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FM 34-35: Armored Cavalry Regiment and Separate Brigade Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Operations



The ACR and separate brigade are two of the most versatile organizations on the modern battlefield. To successfully accomplish their missions, they require IEW support. Each MI company organic to the ACR or separate brigade provides the majority of this support.


The ACR is a combined arms maneuver force, organized to provide reconnaissance and security for the corps. It may guard, screen, cover, conduct reconnaissance, or (when properly augmented) attack and defend.

Cavalry organization and employment exemplify two essential criteria of battle: the need to find the enemy and develop the situation with the least force possible and the need to provide reaction time and maneuver space to the main body commander. These criteria allow combat power to be massed at the critical time and place and are based on a principle of war--economy of force. The ACR is an economy of force organization. In AirLand Battle, it allows the corps commander to attain and retain initiative and agility.


Cavalry's basic tasks are reconnaissance and security. It accomplishes these tasks through combined arms action at all levels from the cavalry troop through regiment.

The purpose of reconnaissance is to gather timely information upon which commanders base plans, decisions, and orders. Cavalry conducts aggressive reconnaissance on the battlefield to reduce uncertainties about the terrain and the effects of weather upon it, and to determine the presence or absence of the enemy. Reconnaissance is conducted constantly.

The purpose of security is to provide reaction time, maneuver space, and information about the enemy to the main body. Security includes all measures to prevent observation, harassment, and surprise. Aggressive and bold reconnaissance is an integral part of security.


Counterreconnaissance is an inherent task in all security operations. Counterreconnaissance keeps enemy ground reconnaissance from observing the main body by defeating or blocking these hostile ground forces. In the execution of counterreconnaissance, cavalry operates either offensively or defensively using whichever tactics best accomplish the task. Hasty attack, ambush, and indirect fires are the principal techniques used.

Cavalry should be organized to defeat threat reconnaissance forces without requiring reinforcement. Threat reconnaissance capabilities in any given situation must be compared to the cavalry unit's capabilities to determine if additional maneuver or combat support (CS) assets are required. This counterreconnaissance effort is essential to success on the modern battlefield. Many commanders have suffered tactical and operational defeat because the enemy penetrated security forces.

While the corps is preparing the main battle area (MBA) , the ACR is normally part of the covering force. The ACR also is used in economy of force roles and as a combat task force during offensive, defensive, and retrograde operations. When employed in the main battle or the revering force battle against a strong enemy, the ACR requires reinforcement. Corps provides additional combat, CS, and combat service support (CSS) units.

The ACR, because of its mobility and organization, is an appropriate combat force for performing reconnaissance and security operations over a large geographic area. This may be as large as 180 km for the regiment. For a detailed description of cavalry operations, see FM 17-95.


The separate brigade may be employed as part of a division, a corps, or at EAC. The separate brigade is a combined arms force capable of independent operations. The organic elements of a separate brigade normally include artillery, engineers, air defense (AD), MI, and appropriate CSS elements. The separate brigade is very similar to a divisional brigade.

The separate brigade is tasked for operations that do not normally require a division size combat force: economy of force; supporting attack; deception; reconnaissance in force; and flank, rear, or advance guard. It is a suitable reserve for an austere corps and is used as a separate on-line combat force in the MBA.

The separate brigade may also augment the combat power of a division, particularly during the concentration of forces at a decisive point. When used in this manner, it should be placed under the operational control (OPCON) of the reinforced division. When operating as part of a division, the separate brigade normally surrenders assets, including the MI company, to division control.

In these cases, IEW support to the separate brigade is essentially identical to support to the divisional brigade. IEW operations are discussed in FM 34-80. Separate brigade operations are discussed in FM 7-30 and FM 71-3.

The ACR and separate brigades require intelligence to plan and conduct operations. To provide this support, they have organic IEW assets. These assets also are part of the IEW system extending from the front-line soldier to the Department of the Army (DA) level.


The IEW system accomplishes four major tasks: situation development, target development, electronic warfare (EW), and multidiscipline counterintelligence (MDCI) . Each of these, discussed below, plays an important part in the proper execution of the AirLand Battle. To neglect one invites defeat.


The first major IEW task is situation development. Situation development is evaluative in nature and resolves basic questions about the battlefield: "What is the enemy's most probable course of action?" "Where, when, how, and with what forces will the enemy attempt this course of action?" To accurately estimate what the enemy will do, the analyst needs a solid foundation in enemy order of battle (OB), including enemy tactics.

The analyst applies the procedure known as intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) to answer these questions. This process helps the maneuver commander use the tenets of AirLand Battle to defeat the enemy. Throughout the process, however, the analyst must be sensitive to reports showing that the enemy may be adopting a course of action other than the one identified. To ignore or dismiss evidence contrary to the established estimate can cause the commander to make poor battle decisions.

The S2 must be open to all possibilities. The intelligence staff must war game enemy actions, even during the battle. Persons with views contrary to the norm should be listened to, lest critical information, indicators, or intelligence be overlooked or ignored. Situation development establishes the framework for doing the other three tasks. See FM 34-3 and FM 34-130 for more information on intelligence analysis and IPB.


Target development is the second major IEW task. It is a dynamic process that identifies targets which best support the commander's plan. An ACR commander relies heavily upon indirect fires. Similarly, the commander of a separate brigade conducting an economy of force operation cannot afford to waste precious assets against low-value targets. The S2, along with the fire support officer (FSO), is responsible for finding the targets which best serve the commander's interest. These targets may be engaged with either lethal means, such as artillery or air strikes, or non-lethal means, such as jamming and deception. The target development process defines targets precisely for attack and prioritizes them. Figure 1-1 shows this process.

The prioritization process includes the nomination of targets as either high-value targets (HVTs) or high-payoff targets (HPTs). HVTs are those which are critical to the enemy commander and the enemy plan. For example, engineer assets would be HVTs if the enemy was planning a river crossing. HVTs are not necessarily intended for destruction. The S2 section, based on its knowledge of enemy tactics and its prediction of enemy intent, develops the HVT list.

Based upon the HVT list and the commander's intent, the S3, fire support personnel, and S2 personnel develop an HPT list. These are targets which, if successfully attacked, contribute substantially to the success of the friendly plan. The S2 cues collection assets towards these targets in order to accurately determine their location and activity. The S3, FSO, EW officer, and air liaison officer (ALO) coordinate attacks upon the HPTs in order to maximize the success of the friendly plan. Target development procedures are detailed in FM 34-3, Chapter 7; and FM 6-20.


EW is the third major task of IEW operations. It includes electronic warfare support measures (ESM), electronic countermeasures (ECM), and electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM). The S3 uses EW just as any other combat multiplier.

Electronic Warfare Support Measures

ESM are those measures taken to search for, intercept, locate, and identify enemy electromagnetic energy sources. These sources include but are not limited to enemy radios, beacons, and radars and are exploited for intelligence or combat information to support combat operations. Information of value may come from the content of the intercepted signal, the transmitter's location on the battlefield, or other characteristics. Obviously, ESM play an important role in the targeting process. Information gained through ESM is also used to update data bases, provide information for use in ECM operations, and confirm or deny many aspects of the enemy's OB.

Electronic Countermeasures

ECM reduce the effectiveness of the enemy's transmitters and receivers. These measures include jamming and electronic deception. When integrated with lethal fires, ECM greatly enhance the effects of physical destruction. For this reason, ECM are planned for during the target development process discussed above.

Jamming. Jamming is used to disrupt enemy communications. It may also interfere with radar, beacons, and other devices, but the ACR and separate brigade cannot do this. By itself, jamming is not decisive. This means that jamming must be planned early, so that it may be integrated into the fire plan.

A jammer works by "drowning out" the intended signal at the receiver. The amount of power needed to do this depends on the power of the transmitter; the distances between the jammer, transmitter, and receiver; the types of antennas being used; and terrain features. Jammers are targeted against receivers, not transmitters.

Jamming normally cannot prevent the enemy from communicating . It increases the time the enemy needs to transmit orders or reports, thereby degrading command and control (C2). Increasing the length of transmissions also supports direction finding (DF) by allowing more time for tipoffs and for obtaining multiple lines of bearing (LOB) . When targeted against secure communications, jamming can force the enemy to transmit in the clear. These communications can then be exploited for combat information or intelligence. When not used in jamming missions, jammers are used in an ESM role. They intercept communications but do not provide LOB. There are three types of jamming:

  • Spot jamming targets specific frequencies, either in isolation, sequentially, or simultaneously. The advantage to spot jamming is that friendly frequencies are not likely to suffer interference. The disadvantage is that the enemy can continue operations by detuning slightly from the targeted frequency.
  • Sweep jamming continuously sweeps through a frequency range. Since all frequencies are affected in turn, the target cannot avoid the jamming by detuning. Friendly radios may also be affected, unless terrain masking and directional antennas are carefully used.
  • Barrage jamming attacks all frequencies in a specified band simultaneously. Since the jammer's power is spread over this spectrum, the effective range of the jammer is reduced. As with sweep jamming, friendly frequencies may be affected.

Electronic Deception. Electronic deception is a highly effective form of ECM. It may be associated with falsely portraying friendly communications or sending false messages on enemy communications nets .

Manipulative electronic deception (MED) counters enemy EW and signals intelligence (SIGINT) efforts by changing the characteristics and profiles of friendly communications.

Simulative electronic deception (SED) is intended to mislead the enemy as to the actual composition, deployment, or capabilities of friendly forces. It creates fictitious units or portrays real units in false locations or activities. MED and SED are not conducted by the MI unit. With the advice of the S2, the S3 and the communications-electronics (C-E) officers create and orchestrate a deception plan, which is played out by friendly forces.

Imitative electronic deception (IED) , which includes imitative communications deception (ICD) and imitative noncommunications deception, is the third form of the deception component of ECM. This is conducted by the MI unit, which enters enemy radio nets and passes false traffic or commands to the enemy. Linguists with high proficiency in the target language, to include military jargon, are necessary to conduct ICD. ICD must be controlled carefully so that friendly communications intelligence capabilities are not revealed. Techniques also exist for imitative noncommunications deception, but the resources for these operations do not exist at the ACR or separate brigade (see FM 90-2A(C)).

Electronic Counter-Countermeasures

ECCM are those actions which are taken to guarantee the free use of the electromagnetic spectrum by friendly forces. These actions include proper frequency control, careful use and siting of antennas, and others. For a more detailed discussion of EW, see FM 34-40( S).


The fourth major IEW task is MDCI. MDCI is a multidisciplined effort designed to counter enemy all-source collection attempts. To perform this function, MDCI conducts investigations, collections, operations and analysis, and production. MDCI is an integral part of the command counterreconnaissance effort.

While front-line troops and other IEW sensors identify and target enemy reconnaissance efforts along and across the forward line of own troops (FLOT), MDCI concentrates on identifying and targeting reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance, and target acquisition (RISTA) efforts in our rear operations. MDCI focuses on the human intelligence (HUMINT) threat but also provides analytical support in identifying enemy SIGINT and imagery intelligence (IMINT) capabilities and intentions. MDCI has a limited neutralization and exploitation capability directed at enemy low-level HUMINT collectors or sympathizers acting in a collection or sabotage capacity. MDCI provides support to deception, rear operations, and operations security (OPSEC).

The ACR and separate brigade normally conduct deception in accordance with a corps plan. Deception support, if required, will come from corps. The organic counterintelligence (CI) team will become involved only from the aspect of briefing the deception cell about any unit peculiarities. Information regarding the effectiveness of deception efforts originates at echelons corps and above.

In rear area protection, the focus is on freeing maneuver forces for close-in and deep operations. MDCI supports this effort by taking action to reduce vulnerability to enemy agents or units in the rear area.

OPSEC is a command responsibility under the staff supervision of the S3. MDCI support to OPSEC includes the development of friendly force profiles in an attempt to identify indicators, signatures, and patterns of various friendly actions. Profiles include such areas as C2 , tactical operations and maneuvers, logistics, administration, and intelligence. Once these patterns and signatures are identified, a list of essential elements of friendly information (EEFI) is created. The EEFI are those items which are denied to the enemy. Depending upon the collection methods available to the enemy, one or more OPSEC measures are adopted which prevent or hinder the enemy collection.

The CI team conducts liaison with the CI analysis section (CIAS) at corps and limited liaison with local agencies. Corps provides detailed MDCI support to the ACR or separate brigade. Corps assets must develop the friendly overhead and electronic profile and provide a detailed data base about the enemy's collection ability. This information is found in the MDCI estimate and summary. The MDCI personnel at the ACR or separate brigade then provide tailored briefings and updates to the commander and key staff elements.

The CI team uses the threat data obtained from the corps to make recommendations to the commander regarding actions required to defeat any rear area threat from enemy agents and unconventional or special purpose forces operating in the ACR or separate brigade rear area. The CI team has limited capability to independently develop threat data or respond to rear area threats.

Further information on MDCI is in FM 34-60 and FM 34-60A(S) . Details on the IEW system and roles are in FM 34-1, Chapter 2.


The IEW structure consists of coordinators, producers, and executors. Under the direction of the force commander, these personnel ensure that the IEW system is responsive to the operational needs of the command.

The coordinators of the IEW system are the S2s and S3s at ACR or separate brigade and squadron or battalion. These officers are responsible to the commander for the IEW staff effort. They take the commander's guidance and translate it into terms which are usable by the collectors and executors for whom they are responsible.

The S2 is the enemy expert on the commander's staff, providing all other elements with information concerning the enemy's capability and intent. The S2 must coordinate closely with the S3 and FSO to ensure that planned actions best exploit the enemy's weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The S2 also serves as the enemy commander during the war-gaming process. Figure 1-2 shows some of the responsibilities of staff elements, common at all echelons of the force structure.

At ACR and separate brigade, the S2 coordinates the intelligence effort. Based on the commander's guidance, the S2 manages the collection effort and supervises all-source analysis of information into an intelligence product. This information is then disseminate quickly through the communications channels. Intelligence is provided to squadrons or battalions, as well as to parent and adjacent units. Some of the responsibilities of the S2 include--

  • Performing IPB in injunction with the S3, FS0, and other staff officers.
  • Developing the information requires (IR) and priorities stated by the commander.
  • Preparing operation plans (OPLANs), operation orders (OPORDs), requests for intelligence information (RII), ESM, and MDCI.
  • Supervising the command's collection, ESM, and MDCI activities to support situation development and target development.
  • Processing information from all available sources to produce intelligence.
  • Assessing enemy courses of action.
  • Developing document and personnel security policy for the command.
  • Supervising engineer terrain team under OPCON to the unit.
  • Supervising the command's special security office (SS0) representative.
  • Supervising the staff weather officer (SWO) .
  • Disseminating combat information and intelligence.
  • Assessing enemy intelligence capabilities and procedures, their vulnerability to deception, and the effectiveness of friendly deception efforts.
  • Providing MDCI support to OPSEC.
  • Preparing intelligence estimates and annexes.

S2s are also often responsible for IEW assets attached to the unit. These assets are in many cases spread over a larger area than usual. An ACR squadron S2 has an area of responsibility equal to a division's frontage, with equally extensive enemy situations to monitor. If the unit is given an economy of force mission, the battalion or squadron S2 must assume responsibility for normal brigade or regimental functions. Corps-provided aids or graphics are not normally scalded for use by the ACR or separate brigade S2s in the performance of their duties and must be reworked to fit the unit's needs. Therefore, the S2 relies on the unit's organic intelligence production section (IPS) and extensive liaison with corps.

The S3 is key to the IEW system. The S3 has staff responsibility for ECM, ECCM, OPSEC, and battlefield deception. However, without information and intelligence from the S2, these efforts cannot be successful.

For example, during the planning process, the S2 provides a list of HVTs, which is constantly updated. When destroyed or disabled, HVTs severely impact the enemy commander's battle plan. The S3 cannot make valid targeting plans without knowledge of these targets and their susceptibility to jamming, artillery, deception, or other forms of attack. The IEW staff responsibilities for the S2 and S3 are shown in Figure 1-3. Other staff responsibilities are in FM 101-5.

The MI company commander executes the IEW plan developed in support of the maneuver commander's concept. These plans must be developed with input from the MI commander, who best understands the capabilities and limitations of the unit. The unit at ACR or separate brigade provides the primary capability available to the ACR or brigade commander to answer intelligence requirements and executes EW, MDCI, and related missions. The MI company's capabilities are detailed in Chapter 2.

Because of the potential for operations spread over a large geographic area, or missions conducted independently, each unit has an organic MI company. The actual structure of the MI company differs between the ACR and separate brigade. The MI company is one of the primary means of fulfilling the IEW needs of its parent unit. Both intelligence and combat information are produced by the separate brigade and ACR.

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