The following are the most common types of Security Operations employed:
• Local security consists of low-level security operations conducted near a unit to prevent surprise by the enemy (FM 1-02). Local security measures are the same as those outlined for exterior guards in FM 22-6.
• Screen is a form of security operations that primarily provides early warning to the protected force. (FM 1-02) A screen consists of a combination of observation posts and security patrols.
• Guard is a term with a dual meaning; the difference is the size element referred to. When used to refer to individuals, a guard is the individual responsible to keep watch over, protect, shield, defend, warn, or any duties prescribed by general orders and/or special orders. Guards are also referred to as a sentinels, sentries, or lookouts (FM 22-6). When used in reference to units, a guard is a tactical mission task where the guard force protects the main
body by fighting to gain time while observing and preventing the enemy’s observation and direct fire against the main body. (FM 1-02) Units conducting a guard mission cannot operate independently because they rely upon the fires and
warfighting functions of the main body. Guards consist of a combination of OPs, battle positions, combat patrols, reconnaissance patrols, and movement to contact for force protection.
• Cover is a form of security operations with the primary task is to protect the main body. This is executed by fighting to gain time while also observing and preventing the enemy’s ground observation and direct fire against the main body. (FM 1-02) Ordinarily only battalion -sized element and larger have the assets necessary to conduct this type of security operation.
• Area security is a form of security operations conducted to protect friendly forces, installations, routes, and actions within a specific area. (FM 1-02) During conventional operations (major theater of war scenarios) area security refers
the security measures used in friendly controlled areas. Many of the tasks traditionally associated with stability operations and small scale contingencies fall within the scope of area security. These include road blocks, traffic
control points, route security, convoy security, and searches.
The screen, guard, and cover are the security measures used primarily by battalion-sized units to secure themselves from conventional enemy units. These measures, respectively, contain increasing levels of combat power and provide
increasing levels of security for the main body. Along with the increase of combat power, there is an increase in the unit’s requirement to fight for time, space, and information on the enemy. Conceptually, the measures serve the same
purpose as the local security measures by smaller units. For example, a battalion will employ a screen for early warning while a platoon will emplace an OP. The purpose is the same—early warning—only the degree and scale of the measures are different. Local and area security are related in that they both focus on the enemy threat within a specified area. Again, the difference is one of degree and scale. Local security is concerned with protecting the unit from enemy in the immediate area, whereas area security is concerned with enemy anywhere in the leader’s area of operation (AO).
Security Fundamental - The techniques employed to secure a larger unit are generally the same as those of traditional offensive and defensive operations. It is the application of those techniques that differ. The following Security Fundamentals are a the most common techniques used, information required to execute the operation, and the principles used to employ them (also see attached diagram).
1. Principles of Security Operations.
• Three General Orders.
• Provide early and accurate warning.
• Provide reaction time and maneuver space.
• Orient on the force / facility being secured.
• Perform continuous reconnaissance.
• Maintain enemy contact.
2. Techniques Used to Perform Security Operations.
• Observation post (OPs).
• Combat outpost.
• Battle positions (BPs).
• Combat formations.
• Movement Techniques.
• Movement to contact.
• Dismounted, mounted, and air insertion.
• Convoy and route security.
3. Information Required from Controlling Headquarters.
• Trace of the security area (front, sides, and rear boundaries), and initial position within the area.
• Time security is to be established.
• Main body size and location.
• Mission, purpose and commander’s intent of the controlling headquarters.
• Counterreconnaissance and engagement criteria.
• Method of movement to occupy the area (zone reconnaissance, infiltration, tactical road march, movement to contact; mounted, dismounted, or air insertion).
• Trigger for displacement and method of control when displacing.
• Possible follow-on missions.