Recon & Surveillance Course AAR, by Patriotman

We’ve got the course review in from the Recon & Surveillance class, held in the northeast. I’m honored to have continued students as well as those taking the time to talk about what’s covered. What we do goes far beyond what most learn in so-called tactical courses.


This AAR (After Action Review) is for NC Scouts Recon and Surveillance class held in New Jersey. As a disclaimer, this is my second time attending the class (an excellent AAR of the first class can be found here as JohnyMac and I took the same course ). He also provided me this excellent format for an AAR.

Facilitator NCScout and six students. The skill levels and training experience of the group varied wildly, and it was a great mix of patriots from the People’s Republic of New Jersey.

Saturday – Sunday, April 6-7, 2019. Classes started at 0900 hrs. on Saturday and 0730 hrs. on Sunday. The class ended Saturday at 1700 hrs. for dinner and to make camp and then picked up again for the night portion at 2000 hrs. till 2100 hrs. Sunday start was 0730 hrs. and concluded at 1200 hrs. post an AAR session.

Undisclosured location in Northern New Jersey

The class rallied at 0900 hrs. Saturday morning and got straight to work once reaching the training site.

Starting at 0910 hrs. Saturday, a quick review of the next two days agenda commenced.

> Sample patrol and recon kit overview and discussion
> Pace count,
> Principles of camouflage and concealment, including Cobra Hood construction
> Stealth movement – including upright stalking as well as slow crawling with practice of both,
> Review of patrolling hand signals,
> Review and practice of Squad travel while on patrol,
> Proper React to Contact and Break Contact drills,
> Actual patrol (s),
> Setting up a rural Hide and OP/LP,
> Setting up an urban hide site (there were several structures on site that were used for training)
> Brief review of urban sniping tactics
> Night maneuvers,
> Review of camouflage at night,
> Enhancements to night patrols, e.g. NOD’s FLIR, etc.,
> Writing an Operations Order and planning a patrol, and
> Running an Ops Order

Each block of the two-day agenda built on to the next block. The goal was to build a solid foundation for the group to execute on the final exercise or Ops Order Sunday morning.

During the two days NCScout had each three-man team operate as a stand alont unit as well as in support of the other tean.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in no order:

> Unlike the last class, the weather was fantastic – sunny and in the 60s duing the day, though it did drop to just at the freezing mark at night. We spent the night in a makeshift patrol base constructed using field expedient materials (the old fashion tarp over a rope, or a bivy sack).
> MRE’s and little-to-no prep food was the primary food source for the team.
> As stated before, sleeping arrangements were in field expedient structures carried in our patrol packs. This added a sense of realism and some shared misery (we woke up to some frost).
> Nearly all segments of the two-day agenda were done with the students geared-up, including primary and secondary weapons.
> Several of the team members were generous enough to share the use of their low light enhancements such as FLIR and nods.
> Personally, it was wonderful to spend two days with some fantastic patriots located in my own state.In my other classes with NC Scout, many of the trainees were based in the South. Thus, it was nice to spend time with patriots who live in the same conditions as myself.
> One of the students broke out a drone and we got a brief look at its use as a force multiplier.
> The gentlemen who owned the property we operated on was very accommodating and his future plans for the facility are promising and exciting.

Overall, it was a great two days. Because the weather was so bad last time, some of the things we covered in this class were not able to be covered then (i.e. crawling) because there were very real threats to our health such as hypothermia and ankle injuries.

Many thanks to the individual(s) who coordinated everything to make this class happen.

Scout is a fantastic instructor and friend whose teaching method of ex post facto correction of mistakes is, in my humble opinion, preferable to the DI-style of others. Of course, everyone has different styles and preferences so YMMV. While this may not be a trigger-time class, the concepts covered here are arguably as much or more important as they pertain to gathering intelligence without needing to fire a shot. The enemy can’t shoot when they can’t see….

Don’t hesitate – time is running short and meatspace training is essential to your survival.

The next R&S course date in the fall is on the schedule for 5-6 October.  I’ll see you out there. 

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