Lesson 1/Learning Event 3
A zone reconnaissance is conducted to gain detailed information about natural and man-made
features within a specific boundary. Since zone reconnaissance is extremely time-consuming, it is
used only when the NBC situation is not clear. Usually, one NBC reconnaissance team augments
either a cavalry reconnaissance unit or a battalion task force scout platoon. This is done to
determine if and when the enemy will employ NBC weapons. NBC reconnaissance teams look for
these enemy indicators:
Increased NBC defensive preparation.
Forward movement and stockpiling of NBC munitions.
Issue of additional quantities of NBC protective equipment and supplies.
Introduction of new NBC equipment.
The zone is defined by lateral boundaries, a line of departure (LD), and an objective (figure 6 on
page 14). All prominent or key terrain features within the zone are reconnoitered as shown below.
Phase lines (PL) may be used to assist in command and control. To perform a zone reconnaissance,
the team usually searches the routes found in a zone. One reconnaissance team usually augments
either a cavalry reconnaissance unit or a battalion task force scout platoon.
An area reconnaissance is performed by NBC reconnaissance units to gain information about a
specific area. The area is defined by an enclosed line. Prominent terrain features, towns, and road
junctions within the enclosed area are thoroughly searched as in a zone reconnaissance.
Routes to the reconnaissance area are carefully selected to enhance operational security. As with
route and zone reconnaissance, three teams are usually employed together when the threat of enemy
contact is high. One team, however, may be used to augment other reconnaissance units. Particular
attention is given to:
Avenues of approach.
Bridges or river-crossing sites.
Prominent terrain features.