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FM 34-2-1: TTPs For Reconnaissance And Surveillance And Intelligence Support To Counterreconnaissance



Normally, division staffs and higher echelons plan for the use of IEW assets. However, you may be in a situation where you have MI unit assets either attached or in DS of your unit. In either case, you must be able to properly direct those assets in support of your R&S plan, as well as your unit's CR plan. To do that, you should understand--

  • The fundamentals of EW.
  • Who plays what role in EW planning.
  • What IEW assets are needed to help you answer your commander's PIR and IR and support the unit CR plan.


IEW assets belonging to MI units do three things: they provide combat information; they provide data which contributes to production of intelligence; and they give your unit an EW capability. EW should be a vital element of your unit's command, control, and communications countermeasures (C3CM) program. EW is one way commanders protect their electronic systems while attacking the enemy's electronic systems. Your staff should plan for use of EW within three broad mission areas:

  • Defend.
  • Degrade or disrupt.
  • Deceive.


The defend mission includes your use of electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) to protect your unit's electronic systems. ECCM includes proper use of signal operation instructions (SOI), terrain masking, and proper radio and television operator procedures. FM 24-33 contains detailed information on ECCM. The defend mission also includes ESM to find and target enemy jammers and ECM to screen friendly communications from the enemy.


You degrade or disrupt enemy electronic systems by targeting electronic emitters or jamming electronic receivers. Normally, the small number of jammers available to you forces you to be highly selective about which targets to disrupt.

The S3 is in charge of the degrade or disrupt mission. You must support this mission through intelligence and ESM which intercept, identify, and locate potential targets.


Electronic deception is normally controlled by division or corps. Deceiving, or electronic deception, provides false information to the enemy through electronic devices. It is intended to induce the enemy into acting against their best interests. Deception is achieved by feeding false or misleading information to enemy electronic sensors; or by transmitting it directly into operational channels. (Normally, this is part of an overall deception plan.) Make sure that what the enemy collects electronically agrees with, or at least does not refute, the overall deception scheme.

IEW systems collect combat information through ESM. Essentially, consider your IEW assets as one more source you can use to help answer your commander's PIR. However, you do not directly task this source, specify which assets do what, nor emplace these assets. You do specify what you want to know, and coordinate with your IEWSE and S3 to make sure your IEW assets do not interfere with your unit's scheme of maneuver. We will address this later in this chapter.

More than likely, your IEW assets will spend significant time supporting or executing the EW degrade or disrupt mission. Look at this mission as consisting of two components: passive and active. ESM is the passive part. That is, your IEW assets work to collect information that will support the ECM, or the active part, of the mission.

ECM consists of jamming and deception. Essentially, jamming delivers a high level of power to an enemy receiver, preventing that receiver from receiving its intended transmission. Your IEW assets must radiate energy to do this. Therefore, they are susceptible to enemy countermeasures.

Deception causes the enemy to misinterpret what is received by electronic systems. Once again, your IEW assets (and any other assets you choose to use) must transmit to deceive. Therefore, deception is active as well. More detailed descriptions of EW are in FM 34-1, Chapter 5.


Your S3 is in charge of planning and using EW. The S3 is responsible for integrating EW into your unit's scheme of maneuver. However, it is the FSO who must intergrate EW into the overall fire support plan. This becomes especially important for suppression of enemy air defense operations. You must support your S3's EW plan by carefully selecting ESM priorities. (The S2 should assist the S3 with EW planning.) Figure 12-1 is a breakdown of who does what in EW planning.

Finally, the IEWSE officer is the resident expert on your MI unit IEW assets. The IEWSE officer--

  • Recommends use.
  • Coordinates physical placement.
  • Acts as liaison between you and the assets.
  • Coordinates EW planning.
  • Recommends EW support for fire and maneuver.

Your unit has four electronic options to attack enemy electronic systems:

  • Intercept.
  • Locate.
  • Jam.
  • Deceive.

Intercepting provides combat information and technical data on the enemy's electronic systems as well as raw data for processing into intelligence. Technical data supports jamming and electronic deception.

The locating option provides approximate locations of enemy radio and radar antennas. This aids in the use of directional antennas for jamming, and may be used with other information to provide targeting-quality data.

Jamming disrupts the receipt or exchange of orders and battlefield information. It can delay the enemy long enough for the commander to exploit a situation that otherwise would have been corrected. Jamming provides a nonlethal alternative or supplement to attack by fire and maneuver. It is well-suited for targets that cannot be located with targeting accuracy, or that only require temporary disruption.

As a general rule, you will want to destroy or jam enemy electronic systems located near your FLOT. Enemy communications systems located farther back will normally be used by enemy planning elements. Therefore, they may be more valuable as a source of information. Figure 12-2 is a list of electronic options listed by enemy echelon and distance from the FLOT.

EW planning follows the normal staff planning process. It begins with the mission and commander's guidance. During the planning process, your staff determines electronic HPTs. You then divide your electronic HPTs into four categories:

  • Targets located for destruction (targeting).
  • Targets to be jammed.
  • Targets to be intercepted for combat information or intelligence.
  • Targets to be deceived.


Once you have categorized your electronic HPTs, you need to have a way to tell your IEW assets what you want them to do. Do this by providing your IEW assets a list of priorities on a target list worksheet. Remember to include both ESM (passive) and ECM (active) priorities.


You and other staff officers determine ESM and ECM priorities by war gaming. Remember that ESM must support ECM. ESM may also help you answer the commander's PIR.

Your S3 ultimately determines ECM priorities (based on staff input). The S2 determines--

  • ESM priorities based on your commander's PIR and IR.
  • The S3's ECM priorities.
  • When and where on the battlefield the PIR, IR, and ECM become most important.

The IEWSE officer relays your unit's ESM and ECM priorities to your attached or supporting IEW assets. Figure 12-3 is an example of a completed EW target list work sheet. It shows how you can synchronize those priorities to support the DST. In this example, identifying and locating enemy reconnaissance units of the 141st MRR is the number one ESM priority because the commander's top PIR initially is to locate enemy reconnaissance units.

The second and third ESM priorities are to identify and locate divisional and regimental air defense assets. Note that the first ECM priority is to jam divisional air defense nets. In this case, the third ESM priority supports the first ECM priority. Your EW assets cannot jam those nets without first finding them.

Obviously, the first ECM priority reflects that CAS is important to the success of the mission; and jamming enemy divisional air defense nets supports the planned CAS mission. If you compare the target list work sheet to the DST, you will see the relationship between ESM and ECM priorities and how the unit intends to fight the battle in time.


Specifics of the EW target list worksheet follow:

  • Time window is the time you want your assets to spend looking for the target; or the start/stop times you want your assets to jam the target.
  • Target unit is the specific unit or target you are looking for. The more specific you are, the easier it is for your IEW assets to find it.
  • Target location is where you expect the target to be. Location can be based on actual information or on situation templates.
  • Target activity is the specific type of communications you want collected or jammed.
  • Control mechanism is how you want the target unit to be jammed (such as spot jamming, barrage jamming). Your IEWSE can tell you more about the advantages and disadvantages of each type of jamming; and can recommend which kind will best support your mission.
  • Feedback and coordination is exactly what you are looking for; for example, location and identification of the target and effectiveness of jamming. Check with your S3 to see what kind of feedback is required. Again, your IEWSE can help in this area.


An EW target list worksheet is the equivalent of an R&S plan for your IEW assets. It tells your assets what they should look for, when they should look for it, and what and when to jam. The EW target list worksheet should be a total staff effort among you, the S3, the FSO, and the IEWSE.

Remember, you should not be concerned with the details of how to collect the information, such as which specific asset should do what, and where each asset should go. Those details are left to the attached or supporting MI unit and your IEWSE. Simply tell them what you want, and let them figure out how best to do it.

You must, however, make certain that the emplacement of your IEW assets does not interfere with your unit's mission. Therefore, make sure your IEWSE coordinates all IEW positions with your S3. Also, remember to continually monitor those IEW positions so that they do not get overrun or outdistanced by maneuver units.

Keep your IEWSE updated on the enemy frontline trace; and insist on frequent status reports on your IEW assets. Figure 12-4 is a list of organic or supporting MI units by echelon. Figure 12-5 is an electronic attack options chart. Figure 12-6 shows IEWSE officer responsibilities. FM 34-40 provides a detailed discussion of EW operations.

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