Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 22 of 22

Thread: Current Combat/Tactical Tracking Operations

  1. #21
    Council Member Tracker275's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    I will play moderator gents. If you would like to do the dance, request you do it via PMs and keep this thread on track with substantive discussion. This isn't even point / counter-point at this point. There is a gold mine to be had, but this is not headed in that direction.
    In total agreement...

    To get back on track, lets start back at this point...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracker275
    Honestly, the carrying out of the tracking piece is not anything that hasn’t already been posted multiple times within U.S. Army unclassified doctrinal publications, or utlized by law enforcement for a long time in everyday forensic applications. The handoff from either an IED Post Blast, IED Found/Cleared, Small Arms Fire (SAF), etc., is simply the ability to not contaminate the area, and give the infantry a starting point to continue the pursuit of the quarry. From there, the basic principles of tracking are performed in conjunction with standard patrolling techniques that are relatively common in most military organizations. While performing the tracking, you maintain a security element that is either moving as the tracking element moves, or there are elements in an overwatch posture that allows for security of the tracking element that is walking point.

    While performing tracking operations, you don't violate the "5 Principles of Patrolling", and maintain not only maintain situational awareness of METT-TC, but also OCOKA.


    "5 Principles of Patrolling": Planning, Reconnaissance, Security, Control, & Common Sense

    METT-TC: Mission, Enemy, Terrain and Weather, Troops and Support Available, Time Available, Civil Considerations

    OCOKA: Observation, Concealment, Obstacles, Key Terrain Features, Avenues of Approach

    Typically, in the urban environments in either Iraq or Afghanistan, most of the streets are either dirt, or have a concrete/asphalt base that is covered in dirt. Due to the dust storms, and the basic lacking of keeping anything picked up or clean over there, track traps are everywhere. While analysis of the initial scene of the incident is being conducted by one element, the maneuver element that found it takes it from the edge of the incident site. They continue it on from there in a “movement to contact” type of posture, which the tracker guides them to where the quarry was heading. If it is understood where the individual that was identified at the scene may be heading, the time distance gap can be shortened, particularly if there are channeling corridors that allow for only certain directions of travel. It is far easier to perform tracking in urban areas in Iraq than it is in the United States, as most of the alleys area dirt, and not paved. Additionally, our peak times in urban areas were between 2100hrs to 0100hrs, which there was limited activity in the towns we were working in. Most of the spoor was also identified going through alleys and not along the main streets. Typically, the point of setting up an IED in those areas was to eliminate either a specific person, or a group of individuals near buildings they felt safe at.

    Just like dealing with a crime scene in the United States, tracking in urban areas in Iraq are not much different. However, I have found far more evidence that has been able to be identified in Iraq than anything I have done in law enforcement here in the United States.

    Tracking is not merely a patrolling function, but a way to gather forensic evidence left by the individuals responsible for the incident that got you called to an area in the first place. Just like how law enforcement utilizes shoe impressions, tire impressions, skid marks on roads, etc., to determine what happened, or be able to identify a suspect, so does the tracker. The principles of tracking remain the same, and are not something that is some kind of “Special Forces” function, but a function that a trained Infantryman can utilize to better the pursuit of a suspect, or develop knowledge of TTPs utilized by the individual they are after.

    In today’s combat environments, we are almost as limited as personnel in Law Enforcement. We are not allowed to call in artillery on a sniper in a building anymore, like early on in the war. The fact that we are in a “peace keeping” roll, and not open combat, limits the use of easy methods of eliminating a threat. Through this restricted form of warfare, we have to utilize such capabilities that are proven to go after the target in a surgical manner, and not try and kill a fly with a sledge hammer.

  2. #22
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    All soldiers know, and it does not matter if SF or infantry, that itīs not allowed to go outside the wire without plate carriers (A-stan), thus making us slow to outmanuever enemy or effectively conduct follow-up operations. Until they allow GFC to decide when to wear/not wear ballistic protection, and start to move more on foot than in armoured coffins, itīs not gonna change much. I requested permission not to wear plates for certain task and guess what happened - nothing.
    PS: Sorry for my english, I am one of non-british/aussie/kiwi/canadian/american coalition soldiers.
    PPS: No, tracking is not learned anymore in Ranger School, at least wasnīt at class 3-04.

Similar Threads

  1. The question...
    By Boot in forum Doctrine & TTPs
    Replies: 42
    Last Post: 05-16-2009, 01:07 PM
  2. MCOs and SSOs in the 2008 edition of FM 3-0 Operations
    By Norfolk in forum Doctrine & TTPs
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 03-17-2008, 12:15 AM
  3. Understanding Current Operations in Iraq
    By SWJED in forum US Policy, Interest, and Endgame
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-03-2007, 11:40 AM
  4. Disarming the Local Population
    By CSC2005 in forum Doctrine & TTPs
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 08-08-2006, 01:10 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts