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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.