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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.





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





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





4.   Ensured wire or radio communication was
established.





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





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





7.   Ensured that the observation post was camouflaged.





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





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





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