The last U.S. Army LRS company, now among the ranks of the passenger pigeon
Although their doctrine runs back to the Rangers of the French and Indian War, and was carried by the famed Alamo Scouts in WWII and LRRPs in Vietnam, the Army has lost its appetite for long-range surveillance companies. These old-school groups, typically formed of 15 six-man teams led by a staff sergeant and used to monitor enemy movement and gather battlefield intelligence via Mk1 eyeball, are to be replaced by UAVs, ISR aircraft and satellites.
From the Nebraska National Guard:
Soldiers of Company E, 134th Infantry (Long Range Surveillance) cased their colors during an Aug. 12 inactivation ceremony held at the Titan Readiness Center in Yutan, Nebraska.
The unit, which was first activated in 1985 as part of the 1-167th Cavalry, became the last Army National Guard long range surveillance unit in existence prior to the inactivation order dated Sept. 30 this year.
“It’s sad and disappointing,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Ames, who served with the LRS for 13 years including two deployments to Bosnia and Iraq. “I think it’s a valuable asset and the experience that these Soldiers have. I think it is disappointing that they’re not keeping that history and tradition alive.”
As a long range surveillance company, the Nebraska Soldiers’ mission was to provide intelligence from behind enemy lines. During the course of its 15-year history, the LRS deployed to Kuwait, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan in various peacekeeping missions. The LRS has also took part in relief and recovery missions in the wake of hurricanes, floods and tornadoes stateside.
Due to changing operational demands, the Army made the decision two years ago to end the LRS force structure and in 2017, the three active Army LRS units were deactivated along with the seven Army National Guard units spread across the United States.