Individual Movement Techniques for Rural Patrolling

DSCN6764Warrior Talk News – by JD Lester

Previously I wrote on the techniques for individual movement that we might be required to use during rural patrolling. I will expand on some of the factors that affect IMT as well as some other points of consideration in this article.

Volume and Effectiveness of Enemy Fire – IMT is not always used due to volume and effectiveness of enemy fire. It can be used both reactive and also proactive, I covered the reactive use in the last article so this time we will concern ourselves with the proactive use of the techniques.   

A few examples of proactively using IMT are listed below:

  • We have seen the bad guys first and want to initiate the contact so we simply go prone and high crawl to a more advantageous position with less chance of our movement attracting attention.  This will work equally well if we decide to “let’m pass” and do not become decisively engaged.
  • If we are going to occupy a surveillance or ambush position we do not want to silhouette ourselves getting into position so we stop short and crawl into the position.
  • Crossing a linear danger area needs to be done as quickly as possible to avoid detection so the rush or more of a “careful hurry” is applicable to use once you have found the most suitable crossing site.


Micro Terrain – The use of micro terrain allows us to decrease the ability of the bad guys to visually detect us while moving or static. The use of the micro terrain in the open area photographs below gives a good visual example of this.

MT 1
Standing tall in the open can attract bullets just like leaving your flashlight on while clearing a structure.


MT 2
Taking a knee at short halts, and if available, use of micro terrain can reduce the ability of the bad guy to spot you.

MT 3
During long halts going prone keeps the silhouette to the minimum.

MT 7
This is the same position as the previous photo from the 12 o’clock.


Fighting Load –
 My fighting load in this example is pretty spartan, by using the Terrorist Interdiction Bag (TIB), it allows me to quickly tailor a load to a specific mission and get on with what I need to do.

On my belt are the essential 1st line items of equipment , one rifle mag, one pistol mag and my RMR’d G17 AIWB.

The uniform I chose to wear was a set of ACU’s that had some sand box wear and a mix of green, tan, and pearl grey dye applied. It blended nicely in the wood line, but no so well in the open area. I tend to not walk out in the open areas as it is easier to be spotted and can make for a lot of reactive IMT.

The boots are some comfortable and sturdy desert boots that have good tread and provide ankle support. The lighter colored soles are another good feature. Sticking with the HEAT (hippy earth tone) camo concept applies to footwear also. I have busted more than one hide site by spotting a couple of solid black boot soles that caught my eye. So unless you have a lot of controlled burns in your area that keep the ground charred, the black boots can get you busted.

Also note in the photos in Part 1 & Part 2, I have a few target inticators that really stood out in the enviroment I was operating in. The colored patchs, headgear, watch, red zipper pull on the TIB and eye pro are easily seen which provides target indicators for the bad guys. A more suitable type of headgear would be a bush hat to break up the outline of my head and changing eyepro or incorporating one of the camo veils.


Route Selection – We want to take the most covered and concealed route possible to the objective, giving us a better probability of a successful patrol.

As mentioned above avoiding open areas is prefferred to help us remain undetected. Other areas that should be given the same consideration during planning and execution are roads, trails, streams, and pipelines which are all natural lines of drift. You can still use them as navigation aids to hand rail just ensure you have enough stand off from them to remain undetected by any Listening / Observation Posts (LP/OP).

Armies and police forces the world over are very prone to establishing check points on roads and rivers because it is logistically easy to do. So avoid the Lines of Communications (LOC) however, know where they are should you need to use one to rapidly egress the area. (Speed vs Security)

Cover – Once again know what it is and what only provides concealment.

An example of good cover. In this situation firing over the cover rather than around it provided the best field of fire for this overwatch position.


In this photo I have pretty good concealment sans the target indicators I mentioned pereviously.

I hope this article has sparked some intrest in this subject and gets some warriors to training. Click here to get your kit dirty with some good training.

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