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¡Given the proper format and needed information, prepare a cliff report, in accordance with the references.

4| METHOD/MEDIA. The material in this lesson will be presented by lecture. You will practice what you have learned during upcoming field training exercises.

5| EVALUATION. You will be tested later in this course by performance evaluation.

TRANSITION: If there are no questions, lets start by defining exactly what reconnaissance is.

Q| (5 Min) RECONNAISSANCE. Conducting a cliff assault is a dangerous undertaking. Without extensive reconnaissance of the intended site, the operation will almost be doomed to fail. The more information available to the raid force commander the better the chances of success. The following units are capable of conducting cliff site reconnaissance:

3 Force Reconnaissance Company. This is a MEF level asset whose mission s to conduct pre-assault and deep post- assault reconnaissance and surveillance in support of the Landing Force Commander. Normally there will be one platoon assigned to each MEU (SOC) deployed. This unit will normally have organic Assault Climbers or M7A qualified Mountain Leaders.

b Reconnaissance Company (Division). This is a Division level asset whose mission is to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance in support of the Marine Division and its subordinate elements. Normally there will be one platoon assigned to each MEU (SOC) deployed. This unit will possibly have organic Assault Climbers or M7A qualified Mountain Leaders.

9 Surveillance and Target Acquisition Platoon (STA). This is a BLT asset, normally composed of MOS 8541 trained snipers whose mission is to conduct close reconnaissance for the Battalion Commander and deliver long range precision fire on selected targets. Normally, this element is not employed independent of BLT operations and lack much of the organic support needed for insertion into the operational area when compared to the Reconnaissance

Units.

d Qualified Small Boat Company Scout Swimmers. They are trained to conduct cliff reconnaissance as the boat company often has the primary mission of conducting as amphibious cliff assault.

SEALS. MEU (SOC) will deploy with elements from NAVSPECCWARGRP.

f. Others. Additional units in the theater of operation may consist of Ranger Pathfinder Platoons and Special Forces A Teams.

TRANSITION: Now that we are familiar with what units are qualified to conduct site reconnaissance, let's discuss general considerations of cliff reconnaissance.

(10 Min) CLIFF RECONNAISSANCE. As covered in the Cliff Assault class, the rssault force and its climbers must be prepared to overcome the cliff by whatever means necessary. There are many factors, which drive the reconnaissance effort in support of MEU (SOC) operations. Normally, this mission can be assigned to any one of the units mentioned above at the MEU Commanders discretion. The following are offered as general considerations for conduct of a cliff reconnaissance and are not meant to dictate current unit SOP.

Determine mission feasibility at the mission planning stages (METT) taking into account the enemy situation, capabilities, and probable courses of action (KOCOA, DRAW-D, SALUTE-R).

3 Determine equipment requirements and the assault forces current capabilities. (i.e. is there pre-training or sustainment training required before mission execution.)

d Request an aerial reconnaissance of the area.

d At a minimum, conduct a detailed map reconnaissance. Request to use current MEU (SOC) reconnaissance assets if available.

9 The unit conducting the reconnaissance should be thoroughly familiar with assault climber operations and the assaulting units capabilities.

[If the unit conducting the reconnaissance does not have a qualified Mountain Leader or an assault climber they should bring one with them.

Bldeally, any qualified M7A Mountain Leader or current assault climber should lead this effort. This will provide on site expertise to provide a clear picture of the obstacle to be crossed, identify possible climbing points, equipment requirements, as well as a tentative time estimate.

f. Gather essential data.

(Q) If the unit conducting reconnaissance is not familiar with this type of mission, they must be thoroughly briefed on the specific information required by the assault climbers.

(2) A face-to-face coordination with the recon team leader is highly recommended.

(3) The reconnaissance prep should include, but is not limited to sketches, photographs, or any other items of significance. Don't rule out uncommon sources like tourist maps or photos from submarines. These are very good for planning and navigation.

(4) The information must be reported in a timely manner in order to prepare the assault force.

gj On site observations.

(Q) Identify top and bottom anchor points.

(2) Identify top and bottom rally points.

(3) Identify probable lanes for climbing and establishment of rope installations.

(4) Identify weakness in the cliff face such as chimneys, overhangs, rotten rock, etc...

(5) Identify natural animal habitats such as dens, caves and nests. Startling the animals may warn off the enemy of a disturbance of the cliff face.

(6) Identify possible rock slide/avalanche sites.

(B) Check for the feasibility of fire support.

TRANSITION: Now that you know some of the basic considerations in conducting this mission, let's look at one of the tools of this type of reconnaissance, the cliff sketch.

3. (5 Min) OPERATION SECURITY. Operational security is of utmost importance. The following are considerations to be taken:

3 The reconnaissance element should not climb the intended cliff breach points. This could compromise the plan causing a disastrous loss of surprise for the assaulting unit.

b If the recon unit is to remain in place, surveillance of the breach points and likely avenues of approach should be established.

Q The unit should facilitate the arrival of the assault force and be prepared to assist in any way possible.

S| (10 Min) CLIFF SKETCH. A cliff sketch is a pictorial representation of the cliff in elevation and perspective as seen from one point of observation. It will contain a horizon line and intervening features. It is rapidly made and easily read and understood. A proper cliff sketch will have enormous value to the raid force commander and his assault climbers.

9 Equipment. The following equipment will assist in constructing the cliff sketch:

(Q| Compass

(2) Binoculars equipped with a mil scale

(3) Sketch pad

(4) Soft pencil

(6) Digital Camera b Marginal Information. The following information is placed on the sketch after indicating the reference line and before conducting the sketch:

Sketchers name, rank, and unit ate of sketch Sketchers location (8 digit grid at a minimum) irection of view (in degrees magnetic) agnetic north arrow Scale (if used/known)

d Construction.

Study the landscape to distinguish prominent terrain features in relation to each other. This should be done in conjunction with your military map.

(2 Select a reference point. The point should be permanent and conspicuous. This is the base that the features of your sketch will be drawn from.

(3 Establish a scale. The cliff sketch is a panoramic or birds eye view of the cliff. To maintain a correct relationship between objects and features, a proportion must be established. One method of scale is the 15 inch method:

¡Attach a 15 inch piece of cord to your ruler and hold one end in your teeth.

[^■J Hold the ruler at eye level, each 3/4" increment is equal to 50 mils in width.

¡Utilizing a scale will increase the accuracy of the sketch.

d Basic symbols. There are seven basic symbols used on the cliff sketch, each defines a characteristic that is of importance to the assault climber.

HE THIN CRACK Q2) THICK CRACK ® LEFT FACING CRACK Q4E RIGHT FACING CRACK ((5 OVERHANG Q6) LEDGE 07E CHIMNEY 01) SLAB (9) RAMP fEEE CHUTE

ILLUSTRATIONS OF BASIC SYMBOLS

Note: Ramp, Slab, and Chute can be written on the sketch, include the dimensions (width, depth, height) in order to know the number of lanes possible.

NOTE: Only details that are of military importance should be added. Details should not be added simply to fill up space or improve the appearance of the sketch.

TRANSITION: The cliff sketch is a great tool to the commander on the ground or at the objective area, but how will we get information back to the assault force on the ship before we depart on the mission. Next we will discuss the cliff report.

g| (10 Min) CLIFF REPORT. The cliff report contains thirteen lines, Alpha through Mike. Each of the lines will give information about a specific aspect of the cliff and the surrounding area. The following is provided in the event that a recon team is reporting directly to the assaulting unit and not their SARC.

3 LINE ALPHA: Line Alpha indicates the units of measure to be used throughout the report.

UNIT OF MEASURE

NUMBER CODE

Meters

1

Yards

2

Feet

3

b LINE BRAVO: Date / time report completed.

Q LINE CHARLIE: Cliff location. Given at cliff center and expressed as a minimum 8 digit grid over a secure net or encrypted utilizing the AKAC 874.

3 LINE DELTA: Width of the cliff head, expressed in the units of measure stated in LINE ALPHA.

9 LINE ECHO: Cliff height, expressed in the units of measure stated in LINE ALPHA.

fj LINE FOXTROT: Obstacles at the base of the cliff. This line can use multiple codes.

OBSTACLE

LETTER CODE

NUMBER CODE

TYPE

Natural

A

1

Rocks

2

Stream / River

3

Trees / Vegetation

4

Ditches

s

Snow / Ice

Manmade

B

l

Buildings

2

Fences

3

Pylons / Wires

4

Poles / Masts

5

Others

g LINE GOLF: Rock type, if known.

TYPE

NUMBER CODE

Granite

l

Basalt

2

Lava

3

Sandstone

4

Steep earth

5

Unknown

6

h| LINE HOTEL: Military classification of climbs, if determined.

CODE

DESCRIPTION

Easy

50-60 degrees, freeable, good pro placement

Moderate

60-70 degrees, good pro placement, medium -large pro

Difficult

70-80 degrees, marginal pro placements, overhangs

Severe

80-90 degrees, run-outs or unprotectable, overhangs

Q[ LINE INDIA: This line will identify hazards on the cliff face.

HAZARD

NUMBER CODE

Rockfall

l

Water

2

Snow / Ice

3

Vegetation

4

Other

5

H LINE JULIET: This line will identify the number and types of tactical lanes, which can be constructed. This line may contain more than one code as applicable.

LANE TYPE

LETTER CODE

Simple fixed

A

Fixed

B

Top rope

C

Cable ladder

D

Vertical hauling line

E

Suspension traverse

F

k LINE KILO: Is an A-frame needed? YES or NO

01 LINE LIMA: Enemy Situation. Given in the SALUTE-R format for any current enemy reports that may affect the cliff assault or are pertinent.

mi LINE MIKE: Remarks / comments. Identifies any data that is essential but not covered in the above lines.

6 (5 Min) CLIFF REPORT EXAMPLE. The following is an example of a cliff report. It is based on NATO report formats utilized by reconnaissance units. The advantages to this style of report are the encryption of the pertinent information and the ability to rapidly transmit the data by radio communications. The disadvantage to this style is that the receiver of the report must be thoroughly versed in the report and how to decipher the information.

I. Recon Team: Kilo One Tango this is Golf Seven Delta, stand by for CLIFFREP, over.

LINE ALPHA

3

LINE BRAVO

180800ZJAN98

LINE CHARLIE

MG67890898

LINE DELTA

250

LINE ECHO

40

LINE FOXTROT

2,4 A; 2 B

LINE GOLF

1

LINE HOTEL

Moderate

LINE INDIA

4

LINE JULIET

6 C, 3 D, 1 F

LINE KILO

Yes

LINE LIMA

None

LINE MIKE

None

b This report describes a cliff in feet that was reconnoitered at 0800 on 18 Jan 2000. The cliff is located at grid MG67890898 and is 250 feet wide at the base. The cliff is 40 feet high and has a ditch, stream and fence in the area surrounding the base. It is made of granite and is a moderate climb. There is vegetation on the cliff face with 6 top rope lanes, 3 ladder lanes, and 1 suspension traverse site. An Aframe is needed to bring up equipment and no enemy activity was noted.

TRANSITION: Properly done the cliff report and cliff sketch can greatly help with the mission at hand. We have discussed the types of reconnaissance, cliff reconnaissance, cliff sketch, and the cliff report. Are there any questions?

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