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Part Two

Intelligence in Full Spectrum Operations

Part Two provides a primer of what and who constitutes both MI and the Intelligence BOS and the process that these entities use in order to provide warfighters and decisionmakers with the intelligence they require in order to accomplish their respective missions.

Chapter 3 discusses the role of MI and the Intelligence BOS within full spectrum operations. It provides an overview of intelligence readiness, particularly the intelligence requirements associated with force projection. The concept of MI asset technical control is discussed as a complement to, not a replacement of, the Army's command and support relationships.

Chapter 4 presents the Intelligence Process: the Intelligence BOS methodology that accomplishes the primary focus of intelligence in full spectrum operations, which provides the warfighter with effective intelligence.

Chapter 3

Fundamentals in Full Spectrum Operations


3-1. Army commanders at all echelons may combine different types of operations simultaneously and sequentially to accomplish missions. Full spectrum operations include offensive, defensive, stability, and support operations. Missions in any environment require ARFOR that are prepared to conduct any combination of these operations:

  • Offensive operations aim to destroy or defeat an enemy. Their purpose is to impose US will on the enemy and achieve decisive victory.
  • Defensive operations defeat an enemy attack, buy time, economize forces, or develop conditions favorable for offensive operations. Defensive operations alone normally cannot achieve a decision. Their purpose is to create conditions for a counteroffensive that allow ARFOR to regain the initiative.
  • Stability operations promote and protect US national interests by influencing the threat, political, and information dimensions of the OE through a combination of peacetime developmental, cooperative activities, and coercive actions in response to crises. Regional security is supported by a balanced approach that enhances regional stability and economic prosperity simultaneously. ARFOR presence promotes a stable environment.
  • Support operations employ ARFOR to assist civil authorities, foreign or domestic, as they prepare for or respond to crises and relieve suffering. Domestically, ARFOR respond only when the President or Secretary of Defense direct. ARFOR operate under the lead federal agency and comply with provisions of US law, to include the Posse Comitatus and Stafford Acts. (See FM 3-0.)

3-2. Intelligence supports the commander across full spectrum operations. It helps the commander decide when and where to concentrate sufficient combat power to overwhelm the enemy. ISR is essential for the commander to preclude surprise from the enemy, maintain the initiative on the battlefield, and win battles. Commanders at all levels synchronize intelligence with the other BOSs to maximize their ability to see and strike the enemy simultaneously throughout the AO.

3-3. Every soldier in the command is responsible for detecting and reporting enemy activities, dispositions, and capabilities. This task is critical because the environment we operate in is characterized by violence, uncertainty, complexity, and asymmetric methods by the threat. The increased situational awareness that soldiers develop through personal contact and observation is a critical element of that unit's ability to more fully understand the OE. However, soldiers collect information, they are not intelligence collectors. While medical personnel cannot be assigned ISR tasks due to their Geneva Convention category status, medical personnel who gain information through casual observation of activities in plain view while discharging their humanitarian duties will report the information to their supporting intelligence element.


3-4. Offensive operations at all levels require effective intelligence to help the commander avoid the enemy's main strength and to deceive and surprise the enemy. During offensive operations, intelligence must provide the commander with the composition, disposition, limitations, employment characteristics, and anticipated enemy actions in a timely enough manner for the commander to significantly affect the enemy commander's decision cycle. It ensures commanders have the intelligence they need to conduct offensive operations with minimum risk of surprise.


3-5. The immediate purpose of defensive operations is to defeat an enemy attack. Commanders defend to buy time, hold key terrain, hold the enemy in one place while attacking in another, or destroy enemy combat power while reinforcing friendly forces. Intelligence should determine the enemy's strength, COAs, and location of enemy follow-on forces. The defending commander can then decide where to arrange his forces in an economy-of-force role to defend and shape the battlefield. Intelligence support affords him the time necessary to commit the striking force precisely.

3-6. Intelligence in area defensive operations identifies, locates, and tracks the enemy's main attack and provides the commander time to allocate sufficient combat power to strengthen the defense at the point of the enemy's main effort. Intelligence should also identify where and when the commander can most decisively counterattack the enemy's main effort or exploit enemy vulnerabilities.

3-7. Although the battlefield is normally organized as decisive, shaping, and sustaining operations, commanders conducting defensive operations may delineate intelligence in battlefield organizational terms of deep area, close area, and rear area.


3-8. The environment is often much more complex during stability operations and as a result intelligence is often more complex. In fact, intelligence is even more important a factor (or operational multiplier) during stability operations. As a result, the commander must be even more involved in and knowledgeable of ISR (to include ISR operations the commander controls and other higher level ISR operations that may be occurring within his AO) during stability operations. For example, the commanders must understand the complex details of HUMINT and special access program (SAP) operations.

3-9. The commander requires the appropriate intelligence and IPB products in order to determine how best to influence the threat, political and information dimensions of the operational environment, and enhance regional stability. The identification and analysis of characteristics of the terrain and weather, politics, infrastructure, health status, civilian press, attitudes, and culture of the local populace and all possible threats are important in conducting stability operations. A lack of knowledge concerning local politics, customs, and culture could lead to US actions which attack inappropriate targets or which may offend or cause mistrust among the local population.


3-10. Support operations are usually nonlinear and noncontiguous. Commanders designate the decisive, shaping, and sustaining operations necessary for mission success. However, determining the intelligence requirements that drive the ISR effort intending to identify any potential threat's centers of gravity and decisive points may require a more complex and unorthodox thought process than that used in offensive and defensive operations. The G2/S2 may have to define the enemy differently. In support operations, the adversary is often the effects of disease, hunger, or disaster on a civilian population. US forces conducting support operations must also fully understand the organization and identity of key figures or groups within the region where they are operating, as these figures may influence greatly the actions of the population: both civilian and military.


3-11. Combat power is the ability to fight. It is the total means of destructive or disruptive force, or both, that a military unit or formation can apply against the adversary at a given time. Commanders combine the elements of combat power to meet constantly changing requirements and defeat an enemy. The elements of combat power are:

  • Manuever is the employment of forces, through movement combined with fire or fire potential, to achieve a position of advantage with respect to the enemy to accomplish the mission. Maneuver is the means by which commanders concentrate combat power to achieve surprise, shock, momentum, and dominance.
  • Firepower provides the destructive force essential to overcoming the enemy's ability and will to fight. Firepower magnifies the effects of maneuver by destroying enemy forces and restricting his ability to counter friendly actions; maneuver creates the conditions for the effective use of firepower.
  • Leadership is the most dynamic element of combat power. Confident, audacious, and competent leadership focuses on the other elements of combat power and serves as the catalyst that creates conditions for success. Leadership provides purpose, direction, and motivation in all operations.
  • Protection is the preservation of fighting potential of a force so the commander can apply maximum force at the decisive time and place. Protection is neither timidity nor risk avoidance.
  • Information enhances leadership and magnifies the effects of maneuver, firepower, and protection. Today, ARFOR use information collected to increase their situational understanding before engaging the enemy. Information from the COP and running estimates, transformed into situational understanding, allows commanders to combine the elements of combat power in new ways.


3-12. Understanding the principles of war and tenets of Army operations is fundamental to operating successfully across the range of military operations. The principles of war and tenets of Army operations form the foundation of Army operational doctrine. (Refer to FM 3-0 for a full description of the Principles of War and Tenets of Army Operations.)

  • The Principles of War provide general guidance for conducting war and military operations other than war at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. The principles are the enduring bedrock of Army doctrine.
  • The Tenets of Army Operations build upon the principles of war. They further describe the characteristics of successful operations. These tenets are essential to victory.


3-13. The operational framework consists of the arrangement of friendly forces and resources in time, space, and purpose with respect to each other and the enemy or situation. It consists of the AO, battlespace, and the battlefield organization. The framework establishes an area of geographic and operational responsibility and provides a way for commanders to visualize how to employ forces against the enemy. Commanders design an operational framework to accomplish their mission by defining and arranging its three components. They use the framework to focus combat power. The operational framework provides a mechanism through which the commander can focus the Intelligence BOS effort. Understanding the operational framework, AOIR, and intelligence coordination line (ICL) and their relationship to each other is key to planning and executing ISR operations.

AO is an operational area defined by the JFC for land and naval forces. AOs do not typically encompass the entire operational area of the JFC but should be large enough for component commanders to accomplish their missions and protect their forces. AOs should also allow component commanders to employ their available systems to the limits of their capabilities. The AO is the basic control measure for all operations that defines the geographical area for which a particular unit is responsible. The commander:

  •   Assumes responsibility for intelligence, maneuver, fires, terrain management, security, and movement within his AO.
  •   Establishes control measures within his AO to assign responsi-bilities, coordinate intelligence, fires, and maneuver, and to control other activities.

Battlespace is the environment, factors, and conditions that must be understood to successfully apply combat power, protect the force, or complete the mission. This includes air, land, sea, space, and the included enemy and friendly forces; facilities; weather; terrain; the EMS; and the information environment within the operational areas and AOIs. The G2/S2 performs IPB and synchronizes ISR activities throughout the battlespace as determined by the commander's METT-TC considerations.

  •   Area of influence is the geographical area in which a commander can directly influence operations by maneuver of FS systems normally under the commander's command or control. Areas of influence surround and include the associated AO.
  •   AOI is that area of concern to the commander, including the area of influence, areas adjacent thereto, and extending into enemy territory to the objectives of current or planned operations. This area also includes areas occupied by enemy forces who could jeopardize the accomplishment of this mission. (See JP 1-02.)
  •   Information environment refers to a commander's battlespace that encompasses information activity affecting the operation. To envision that part of the information environment that is within their battlespace, commanders determine the information activities that affect their own operational capabilities and opposing C2 and information systems.
  •   Force Projection Bases are the intermediate staging bases and power projection platforms.
  •   Home Stations are the permanent locations of active and RC units. To a significant degree, events occurring at home station affect the morale and performance of deployed forces. Thus, the commander's battlespace encompasses all home station functions.

Battlefield Organization is the allocation of forces in the AO by purpose. It consists of three all-encompassing categories of operations:

  •   Decisive Operations are those that directly accomplish the task assigned by higher headquarters. Decisive operations conclusively determine the outcome of major operations, battles, and engagements.
  •   Shaping Operations are operations at any echelon that create and preserve conditions for the success of decisive operations.
  •   Sustaining Operations are operations at any echelon that enable shaping and decisive operations by providing CSS, rear area and base security, movement control, terrain management, and infrastructure development.

3-14. AOIs extend into enemy territory, to the objectives of current or planned operations. They include areas occupied by enemy forces that could jeopardize the accomplishment of the mission. AOIs also serve to focus intelligence development and IO directed at factors outside the AO that may affect the operation. (FM 3-0, para 4-79) The scheme of support includes the coordination of reconnaissance and surveillance missions and AOIs with a joint force or higher headquarters and lateral units to answer the intelligence requirements within the AOI. The G2/S2 monitors enemy activities within the AOI and provides intelligence on enemy activities that may affect the unit.

3-15. The AOIR is an area allocated to a commander in which the commander is responsible for the provision of intelligence within the means at the commander's disposal. It is an area allocated to the commander in which the commander is responsible for the collection of information concerning the threat and the environment and the analysis of that information in order to produce intelligence. Higher headquarters also ensure through intelligence handovers, collection management, and deconfliction that problems with duplication, confliction, and command and control do not occur in the AOIR. (FM 2-19.402/FM 34-80-2) They include the available ISR assets, capability of the G2/S2 section, available intelligence architecture, and METT-TC considerations. The AOIR cannot extend beyond a unit's AOI; however, it can be smaller than its AO as well as vary (expand or contract) during an operation. An example of when a unit's AOIR is smaller than its AO is when a higher headquarters ISR effort covers an area within the unit's AO.

3-16. ICLs designate the boundary between AOIRs. The G2/S2 establishes ICLs to facilitate coordination between higher, lateral, and subordinate units; coordinates with the G3/S3 to direct subordinates to track enemy units and HPTs in their areas; and hands over intelligence responsibility for areas of the battlefield. The establishment of ICLs ensures that there are no gaps in the collection effort; that all echelons are aware of the location, mission, and capabilities of other assets. The G2/S2 keeps abreast of collection activities in progress (all echelons) and battlefield developments through the ICLs. ICLs help:

  • Facilitate coordination between higher, lateral, and subordinate units.
  • Ensure higher, lateral, and subordinate units share information and intelligence as enemy entities and HPTs move into, within, or transition between AOIRs.
  • Specify intelligence responsibility for areas of the battlefield.


3-17. Commanders combine AC and RC ARFOR: consisting of different types of units with varying degrees of modernization: with multinational forces and civilian agencies to achieve effective and efficient unified action. A broad range of organizations makes up the institutional Army that supports the field Army. Institutional Army organizations design, staff, train, and equip the force. The institutional Army assists in effectively integrating Army capabilities. It does this through leadership and guidance regarding force structure, doctrine, modernization, and budget. (See FM 100-11.)


3-18. The Army supports JFCs by providing tailored force packages to accomplish joint missions and dominate enemies and situations on land. Trained and equipped AC and RC units comprise these force packages. Within these force packages, Army commanders organize groups of units for specific missions. They reorganize for subsequent missions when necessary. This process of allocating available assets to subordinate commanders and establishing their command and support relationships is called task organizing. A temporary grouping of forces designed to accomplish a particular mission is a task organization. The ability of ARFOR to tailor (select forces based upon a mission) and task organize (temporarily organize units to accomplish a tactical mission) gives them extraordinary agility. It allows operational and tactical level commanders to organize their units to make the best use of available resources. The ability to task organize means ARFOR can shift rapidly among offensive, defensive, stability, and support operations.


3-19. The fundamental basis for the organization and operations of ARFOR is combined arms. Combined arms is the synchronized or simultaneous application of several arms: such as infantry, armor, field artillery, engineers, air defense, and aviation: to achieve an effect on the enemy that is greater than if each arm was used against the enemy separately or sequentially. The ultimate goal of Army organization for operations remains success in joint and combined arms warfare. Its combined arms capability allows commanders to form Army combat, combat support (CS), and CSS forces into cohesive teams focused on common goals.


3-20. Establishing clean command and support relationships is fundamental in organizing for all operations. These relationships can achieve clear responsibilities and authorities among subordinate and supporting units. The commander designates command and support relationships within his authority to weigh the decisive operation and support his scheme of maneuver. Some forces available to a commander are given command or support relationships that limit his authority to prescribe additional relationships. Command and support relationships carry with them varying responsibilities to the subordinate unit by parent and gaining units. By knowing the inherent responsibilities of each command and support relationship, a commander may organize his force to establish clear relation-ships.

3-21. Command relationships establish the degree of control and responsi-bility commanders have for forces operating under their tactical control (TACON). When commanders establish command relationships, they determine if the command relationship includes administrative control (ADCON). Figure 3-1 shows command and support relationships.

3-22. Support relationships define the purpose, scope, and effect desired when one capability supports another. Support relationships establish specific responsibilities between supporting and supported unit. Army support relationships are direct support (DS), general support (GS), general support-reinforcing (GSR), and reinforcing.

3-23. While not an actual C2 function, technical control often affects certain intelligence operations. Technical control ensures adherence to existing policies or regulations and provides technical guidance for MI activities, particularly HUMINT, SIGINT, and CI operations. Commanders direct operations but often rely on technical expertise to plan, prepare, execute, and assess portions of the unit's collection effort. Technical control also involves translating ISR tasks into the specific parameters used to focus highly technical or legally sensitive aspects of the ISR effort. Technical control includes, but is not limited to:

  • Defining, managing, or guiding the employment of specific ISR assets.
  • Identifying critical technical collection criteria such as technical indicators.
  • Recommending collection techniques, procedures, or assets.
  • Conducting operational reviews.
  • Conducting operational coordination.
  • Conducting specialized training for specific MI personnel or units.

3-24. An example of technical control is the Prophet control team converting the PIR and SOR sets from the MDMP process and assigning times and anticipated enemy frequencies for subordinate Prophets to collect.


Figure 3-1.  Army Command and Support Relationships and Inherent Responsibilities

Figure 3-1. Army Command and Support Relationships and Inherent Responsibilities.


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