The members of the patrol will carry their standard combat load as prescribed in unit SOP. For a
recon, additional items are needed. These will vary based on your analysis of the mission. There are
certain items that are almost always required.
Lensatic compass to help plot key terrain features.
Tape measures to determine distances such as road widths, vertical clearances, and curve
Sketch pads to draw diagrams of critical points and other selected features.
Colored pencils/crayons to indicate terrain features.
NBC monitoring equipment may be required.
When available, Field Manuals such as 21-30 and 21-31 can prove to be of great value.
Selection of Tactics
The tactics to be used during the reconnaissance must also be selected. Whatever tactics are used, it
must always be remembered that the primary mission of the recon patrol is to gather information. It is
not to engage the enemy. The techniques used are those which provide for the patrol's security.
Traveling Overwatch. This method is used when contact with the enemy is possible, but not expected.
It allows the patrol to move quickly, but with caution. Traveling overwatch gives the patrol time and
distance to react if the lead element unexpectedly takes enemy fire.
Bounding Overwatch. This is the most cautious and deliberate of movement techniques. This method
is used when enemy contact is expected. The overwatch element takes a position where they can
observe and provide a field of fire. When possible, the position should offer cover and concealment.
The overwatch element covers the forward movement of the bounding element to its new position.
When the bounding element reaches and secures its new position, the roles are exchanged. The
bounding element then becomes the overwatch element.