PATROLLING PATROLLING “In warfare, patrolling is the basis of success. It not only gives eyes to the side that excels at it, and blinds its opponents, but through it the soldier learns to move confidently in the element in which he works” Field Marshall Viscount Slim KG GCB GCME GCVO CBE DSO MC Patrolling • The Aims of Patrolling • Types of Patrol • Co-Ordination and Planning of Patrols • Rehearsals • Weapons and Equipment • Conduct of Patrols • Debriefing and Patrol Reports The Aims of Patrolling 1. To obtain information 2. To disrupt or destroy enemy forces 3. To dominate “No Man’s Land” 1. To Obtain Information • Plan needs accurate info • Patrols reliable means of acquiring it 2. To Disrupt Or Destroy Enemy Forces • Day and night • All phases of war • Good on own morale • Bad on enemy morale • Often used in counter-revolutionary warfare - like Northern Ireland 3. To dominate “No Man’s Land” • Key to aggression in defence Types of Patrol • Recce patrols • Standing Patrols • Fighting Patrols Recce Patrols • Use observation and stealth • Minimum equipment • Fight only in self-defence Tasks of Recce Patrols • Collection of topographical info • Location of enemy positions • Details of known enemy positions, minefields and obstacles • Obtaining info on enemy habits, equipment,movements and routes used Tasks of Recce Patrols • Checking our own minefields and obstacles • Conducting RADIAC Standing Patrols • Normally used in defence • Early warning • Small, easily concealed • Good comms • Indirect fire support Tasks of a Standing Patrol • Watch and listen on likely enemy approaches • Cover dead ground • Cover minefields and obstacles which cannot be covered by main position • During mobile defence, prevent infiltration into unoccupied hides or battle positions Standing Patrols • In work phase of Defence, position past limit of hearing • Equipped with LAW • Remote Ground Sensors (RGS) can assist, not replace • Observation Posts (OPs) Standby Patrols • Ready to fight as per a fighting patrol • Provide assistance to other patrols after contact • Take on tasking from patrol in difficulty • Follow up contacts • Follow up on info Fighting Patrols • Specific tasks • Manned and equipped to fight • Minimum platoon strength Tasks of Fighting Patrols • Denying enemy patrols freedom of action • Destroying/disrupting enemy protective patrols - standing patrols, listening posts • Harassing enemy working parties Tasks of Fighting Patrols • Distract enemy as part of deception plan • Raids • Protect recce and work parties of other arms • Ambushes Co-Ordination and Planning of Patrols • Must be responsibility of one officer • Responsibilities: • Keeping patrol reports for reference • Patrol situation map • Passing info to patrol comds • Deconfliction • Warn friendly units of times and routes Co-Ordination and Planning of Patrols • Full battle procedure • Study maps, aerial photos, int and patrol reports Rehearsals • Help to understand orders • Noisy Rehearsals • Silent Rehearsals • Realistic as possible • Thoroughness vital Rehearsals Must Cover • Order of march • Changing formation or direction • Obstacle crossings • Action on enemy • Action on halts and RVs • Action on objective • Special Signals Rehearsals Must Cover • Action on lights • CASEVAC and PW escort • Action on lost or separated • Action on re-entry to own lines or position • Different routes in and out • ASK if in doubt Weapons and Equipment • Dictated by task / type of patrol • Single /automatic fire • Bayonets • Flares - pre-prepared • Webbing - proper fit, noiseless • Smooth surfaces camouflaged • Waterproofs Weapons and Equipment • Normal issue boots should be worn • NB method of recording info - dictaphone, pencil and paper • Maps unmarked in case of capture • CWS - carry SUSAT as well • Navigation - shaded torch, pacing Conduct of Patrols • Final inspection • Don’t take info on you • Noise at night - ears better than eyes, yours and the enemy’s • Formations and drills simple • Check on man following • Close up on halts for passage of info • Comd close to, not at, the front Conduct of Patrols • Radio Op - next to comd; know codewords, report lines etc • Route in different from route out • Routes broken into legs • RVs between legs (!) - listening halts • ERVs - rallying points on dispersal • Avoid obvious routes / cover Conduct of Patrols • Last RV is FRV - Final RV • Must be recced and secured • Final kit adjustments in FRV • Reorg back in FRV after action on objective Debriefing and Patrol Reports • Debriefing and reports vital to full value of patrol • Earliest possible • Written report • Sketches very useful • Debrief by officer who briefed patrol QUESTIONS?
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