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Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual Advanced Training

The size and disposition of the outpost will depend upon many

circumstances, such as the size of the whole command, the proximity of

the enemy and the situation with respect to him, the nature of the

terrain, etc.

A suitable strength may vary from a very small fraction to one third of

the whole force. For a single company in bivouac a few sentinels and

patrols will suffice; for a large command a more elab
rate outpost

system must be provided. It should be no stronger than is consistent

with reasonable security.

The most economical protection is furnished by keeping close contact

with the enemy by means of outpost patrols, in conjunction with

resisting detachments on the avenues of approach.

The outpost should be composed of complete organizations.

The positions held by the subdivisions of the outpost should generally

be prepared for defense, but conditions may render this unnecessary.

Troops on outpost keep concealed as much as is consistent with the

proper performance of their duties; especially do they avoid appearing

on the sky line.