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FM 34-2: Collection Management And Synchronization Planning



Normally, the greatest challenge for commanders is to focus the intelligence effort, and to gain dissemination of intelligence to the right place in time for key decisions.

This manual provides the doctrinal framework for synchronizing the Intelligence System of Systems (ISOS), maximizing collection technologies in support of commanders.

The ISOS is a flexible and tailorable architecture of procedures, organizations, and equipment that supports the combat commander by meeting his intelligence needs. Key to this concept is the recognition that current and evolving collection, exploitation, and dissemination technologies provide commanders with an unprecedented capability to truly see the battlefield.

Collection Management

What Is It ?


    The set of procedures that orchestrate ISOS organizations and systems to focus the intelligence effort in support of warfighting and operations other than war.

    Intelligence soldiers perform collection management at all echelons, across the scope of military operations.

For Example:

    An Army collection manager at a theater Joint Intelligence Center (JIC) supports a JTF deployment with imagery coverage of an aerial port of debarkation.

    A staff sergeant in the Corps Analysis and Control Company initiates action to task the Corps MI Brigade to report any increase in radar emissions from a series of tactical surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites.

    An S2 briefs the scout platoon leader to perform reconnaissance along route ZEBRA and report any indications of enemy reconnaissance activity at named areas of interest (NAIs) 6 and 7.

Desired End Effect:

    The collection manager acquires information that satisfies the command's intelligence requirements within timelines that support operational decisions.

Success Results In:

    Commanders receive the intelligence they require in time to make and execute operational decisions.

Consequences of Failure:

    Commanders do not receive the intelligence they need to make informed decisions, forcing them to accept risk.

Collection Management Sub-Functions

CM includes three distinct sub-functions:

  • Requirements management (RM).
  • Mission management (MM).
  • Asset management (AM).

These sub-functions distinguish between internal and external relationships among collection managers, requesters, and collectors during CM operations. Figure 1-1 shows these functional relationships.

  • RM: Requester-collection manager interface occurs during RM, when intelligence questions are first asked and subsequently answered.
  • MM: MM assigns intelligence requirements to the available collection units or agencies best able to provide a timely answer.
  • AM: Direct collection manager to collector interface occurs during AM when the asset manager plans and executes collection activities that lead to an answer to the original intelligence question.

At division, corps, and echelons above corps (EAC) there are individual "managers" and sections responsible for each sub-fiction. At brigade, and echelons below brigade, the S2 performs RM and MM, and sometimes AM, himself--often simultaneously.

Requirements Management (RM)

    RM defines what to collect, when, and where.

    The command's intelligence collection requirements--both priority intelligence requirements (PIR) and information requirements (IR)--are initially developed during the "decision making" process. As planning continues and during the operation itself, these requirements are continuously updated based upon collection results and changes to the operational concept.

    In addition to the intelligence requirements of his own command, the collection manager receives requests for information from outside agencies. The requirements manager screens each request to ensure that it has been forwarded properly and that it is valid in terms of pertinence, feasibility, and completeness.

    The requirements manager checks local data bases to determine if information satisfying the request is already on hand. If not, he creates a new requirement for collection or exploitation. The requirements manager integrates new orders and requests for intelligence with the command's own requirements, prioritizes the entire set of requirements, and refines them into specific information requirements (SIRs). Effective RM results in a "what to collect" that is clear, concise, and collectible.

    Correlating intelligence reporting to the original requirement and evaluating that reporting are key sub-functions of RM. This is the quality control effort that helps ensure timely satisfaction of intelligence requirements. RM includes dissemination of reporting and related information to original requesters and other users. All of these functions require a recording system that allows the requirements manager to track the progress of each requirement and cross-reference incoming reports to outstanding requirements.

    Creating and updating the collection plan and synchronization planning are a shared responsibility between the functions of RM and MM (see Chapters 2 and 3).

Mission Management (MM)

    MM defines how to employ collection resources to satisfy requirements.

    MM evaluates the suitability of systems, units, and agencies based upon capability and availability. It maps out the collection strategy, synchronizing collection schedules to PIR and deriving specific orders and requests (SORs) from SIRs.This strategy is captured in the collection plan. MM generates the actual collection task and requests and continually monitors resource readiness and performance.

    MM is also exploitation management. Exploitation management uses intelligence processing equipment to make intelligence collected by theater or national agencies available to tactical users. Exploitation management is part of collection planning; it answers requirements without the commitment of additional collection resources. Exploitation management implements the "push and pull" concept behind intelligence echelonment (see FM 34-1).

Asset Management (AM)

    AM executes collection and/or exploitation in accordance with collection plan requirements and tasking. AM combines the "what, when, and where" to collect from RM with the "how" from MM, and executes the collection mission with specific assets and resources. AM involves, for example, the resource-specific planning required to launch an aerial exploitation battalion mission or emplace a long-range surveillance (LRS) team. Unit commanders conduct AM.

    The fielding of "shared" systems, such as Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS), presents new perspectives on AM. For example, the presence of multiple Joint STARS ground station modules (GSMs), each capable of directly "tasking" Joint STARS, requires that tasking authority (and thereby AM authority) be clearly stated in the appropriate operations and air tasking orders. This authority may be time phased, as one command "hands over" tasking or targets to another.

    AM tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) are addressed in various echelon manuals (FMs 34-10, 34-25, 34-37, and 34-80).

Collection Management Process

The collection management process itself consists of the following six steps. Chapter 3 discusses these steps in detail.

  • Develop requirements.
  • Develop collection plan.
  • Task or request collection.
  • Disseminate.
  • Evaluate reporting.
  • Update collection planning.

The sub-functions of collection management overlap in these steps. Requirements development, report evaluation, and dissemination are the exclusive domain of RM. However, RM and MM both contribute to collection plan development and update. MM and AM both task collection and exploitation resources.

Chapter 3 of this manual discusses in detail each step in the collection management process. We intentionally address RM and MM as functions performed by separate individuals and sections to clearly delineate responsibility. At some echelons this may not be the case; sometimes, one individual or section performs both functions. Chapter 5 discusses who does what at each echelon.

Collection Management and Joint Operations

Joint doctrine (Joint Publication 2-01) divides collection management into two sub-functions: Collection requirements management (CRM) and collection operations management (COM). CRM corresponds directly to RM, with one exception--dissemination. Joint doctrine moves the responsibility for dissemination to COM, the joint equivalent of MM. Chapter 5 addresses conducting collection management in a joint, combined, or interagency environment.

Doctrine Versus Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures

Doctrine, at its broadest reach is descriptive, not prescriptive.

This manual does not serve as a definitive "desktop" handbook for collection managers. Collection management TTP may vary according to mission, organization, echelon, and theater. While we provide current collection, exploitation, dissemination system descriptions, collection "problem set" scenarios, and a representative example of tasking and request formats, the ISOS "revolution of coverage" continues. This, and the complexity of the various problems collection managers face, makes the inclusion of TTP to cover every situation impractical. Every collection manager must adapt the doctrine to his mission, available systems, echelon, and theater of operations.

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