PART C - APPLY AERIAL SEARCH AND SCAN TECHNIQUES
An air attack will be sudden and swift. Air guards must learn the techniques of search and scan to
quickly recognize aircraft performing hostile acts. Air guards can then give the air attack warning
immediately to allow maximum reaction time or seek cover and concealment and to prepare their
weapons for firing.
Assign air guards to be on the lookout at all times for enemy threats. A map reconnaissance of
each unit's area of operations will help locate likely areas from which air targets can attack. Air
guards should watch for air threats attempting to take advantage of masking caused by woodlines,
ridgelines, and significant folds in the terrain out to about 5,000 meters. Local observation post
(OP) personnel should incorporate air guards responsibilities into their duties. If an OP does not
have a good view of the airspace in its area, position a special sentry to search that sector.
Establish a systematic procedure for searching all sectors. Frequently rotate air guards because
scanning for long periods of time dulls the ability to spot air platforms.
In a convoy, every vehicle should have an individual assigned as an air guard. Anyone on the
vehicle other than the driver may perform this duty. Check the map and mark narrow valleys or
other terrain features that may force a unit to bunch together. Then, assign specific search sectors
to each air guard keeping those trouble spots in mind. Ensure an air guard watches the rear of the
convoy to prevent a surprise attack from this blind side. If the road march lasts more than an hour,
have the troops take turns being air guards so that they remain alert.
1. Identify Search and Scan Techniques.
When searching, especially above the horizon, your eyes will tend to relax and distant
objects may become blurred. Blurring can be prevented by focusing your eyes frequently on a
distant object such as a terrain feature.
Squinting of your eyes will aid in focusing at long ranges. Squinting changes your eyes'
focal length and aids in bringing distant targets in focus.
You should keep your eyes on an air target that you have detected. If you look away you
may lose the target and have to look for it again. If you must look away, you should try to
remember exactly where the air target was and its heading from a specific point such as a terrain
a. Define the Search Sector Size. The size of a search sector directly affects aircraft
detection. You can detect air platforms easier if the search sector is narrow. If you are assigned a
search sector size of 360 degrees, your chances of detecting aircraft are greatly reduced. When
you are supported by an alert warning system, then you can observe a fairly large sector of about
90 degrees. After receiving a warning, narrow the search sector to about 30 degrees and center
your search on the air platforms approach azimuth (Figure 13).