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U.S. Army Long Range Surveillance Units

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Posted almost 8 years ago


For those of us Deputies who work for counties with heavy rural areas, wouldnt it be nice to do some cross training with these guys?



They fall under a Military Intelligence Brigade but are themselves Airborne Infantry units. LRS Units (LRSU) are formulated as LRS Companies (LRSC) comprising 3 line LRS platoons, a Communications platoon, and a Headquarters section. LRSC's are currently being flagged as Cavalry Troops instead of Companies. A given line LRS platoon is organized as 6 unsupported LRS teams. LRSU operate up to 100 kilometres (62 mi) from the Forward Line Of Troops (FLOT) a maximum of 4 days. Their 5 primary missions are reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, battle damage assessment, and force protection. Beyond these, they also have many secondary missions to conduct emergency assaults or provide general battlefield information to military intelligence sources, such as weather and light data, map data, etc. Today's LRS units trace their origin to the US Army's Long Range Reconnaissance Units LRRPs of the Vietnam War and to Army Rangers. Like other elite units, LRS are Airborne, and most leadership positions are filled by Ranger qualified officers and NCOs. Typically, LRS leaders undergo the Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course (RSLC) at Fort Benning, similarly developing long range land navigation, communications, intelligence, vehicle identification, survival, and operational techniques. LRS team members usually carry the M4 carbine, M203 grenade launcher, M9 pistol, and the M249 squad automatic weapon (SAW) as well as the typical complement of specialized optics and communications gear.

LRS units (Infantry) are not to be confused with the new Army concept of RSTA units (Cavalry). As part of the Army-wide transfer to Brigade Units of Action, all combat divisions and separate brigades are transitioning to the Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) format. LRS units are being transferred to the Army's new Battlefield Surveillance Brigade (BFSB) format. The brigade contains a Brigade HHC, 2 Military Intelligence Battalions and a RSTA squadron. The R&S squadron has an HHT, One Long Range Surveillance Company (LRSC) with 15 teams and two Cavalry Troops, each with two platoons. The RSTA capabilities are broader to encompass all aspects of basic reconnaissance. The LRS units conduct the same reconnaissance missions as a RSTA but they also have the more specialized capability of being able to conduct surveillance mission deep behind enemy line. Airborne reconnaissance missions are conducted by only three types of units in the Army. These units are the various LRS units, the Regimental Recon Company of the 75th Ranger Regiment, and various Special Forces units. RSTA units also have added light vehicle support in the form of HMMWVs and M3 Bradleys, (due to being commissioned as cavalry), whereas the LRS units do not utilize a larger vehicle support element. RSTA units are not airborne capable as are all LRS units (an exception being the four RSTA squadrons of the 82nd Airborne). A primary method of inserting behind enemy lines to conduct surveillance (for a 6 man LRS team) is by night helicopter insertion, or secondarily, Airborne operation. In more recent low-intensity conflicts, other covert means have been added. By doctrine, RSTA units do not require their leadership positions to be filled by Ranger qualified officers and NCOs as LRSU units do. LRS unit's reconnaissance capability is more comprehensive than RSTA's, which may have to make and maintain contact with the opposition, thus failing to avoid detection.

LRS troopers are often graduates of the army's elite schools including the U.S. Army Sniper School, Special Operations Target Interdiction Course (SOITC), Ranger School, Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification Course, HALO, RSLC, Pathfinder, Air Assault School, Jumpmaster, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE). Medics supporting the unit, similar to the ranger regiment are required to graduate the Special Operations Medicine course as well as other schools befitting a reconnaissance scout troop.

US LRSUs conduct training exercises and exchange programs with various US allies. In recent years these exercises have included deployments to England, Germany, France, Hungary, and Italy. Joint training exercises have involved units from British TA SAS, France's 13 RDP, Belgium's ESR, Italy's 9 Para Assault Regiment and Germany's Long Range Scout Companies.

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Rate This | Posted almost 8 years ago


by the way, anyone done cross training with your state's highspeed Guard units?