Vehicle mounted patroling

June 26th, 2005  

Topic: Vehicle mounted patroling

whats the general consensus on vehicle mounted patroling?
Especially when gaurding airfields and bases.
It seems the more reliant we are on technology the less we seem to rely on the basic skills of a soldier, and thereby becoming complacent.
The reason I am bringing this subject up is in many military forces vehicles and APCs seem to be the popular choice for perimeter patroling and does this lead to soldiers not observing the terrain as close as they would if on foot?
Just my thoughts.
June 26th, 2005  
I was not infantry but it would seem relevant to this discussion that when deciding whether to patrol on foot or not you have to consider a few things...
How much ground do you have to cover?
How many troops do you have to cover it?
What sort of threat are you likely to encounter and what do you need to defeat it?
June 27th, 2005  
I've never been in the military or patrolled so I am naive but in my opinion, it should be a mixture. Yes, technology helps but there still should be soliders on foot patrolling. Often in vehicles, you can miss something on the ground level while driving by. On foot, you are more likely to see, hear, and smell more than you can in a vehicle. Like bulldogg said, though, there are several questions that need to be asked.
June 27th, 2005  
Perimeter defense should consist not only of Patrols, both foot mobile and mech (if assets are available) but static posts along the perimeter as well.
June 27th, 2005  
yes, i agree with what you guys have said. there is no one thing that works for everything, theres a place and time for vehicle mounted patrols, and theres a place and time for foot patrols. static posts are also good in some situations, but should not be relied upon in place of patrols. so, in conclusion, a good mixture would be good, just to get the positives of foot patrols, vehicle patrols, and static posts.
July 8th, 2005  
Talking of experience we used both mech and foot patrols in our zone. Foot patrols were used for build up areas, getting close to the locals for bonding and getting social with the people - letting them know we were caring asking questions on families, health care, etc. Or "silent intelligence gathering" as we named it...

Mech patrols used mostly for showing off force and covering large distances, especially late evening and night. If there were tensions in our zone we used heavy mech vehicles, othervise softskin or a mixture (mostly used on BC2 threat situation).
July 23rd, 2005  
Rather than patrol on foot where you can often been seen, the thing to do is to set up hides were you can quietly watch what every one else is doing. With powerful binoculars and infra red equipment you can observe a large area, and redirect mobile patrols accordingly or even call up helicopter gunships.
July 23rd, 2005  
foot patrols with a quick reaction force in vehichles/helis as back up work well.
hides work well if there is no chance of compromise
July 25th, 2005  
I think when your talking perimeter defense of a Fire Base or Air Field you need improved positions for your Crew Serves and fighting positions as opposed to hides. The bad guy already knows where the base is. Now LP/OP teams forward of the positions would benifit from concealment.
July 25th, 2005  
Well, when you are doing vehicle mounted patrols, you have several advantages. These days most of the vehicles in a mech unit will have a thermal capability which in my opinion is a must. Also the weapons on the vehicles can reach out and touch someone. At the same time you need dismounted patrols, so that you can find small details. What we have done in the past, and I think it works well, is that the section dismounts and does a patrol while the vehicle goes to a vantage point where it's optics can be of use, but not too far so that it can also be used for intimate support, should it be needed. The biggest problem in my mind is the use of soft skinned vehicles for operations which require the crew and dismounts to have armoured protection. Soft skinned vehicles should be used for recon or inner perimeter patrolling. If you are going into a hostile area I think light armoured vehicles are a necessity. Ones that can manoeuver easily , but that can provide protection and heavy firepower if needed. My 2 cents.