detachment(redirected from detachments)
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(1) A temporary or permanent grouping of units or subunits formed to carry out a combat or special mission.
There are reconnaissance detachments to carry out reconnaissance missions, forward detachments to capture important lines or objects in an offensive or for defensive actions in a support zone, and advance, flank, and security detachments for the protection of the troops on the march or at the halt. There are also mobile obstacle detachments, which are assigned to mine a locality and carry out demolition work during combat, to cover troop deployment lines by placing obstacles, and to protect the flanks of various units and their limiting points and gaps. Movement support detachments are assigned to reconnoiter the route of march, prepare roads or trails for troops, clear a way through obstacles, and carry out road and bridge work. There are also special civil defense detachments and partisan detachments. The composition of each detachment depends on its designation and the mission to be carried out. As a rule, detachments are composed of various personnel and weapons.
(2) In the air forces of some states, a detachment is an organic subunit of a squadron.
(3) In the border troops, detachments are independent military units.