Air-Ground Reconnaissance. An air-ground recon combines the advantages of the two methods. It
also eliminates some of the disadvantages of each. The ground element can take a detailed look at the
route, while the air element looks at the terrain adjacent to the route. An air-ground recon is especially
useful when the enemy is active in the area. The air element helps locate the enemy and provides
warning and support to the ground element.
Whichever method is employed, the key to success in a recon mission is planning and preparation.
Most of the problems that may be met while conducting the recon may be eliminated through careful
planning. Prior planning prevents poor performance. The first step in planning is to analyze the
tasking. Much of the information required will be in the mission order for the convoy escort.
Situation. Examine the information given on friendly and enemy forces. If there are friendly units
already using the route, or located near it, they can be a source of valuable information. They may be
able to come to your assistance should your recon, or later your convoy, come under attack.
Information about the enemy is also important. It will determine the maneuver techniques you will use
to conduct the recon and later the security escort.
Mission. This paragraph will tell you exactly what you are required to do, as well as where and when
you are to do it. In this case it is to conduct a hasty route reconnaissance in support of a CONVOY
Execution. This part of the order will provide you with information on how to proceed. The rules of
engagement for the recon will be specified.
Service Support. In this section you will be told what support is available. Often it may only state that
the current SOP is in effect. Any restrictions that may apply, such as the limited availability of certain
types of ammunition, will also be identified in this section. It is here that you will be told what medical
support may be available and how you may obtain it.
Command and Signal. This is the section that will tell you if the current signal operating instructions
(SOI) is in effect or if special frequencies and call signs have been set aside for the mission. It will also
tell you where, when, and what kind of reports are to be made.
Once you have examined the order and are sure you understand it, the next step is to gather as much
information as possible about the operational environment. Some may have already been provided to
you with the mission order. How much you can obtain will be limited by the time available.
For the best results, you should coordinate with the local engineers. The engineers may be able to
provide current maps and overlays. They also may know the latest route conditions or have the results
of earlier recons. Other