Battalion Reconnaissance Operations at the National Training Center

by Martin Goldsmith

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In a prior study of task force scout operations at the NTC, the Arroyo Center made a number of significant findings. Problems included inefficient use of time, failure to use available assets, poor scouting techniques, and inadequate supervision by the battalion commander and staff. These problems were caused by doctrinal shortcomings, insufficient training of key personnel, and equipment deficiencies. The study went on to make specific recommendations, and as a result, the Army made a number of changes to doctrine, training, and equipment for the scout elements of heavy battalions. This draft examines the performance of ten battalion task forces over a period of one year to determine if the 'fixes' the Army put in place have been successful. Card questionnaires filled out by observer/controllers dealt with scout platoon operations and the planning and utilization of reconnaissance by battalion headquarters. Although changes instituted by the Army to improve scout operations have been successful, a similar program of change dealing with battalion staff and command operations is necessary.

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