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Intelligence

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

CHAPTER 3

COMMAND, CONTROL, AND COMMUNICATIONS

ACR and separate brigade IEW resources must be able to deliver the information the commander needs to support the decision-making process. Rapid, reliable, and secure communications provide a means for IEW tasking and coordinating. It is the primary means the commander uses to get the intelligence, combat information, and targeting data he needs when he needs it.

This chapter describes the C2 and communications systems that support IEW operations. The communication systems supporting these IEW operations are currently composed of VHF frequency modulation (FM) and HF RATT intelligence nets, which are being replaced by MSE. However, whatever the communications means, they are all integrated to complement each other and provide maximum flexibility, reliability, and responsiveness to support the ACR and separate brigade commanders.

The S2, S3, and the MI company commander are responsible for the IEW staff effort. They take the commander's guidance and translate it into terms the collectors and executors who support the ACR and separate brigade can use.

THE INTELLIGENCE AND ELECTRONIC WARFARE SUPPORT

The IEW system provides the same IEW support to the ACR and the separate brigade as it does to any other combat unit (see Chapter 1). The situation and target development tasks provide information on the enemy, weather, and terrain. This information is used in the intelligence estimate at the beginning of the decision-making process. These tasks continue through the battle. The situation changes as does the commander's plan. Producers change as well. As targets are selected and neutralized, target development priorities change. The process is dynamic. In the situation and target development process, combat information and other intelligence are analyzed to produce the all-source intelligence that satisfies the commander's PIR and IR.

COMMAND AND CONTROL

There are no significant differences in IEW C2 between the ACR and the separate brigade. The ACR or separate brigade commander's concept of the operation generates the IEW mission. The S2 and S3 take this guidance and develop additional PIR and IR that support the commander's concept of the operation. Based on this guidance, the MI company commander can provide the direction subordinate elements need to accomplish the mission. The command and support relationships which direct MI company commanders are general support (GS), direct support (DS), GS-reinforcing (GS-R), and reinforcing.

General Support

GS provides MI support to the combat force as a whole, as directed by the force commander and primarily task-organized by the MI company commander. It is the most centralized of the support missions and provides MI support responsive to the maneuver commander.

Direct Support

DS provides support first to the supported unit and then to the force as a whole. An MI element in DS receives and executes missions directly on call from the supported unit. The element providing DS remains under the command of its parent unit.

General Support-Reinforcing

GS-R provides support to the unit as a whole, with secondary emphasis on reinforcing an MI element in DS or GS. An MI element with a GS-R mission responds to the needs of the unit commander first. Then it responds to requests from the reinforced MI element second. The GS-R element remains under the control of the parent unit.

Reinforcing

Reinforcing provides support to one MI element by another MI element. This support is responsive to the needs of the reinforced element. The reinforcing MI element is under the OPCON of the reinforced unit.

In addition to the standard support relationship, selected IEW resources also can be attached to squadron elements. Attachment is a command relationship. It places an asset under the temporary C2 of the supported unit. The directive ordering this relationship establishes specific terms of attachment. An attachment is most often used when placing GSRs under squadron or battalion control.

KEY PLAYERS

The key players in fusing IEW into the overall tactical concept are the intelligence and operations staffs. Their missions are to support the commander and assist subordinate commanders.

The S2 and S3 must anticipate the commander's requirements. Both require a solid foundation in tactics to accomplish their missions. Their functions are reciprocal and complementary: both should be able to do the other's job and both require close cooperation and coordination. The S2 and S3 assist in developing and training subordinate unit intelligence and operations staffs.

The S2, S3, and the MI commander comprise the IEW team. The staff officers plan, organize, direct, coordinate, and control while the MI commander executes the directives. The IEW team is held together by the force commander. He gives the team leadership, motivation, focused perspective, and direction. FM 34-80 describes in detail the responsibilities and functions of the S2 and S3.

Maneuver Commanders

Maneuver commanders define the IEW mission and explain how it supports their concept of operations. They--

  • Coordinate with supporting IEW unit commanders, such as the MI IEW company team commander, to organize IEW resources for combat.
  • State their PIR, IR, and operational needs; specify their desired effects; and assign missions to subordinate unit commanders.
  • Ensure that all organic, attached, or supporting unit commanders understand their intentions for IEW support to combat operations.
  • Provide subordinate commanders the necessary latitude to make decisions that can allow rapid reaction to fleeting tactical opportunities.

The commanders position themselves to effectively control their combat forces. They accurately determine where the IEW effort must provide support priorities to ensure success. The relative need for information from the depth and width of the AO and the synchronization of various IEW resources, arms, and services are the two tactical considerations which determine where to place command posts (CPs).

Brigade and battalion commanders leave their CPs and position themselves at vantage points well forward in the AO, when circumstances dictate. Regardless of location, the commanders monitor and follow enemy actions based on real-time combat information obtained by IEW resources positioned throughout their respective AO. They track the actions of subordinate battalions and companies, respectively, through close coordination with their subordinate unit commanders. They also remain cognizant of how units are being supported throughout their AO.

All unit standing operating procedures (SOPs) will address succession of command and delegation of authority. At the brigade and battalion levels, the executive officers (XOs) know the commanders' location and communicate with him face-to-face, by amplitude modulated (AM) or FM radio, or through messengers. Special staff officers at both brigade and battalion level main CPs maintain similar contact with their unit commanders who are in support of combat operations. Unit SOPs establish who is in charge. Succession of command in all units is planned to permit continued combat operations in case the commander is incapacitated.

Staff

Brigade and battalion staffs are composed of people specifically ordered or detailed to assist the commander in the exercise of command. The commander uses his staff to accomplish his duties without becoming continually involved in many of the specific details incident to command. This allows him to obtain first-hand knowledge by visiting subordinate units. The staff reduces demands on the commander's time and assists the commander and subordinate units by--

  • Issuing warning orders.
  • Providing information.
  • Making estimates and recommendations.
  • Preparing OPLANs and OPORDs.
  • Supervising the execution of established orders.

The relationship between the commander and staff must be close and effective. The commander clearly articulates his concept and intent for all operations. The staff then takes appropriate actions before and during the battle to attain the commander's objectives. This must be done without constant communication with the commander. The staff, understanding the commander's intent and fully aware of time and distance factors, takes appropriate actions as the conditions of battle change.

This relationship applies to all attached or supporting IEW units in the brigade and battalion AO. It includes especially the MI battalion's IEW company team and its subordinate or attached platoons, squads, and teams.

Intelligence Officer

S2s coordinate the intelligence effort. Based on the commander's guidance and concept of the operation, the S2--

  • Identifies intelligence requirements.
  • Manages the collection effort.
  • Supervises all-source analysis.
  • Ensures rapid dissemination of needed intelligence and combat information.
  • Through the RTOCSE or Brigade Tactical Operations Center Support Element (BTOCSE), tasks MI organizations and other elements of the command with collection missions.
  • Requests support and receives intelligence from higher echelons, adjacent units, other services, Allies, and national sources.
  • Integrates intelligence from all sources to meet the commander's information and operational needs.
  • Gathers combat information and intelligence about the enemy, weather, and terrain.
  • Uses his expertise to reduce battlefield uncertainties.
  • Provides commander with estimates and other critical intelligence in support of unit operations.
  • Thinks like enemy commanders and views the battlefield from an enemy point of view.
  • Directs the intelligence effort to view the patterns of enemy activity that serve as indicators, focusing on specific rather than general requirements. S2 direction gives meaning to seemingly insignificant bits of information, and intelligence products of value to commanders are developed.
  • Develops intelligence requirements and priorities.
  • Prepares plans, orders, and requests for intelligence, ESM, and MDCI.
  • Supervises and coordinates the collection, ESM, and MDCI activities to support situation development and target development.
  • Processes information from all command's intelligence available sources to produce intelligence.
  • Assesses enemy intentions.
  • Develops document and personnel security policy for the command.
  • Supervises the command's SS0.
  • Supervises and directs the efforts of the engineer terrain team under his OPCON and coordinates support from other teams.
  • Exercises staff supervision of the SWO.
  • Supervises and coordinates predictions of fallout from enemy-employed nuclear weapons and chemical dispersion.
  • Disseminates combat information and intelligence to other staff sections.
  • Assesses enemy intelligence capabilities and procedures, their vulnerability to deception, and the effectiveness of friendly deception operations.
  • Provides MDCI support.
  • Prepares intelligence estimates and annexes.

Operations Officer

The S3 has staff responsibility for planning and directing the commander's operational concept of the mission. He is also responsible for the OPSEC, deception, and EW operations of the command. The S3--

  • Plans and coordinates EW operations.
  • Directs ECM actions needed to support planned and ongoing operations.
  • Identifies, in coordination with the G2 or S2 (as appropriate), ESM requirements to support EW.
  • Coordinates with the C-E officer to establish ECCM to protect friendly C-E operations.
  • Prepares the EW annex to OPLANs and OPORDs.
  • Identifies and recommends EEFI.
  • Implements OPSEC measures to frustrate the enemy intelligence collection effort.
  • Plans and coordinates deception operations to support the commander's scheme of fire and maneuver.

Fire Support Coordinator

The FSO plans and coordinates fire support. This officer needs intelligence and combat information for fire support targeting and target development. The FSO, S2, and S3 coordinate closely in selecting HPT's and developing targeting data for attacking HPT's.

MI Company Commander

MI company commanders must clearly understand the overall mission of the force commander, the MI unit mission, and how the MI unit will be organized to support the force commander's objective. The MI company commander--

  • Selects objectives for MI unit assets that will directly and indirectly contribute to the ultimate objective.
  • Establishes his CP at a place where he can best provide effective C2 of assigned and attached elements. (The company CP usually locates 0.5 to 3 km from the ACR or separate brigade main CP. )
  • Dispatches and retains C2 of platoons and sections assigned DS or GS missions. Control of teams deployed for attachment ends when they reach the units to which they are attached. These elements may be employed forward, in the rear, or on the ACR or separate brigade flanks.
  • Ensures that logistical support is available and is provided to his assets deployed in DS or GS roles. For surveillance squads attached to squadron or battalion task forces (BTFs), he is responsible for personnel and mission-peculiar support.
  • Advises the ACR or separate brigade commander, S2, and S3 on the most effective employment of MI company assets.
  • Ensures MI company assets are employed to provide support to the ACR or separate brigade in accordance with mission tasking.
  • Assists deployed platoons and sections with mission-peculiar maintenance, supply, and personnel support.
  • Checks deployed platoons, squads, and teams to ensure maximum operating efficiency.
  • Coordinates the retrofitting of teams that have severe equipment damage or casualties.
  • Assumes control and responsibility for all company assets during redeployment.

THE INTELLIGENCE CYCLE

Intelligence operations follow a four-phase process known as the intelligence cycle. The intelligence cycle, shown at Figure 3-1, is oriented to the commander's mission. Supervising and planning are inherent in all phases of the cycle.

The intelligence cycle is continuous. Even though the four phases are conducted in sequence, all are conducted concurrently. While available information is processed, additional information is collected. The intelligence staff plans and directs the collection effort to meet new demands. Previously collected and processed information (intelligence) is disseminated as soon as it is available or needed. Appendix C shows standard formats commonly used for reporting and tasking.

DIRECTING

The intelligence effort begins by determining requirements, establishing priorities, and communicating information or intelligence collection orders (to subordinate elements) and requests (to higher and adjacent units). The commander directs the intelligence and operations staff. Sources of information or intelligence requirements include--

  • Commander's planning guidance, concept of the operation, and stated requirements.
  • Mission, enemy, terrain, troops, and time available intelligence and operations staff.
  • RIIs from higher, adjacent, (METT-T) analysis by Allied, and subordinate units and elements, and from other staff elements within the command.

IR are items of information about the enemy and the environment that must be collected and processed to meet the intelligence requirements of the commander. IR can either support PIR or be stand-alone requirements of a lesser priority than PIR. Both PIR and IR serve as the basis for collection and intelligence efforts.

The most important IR are designated as PIR. The commander chooses PIR based in part on the recommendation of the S2. PIR are those intelligence requirements for which a commander has an anticipated and stated priority in the task of planning and decision making. However, an excessive number of PIR degrades efforts to focus relatively scarce intelligence collection resources on the most essential intelligence requirements.

Intelligence analysts in the IPS advise the S2 regarding the PIR and IR. They analyze METT-T factors and apply the commander's guidance and concept of the operation to determine what intelligence and information is needed. The IPS reviews the existing data base to identify information that is already available and that which must be acquired. They pass requirements for new information to the CM&D section as additional collection requirements. Figure 3-2 shows the directing phase from the commander's intent to the commander's requirements.

COLLECTING

Based on requirements, the CM&D section manages the collection effort. The CM&D section develops a collection plan that is keyed to the PIR and IR. It continuously updates the collection plan as the situation changes.

The IPS assists the CM&D section in planning and supervising the collection effort. It converts intelligence requirements into specific information requirements (SIR). SIR are keyed to indicators which, when integrated with other indicators and factors present on the battlefield, may provide clues to the enemy's most probable course of action. Collection operations generate information from various sources. This information is fed into the IPS. The IPS--

  • Monitors incoming reports.
  • Advises the CM&D section when PIR or IR are satisfied.
  • Identifies new requirements.
  • Determines when previously requested information is no longer needed.
  • Reports combat information immediately.
  • Processes information to develop the intelligence needed for tactical decisions and targeting.

PROCESSING

The IPS performs IPB and furnishes input to the intelligence estimate. Although a terrain analysis team is not provided to the ACR or separate brigade, this support can be provided by the terrain team (corps) or theater Army terrain support elements as appropriate. The IPS--

  • Receives weather support from a USAF weather team from the Air Weather Service (AWS).
  • Processes into intelligence information reported to the CM&D section.
  • Brings together information from all sources to develop the products needed to meet the commander's requirements.
  • Develops and maintains an extensive intelligence data base. This data base includes enemy intelligence collection capabilities, enemy air defense, and EEOB.
  • Identifies gaps in the collection plan and reports these gaps to the CM&D section.
  • Maintains an intelligence situation map (SITMAP) and any target folders needed to support the target development.
  • Prepares and maintains IPB, situation development, and target development templates.

The USAF weather team, under the staff supervision of the S2, provides operational weather support to the ACR or separate brigade. The supporting USAF AWS unit provides personnel augmentation to the host MI company during tactical operations and training. The weather team is composed of--

  • A SWO.
  • A TOC forecast element.
  • A weather observation team.

The SWO is the senior weather section representative, a member of the special staff, and principal advisor to the ACR or separate brigade commander and staff on operational weather support capabilities provided by the AWS. The SWO--

  • Normally operates in the CM&D section of the TOC support element and maintains communications with the TOC forecast element.
  • Receives coordinated weather support requirements (for forecasts, observations, climatological studies, and so forth) from the commander and staff.
  • In turn, tasks appropriate elements of the weather team or other weather units to satisfy his requirements.

The TOC forecast element--

  • Maintains the weather data base.
  • Analyzes weather data and products.
  • Issues tailored weather information and intelligence to organic elements requiring support.
  • Provides inflight weather services for aircraft and receives pilot reports by FM radio.
  • Operates the weather FM radio net.
  • Operates the weather team teletype and facsimile equipment for multichannel communications with the weather team at the corps TOC.
  • Uses dedicated HF RATT whenever multichannel is not available.
  • Normally operates at the main CP complex but outside the TOC area.
  • Must have reliable communications with each element requiring support.

The weather observation team zones (LZs), and/or drop zones takes local weather observations and measurements to satisfy local operational and meteorological requirements at helipads, landing (DZs). It transmits observations to the TOC forecast element via the FM radio net or other available communications. The forecast element, in turn, transmits tactical weather products to the deployed team.

The terrain team (corps) assists the IPS in its IPB functions by producing general and detailed military terrain analyses, trafficability studies, overlays, and overprinted maps. These terrain intelligence products are used as a basis for determining the effects of weather on the terrain and projected military operations. The terrain team (corps)--

  • Provides terrain analysis and map evaluation support to the corps.
  • Deploys to the corps main CP complex and works with the all-source production section (ASPS) under the staff supervision of the G2.
  • Collects, compiles, and produces graphic and textual data in support of corps needs.
  • Establishes and maintains at least two close interfaces to enhance the IPB support mission.
  • Interfaces with the team's parent engineer topographic battalion at EAC for terrain analysis and map evaluation support beyond its capability.
  • Interfaces with the imagery interpretation (II) section at the corps ASPS for aerial imagery and technical II support.

These teams are not found in either the ACR or the separate brigade structure. Instead, they are normally attached or under OPCON from the parent corps.

DISSEMINATING AND USING

Disseminating and distributing intelligence and combat information to the right user at the right time is critical. A fast-moving battle dictates the use of the quickest means of distribution. Electrical message, secure voice radio, and telephone are the primary means of distribution. Standardized report formats, as well as fragmentary unformatted messages, carry the bulk of information and are transmitted quickly to keep pace with the constantly changing situation.

The dissemination function in the CM&D section is as important as the collection management function. Intelligence and combat information are of little value if not delivered when and where they are needed. Failure in this respect defeats a thorough and successful collection and processing effort.

While the CM&D section is responsible for dissemination, actual distribution requires the coordinated efforts of the entire S2 Staff. The SOP must lay out specific distribution means. Some of these distribution means are frequencies, addresses, and report formats; or other means based on mission requirements, battlefield situation, and available resources. The S2 staff elements responsible for dissemination, including distribution, are the CM&D section, the ASPS, and the operations and plans section.

CURRENT COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS

The current family of communications systems includes radio, wire and telephone, and messengers. The user decides on the best system to transmit messages considering the speed and security of each system. The same message may be transmitted by different means in different situations.

FREQUENCY MODULATION RADIO

The company's primary means of communication is FM voice radio in the VHF range. Radios are limited by line of sight (LOS). All MI FM nets in the ACR or separate brigade are securable. The net diagrams shown are the same for ACR and separate brigade. Specific terminology may differ. FM radios can be remoted to remove the electronic signature from the operator.

The company commander exercises C2 over his company via the FM radio command and operations net (Figure 3-3). An FM radio link between the CM&D section and the TCAE is used for tasking and reporting intelligence information (Figure 3-4).

FM radio is also used for mission tasking and reporting between the TCAE and the two EW platoons (Figure 3-5). Each EW platoon has an internal FM mission control net (Figure 3-6). A similar net can be used by the surveillance platoon when required. However, since surveillance teams are normally attached to squadrons and battalions, they generally operate in the squadron or battalion battlefield information coordination center (BICC) net (Figure 3-7).

The company commander and the TCAE are part of the ACR or separate brigade command and operations and intelligence nets (Figures 3-8 and 3-9). The service support platoon of the MI company participates in the supported unit's administration and logistics net. There is also an administrative and logistics net internal to the MI company (Figure 3-10).

ULTRA HIGH FREQUENCY

There is an ultra high frequency (UHF) voice and data link to the OPCON QUICKFIX aerial platforms. The two T&A teams monitor and participate in these links as required (Figure 3-11). There is also a UHF communications link with certain corps aerial exploitation battalion assets via the commander's tactical terminal (CIT).

MULTICHANNEL

The forward radio company of the corps signal brigade installs, operates, and maintains a multichannel terminal at the combat unit TOC. Elements of the combat unit, including the CM&D section, use this terminal to enter the corps multichannel network. This is a secure area communications system connecting major corps elements, including corps main, corps tactical CP, Corps Support Command (COSCOM), subordinate divisions, and corps CS and CSS units.

The MI company has an organic multichannel terminal which, when connected with the corps multichannel network, permits record copy communications between the company and the combat unit CM&D section, the corps MI brigade, the corps TCAE, the corps G2, and other corps assets. The MI company enters the corps multichannel system through the access node at the combat unit's TOC, using its own cable and wire to complete the link. This means the company TOC needs to be located within 2 to 3 km of the combat unit TOC.

RADIOTELETYPEWRITER

The MI company has organic RATT equipment for record traffic tasking and reporting between the TCAE and deployed EW platoons (Figure 3-12). The RATT produces a larger electronic signature than FM voice radios. This increased signature makes the TCAE and the EW platoon operations centers more vulnerable on the battlefield to threat radio electronic combat (REC).

The company RATT section provides personnel and equipment to install and operate the organic RATT equipment located at the TCAE and with the deployed EW platoons. The communications company of the corps MI brigade provides the personnel and equipment to operate the RATT links to the TCAE and the CM&D section. The corps CM&D RATT net serves a dual function by doubling up as the corps SSO link to the combat unit (Figures 3-13 through 3-15). These nets give the CM&D section and the TCAE the capability to enter corps RATT nets. This includes sensitive compartmented information (SCI) nets.

The ACR and separate brigade weather nets (RATT or facsimile) are used to exchange weather information between the corps and the ACR and separate brigade AF weather team.

WIRE AND CABLE

Wire and cable communications interconnect elements located in the company TOC. Wire and cable are also used to connect the company communications assets into the combat unit's TOC multichannel node. EW platoon operations centers also use wire and cable when applicable.

MESSENGER

The MI company also uses messengers to transport sensitive information. Messengers provide the most secure means of communication available. The corps may provide air messenger service. When possible and combat effective, visual and sound signals are used to communicate on the battlefield. Refer to the signal operation instructions (S0I) for information on visual and sound communications.

FUTURE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS

The Army is conducting an upgrade of its communications systems. These new systems will be more resistant to jamming and will be simpler to use.

SINGLE CHANNEL AND GROUND AIRBORNE RADIO SYSTEM

The current VRC-12 series of VHF/FM radios is being replaced by the Single Channel and Ground Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS). This new radio will provide enhanced ECCM capabilities. SINCGARS radio nets are identical to FM radio nets.

MOBILE SUBSCRIBER EQUIPMENT

The Army is replacing the current system of multichannel equipment with MSE. This includes RATTs and TOCs. MSE is a common user communications system within the corps, providing both static and mobile communications. It provides communications to CPs and selected high priority units from the forward brigade or covering force area (CFA) to the corps rear. Both the ACR and the separate brigade will field MSE.

MSE allows the user to install several types of terminal communications equipment. Voice communications are provided by digital nonsecure voice terminals (DNVTs), digital subscriber voice terminals (DSVTs), and mobile subscriber radiotelephone terminals (MSRTs). Hard-copy is provided through lightweight digital facsimile (LDF) and communications terminals (CTs).

The DNVTs and DSVTs are installed with landline into either a large extension node (LEN) or a small extension node (SEN). LENs are normally found only in support of large CPs, such as the corps main CP. There are two versions of the SEN, either or both of which may be found in the ACR or separate brigade AO. The SEN(V1) is equipped to handle up to 26 wire subscribers. The SEN(V2) accommodates up to 41 wire subscribers.

Unlike the DNVT and DSVT, the MSRT is a mobile system. Using the MSRT, the subscriber uses radio access units (RAUs) to access the MSE network. RAUs are positioned throughout the battlefield to provide overlapping coverage. Each RAU has a nominal effective radius of 15 km, depending on the terrain. LDFs and CTs are separate units which can be attached to the data port on the DSVT, DNVT, or MSRT.

The SEN and LEN use highly directional antennas. These antennas are resistant to jamming and DF. The MSRT uses an omnidirectional antenna. This antenna operates in the tactical FM range so it is susceptible to both DF and jamming. Operators must be trained in proper radiotelephone procedures to reduce the risks to DF and jamming. While the electronic signature of the MSRT is identical to the current VRC family of radios, it is significantly different from SINCGARS. This is important because only high-priority units or assets will be using the MSRT. That means it will be an enemy HVT.

All components of MSE, including the DNVT, are secured to transmit up to collateral SECRET. In addition, users of the DSVT and MSRT may encrypt their transmissions for anything up to SCI by using a special variable, just as we do now when we use the VINSON communications security system to transmit SCI.

The Corps Communications Brigade provides LEN, SEN, and RAU according to the corps commander's plan. Thus, there is no doctrinal number of assets allocated to the ACR or separate brigade AO, although we expect at least one SEN will be located near the ACR or separate brigade TOC. This is the location that the MI company uses for access to the MSE network. The need for communications with the corps is one factor which drives the placement of the MI CP to within .5 to 3 km from the ACR or separate brigade TOC.

The MI company of the ACR and separate brigade have identical sets of projected MSE, as shown in Figure 3-16. The TCAE has three LDFs and two CTs to provide nonvoice communications with other units. These are not used for communication with QUICKFIX. TCAE-QUICKFIX communications will remain UHF data links. The IPS of the ACR and separate brigade have an equipment fill identical to the CM&D. Communications for the USAF weather team are provided by one dedicated DNVT and one LDF.

Any MSE user can access any other MSE user simply by dialing a telephone number. Specific numbers are in the MSE telephone directory. There are no dedicated links, such as with RATTs. Instead, any station may call any other station to pass traffic. There will be a number allocated to each terminal. Thus, the TCAE will have five numbers allocated, one for each DSVT, DNVT, and MSRT. This means authorized subordinates can communicate as needed. It also reduces the chance that a station will be unavailable when important traffic needs to be passed.

The actual use of the MSE depends on the type of operation being conducted. For example, in highly mobile operations like pursuit, a roving force screen, or some covering force operations, there may not be time to emplace SEN and run landline to them. In these cases, the MSRT is used, assuming sufficient RAUs have been placed into the AO.

When either the ACR or separate brigade is used in an economy of force role, or in some type of operation allowing the force to be relatively stationary, MSE is the communications system of choice. In these situations there is generally time to run landline to the SEN for use with the DNVT and DSVT. Running this landline is a user responsibility, not a function of the signal unit. The end result is a more secure communications link that is less susceptible to jamming or DF.

Another benefit of MSE is that it allows the ACR and separate brigades near real-time access to the data bases and intelligence products of the corps. This is whether they access these data bases through stationary or mobile units. This includes not only the corps itself and the subordinate divisions but also such diverse units as air defense artillery (ADA), engineers, medical, and others with unique intelligence value.



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