There are various types of patrols, including combat, clearing, reconnaissance, standing and screening patrol. A patrol is generally a group of authorized persons, such as police officers or soldiers, that are mandated to monitor a particular geographic area.
A combat patrol is a group with a substantial size and amount of resources assigned to raid or trap a specific enemy or enemies, but it differs from an attack since it does not remain on ground. A clearing patrol is a relatively small group sent around a newly occupied location to safeguard the immediate area. A reconnaissance patrol is a small group whose objective is to gather information, and generally try to avoid contact with the target. A standing patrol, also known as observation post/listening post, is a static group whose intent is to provide early warning or to safeguard some geographical structures. A screening patrol is generally composed of observation posts, but may also combine with other patrols, and their aim is to screen a large area.
Patrols are among the most important combat operations conducted during movements in a hostile environment. The primary objective of a patrol is to follow a defined route to investigate some practices of interest. In addition, a fighting patrol is dispatched to find and engage the enemy.