1st Brigade LRRP (October 15, 1965 to February 7, 1968)

History of the 1st BDE Long Range Recon Platoon 1966-67

From Carlisle Barracks

The platoon’s mission is that of penetrating enemy territory for route, point, and area surveillance. The concept of operation is to employ small reconnaissance teams within the battalion’s area of operations or a future area of operation being contemplated by the Brigade.  A team is usually employed for a period of 5 days, but will vary according to the current tactical situation.

The platoon was originally organized by 2/Lt Joel S. Stevenson and Platoon Sergeant Philip R. Chassion in August 1965, under the MTOE 57-42F.  At this time the person ell were recruited and outfitted with both weapons and material.

September 1965 saw a training program initiated and the first team was tactically employed in October, 1965.  Since October 1965, the platoon has been employed in all the Brigade’s tactical operations.

The original LRRP personnel were Lt. Stevenson, PSgt Chassion, SFC Guy Tomlinson, Sgt Donovan Pruit, Sgt David Skau, and SFD Larry Forest as Platoon Leader, Platoon Sergeant, and Team Leaders respectively. May 1966 saw 1/Lt Robert Deason assume command until July.  On 14 August 1/Lt Robert L. Friedrich OF100676 accepted the command.  The platoon sergeants for 1966 were SFO Billy C. Eury, RA24989581, SSG Tommy R. Russell, RA18376513, and MSG Fransisco Acevedo, RA50101448.

The platoon’s organization consisted of 1 officer and 34 enlisted men, which was further organized into a platoon headquarters section and four reconnaissance teams.

The headquarters section consisted of platoon leader, Platoon Sergeant, Operation Sergeant and assistant, communication chief and assistant, plus a light truck driver.

The reconnaissance team’s organization consisted of a team leader, 2 reconnaissance scouts, 2 scouts with additional communication duties, and 2 scouts also doubling as the team’s medics. The communications system was composted of 1 each AN/GRC 46 and 2 each PRC/25 radios in the headquarters sections.  Each team was equipped with an AN/PRC-74 and 2 each AN/PRC-25 radios.  These radios gave the platoon internal communications among the teams while one or all of the teams were employed in the field.  Each team was also able to maintain communications with the platoon headquarters.

Throughout the year the teams were inserted into their area of operation by either heliborne assault, ground infiltration, or amphibious means.  The teams were also qualified and capable of executing an airborne insertion.

To increase the effectiveness of this platoon a new concept has been formulated by Captain Friedrich (promoted 17 November 1966), and is planned to become operational the first quarter of 1967.  Basically, the teams would be reorganized into a section concept of organization and will have two scouts who will be sniper trained and equipped.  These 2 scouts will be added to present team organization.  Two RTO’s will also be an addition to each team.  Thus, the present six-man teams will become a ten-man section.  This section would still be employed under the same tactical concept as the present team.

A more significant change will occur in the headquarters section which will consist of the addition of an operation officer, communication repairman, 2 each of RTO’s and 1 armorer.  One RTO would also be assigned the additional duty as the light truck driver. The concept of operation and methods of insertion will remain the same.  However, the platoon would increase its capabilities to patrol and recon a larder area and also to engage small enemy forces or targets of opportunity. The new concept will increase the platoon’s strength to two officers, and fifty-nine (59) enlisted men.

As a result of enemy engagement throughout 1966, the platoon members received 1 Silver star, 29 Bronze stars for Valor, 4 Army Commendations for valor, 10 purple hearts, and 25 Air Medals.  (The awards and decorations section contains the names of the individuals who received the Bronze Stars with “V” and the Silver Star).

Key personnel of the original 1st BDE. LRRPs.

Plt. Ldr. Lt Stephenson
Plt. Sgt. SFC Chassion
Team Ldrs.
SSgt. Pruitt
SSgt. Skau
SFC. Tomlinson
SSgt. Forrest
Commo Sgt.
SSgt. Bourne

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1st Brigade LRRP (October 15, 1965 to February 7, 1968)

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