This article needs additional citations for verification
. (February 2012)
Reconnaissance is a mission to obtain information by visual observation or other detection methods, about the activities and resources of an enemy or potential enemy, or about the meteorologic, hydrographic, or geographic characteristics of a particular area.
Reconnaissance (US Army FM 7-92; Chap. 4)
In military operations, reconnaissance or scouting is the exploration outside an area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about natural features and other activities in the area.
Examples of reconnaissance include patrolling by troops (skirmishers, Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol, U.S. Army Rangers, cavalry scouts, or military intelligence specialists), ships or submarines, manned/unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, satellites, or by setting up covert observation posts. Espionage normally is not reconnaissance, because reconnaissance is a military's special forces operating ahead of its main forces; spies are non-combatants operating behind enemy lines.
Often called "recce" (British, Canadian and Australian English) or "recon" (American English), the associated verb is reconnoitre.