Maintaining capability and options: dismounted reconnaissance in the division and corps deep area
Technical Report,26 Jun 2017,24 May 2018
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States
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The US Army anticipates a future operating environment characterized by uncertainty and peer or near-peer threats able to contest technologically-based capabilities. The terrain of future conflicts may further inhibit aerial and mounted reconnaissance and surveillance operations. Current doctrine reveals a deep area focus for the corps and division headquarters. The conventional force limitation to aviation-based collection assets in the deep area degrades proper management and execution of the reconnaissance fundamentals. Case studies of Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm, and Iraqi Freedom I reveal continuities of successful deep reconnaissance units and trends of increased risk aversion and operations in terrain environments extremely inhibitive to stealthy, dismounted reconnaissance. To provide capability and options the US Army should re-establish a long-range surveillance unit and a new dismounted reconnaissance specialty. The current state assumes risk with the capability for deep reconnaissance solely in the realm of special operations forces and continues the trend of decreasing proficiency in small unit patrolling.
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