Reconnaissance (also scouting) is a military and medical term denoting exploration conducted to gain information. Militarily, its shorthand Canadian and British form is recce; its American usage form is recon. The associated, linguistic forms are the verb reconnoitre in British spelling, and reconnoiter in American spelling; informally, recce and recon are used as a verb.
Militarily, reconnaissance is the active seeking to determine a foe's intentions by collecting and gathering information about an enemy's composition and capabilities along with pertinent environmental conditions, via direct observation, usually by scouts or military intelligence soldiers especially trained in critical surveillance.
Reconnaissance is part of combat intelligence, and contributes to, and is managed by, the government-level intelligence cycle management. Compare to counterintelligence and surveillance, which are the passive gathering of data and information. Special reconnaissance is the reconnaissance sub-activity of clandestinely collecting data and information by people and with technology behind enemy lines.
Civil uses of the term reconnaissance occur in geology, the "examination or survey of the general geological characteristics of a region," and in computer networking and security it is an "exploration or enumeration of network infrastructure including network addresses, available communication ports, and available services."
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