Reconnaissance – Learn What You Are Up Against
According to the U.S. Army:
Reconnaissance is a mission to obtain information by visual observation or other detection methods, about the activities and resources of an enemy or potential enemy, or about the meteorologic, hydrographic, or geographic characteristics of a particular area.
Knowledge is power, and when SHTF, power is a beautiful thing.
Before the advent of technology, information about your enemy was carried out by men on horseback that would send troops into enemy territories to get information about terrain and the enemy before sending more troops into the area or pursuing the battle-related goals.
Assuming you don’t have the power of a military or aerial and satellite resources to help with your recon, you may need to resort to primitive times to get the information you need for your surviva during a grid down (TEOTWAWKI) situation.
There are three types of Reconnaissance to look at:
- Terrain-Oriented Recon – surveying the terrain for its features that may affect your mission.
- Force-Oriented Recon – this looks into the forces you will be up against and determines their vulnerabilities.
- Civil-Oriented Recon – looks at the structures or civil dimensions of a battlespace.
Often your reconnaissance mission may require that you or your team carry out all three types of reconnaissance where other missions may just take one or two elements out of the above. Your goal as a commander of troops into a potentially hazardous area is to have a full grasp on what you are up against.
Recon Tips #1: Always use recon teams, and assign specific objectives.
Here are some common reconnaissance objectives:
- Enemy – who, what, when, where, and how is your enemy assembled
- Terrain – what sort of terrain are you facing? Can you find any choke points to ambush your enemy?
- Troops and support available – does your enemy have more troops and support available than you?
- Time available – how much time will it take to accomplish your goals?
- Civil considerations – are there non-combatants or other civil areas to consider?
Recon is the most important part of your support troops.
Recon Tips #2: Give your recon team the support they need to be successful.
Here are some important parts of a recon team:
- Keep the ream team small – 4 recons at most
- Keep the recon team agile – the less they need to carry, the better
- Keep your recon team protected – two recon members should carry automatic weapons, one should carry
There are variations on reconnaissance depending on what the objectives of the mission are. For example, if the objective is to determine the location of enemy fire the act of firing first may allow you to locate enemy locations as a strategic piece of information for a future attack. Another example would be determining that a particular area of the battlefield was less guarded than other areas. This area may be a great location to base future attacks, recon missions, or make note of exploitable information in which friendly forces can pass while avoiding contact from the enemy.
Above all else, information about the enemy can prove to be your most valuable asset. Consider the above when you are placed in a situation where you have the time and resources to plan your mission so that it can be carried out in the most strategic way possible.