section v — route reconnaissance
9-178. A route reconnaissance is conducted to obtain detailed information about one route and all its adjacent terrain, or to locate sites for emplacing obstacles. Route reconnaissance is oriented on a road, a narrow axis such as an infiltration lane, or on a general direction of attack. Patrols conducting route reconnaissance operations attempt to view the route from both the friendly and enemy perspective. Infantry platoons require augmentation with technical expertise for a complete detailed route reconnaissance. However, platoons are capable of conducting hasty route reconnaissance or area reconnaissance of selected route areas.
9-179. Route reconnaissance is conducted to obtain and locate the following:
– Detailed information about trafficability on the route and all adjacent terrain.
– Detailed information about an enemy activity or enemy force moving along a route.
– Sites for emplacing hasty obstacles to slow enemy movement.
– Obstacles, CBRN contamination, and so forth.
9-180. The Infantry platoon unit can also be tasked to survey a route in a planned infiltration lane. After being briefed on the proposed infiltration, the patrol leader conducts a thorough map reconnaissance and plans a series of fans along the route (Figure 9-17). The coverage must reconnoiter all intersecting routes for a distance greater than the range at which enemy direct-fire weapons could influence the infiltrating forces.
Figure 9-17. Route reconnaissance using fans.
9-181. The platoon reports conditions likely to affect friendly movement. These conditions include:
– Presence of the enemy.
– Terrain information.
– Location and condition of bypasses, fords, and obstacles.
– Choke points.
– Route and bridge conditions.
9-182. If all or part of the proposed route is a road, the leader must treat the road as a danger area. The platoon moves parallel to the road, using a covered and concealed route. When required, reconnaissance and security teams move close to the road to reconnoiter key areas. The platoon plans a different route for its return.
9-183. The leader should submit the patrol report in an overlay format (Figure 9-18) that includes—
– Two grid references (required).
– Magnetic north arrow (required).
– Route drawn to scale (required).
– Title block (required).
– Route classification formula (required).
– Road curves with a radius of less than 45 degrees.
– Steep grades and their maximum gradients.
– Road width of constrictions such as bridges and tunnels, with the widths and lengths of the traveled ways (in meters).
– Underpass limitations with limiting heights and widths.
– Bridge bypasses classified as easy, hard, or impossible.
– Civil or military road numbers or other designations.
– Locations of fords, ferries, and tunnels with limiting information.
– Causeways, snow sheds, or galleries if they are in the way. Data about clearance and load-carrying capacity should be included to permit an evaluation to decide whether to strengthen or remove them.
Figure 9-18. Route reconnaissance overlay.