The commander analyzes the requirements for information and determines the reconnaissance needed. He defines and specifies the missions to be accomplished and the objectives to be achieved. The chief of staff is responsible directly for reconnaissance. He interprets the commander's instructions and converts them into specific tasks. The commander designates targets for reconnaissance and when and on what axis to focus the main effort of reconnaissance. He defines the data he wants and when he needs it and in what form the reconnaissance forces may be used especially prior to the offensive.

In his instructions the chief of staff gives the following:

- concretely specifies reconnaissance tasks assigned by the commander and higher headquarters and determines the method of execution.

- confirms and adjusts objectives and areas and axes where the main effort of reconnaissance will be concentrated.

- specifies the troops and means to be employed for accomplishment of most important missions.

- specifies the reconnaissance reserve troops.

- specifies the main measures on readiness of reconnaissance forces

- specifies the deadline for preparation of the reconnaissance plan and the combat instructions on reconnaissance.

Depending on the situation the reconnaissance plan is prepared in a written form with a map annex or it is worked out on a map with written instructions. The reconnaissance plan should reflect the following points:

- The reconnaissance sectors (areas, axes), the aim and specific tasks of reconnaissance.

- The troops and means allocated for reconnaissance and their distribution in terms of missions and objectives (targets).

- The timing of the accomplishment of the assigned missions and the time to acquire the required information from higher headquarters and other headquarters.

- The reserve of reconnaissance troops and means.

- Organization of command and control of reconnaissance troops and means and the method of sending reconnaissance reports.

- The plan also may include other guidelines, instructions and information on preparation and conduct of the reconnaissance.

Since the frontal headquarters is the principal organizer of air reconnaissance the frontal plan of reconnaissance would include the following points on aerial reconnaissance: the missions and limits (areas) of aerial reconnaissance, the number of allocated sorties for the accomplishment of each mission, the most important reconnaissance targets, the method and time of sending aerial reconnaissance reports.

The map annex, attached to the reconnaissance plan, normally reflects the following:

- Boundaries of the front and of armies

- The targets and axes of reconnaissance and the areas where special attention of the reconnaissance is to be concentrated.

- The units, subunits and groups (detachments) of special reconnaissance troops and the sources of espionage reconnaissance.

- The main directions of aerial reconnaissance to cover the areas of deployment of the airfields where the reconnaissance aviation forces are based. The scale and dimension of plane and oblique aerial photography of these airfields.

- The main and alternate areas of the deployment of frontal reconnaissance troops and means and the method of their movement and relocation in the course of the operation.

- The line up to which all types of arms and services may conduct reconnaissance prior to the initiation of the operation.

The written instructions attached to the map type reconnaissance plan would briefly reflect the following points:

- The aim and main tasks of the reconnaissance and the time of their accomplishment

- Calculation of the troops and means in terms of missions, the days of operation and the axes of action, along with other information which can not be shown on the map.

The sequence of preparing the reconnaissance plan can be as follows:

- Marking available and current information about the enemy on the map and drawing the boundary lines of armies and the front.

- Marking the areas and directions (axes) of particular attention

- Specifying and singling out that reconnaissance information which requires confirmation, updating and recontrol.

- Calculating the capabilities of reconnaissance troops and means and their distribution in terms of targets and directions (axes)

- Specifying the areas and the lines of deployment and operation of reconnaissance organs (elements) and specification of their missions.

- Establishing the method for re-reconnoitering and double-checking of the targets of the initial nuclear strike.

- Assessing the enemy's likely actions, the grouping of his troops and means prior to the initiation of combat actions and during the course of the combat operation.

- Determining the specific reconnaissance mission prior to the operation and in the course of the conduct of the operation.

- Specifying the time of acquisition of reconnaissance information for the initial nuclear strike, initiation of the attack by friendly forces, commitment of the second echelon forces into combat, assault river crossing, fighting the enemy's advancing reserves, etc.

- Specifying measures on reinforcement and activation of the reconnaissance for the upcoming war and for the phase of the initiation of military operations.

In preparing the reconnaissance plan the following officers of different departments would also take part: the chief of reconnaissance department of the air army, chief of artillery reconnaissance, the reconnaissance officers of other arms and services who are responsible for organization and conduct of reconnaissance in their respective departments.

The reconnaissance plan is basically a combat document which is signed by the chief of frontal reconnaissance department and the front chief of staff, and it is approved by the front commander.