Patrolling One definition of patrolling is the conduct of frequent pedestrian tours within specifiedgeographic boundaries in order to keep the people free from the enemy. Night patrolling is notconducted just to contact the enemy. In fact, the final objective of patrolling is no contact at all,provided that the state of peace is reached by deterrence of the enemy. Patrolling is a military tactic. Small groups or individual units are deployed from a largerformation to achieve a specific objective and then return. The tactic of patrolling may beapplied to ground troops, armoured units, naval units, and combat aircraft. The duration of apatrol will vary from a few hours to several weeks depending on the nature of the objective andthe type of units involved.Different types of patrol with their corresponding objective: A fighting patrol is a group with sufficient size (usually platoon or company) andresources to raid or ambush a specific enemy. It primarily differs from an attack in that the aimis not to hold ground. A clearing patrol is a brief patrol around a newly occupied defensive position in order toensure that the immediate area is secure. Clearing patrols are often undertaken on theoccupation of a location, and during stand to in the transition from night to day routine andvice versa. A Standing Patrol is a static patrol, probably known as an OP/LP(ObservationPost/Listening post) in US and NATO terminology. Standing patrols are usually small (halfsection/section) static patrols intended to provide early warning, security or to guard somegeographical feature, such as dead ground. A Reconnaissance (recce) patrol is a patrol, usually small whose main mission is thegathering of information. Generally speaking recce patrols tend to avoid contact, although it isnot completely unknown for recon patrols to "fight for information". A number of patrols may be deployed to screen a large area. This type of patrol is usedby armoured formations in desert theatres, and also by ground troops operating in urban areas.A screen is generally composed of a number of observation posts.
Preparations for Patrols. Patrols require detailed planning, and ideally its successful execution would only involvecareful execution for such detailed la. In practice, however, this is not enough. Many aspects ofpatrol cannot be specifically planned, for various situations may arise and will require revisionsand modifications of even the most carefully prepared plans. Eventually, the successful conductof a patrol is the end result of aggressive efforts of every patrol member to apply theknowledge, skills and ingenuity to accomplish the mission. Patrol Initiating Directives. When higher headquarters decide to send out patrols to accomplish a certain task. Itissues initiating directives for concerned units to prepare for the conduct of such mission. 1. Patrol Warning Order. It is a preliminary notice issued by the initiating authority to the unit that is directed to conduct the patrol. A warning order is designed to give a subordinate unit enough time to prepare by giving its commander enough information that he needs to draft initial plans and make initial coordination. The specific contents of a warning order may vary according to the requirements of the mission. A patrol warning order maybe issued either in writing or orally. It normally includes the following parts: 1.1 Situation. It gives a brief description of the situation of both the enemy and friendly forces. a. Mission. It answers the questions of Who, What, When, Where and Why. b. General Instruction. This part gives instructions on the actions to be undertaken by all patrol members, to include the weapons, equipment and supplies to be brought along during the patrol. c. Specific Instructions. These instructions are given to patrol members who are in charge of specific preparations. d. Time and Place for Final Briefing. This part of the warning order specifies the time and place for the final briefing where the Patrol Leader will give his last instructions. 1.2 Patrol Order. It is the order issued by higher headquarters directing the Commander of a unit to organize a patrol to accomplish a certain mission. On his part, the Commander designates and directs a subordinate officer as the Patrol Leader. The designated Patrol Leader in turn prepares an implementing
Patrol Order and briefs his men on all the necessary details to ensure coordinated action and success of the patrol. The patrol order is a form of anoperations order, which closely follows the basic format: a. Situation. It gives the location, disposition, capabilities. Strengths and weaknesses,activities and the most probable course of action of the enemy. Also include disposition andlocation of friendly forces, the commander’s intent and the planned actions of the adjacentunits. b. Mission and Plan of Action. It is the clear and concise statement of purpose and thetasks to be accomplished. 1 generally follows the Who, What, When, Where and Why format. c. Execution. Includes the Commander’s Intent, Concept of Operation, tasks of patrolelements and all coordinating instructions. d. Administration and Logistics. All combat service support arrangements andinstructions that administratively and logistically support the patrol. e. Command and Signal. Contains information related to command and signal.2. Execution of Patrol. The patrol members should remember the following importantprinciples during the execution of the patrol: a. Movement. The patrol must move with utmost secrecy and stealth. The patrolmission could be compromised by premature or unexpected contact with the enemy. Thisprinciple is particularly important since a patrol normally do not have any reserve or friendlyunit nearby to assist it. The lead element should master the scouting techniques in order tosnot the enemy early and to avoid contact in the case of reconnaissance patrols. It must avoidcontact if possible, unless it is in accordance to the place. The patrol’s mission could becompromised when premature or unexpected contact has been made. More so, it has noreserve or any other unit to assist if contact is made. In this regard, le1 elements should masterthe scouting techniques to be able to spot the enemy early and to avoid premature contact. How to Draw a Panoramic Sketch1. Draw a horizon.2. Put prominent points.3. Put notes above prominent points.4. Give sketches a title and indicate azimuth of most prominent features and place, date andtime when made.5. Affix signature. Contact in reconnaissance patrols. If contact is established, the emphasis should be tobreak away from the engagement.
b. Control Measures. The Patrol Leader should know how to effectively use controlmeasures to facilitate the movement of the patrol to the objective and its return to areas offriendly units. Patrol control measures include the following:1. Primary and Alternate Routes. The Patrol Leader must select a primary route and at leastone alternate route to and from the patrol objective. The routes should be divided intosegments, which starts and ends at an easily recognizable terrain feature. The designation ofprimary and alternate routes will enable the Patrol Leader and the members of the patrol toremain oriented during the progress of the patrol.2. Checkpoints. Patrol Leaders should designate checkpoints along the route of the patrol.Checkpoints are recognizable terrain features, which could guide the members of the patrol infinding out if the patrol is on the right course to the objective. Pre-selected check pointsmarked on the map is an essential navigational aid, which may be in the form of rivers, ridges ortowers.3. Rallying Points. Rallying points are places on the ground where a temporarily dispersedpatrol can assemble arid reorganize. Before the patrol departs, the Patrol Leader must select aninitial rallying point and an objective rallying point. Other rallying points may be designatedalong the route to the objective when necessary, as when the patrol is about to cross a dangerarea or when enemy contact is imminent. The first patrol member who reaches the rallyingpoint should reconnoiter and secure it before the other members of the patrol arrive. Followingare the essential characteristics of an ideal rallying point: a. Must provide concealment, and when possible also adequate cover. b. Must be defensible for at least a short time. c. Must be easily recognized and known to all members of the patrol. c. Departure from and Re-Entry to Friendly Lines. The Patro4 Leader should ensure thatcomplete coordination is made at the exit and re-entry points to avert any possibility of mis-encounter. He must also arrange for the use of guides through obstacles and coordinate for t1radio frequency and the appropriate challenge and passwords. A returning patrol must stop afew hundred meters from the intended point entry and see to it that patrol members arerecognized by friendly and before they enter. During the entry, the Patrol Leader must accountfor each of the patrol members to see to it that no enemy infiltrators are among them. d. Actions at Danger Areas. During execution, the Patrol Leader must plan to avoidareas where the likelihood of enemy cont1 or discovery is great. These areas are called dangerareas and may include highways, clearings and other known enemy occupied areas. Eachdanger area is different and may have to be crossed differently. The basic point to remember,however, is to cross them as fast possible, to offer the least exposure to enemy observation andfire. The patrol leader may adopt the following procedures in going to a danger areas:a. Design rallying point beyond a danger area and ensure that it is known to all members.
b. Designate areas to the near side of such rallying point and have it secured by some of themembers.c. Designate the fair side of the rallying point and have secured by some of the members.d. Have its flanks secured.e. Direct the rest of the patrol to cross danger areas in fire team or individually and assembleinside the rallying point.f. Recognize and then proceed with the patrol. e. Action on Unexpected Enemy Contact. When the patrol makes an unexpected andundesirable contact, it must be prepared to quickly break engagement and continue its mission.A patrol lea1 may give his men training on immediate action drills before departing on patrol.This maybe incorporated in the unit’s SOP or s established only for a particular mission forimmediate action drills. It normally includes action for breaking contacts and for reacting to theambushes. f. Action at the Objective. For all types of patrol, detailed instruction must be given foraction at the objective. This includes the following: a. Occupation and security of the objective rallying point. b. Conduct leader’s reconnaissance. c. Final check of equipment and personnel and necessary adjustment to plan. d. Initial positioning of elements of the patrol. e. Fire support. f. Signals. g. Action after execution of plans. h. Dissemination and information obtained at the objective to all patrolmembers. Patrol Debriefing. Immediately after the return, a through debriefing should beconducted while the events of the patrol are still fresh on the minds of the members.Operations and Intelligence personnel from higher headquarters normally conduct thedebriefing. The patrol debriefing is oral and the Patrol Leader may also be required to
submit a written report later. The following information may be gathered by the debriefingpersonnel who may also be included in the written report: a. Size and composition of the unit conducting the patrol. b. Departure and return times. c. Routes taken by the patrol, to include the checkpoints, grid coordinates usedfor each leg of the patrol. d. Detailed description of terrain and enemy positions that were discovered and identified. e. Results of any contact with the enemy. f. Unit status at the conclusion of the patrol mission, including the disposition of dead or wounded soldiers. g: Conclusions or recommendations.