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071-331-0804 (SL1) - Perform Surveillance without the Aid of Electronic Devices

Standards: Identified 50 percent of the enemy soldiers and vehicles within field of view using proper surveillance techniques.

Conditions: Given an enemy force equipped with wheel and track vehicles within range of sight or hearing during day and night.

Standards: Identified 50 percent of the enemy soldiers and vehicles within field of view using proper surveillance techniques.

Performance Steps

1.   Conduct a visual search in daylight:.

a. Make a fast overall search of the entire area by raising your eyes quickly from just in front of your position to the maximum range you wish to observe (figure 071-331-0804-1). (For a wide area, subdivide and repeat the procedure.)

Figure 071-331-0804-1. Fast overall search


b. Observe by overlapping, 50-meter-deep strips of terrain in detail, alternately searching left to right, right to left (figure 071-331-0804-2).

Figure 071-331-0804-2. Overlapping search


c. Search suspicious spots thoroughly.

2.   Identify improperly camouflaged personnel, equipment, and positions by looking for-

a. Camouflage or foliage that does not match.

b. Dead foliage.

c. Outlines that should be obscured.

d. Bright colors or reflections that should be subdued.

e. Tracks, footpaths, and piles of dirt and litter.

f.  Over-clearing of fields of fire and observation.

3.   Conduct surveillance at night:

a. Accustom your eyes to low light before night operations by doing one of the following:

(1)  Stay in a secure, darkened area for 30 minutes (for example, assembly area at night, initial rally point).

(2)  Stay in a red-lighted area for 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes in darkness.

(3)  Wear red goggles for 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes in darkness.

b. Scan search areas at night by moving your eyes in short, quick, irregular movements (figure 071-331-0804-3).

Figure 071-331-0804-3. Night-vision search


c. Use off-center vision to observe specific objects by looking about 8 to 10 degrees left, right, above, or below them (figure 071-331-0804-4).

Figure 071-331-0804-4. Off-center vision


d. Preserve night vision by-

(1)  Closing both eyes when exposed to bright light.

(2)  Closing one eye only and observing with other when surveillance must be maintained.

Note. Maintaining surveillance is one of the basic, critical combat skills. Because it is hard to tell if the above techniques are used, frequent training is the only way to ensure mastery of this skill. This task is easy to integrate with other tactical training. In addition to the training given above, frequent familiarization with the sounds of vehicles and weapon fire, along with common smells, such as gasoline, campfires, and deodorants in the field environment is recommended.

Evaluation Preparation: 

Setup: During a field exercise that involves camouflaging, have soldiers conduct day and night surveillance. Simulate situations described below. Have each soldier conduct surveillance at night and during the day before scoring the soldier GO or NO GO.

Situation 1, day surveillance.

    a. Improperly camouflaged enemy soldiers in fighting positions.

    b. Stationary, properly camouflaged vehicles.

Situation 2, night surveillance. Moving and stationary enemy soldiers silhouetted on the skyline.

Brief Soldier: Tell the soldier he must conduct surveillance during the day and at night. During surveillance, the soldier must locate 50 percent of the enemy soldiers within his field of view, and must differentiate between a tracked-vehicle and a wheeled-vehicle.

Performance Measures



1.   Identified the following situations during daylight:



a. 50 percent of improperly camouflaged enemy soldiers in fighting positions.



b. A camouflaged wheeled vehicle and a tracked vehicle.



2.   Identified the following situations during night surveillance.



a. Moving enemy soldiers.



b. Stationary enemy soldiers.



Evaluation Guidance:  Score the soldier GO if all performance measures are passed. Score the soldier NO GO if any performance measure is failed. If the soldier scores NO GO, show him what was done wrong and how to do it correctly.






FM 21-75