LRSUs operate up to 200 kilometres (120 mi) from the Forward Line Of Troops (FLOT) for a maximum of 6 days.[citation needed] Their five primary missions are reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, battle damage assessment, and force protection. They also have many secondary missions capabilities to include enemy prisoner-snatch, wiretapping, field assassinations, emergency assaults, general battlefield information (weather and light data, map data, etc.) and enemy equipment/infrastructure sabotage.

LRS team operations are characterized by the following:

  1. LRSU Clandestine operations require Operational Security (OPSEC) and Personal Security (PERSEC) measures and procedures before, during, and after mission employment. This is to protect the individual team members as well as maintain operational integrity of the LRS cell.
  2. Team members depend on stealth, cover, concealment, infantry, and Ranger skills.
  3. Team members avoid contact with enemy forces and local population.
  4. Teams are employed to obtain timely information.
  5. Teams have restricted mobility in the area of operations.
  6. Team members depend on communications, knowing the enemy's order of battle, and equipment identification skills.
  7. The Surveillance or reconnaissance area is small, has a specified route, or is a specific location or installation.
  8. Team equipment and supplies are limited to what can be man packed or cached.
  9. Teams require detailed intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) and debriefing from the Intelligence Officer(G2) for employment.[2]


LRS units (LRSU) are Infantry company-size elements that are assets within a Battlefield Surveillance Brigade'sReconnaissance & Surveillance Squadron (R&S Squadron) designated as US Army Cavalry but are functionally Airborne Infantry units. The LRSU is structured as an LRS Company comprising three LRS detachments, a communications Platoon, and a Troop Headquarters. Within the LRS company, the LRS detachments typically have designated specialties. Typically, there are three teams, also known as "DETs." 3rd DET typically specializes in mountain warfare. 2nd DET is the dive detachment, specializing in water-borne operations such as scuba diving and infiltrating harbors and ports as well as employing the Zodiac. 1st DET is HALO (High Altitude, Low Open), specializing in airborne operations. This means jumping from a high performance military aircraft at an altitude in excess of ten thousand feet and deploying parachutes at one to two thousand feet. 3rd DET can also perform HAHO (High Altitude, High Open) operations. This means jumping from a high performance military aircraft in excess of ten thousand feet and deploying parachutes shortly after leaving the aircraft. LRS Detachments are organized as five unsupported LRS teams.

LRS Team composition[edit]

As with LRRP units of the past each US Army LRS team is composed of six soldiers:

  • Team Leader (TL) Staff Sergeant (E-6) Preferably Ranger qualified
  • Assistant Team Leader (ATL) Sergeant (E-5) Preferably Ranger qualified
  • Radio Telephone Operator (RTO) Specialist (E-4)
  • Senior Scout Observer (SSO) Specialist/Corporal (E-4)
  • Scout Observer (SO) Specialist/Corporal (E-4)
  • Assistant Radio Telephone Operator (ARTO) Specialist (E-4)

All positions can be held by (E-1 up) to fill positions (upon meeting unit requirements)

Reconnaissance and Surveillance Squadr