Regimental Reconnaissance Company
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The 75th Ranger Regiment's Regimental Reconnaissance Company (formerly known as Regimental Reconnaissance Detachment, or RRD) is an elite special operations force that has been a member of Joint Special Operations Command since 2005. The unit is believed to have become part of JSOC due to its extensive training and unique capabilities to conduct special reconnaissance and close target reconnaissance (CTR) operations, and advanced force operations (AFO). It is often referred as a Special Mission Unit (SMU).
|75th Ranger Regiment - Regimental Reconnaissance Company|
|Active||1984 - Present|
|Allegiance||United States Army|
|Type||Special Mission Unit|
|Role||Special Reconnaissance, Surveillance, & Direct Action|
|Part of|| Special Troops Battalion|
75th Ranger Regiment
Joint Special Operations Command
United States Army Special Operations Command
United States Special Operations Command
|Garrison/HQ||Fort Benning, Georgia|
|Nickname(s)||RRC, RRD, "The Company" "Task Force Red"|
|Engagements||Operation Just Cause|
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Uphold Democracy
Task Force Falcon
War on Terror
Operation Enduring Freedom
RRD, as it was originally called, was activated in October 1984 with the formation of the 75th Ranger Regiment Headquarters at Fort Benning. The detachment was tasked with providing worldwide reconnaissance and operational preparation of the environment in support of the 75th Ranger Regiment and other units within USASOC and JSOC. Traditionally RRD was divided into three six-man teams, one team to support each of the three Ranger battalions. The unit has three primary tasks: Active Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Direct Action. While performing these tasks, the teams can:
- Infiltrate the objective area by parachute (HALO, HAHO, or static lines), helicopter, fixed-wing aircraft, SCUBA, small boat, foot, or other means.
- Remain undetected in the vicinity of the objective area up to five days.
- Perform reconnaissance operations employing a full range of night observation devices, infrared detection devices, unattended early warning sensors, and photographic equipment.
- Perform demolition target analysis.
- Operate small watercraft and inflatable boats.
- Emplace unattended ground sensors, omni-directional navigational beacons, hand-emplaced expendable jammers, and electronic target designation devices.
- Collect combat information to satisfy priority information requirements and mission-essential elements of information. Teams report information by use of long-range, secure, burst-transmission communications equipment.
- Perform drop zone (DZ) selection, marking and reception duties.
- Report objective area weather conditions.
- Perform highly selective, limited attacks or ambushes when so tasked.
- Link up with the main body of the Ranger force in the objective area, or escape and evade the enemy in order to return to friendly lines.
When the 75th's Regimental Special Troops Battalion was officially activated in October 2007, RRD changed its name to the Regimental Reconnaissance Company (RRC) and opened its selection course to any soldiers in the U.S. Army who met the established pre-requisites.
Selection and trainingEdit
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All candidates must complete a month long selection process including navigation from point to point in mountainous terrain. Candidates will walk 12–20 miles per day carrying up to 75lbs in their ruck. On the last day of stress week candidates will walk a total of 40 miles (the long walk). Each selection class will start with as few as 5 and as many as 20 candidates. Each soldier who wants to attend selection must undergo psychological screening and mental aptitude testing along with passing various physical events including the Army PT test. Of the 15-20 candidates who attend selection usually 5-7 will finish and usually only 50% of the ones who finish will actually get selected and have the opportunity to attend the 42-week long Operator Training Course.
In 1994 the 1st and 2nd Battalions and a company of the 3rd Battalion were en route to Haiti. The operation was canceled within five minutes of its commencement due to successful negotiations. While the Ranger Battalions were sent home, an RRD team was forward deployed to provide reconnaissance capabilities for Operation Uphold Democracy.
RRD has been constantly deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as many of their skillsets have proven to be invaluable to the warfighting effort. The RRD was placed under JSOC command to conduct Special Reconnaissance for all JSOC units.
In November 2001, during the invasion of Afghanistan, the 75th Ranger Regiment carried out its second combat parachute drop into Afghanistan: a platoon-sized Ranger security element, including Regimental Reconnaissance Detachment Team 3 conducted the missions: Objective Wolverine, Raptor and Operation Relentless Strike. Regimental Reconnaissance Detachment Team 3 conducted a combat military freefall parachute drop onto Wrath Drop Zone in southeast Afghanistan on 10 November 2001. This was conducted in order to establish a Flight Landing Strip for follow on combat operations. Regimental Reconnaissance Detachment Team 3 conducted a combat static line parachute drop onto Shiloh Drop Zone in southeast Afghanistan on 21 November 2001. This was conducted in order to establish a flight Landing Strip for follow on combat operations.
In July 2004, Regimental Reconnaissance Detachment Team 3 conducted a combat military freefall parachute drop onto Tillman Drop Zone in southeast Afghanistan in order to emplace tactical equipment.
In June 2005 members of RRD Team 2 were tasked to help recover the bodies of the United States Navy SEALS killed during Operation Red Wings. During this operation, the team was responsible for hunting down and killing the remaining insurgents who had engaged the SEALS. The team members followed the blood trails and tracked the insurgents to their hiding places and killed them. Once engaged Team 2 was also responsible for killing all of the re-enforcements that came to the aid of the Taliban fighters.
In 2006, a six-man RRD (Regimental Reconnaissance Detachment) team attached to the JSOC Task Force inserted into the Hindu Kush mountain range after intelligence indicated an insurgent chief, Haqqani, would be entering Afghanistan from Pakistan. After establishing an OP at a position almost 4,000m above sea level, the RRD team waited and watched for their target, as insurgents arrived into the area, the Ranger team was spotted and fired upon. In response, the RRD's attached JTAC called in an orbiting B-1B strategic bomber to 'pummel' the insurgents, an estimated 100 were killed in the airstrikes but Haqqani was not among them.
On 11 July 2009, Regimental Reconnaissance Company Team 1 conducted a combat military freefall parachute drop with a tandem passenger in Afghanistan in order to emplace tactical equipment.
From 2001 until present all RRC teams have been constantly deployed to countries all over the globe in support of combat operations. Each team deploys for at least 1-2 times per year for 4–8 months. They are one of the most heavily deployed elements of the 75th Ranger Regiment.
- "Evolution of the 75th Ranger Regiment: RRD". thenewsrep.com. 22 June 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- "75th Ranger Regiment History". Archived from the original on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- Neville, Leigh, Special Forces in the War on Terror (General Military), Osprey Publishing, 2015 ISBN 978-1472807908,p.314
- Neville, Leigh, Special Forces in the War on Terror (General Military), Osprey Publishing, 2015 ISBN 978-1472807908, p.42
- Neville, Leigh, Special Forces in the War on Terror (General Military), Osprey Publishing, 2015 ISBN 978-1472807908,p.238-239