Unlike the other infantry rifle-platoons, reconnaissance platoons are not trained to engage the enemy. The primary function of the platoon is intelligence gathering, and this primary objective has to be met on time as required by higher commanders in the battalion. In addition to basic reconnaissance and survelliance activities, scout teams are expected from time to time to act as forward observers for artillery units, and to marshal helicopters to landing sites either for troop insertion or medical evacuation.
In 3SIR, each scout section specializes in a secondary function; Section 1 specializes in water-crossing and amphibious-landing operations, Section 2 in heli-ops (helicopter operations, e.g. heliborne troop insertions, evacuations) and Section 3 is the specialist section in tracking and mountaineering (rappelling) operations. An interesting note, however, is that the various sections are cross-trained in every operation possible.
Cross-training entails that all the members of the platoon (regardless of rank) are trained not only in the primary operations of his team or section, but secondary functions of other sections as well. This cross-training process was the brainchild of 3 SIR's Intelligence Officer (S2). On days when the battalion does not conduct military exercises, you would see sections in the scout platoon engaged in a mutual learning and reinforcement process of the various operational drills. This ensures that everyone in the platoon is familiar with the standard operational procedures (SOPs). As such, in the event that one section is unable to carry out its specialised operations, another section could take over the task.
Further, each member of a scout team performs a specialised task for that particular team:As mentioned earlier, scout-teams are cross-trained for all possible operations. Cross-training does not occur only between teams; it is also done within teams. Every member of a scout team has to be proficient not only his primary and secondary tasks in the team's SOPs, but also those of his team-mates' as well. This means that a driver could easily take over the task as team signaler or team medic and still be able to complete the task comfortably.
The team commander is the team manager and is basically in charge of planning for the team. It is his responsibility to ensure his team is able to carry out its mission and to interpret whatever intelligence gathered for a summarized but detailed report to his superior officers.
The deputy commander's chief responsiblity is to take charge of logistics matters. He is the one who figures out how much ration is to be "tagged" for each mission, what additional equipment are to be brought etc. Also, he is likely to be the team medic; because of the covert nature of their operations, scout teams do not have the logistical and medical support of the average infantry rifle-platoon.
The team signaler's main task is to maintain communications with the battalion's Intelligence Branch at all times. Communication is vital in any covert operation, and the signaler could be considered the one man in the team with the heaviest responsibility. As if lugging the heavy signal set isn't exhaustive enough, the signaler has to encode all transmissions to reduce the risk of tapped communications lines.
The SAW (section automatic weapon) gunner , or light machine-gunner, is likely to be the biggest guy in the team. His main task is that of security/utility man for the team. Armed with the Ultimax 100 light machine gun, he is the one who provides the firepower needed to cover his team in combat while the rest of them take up firing positions or carry out retrogade drills. As utility man, he carries all the heavy stuff: optical equipment, extra rations, anti-personnel mines etc.
Scout teams are highly mobile units, and part of that mobility comes from vehicles. The driver of the team taxies them to their drop-off points a distance away from the enemy objective and from which the team goes on foot to the actual objective itself. In each scout section, one of the two drivers has a signal set mounted on his vehicle that is used to "rebro" transmissions to the Intelligence Branch in case any team is unable to do so due to its distance or radio-jamming by the enemy. In 3SIR, scout drivers are also assigned to rifle-companies in the battalion for patrolling missions as every scout jeep carries a general purpose machine gun (GPMG).
Securing a danger area during an amphibious operation
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