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RON - Remain overnight position
by Tom Sawyer

1. Typical situations that require planning for the establishment of a RON include those where there will be a requirement to:

a. To cease all movement during daylight hours to avoid detection;

b. To provide a base of operation from which further patrols can be launched;

c. To rest and re-org after extended movement or operations; and

d. To re-org after a patrol has infiltrated the enemy in small groups (link up point).

2. Considerations: Planning for a RON must include considering the actions of the mission; ie: Located so as to enable the Patrol to best accomplish its mission, and both passive and active security measures:

Passive Security Measures include:
3. Avoid built up areas;
4. Avoid open woods and clearings;
5. Select an area away from all inhabitants;
6. Avoid known or suspected enemy locations;
7. Select terrain which would be considered of little tactical value;
8. Avoid ridgelines, crests, valleys, lakes and streams;
9. Select terrain suitable for radio communications;
10. Select steep terrain, ravines, or other such areas that would impede foot movement;
11. Avoid all roads and trails;
12. Select areas with dense vegetation, that provide cover from ground and air;

Active Security Measures include:
1. Establish an OP/LP system covering all likely approaches;
2. Establish communications with OP/LPs for early warning;
3. Select an Alternate RON;
4. Use chain of command to enforce light, noise and cam Discipline;
5. Organize the elements of the patrol so that the necessary activities can take place with a minimum of movement; and
6. Establish a percentage alert plan.

A RON is a position established when a patrol halts for an extended period (usually overnight). When in an area not protected by friendly troops, maximum security measures must be taken to protect the patrol.

Activities in a RON are similar to an assembly area, but should be kept to a minimum. A RON is normally planned off a map but could be established with an on?the?spot decision in some circumstances. A RON is occupied for the minimum time necessary to accomplish the purpose for which it was established. It will not be more than 48 hours and never use the same RON twice.

Detachment/Section Size: Occupation at det/sect size will be by force. That is to say when the patrol commander sees a suitable location he will occupy it using this procedure:
7. 200m minus tentative RON, prepare to conduct a "dog leg" maneuver into RON, (any maneuver can be used to get into the RON (i.e. fishhook etc.);
8. Once a suitable location is found, stop 10-15 minute listening halt;
9. Carry on with RON activities;

Section Size Plus:
a. In a recce platoon there may be two requirements for a RON of this size:
(1) One method of occupying a RON is used when a full compliment of platoon is available and a RON (whether fighting or recce) is required by that platoon, and
(2) Another method would be a tasking, to recce and secure a RON for an outside unit. In this case, there may be a requirement for additional manpower. This depends on the amount of RONs required for the task, ie., 3 platoon-sized RONs for a company fighting patrol.

Sequence of Occupation Section Plus:
10. Drill used for occupation is one of many set methods;
11. The drill you will be taught is derived from many sources and when combined is the most thorough and operationally sound;
12. This drill is established to both teach you, and standardize a method;
13. As experienced NCO’s, some alterations may be made to suit the men, experience, but most important, the mission. The sequence is:
14. Patrol commander halts 200m from tentative RON (site was chosen from map);
15. Patrol 2IC moves forward on order;
16. Long halt issued, patrol commander issues 2IC a 5-pt contingency plan containing:

a. Who is going by name;
b. What you will be doing;
c. Where you are going (by bearing/distance);
d. How long you will be gone;
e. What to do if:
- Do not return;
- If patrol commander's party comes under fire;
- If main party comes under fire.
17. Patrol commander, signaller, navigator, A & D security teams move to dog leg;
18. 1 man D sec remains at dog leg with 5 pt contingency plan; Patrol commander and party continue to RON;
19. Once they have arrived at the RON, A sec must clear the area:
a. The patrol commander, navigator, and signaler stay at the 6 o'clock position;
b. The group from A security make the clearance of the area using a box search method;
c. Once the area has been secured, A security marks the outer limits of the RON with one man at each corner using a flashlight or a glow stick at the centre of each segment of the base;
d. The patrol commander ensures that the 12 o’clock point of the base faces the direction of travel; and
e. The patrol commander issues a 5-pt contingency plan to the commander A sec, who stays at the 6 o’clock position during the patrol commanders absence.
20. He returns to the dog leg (unchallenged), drops off 2nd man from D sec and leaves 5 pt contingency plan;
21. Patrol commander picks up the patrol, leads them through the dog leg (unchallenged) to the RON through 6 o'clock;
22. Patrol commander and signaller, move to centre. D security remains at the dog leg for 30 minutes and then moves into the patrol base;
23. All elements move into position using 12 and 6 o'clock as a guide. Once in position, a 10-minute listening halt is observed;
24. After 10 min listening halt, the patrol 2IC dispatches B & C security to do an area search (by day only and if terrain permits). 2IC then dispatches LP’s;

25. After 30 minutes, element commanders go to HQ and receive orders. Platoon commander issues orders to include:
a. Alternate RON, bearings, distance, terrain features;
b. Alternate plan/stand-to policy;
c. Evacuation plan/code-words to move out and RVs;
d. Priority of work:
- Security OPs/LPs, early warning devices, claymores, etc;
- Weapon maintenance;
- Water plan;
- Hygiene;
- Food;
- Rest, and;
- Re-supply.

NOTE: A circular or triangular RON may be used. The method of occupation is the same, except for the following:
26. When occupying a triangular RON, rucksacks or mini chem lights could be used to mark the corners of the RON, or if you have enough personnel; one man at each corner;
27. When conducting area sweep, security elements at each corner would conduct the sweep, moving clockwise to the next corner and then simply moving back to their original position.

The use of OP/LPs and/or sentries and their proper organization is a most important part of the RON. OP/LPs are established ASAP and should be far enough from the perimeter so that noise from the base cannot be heard. Prior to leaving they must receive the following info:
28. Arcs and christening of ground;
29. Location of other OP/LPs in the area; 31. Early warning systems (physical or radio);
32. Time of change from OP to LP (OP’s become LPs at night) LP’s shift closer to main base;
33. Known and suspected enemy approaches;
34. Challenging procedures/passwords;
35. Action on sighting enemy-Rules of engagement;
36. Route from and to RON site; and
37. States of readiness.

Prior to leaving the OP/LPs must:
38. Ensure they have sufficient food and water;
39. Make a radio check and take sufficient batteries;
40. A PTT switch code is established in case of close proximity to the enemy makes verbal communications impossible;
41. If more than one, time out and in must be the same; and
42. Have all their equipment and know location of alternate RV, RON and bearings; and Sentries will be required in and around the RON if OP/LPs are not required. The same routine applies for them except they are just outside the patrol perimeter.

Operation and Routine in a RON (Priority of Work):

Security: If the base is occupied longer than overnight and a majority of the force is out operating away from the base, sufficient troops must remain to give it adequate protection. Every man must be armed at all times. Men must never move on their own outside the base ? always at least in pairs:
43. Only one point of entry and exit is used. This point is cammoed and guarded at all times;
44. Minimum movement, both inside and outside the RON;
45. Civilians who discover the loc of the RON are detained until the base is moved or until they can be evacuated to higher HQ, as appropriate. Care is taken to ensure that detained civilians learn as little as possible about the base, its OP, and future plans. If necessary, they are tied and blindfolded and their ears covered;
46. When sufficient personnel are available, OP’s are manned by at least two individuals so they can alternate and ensure alertness at all times;
47. LPs are always manned by at least two, preferably three individuals so they too can alternate and remain alert without back and forth movement; and
48. A 1 hr stand to is observed morning and evening; 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after light in the morning, and 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after dark in the evening. This ensures that every man is acclimated to changing light conditions, and is dressed, equipped and ready for action.

Defense: Defensive measures are planned but a RON is usually defended only when evacuation is not possible:
49. Elaborate firing positions are not constructed;
50. Camo and concealment is highly stressed;
51. Artillery and mortar fire may be planned, if available. Early warning devices may be placed on avenues of approach. If the base definitely will be defended, mines, trip flares and booby traps may be placed on avenues of approach and in areas that cannot be covered by fire. The value of these devices must be weighed against the fact that their discovery automatically compromises the RON; and
52. An alert plan is established. This includes plans for evacuation and defense. All members must know these plans and the signals or orders for their implementation.

Communications: Communications are established with higher patrols, subordinate units, OP’s and LP’s. The system must provide for every man to be alerted quickly and quietly:
53. Radios are an excellent means, but must be carefully controlled;
54. Wire can be used within the RON if its bulk, weight and the time required to lay and pick up are not disadvantages;
55. Tug or pull wires may be used for signaling. They are quiet and reduce radio and phone traffic; and
d. Messengers may be used within the RON.
Maintenance: Weapons and equipment are cleaned and maintained as required, controlled by sect/det commanders and platoon WO.

Sanitation and Personal Hygiene:
56. In daylight, cat sanitation is used outside the perimeter. The user must be guarded;
57. At night, cat sanitation is used inside the perimeter;
58. Men wash, shave and brush their teeth as needed, consistent with the situation (including availability of water);
59. Cans, food and other trash are taken with you when you depart; 60. Messing: Men eat at staggered times, as planned and controlled. Preperation is planned, if required, to include preperation of future meals.

Water: Guarded water parties provide water. Individuals do not visit the water source. No more than two visits to the source are made in a 24?hr period. Use of water is controlled as closely as required.

Rest: Rest and sleep are permitted only after all work has been accomplished. Rest periods are staggered so that proper security is maintained. Consistent with work and security requirements, each man is scheduled to get as much sleep and rest as possible.

Resupply: If the patrol is to be re-supplied by air, the flight path, drop and/or LZ and caches are located so that neither the base nor possible objectives are compromised.

Planning and Conduct of OP’s:
61. Details of OP’s planned must be made known to all men with out assembling all one time and thus endangering the security of the base. Rehearsals are limited to terrain models, with portions rehearsing while the remainder of the patrol provides security. Weapons are not test fired;
62. If part of the patrol is absent on an OP, the perimeter is adjusted, if necessary, to ensure security; and
63. Orders are as brief as possible. Maximum practical use is made of fragmentary orders and references to SOPs.

Security Plan: In case of attack the patrol commander must plan the following:
64. Routes out of the base depending on the direction of attack;
65. Establish an RV and alternate RON known to all in case of dispersion after attack;
66. A plan for a fighting withdrawl ? dependent upon likely enemy approaches and his own strength; and
67. Often the occasion will arise when smaller patrols will be sent out for numerous reasons. The following is the routine for leaving and returning to the RON:

Leaving: Identical to the normal dispatch except any excess personnel equipment left behind is placed outside the perimeter along the patrol departure route. The exact location specified so that if the RON must be changed while personnel are absent, they will not lose the equipment. Ensure it is well cammed. Upon return, their equipment is recovered by the patrol and they carry on to the alternate RON and the commander dispatching patrols ensures they leave at the same time to minimize movement around the gap.

Returning: The need for maintaining alertness when returning to a base must be stressed. Should the enemy make a practice of ambushing returning patrols the RV system can be adopted. The RV system allows returning patrols to move to a pre?determined RV outside the area of the RON. At this RV, an ambush is sited which is manned by personnel from the RON. In the event of en action during the absence of the patrol, they are guided to the new base loc, and the ambush party remains at the RV for 30 minutes after the main patrols and then follow up to the RON.

When evacuating the RON certain considerations must be taken:
68. All signs of occupation should be obliterated; in particular, any tell?tale marks of the size of the force and the duration of occupation;
69. All shelters destroyed;
70. Extreme caution should be exercised when leaving the RON as you are extremely vulnerable to ambush; and
d. The Patrol 2IC is responsible to ensure the area is as clean as possible.
NOTE: A RON must not be occupied any longer than is necessary and must be moved after contact with the enemy.


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