End of long range recon units

Phil Sussman Pvt. Nicholas Klusener sits with his team at a hide site, May 13, during the LRS Company FTX.

Long range surveillance (LRS) performed by foot soldiers will soon be a thing of the past. The Army is deactivating its three LRS Companies this month and the remaining four National Guard companies in 2018. Photo by Phil Sussman, U.S. Army contracted photojournalist at Fort Lewis, Washington

As of February, the Army has deactivated its three long-range surveillance companies in the active-duty force. In addition, the remaining four National Guard Long Range Companies will be deactivated in 2018, according the US Army.

The nearly 100 soldiers in each of three active-duty companies attached to three Corps commands at Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington will be reassigned to other units at those posts, said Lt. Col. Christina Kretchman, an Army spokeswoman. Kretchum added, “Army National Guard units in Nebraska, Georgia, Indiana and Alabama will fold up their long-range surveillance companies and reassign those soldiers in August 2018.

Long-range surveillance companies in the Army are comprised of 15, six-man teams led by a staff sergeant. The teams specialize in navigating forward positions to monitor enemy movement and gather intelligence for commanders.

Soldiers in long-range surveillance companies have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, tracing their lineage through Cold War Europe, Vietnam and the famous Alamo Scouts, who liberated prisoner of war camps during World War II.

According to some defense analysts, Army commanders have an aversion to risk and a growing preference to use technology such as satellites and drones for reconnaissance rather than insert small teams of soldiers.

Soldiers in long-range surveillance companies have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, tracing their lineage through Cold War Europe, Vietnam and the famous Alamo Scouts, who liberated prisoner of war camps during World War II.

 

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