CMaintaining Observation

(1) Method. The combat situation will dictate the method of maintaining observation of an area. Generally, the method will include a combination of hasty and detailed searches.

(2) Sequence of Observation. Observation is often conducted by a two-man team. One team member should constantly observe the entire area using the hasty search technique and the other team member should conduct a detailed overlapping strip search. If you are observing as an individual, devise a plan to ensure that the area of observation is completely covered. When entering a new area, immediately conduct a hasty search. Since a hasty search may fail to detect some indicators, periodically conduct a detailed search of the area.

A detailed search should also be conducted any time your attention has been diverted from the search area.

d. Remembering Target Location. Most targets are seen only briefly and most areas contain multiple targets. Once you have located a target indicator, you will need to remember its location to engage it successfully. To help remember the location of a target, select a known feature and use it as a reference point to determine the distance and general direction to the target.

e. Preparing a Range Card. When the pace of battle slows or you move into a defensive posture, an observation log or range card can be maintained to record the location of targets, terrain features, etc. This information can be recorded on a sheet of paper or a locally produced form. Recording information is helpful if you will observe from the same position over a period of time or if the area has numerous terrain features or multiple target locations. A range card is a rough sketch of an observer's area of responsibility. It depicts the range and direction from the observer's position to easily recognizable objects, terrain features, avenues of approach, and possible enemy positions (see figure 10-2). When a potential threat appears, its range can be quickly determined by its relative position to the reference points on the range card. To prepare a range card, the Marine estimates ranges to various dominant terrain features, buildings, and other reference points in his sector and plots them on the range card in their proper places. The Marine draws avenues of approach and dead space, as appropriate. Drawings are made as if the Marine is looking straight down over his observation area. The Marine then draws a line from his position to each object or feature on the card and records the range to each object.

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