upon return, to get the fresh information and make sure they don’t forget anything. The fighting patrol that follows is part of the same scenario and is conducted to destroy the small enemy group that the recce patrol found. Notice how the recce patrol commander briefs up the fighting patrol commander and goes with him on the patrol to guide him. Of course, it may be the same person doing both in a 12 man SHTF fighting group.
Notice how, with the recce patrol, the guys that conduct the close target recce share all information with the cover group when they get back to the Final RV (FRV, which is the ORP in US Army parlance). You can use a little voice recorder Dictaphone device if you want, to record what you see when you are far enough away from the enemy to talk quietly. Remember that if you can collect information for further off, such as with an OP, then do so rather than doing a CTR (close target recce) – collect information as far away as you can to reduce the risk of compromise. The more you have to go forwards and creep around, the more chance of compromise, which defeats the object of a recce patrol.
Enter: break contact drills! That is why they leave an FRV protection group, to fight back to. If possible that group should be positioned so as not to be just an FRV protection group, but also a cover group for the CTR, in overwatch.
In the fighting patrol, notice the simple but classic use of a cover group and assault group positioned at a ninety degree angle.
These patrols (1985) use a HUGE early generation Thermal Imager to scan. The patrol itself is not equipped with night vision goggles – they have early generation weapon mounted night sights, maybe one per patrol. You can carry a tiny little FLIR Scout and wear NVGs. But the video shows old school pre-NVG movement techniques and shows that you can do this without night vision equipment. You would be surprised how well you can do creeping about at night with your eyes night vision adapted.
When moving the assault group into position on the fighting patrol, you can see them doing so through the thermal imager. That is done for illustrative purposes but also on the assumption that the enemy are not similarly equipped. In today’s day and age you have to assume that the enemy has night vision/thermal. The way to get around that is to use terrain masking to move into position. Creep up in dead ground rather than getting into position in the open like they do in the video.
Once the attack goes noisy the thermal terrain masking doesn’t matter, you have to fire and move onto the enemy position. You may do this using NVG’s, or you can use white light, such as parachute illumination flares.
Repeat after me: GOOD, SOLID BASICS!
Is the antidote working yet?
Live Hard, Die Free.