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"PAMWE CHETE"

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T.A.L. DOZER

 

 

 

Sweeps

SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION

  1. Aim. The aim of a sweep is to search an area thoroughly and to ensure that no enemy remains undetected, or is able to escape.
  2. Value. Because of the difficulties involved in control and direction keeping, sweeps are very rarely successful in the bush. Their value has usually been very small in comparison with the number of troops required.
  3. Principles. The following principles must be observed if the sweep is to have any chance of success:
    1. Good security (secrecy in preparation and secrecy of movement).
    2. Sufficient troops for the task.
    3. The area to be swept must be limited. A very common error is to sweep an area too large for the force available.
    4. Good control, which also implies good communication, e.g., use of report lines.
    5. Clear orders.
    6. A rate of advance slow enough to ensure a thorough search of the area.
  4. Reconnaissance. This may not be possible as it will often be an indication of subsequent operations.

SECTION 2: ORGANIZATION

  1. Groups. The available forces must be divided into three groups:
    1. Stop groups.
    2. Sweep group.
    3. Reserves.
  2. Stop groups. Stop groups must be able to provide a high rate of accurate fire.
    1. Composition. Stops will be small and each should therefore include one or more automatic weapons. Each stop should be commanded by at least a non-commissioned officer.
    2. Siting.
      1. Stops should be within visual distance of each other, but must be concealed from anyone flushed by the sweeping party.
      2. It must be possible for the area between stops to be covered by fire.
      3. Stops will normally be placed on three sides of the area to be swept.
      4. Stop lines must be denoted by clear, unmistakable features and known to the sweep party and reserve.
    3. Method of operation.
      1. Stops must move to their positions by a covered route to avoid being seen arriving, and must remain concealed on arrival. Any person met en route to stop positions must be detained until the end of the operation.
      2. To avoid disclosing the position of stops, stray individuals who try and break the stop line should, if possible, be detained silently.
      3. on arrival of the sweeping party, stops should stand up and give the prearranged recognition signal.
    4. Discipline. This must be strict, particularly as stops will be spread out and often out of sight and hearing of an officer. Stops must be ready for instant action throughout the operation, and all noise, smoking and fires forbidden.
  3. Sweep group.
    1. Aim. The aim of the sweep group is to search an area and to ensure that all the enemy elements are located.
    2. The following points must be noted:
      1. Flexibility.
        1. The density of the vegetation in the sweep area will vary from open country, requiring relatively few searchers, to dense bush, built-up areas, outcrops, cultivated lands and settlements, necessitating the use of more troops to complete the task efficiently. It is therefore essential that a commander be able to concentrate or spread out his troops in accordance with the terrain.
        2. It follows that the sweep should not merely consist of an evenly spaced line of individuals, but rather of a line of sub-units, each carrying out a specific task. Report lines, in particular, will indicate the progress of each and will allow for any reallocation of tasks, should the situation warrant this. Report lines are especially necessary if the sweep is to cover a large area.
      2. Strict supervision at all levels must be ensured so that the ground is covered.
      3. Every possible hiding place must be searched.
      4. The rate of advance must be slow enough to ensure that a proper search is conducted.
      5. The sweep party must be ready to engage a fleeing target should the need arise.
  4. Reserve. A reserve must be available to carry out the following tasks:
    1. To engage and destroy any terrorists who offer organized resistance inside the area being swept. The commander should, whenever possible, have a reserve force, well-armed with automatic weapons and rifles, under his personal command and located near him, to deal with any gang which may give serious and prolonged resistance. The size of this force will depend on the size of the total force taking part, and on the degree of resistance expected.
    2. To follow up and destroy any parties of terrorists which break through the stop line. The ideal is to have in the stop parties a patrol in the middle of each side of the area being swept, to follow up and destroy any gangs which may escape from the area. If there are insufficient troops to permit the commander to cover every side of the swept area in this fashion, he should deploy his follow-up troops to cover the most likely escape routes.

SECTION 3: CONDUCT OF SWEEPS

  1. There are many variations to this type of operation and the conduct will be dependent on a number of factors. For example:
    1. Nature of the ground.
    2. Time available.
    3. Forces available.
  2. The conduct may vary from a simple linear sweep in fairly open country to a complex systematic search by a carefully controlled and coordinated series of patrols in dense bush or forests. In some cases it may become necessary to conduct a sweep of a village.

SECTION 4: GENERAL

  1. Aircraft. A spotter aircraft or helicopter is invaluable and may be available. It helps the forces to maintain direction as well as spot terrorist movement. It must be in radio communication with the commander of the operation, with both sweep and stop parties, and with the reserve when deployed. The use of an aircraft does tend to give away positions to the terrorists.
  2. Recognition.
    1. A recognition signal must be decided upon beforehand and known to everyone taking part.
    2. All civilians participating must wear distinctive headdress and armband.
  3. Radio. If the sweep is a battalion operation, control may be in the form of a normal battalion radio net to companies, each company having its own forward net. In some cases it may be more satisfactory to control all the platoons on the battalion net, the battalion's forward control set being r sited on a prominent feature which can dominate the whole area of operation.
  4. Trackers. In thick bush, due to restricted visibility, patrols must concentrate more on searching for terrorist signs and tracks than on the hope of seeing them in person. A high standard of fieldcraft is therefore required and every tracker available must be allocated to the platoons taking part in the operation. Patrol dogs may also be used to great advantage to locate hidden terrorists, or to follow fresh tracks. They may even be let loose by their handlers to flush terrorists.

 

Linear sweeps.

Legend

  1. Limit of sweep.
  2. Direction of sweep.
  3. Command element.
  4. Sweep parties.
  5. Stops and follow-up groups.
  6. Reserve.
  7. Fire support.
  8. Start line.
  9. It may be necessary to subdivide the area into unit/subunit areas of responsibility.

 

Linar sweep.

Legend

  1. Limit of sweep.
  2. Command element.
  3. 3. Stop groups.
  4. Sweep parties.
  5. Fire support.

Legend

  1. Limit of sweep.
  2. Command element. 3. Sweep parties. 4. Inter-unit/sub-unit boundaries. 5. Stop and follow-up groups. s of 6. Reserve. 7. Fire support.

 

Sweep of a village.

Legend

  1. Command element.
  2. Inner stop groups.
  3. Outer stop groups.
  4. Sweep parties.
  5. Reserve.
  6. Inter-unit/sub-unit boundaries.

 

 

 

THIS SITE LAST UPDATED: Sunday, September 16, 2007 06:43:38 PM

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