Strategic Reconnaissance (SR)

Strategic Reconnaissance (SR). These are reconnaissance and surveillance actions conducted as a special operation in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments to collect or verify information of strategic or operational significance, employing military capabilities not normally found in conventional forces. These actions provide an additive capability for commanders and supplement other conventional reconnaissance and surveillance actions. Even with today's sophisticated long-range sensors and overhead platforms, some information can be obtained only by visual observation or other collection methods in the target area. SOF's highly developed capabilities of gaining access to denied and hostile areas, worldwide communications, and specialized aircraft and sensors enable SR against targets inaccessible to other forces or assets. Activities within SR include the following:

  • Environmental Reconnaissance. These are operations conducted to collect and report critical hydrographic, geological, and meteorological information.
  • Armed Reconnaissance. These are operations that involve locating and attacking targets of opportunity, e.g., adversary materiel, personnel, and facilities in assigned general areas or along assigned LOCs. Armed reconnaissance is not conducted for the purpose of attacking specific identified targets.
  • Target and Threat Assessment. These are operations conducted to detect, identify, locate, and assess a target to determine the most effective employment of weapons. This type of operation might include the assessment of the potential effects (to include collateral damage) of a strike or an attack on a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or toxic industrial material site.
  • Poststrike Reconnaissance. These operations are undertaken for the purpose of gathering information used to measure results of a strike.

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