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071-326-5705 (SL2) - Establish an Observation Post

Standards: Selected a location for an observation post (OP) that provided observation of the avenues of approach, was within small-arms range of the element, and offered adequate cover and concealment. Established communication between the OP and the platoon leader or squad leader.

Conditions: Given a squad- or platoon-size element in a defensive position, a TA-312/PT field telephone and communication wire, or a radio, and a probable enemy avenue of approach.

Standards: Selected a location for an observation post (OP) that provided observation of the avenues of approach, was within small-arms range of the element, and offered adequate cover and concealment. Established communication between the OP and the platoon leader or squad leader.

Performance Steps

Note. OPs are generally established along probable avenues of approach to listen and observe and to provide early warning of enemy approach.

1.   Select an OP.

a. The site selected for an OP should provide-

(1)  Maximum observation of the desired area (specified by the platoon leader).

(2)  Cover and concealment for the occupants of the OP.

(3)  Concealed routes to and from the OP.

b. Observation is the best way to determine whether the above conditions exist at a site.

c. Usually, the best location for an OP is on or near the military crest of a hill. Topographical crests should be avoided because of the possibility of being skylined. It may be appropriate to establish the OP well down the forward slope when observation is restricted by the terrain (figure 071-326-5705-1).

 


Figure  071-326-5705-1. OP Position

d. OPs should be within effective small-arms range of the unit establishing the OP, and should be supported by other supporting fire when possible.

2.   Establish and operate an OP.

a. Wire is the primary means of communication with an OP and may be supplemented by radio. Wire and radio antennas should be carefully positioned and camouflaged to avoid detection by the enemy (figure 071-326-5705-2).

 


Figure  071-326-5705-2. Camouflage Communication Lines

b. Personnel going to and from the OP must move carefully so movement does not reveal the location to the enemy. Separate routes to and from the OP are established. Camouflage is most important. The OP should be camouflaged even when natural concealment is adequate.

c. OPs are operated in reliefs. A minimum of two soldiers is necessary for each relief. One observes while the other records and reports observed information. The observer and recorder should switch duties every 20 to 30 minutes, because the visual efficiency of an observer decreases rapidly after that length of time.

3.   Establish and operate an OP during limited visibility.

a. The enemy may use a different, more open avenue of approach during limited visibility conditions; therefore, an OP may have to be moved to another position to serve as an OP at night.

b. Limited visibility OPs are usually closer to defensive positions. Night vision devices may be given for use on the OP. The enemy deploys infiltrators against the defense at night, so a series of OPs, backed up by alert troops equipped with night vision devices and by snipers, can counter this infiltration.

c. OPs are operated in relief except when movement to and from positions would reveal their locations or endanger the personnel.

Evaluation Preparation:

Setup: In a field environment with terrain on which an OP can be established, provide the element leader with a TA-312/PT field telephone and communication wire, or a radio, and two personnel to act as the observer and the recorder.

Brief Soldier: Tell the soldier to establish an OP to observe an area (designated by the tester) forward or to the flanks of his element.

Performance Measures

GO

NO GO

1.   Selected an area within small-arms range of the squad- or platoon-size element.

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2.   Selected a site that provided maximum observation of the desired area.

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3.   Established and operated an area that offered cover and concealment.

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4.   Ensured wire or radio communication was established.

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5.   Ensured that radio antenna, if used, was camouflaged.

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6.   Established several concealed routes to and from the observation post.

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7.   Ensured that the observation post was camouflaged.

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8.   Placed a minimum of two personnel on the observation post.

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9.   Instructed observer and recorder to switch duties every 20 to 30 minutes.

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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 what was done wrong and how to do it correctly.

References

 

Required

Related

 

FM 7-8

 

 

FM 21-75