Patrolling is a military tactic. Small groups or individual units are deployed from a larger formation to achieve a specific objective and then return. The tactic of patrolling may be applied to ground troops, armoured units, naval units, and combat aircraft. The duration of a patrol will vary from a few hours to several weeks depending on the nature of the objective and the type of units involved.

There are several different types of patrol each with a different objective. The most common is to collect information by carrying out a reconnaissance patrol. Such a patrol may try to remain clandestine and observe an enemy without themselves being detected. Other reconnaissance patrols are overt, especially those that interact with the civilian population.

A combat patrol is a group with sufficient size (usually platoon or company) and resources to raid or ambush a specific enemy. It primarily differs from an attack in that the aim is not to hold ground.

A clearing patrol is a brief patrol around a newly occupied defensive position in order to ensure that the immediate area is secure. Clearing patrols are often undertaken on the occupation of a location, and during stand to in the transition from night to day routine and vice versa.

A Standing Patrol is a static patrol, probably known as an OP/LP(Observation Post/Listening post) in US and NATO terminology. Standing patrols are usually small (half section/section) static patrols intended to provide early warning, security or to guard some geographical feature, such as dead ground.

A Reconnaissance (recce) patrol is a patrol, usually small whose main mission is the gathering of information. Generally speaking recce patrols tend to avoid contact, although it is not completely unknown for recon patrols to "fight for information".

A number of patrols may be deployed to 'screen' a large area. This type of patrol is used by armoured formations in desert theatres, and also by ground troops operating in urban areas. A screen is generally composed of a number of observation posts.

Other articles related to "patrolling":

Military Police Of São Paulo State - Mission and Organization
... Its primary function is to perform the patrolling of public places such as city streets, state highways and forests in the entire state and also authority scorting, intelligence and reconnaissance (P ... the Unit executes the ostensible motorized patrolling denominated " ROTA " (Ronda Ostensible Tobias de Aguiar), seeking for the prevention and the repression of criminality in. 4°BPChq Operações Especiais – Commands and Especial Operations, Rural patrolling, rescue in forests, capturing of criminals in places of difficult access, operations in mountain and caves, support to ...
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... IRBs are of great value when patrolling a beach especially ocean surf beaches where either the surf is too powerful or the beach too large to perform rescues effectively on a board ... the craft is correctly set up and ready for patrolling duties ...