Locations of friendly units.
Locations that may require special traffic control measures, such as a TCP.
include towns or particularly busy intersections.
Note the condition of roadways and particularly bridges.
Time will probably be of the essence when you are tasked to perform a convoy security mission.
Because of that, preparation for the reconnaissance becomes even more important.
Route Reconnaissance Methods
There are four methods of route reconnaissance. These are: map, air, ground, and air-ground. Which
method is used will depend on mission urgency, enemy activity, weather conditions, and availability of
resources. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method. The method used for a
reconnaissance in support of a convoy security mission will usually depend on the time available.
Another factor that must be considered is the familiarity with the area by the MP assigned the escort
mission. It may be the normal AO that they patrol every day, or the convoy route may pass through
areas totally unfamiliar to them.
Map Reconnaissance. A map recon is made by studying the most current maps and overlays of the
route available. It is the easiest recon to perform, but it is also the least reliable. Such a recon is only
as good as the map used. For this reason, a map recon is usually only the first step in preparing for -
the mission. It is always better to actually observe the route.
Ground Reconnaissance. A ground recon is conducted by actually driving over the route. Its major
disadvantage is that it is the most time-consuming method. Another disadvantage is that it is the
method in which there is the greatest chance of contact with the enemy. Its major advantage is that it
provides the most detailed information about the route. It can also be conducted in all but the most
severe weather conditions. Ground recon is the most effective when preparing for a convoy escort
mission. It allows the escort leader to become familiar with the route prior to escorting the convoy.
Air Reconnaissance. When rapid coverage of a long route is desired, the best method may be to
conduct the recon by air. Using aircraft, primarily helicopters, the patrol can fly over a large section of
the route very quickly. It may also be used over a short route if time does not permit a ground
reconnaissance. There are several disadvantages to this method. Bad weather may keep aircraft from
flying. It also requires particularly acute map reading and observation skills on the part of patrol
members. It will allow the escort team to become somewhat familiar with the route in a relatively short
time; however, things do not always look the same from the ground as from the air.