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FM 34-36: Special Operations Forces Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Operations



This chapter discusses IEW support to the ranger regiment. It describes ranger missions. The chapter explains the IEW elements organic and external to ranger units and concludes with a detailed discussion on how the available IEW systems are employed to support ranger missions.


Ranger missions are diverse and are carried out on any terrain and under any condition. That is why accurate, detailed, and timely intelligence is critical when planning ranger missions. Rangers need specific information that can be obtained only through active interface with the supporting IEW system. This is because organic intelligence assets are limited.

Consequently, almost all information on a potential enemy or AO for planning or operational purposes must come from external intelligence agencies. Rangers have always relied upon timely and accurate intelligence support for mission success, whether in the forests of North America during the French and Indian War climbing a cliff in Normandy during World War II; or exiting an aircraft at 500 feet over a Grenadian airfield.

The ranger regiment is a unique light infantry unit. It provides the NCA with the capability to rapidly deploy a lethal force to any region of the world for limited periods. Although it is a SOF, once in combat, the ranger regiment may fight and maneuver like other light infantry units.

The ranger regiment has the mission to plan and conduct special and light infantry operations in any operational environment in peace, conflict, and war. These operations can be in support of conventional or other SOF. (See FM 7-85, Chapters 6, 7, and 8; and FM 100-25, Chapters 8 and 9; for a complete discussion on ranger unit operations.)

The primary SO mission of rangers is to plan and conduct DA missions. Ranger operations include DA missions and special light infantry operations. DA missions are short-duration strikes and other small-scale offensive actions to seize, destroy, or inflict damage on a specific target. They also are actions to capture or recover designated personnel or materiel.

Ranger operations include raids, interdictions, and recovery operations. Special light infantry operations include many of the light infantry missions assigned to air-borne, air assault, or light infantry brigades and battalions.


Intelligence assets organic to ranger regiments are organized according to operational and analytical needs. The ranger regiment has organic assets that can be used to perform intelligence functions and missions.


As the primary intelligence advisor to the commander, the regimental S2--

  • Operates the regimental intelligence S2 section.
  • Reports and forwards priority intelligence and combat information to higher, adjacent, and lower echelons.
  • Directs the regimental collection effort, tasking appropriate organic assets and forwarding RIIs to higher headquarters.
  • Coordinates EW efforts with the staff operations officer.
  • Coordinates with other elements of the IEW system.
  • Coordinates CI efforts in support of operational requirements.
  • Coordinates closely with the regimental fire support officer (FSO) to exchange battlefield information, nominate targets, and coordinate fire support coordination (FSCOORD) measures.

The S2 needs significant support from other headquarters and intelligence elements and agencies to provide comprehensive and timely intelligence support to the regiment.


The regimental S2 section can be task organized to support subordinate battalions by detaching personnel down to the battalions. A flexible arrangement is necessary due to the types of missions the regiment is assigned to perform. This section--

  • Conducts limited all-source intelligence collection, analysis, production, and dissemination to support situation and target development, CI, and support to OPSEC activities.
  • Deploys with the regimental TOC during operations.
  • Identifies, validates, and coordinates unit geographic area requirements for MC&G products to support OPLANs and CONPLANs and to validate map requisitions.

Figure 5-1 shows the organization for the 75th Infantry Ranger Regiment. The regimental S2 section consists of the S2 and assistant S2, tactical intelligence team, OB team, IMINT team, CI team, and reconnaissance detachment. There are also three battalion S2 sections. Although nonorganic to the regimental S2 section, they provide coordination and information flow.

Tactical Intelligence Team

The tactical intelligence team performs collection management functions for the regiment. This team--

  • Deploys with the regimental TOC, but can be detached to support battalion operations.
  • Performs all-source intelligence processing and analysis.
  • Develops and is the primary architect of intelligence products constructed from regimental and outside sources.
  • Maintains a worldwide intelligence data base.
  • Identifies existing intelligent gaps in the collection effort and information flow.
  • Produces intelligence reports and summaries.
  • Produces intelligence estimates and annexes in support of OPLANs.
  • Coordinates with the supported commander to obtain detailed IPB of the target area.
  • Uses IPB to perform detailed terrain analysis.
  • Responds to RIIs from regimental elements.
  • Briefs and debriefs the regimental reconnaissance detachment teams in conjunction with the OB team.
  • Provides intelligence briefings, as required.

OB Team

The OB team and the tactical intelligence team are collocated and work together. The OB team is responsible for maintaining and updating enemy OB files. It studies and processes information on specific geographical target areas. The team also produces TIPs and estimates on enemy military actions. OB intelligence, in this context, includes intelligence and information regarding the enemy's organization, strength, and dispositions plus intelligence derived from weather forecasting and terrain analysis.


The IMINT team is subordinate to the regimental S2 section. It is responsible for interpreting IMINT products. The team has imagery analysts with the technical expertise to accomplish the mission and to deploy with the necessary equipment. Because IMINT is important to ranger operations, this section can be in DS to a ranger battalion and be augmented by other IMINT specialists.

The team maintains an IMINT library for the regiment and the battalions. Commanders use this material for planning and meeting operational requirements.

CI Team

Elements of the CI team can be deployed with any of the ranger battalions. This team provides CI support to the unit's OPSEC and deception plans. It conducts CI liaison with US and foreign intelligence and law enforcement agencies, as required.

Reconnaissance Detachment

The information and intelligence gained from debriefing make ranger reconnaissance squads and scout patrols an effective HUMINT resource. The reconnaissance detachment--

  • Fulfills tactical surveillance missions in an area before other ranger elements are committed to the fight.
  • Has no organic language or interrogation assets.
  • Can carry out certain tasks, such as operational security, sanitization measures, and deception operations.
  • Has military freefall, combat diving, and scout swimmer capabilities.
  • Is OPCON to the regimental S2 section. The detachment is divided into three teams. These teams give the regiment the capability to meet immediate on-the-ground intelligence requirements.
  • Conducts target surveillance.
  • Is specially trained to provide information on enemy OB, target sites, route reconnaissance, and base camps.
  • Can be used as pathfinders to reconnoiter, choose, clear, and prepare landing zones (LZs) and drop zones (DZs).
  • Can operate for up to five days on its own.

Battalion S2 Section

The ranger battalion S2 section consists of two officers -- the S2 and assistant S2 -- and three enlisted soldiers. The section has a limited capability to collect and analyze information. Its mission is to support the battalion commander with basic intelligence data base collection, analysis, and tactical intelligence support for battalion operations. The battalion S2 section can be augmented by regimental S2 elements or external assets, as required.

The ranger battalion S2--

  • Develops and maintains an intelligence data base.
  • Identifies existing intelligence gaps.
  • Produces intelligence reports and summaries.
  • Performs terrain analysis and IPB functions directly supporting battalion operations.
  • Processes RIIs from battalion elements.
  • Participates in the decision-making process.
  • Tasks, through the S3, battalion elements to perform tactical intelligence missions supporting battalion operations.
  • Conducts intelligence training for battalion elements.
  • Coordinates CI efforts supporting battalion operational requirements.
  • Directs the battalion collection management process.
  • Briefs and debriefs reconnaissance teams.
  • Coordinates closely with the battalion FSO to exchange combat information, nominate targets, and coordinate fire support measures.


In addition to the support provided by the ranger regiment, other organic support is provided by USAF liaison, medical support, fire support, and USAF weather team.

USAF Liaison

The regimental headquarters and each battalion has a USAF liaison team. This team sometimes is used as an intelligence communications link.

Medical Support

The regimental and battalion surgeons are a source of medical and nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) intelligence on possible deployment locations. They also provide valuable information on disease and pest conditions in the AO.

Fire Support

The organic fire support structure, including the fire support teams (FISTs) and battalion and regimental FSCOORD, provides valuable combat information to the S2.

Weather Team

The USAF SWO serves as a special staff officer to the regimental commander on all weather matters. The team provides current and forecast weather data and climatic analysis studies in support of all regimental missions. The team provides FALOP training to the reconnaissance detachment, and provides mission-unique information during operations. Weather support for ranger operations is limited to the regimental level only.


Intelligence assets organic to the ranger regiment are limited. However, the IEW system supporting the ranger regiment is vast. Through the I&W system, the ranger regiment's organic intelligence assets interface with the nonorganic IEW systems to secure all necessary support.

This nonorganic intelligence support for rangers includes all the intelligence disciplines and functional areas: HUMINT, SIGINT, IMINT, TECHINT, EW, and CI operations. External product support is available by coordinating between the ranger unit S2 and the supported command.


When deployed, the theater or JTF commander is responsible for providing intelligence support to the ranger regiment. USASOC provides information and intelligence to the ranger force commander while the force is in CONUS. The USASOC intelligence staff coordinates with theater intelligence agencies to provide what the regiment needs.

In theater, the main source of processed intelligence is the EACIC. The EACIC provides intelligence, MDCI, and EW product support to the ranger force. Figure 5-2 shows the intelligence support available from the EAC brigade. The ranger regiment normally places an intelligence liaison officer (LNO) at the EACIC or the appropriate ASPS to facilitate the necessary coordination to ensure--

  • The intelligence needs of the ranger force are relayed to the intelligence processing center.
  • The resulting analysis is based on the specific needs of the ranger force commander.

This LNO also coordinates with the corps or EAC targeting center. Close coordination between the regiment, the EACIC, and the targeting center is essential to effectively employ ranger forces.

HUMINT Support

HUMINT support to ranger forces includes intelligence derived from--

  • Interrogating EPWs and debriefing civilian internees, detainees, and refugees.
  • Debriefing returned captured US personnel, escapees, and evaders.
  • Exploiting CED and CEM.
  • Performing controlled collection operations.
  • Conducting RSO, patrols, and OPs.
  • Conducting liaison with local military or paramilitary forces and the local populace.
  • Obtaining reports from friendly troops.

The interrogator is one of the primary HUMINT collectors not organic to the ranger battalion. The interrogator is specially trained to exploit personnel and documents written in the source's native language. Interrogators are most effective when they are employed forward in support of commanders in direct contact with the enemy.

Interrogator support is available from the supported command's MI brigade or tactical exploitation battalion. At brigade and above interrogators are collocated at EPW holding areas and camps. Interrogators collect against SIR that answer the commander's PIR and IR. Then this interrogation information or intelligence is incorporated into the all-source intelligence product.

When rangers need combat information or intelligence for mission planning that only interrogators can provide, they either request this support through USASOC or the appropriate TASOSC, or through other commands which have interrogators organic to their units.

SIGINT Support

SIGINT is the product of information gathered when electromagnetic emissions are intercepted, collected, evaluated, analyzed, and integrated with other intelligence and combat information and then interpreted, SIGINT subdivisions include COMINT, FISINT, and ELINT. By integrating SIGINT with other intelligence, accurate targeting data can be obtained.

SIGINT support to the planning recess for ranger 3 missions, including locating enemy C , is available from the supported command's MI brigade. The type of support needed depends upon the nature of the target and enemy capabilities.

IMINT Support

IMINT comes from radar, photographic, infrared, and electro-optic imagery. Imagery analysts use imagery to identify and locate enemy activity, installations, and equipment for ranger actions. Imagery and IA are significant sources of information and intelligence for ranger elements.

IMINT, which covers various seasons, conditions, and angles of a target, provides details on terrain. To a lesser extent, enemy OB and personnel movement patterns also can be analyzed from IMINT.

IMINT tasking is done through either FRAGO or intelligence annexes to the OPORD, or the RII. Formats to request support from national systems are in the J-TENS Manual, Sections 3,4, and 5; and FM 34-2, Appendix C. IMINT systems controlled by a higher headquarters, other services, or national agencies respond to approved RIIs through appropriate channels.

The channels used depend on the agency and the requirement, the agency receiving the request, and command procedures. Corps and division assets provide IMINT when the target area falls within the range of their organic systems. Other services and national assets also can provide IMINT in DS of ranger operations.


TECHINT consists of S&TI and battlefield TECHINT. TECHINT provides rangers with intelligence about threat technological developments and the performance and operational capabilities of threat materiel. Battlefield TECHINT provides the tactical commander with countermeasures to neutralize and defeat enemy systems and materiel.

TECHINT products, including countermeasures, are produced by the CMEC or a battlefield TECHINT team. TECHINT is incorporated into the all-source intelligence product. Specific requests for TECHINT team support are coordinated through headquarters, echelons corps and above.

EW Support

EW is vital to successful ranger operations and requires same support that conventional warfare operations need. However, in ranger operations, ECM must be closer and focused on the objective to effectively support the fighting force.

EW will require ESM or the collection, analysis, and location of threat emitters and the decision which targets will be subject to ECM. ECM will consist of both jamming and deception.

  • Jamming will be used to deny the intended receipt of communications from the transmitting station to deny threat C2.
  • Deception will be used to spoof the intended receiver for a period of time in which to achieve an immediate objective.

ECCM is also an essential element of EW in ranger operations based on the vulnerability of ranger forces and the proximity to the threat. Detailed communications operating procedures must be established and practiced to ensure ranger operations are not vulnerable to threat EW.

CI Support

CI detects, evaluates, counteracts, or prevents foreign intelligence collection, subversion, sabotage, and terrorism. It determines security vulnerabilities and recommends countermeasures. CI operations support OPSEC, deception and rear operations.

CI support to the ranger regiment is normally provided by a CI team from the MI group at theater army level. The CI team conducts liaison support between the regiment and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies operating within the theater. CI support is also provided through USASOC channels. (See FM 34-60 and FM 34-60A for details on CI.)


Intelligence requirements for ranger operations are specialized and sensitive. The USASOC ODCSINT Requirements Management Division coordinates with theater and national level intelligence agencies to provide the information and intelligence the force needs. The TASOSC ISE produces TIPs and other supporting intelligence products for ranger operations within the theater. See Figure 3-4 for more information on RIIs.

CA Support

A working relationship between the supporting CA unit and the ranger unit aids the commander's mission planning preparation, and execution. A good relationship ensures information passes quickly between the two elements and eliminates duplicated effort.

In daily operations CA personnel deal with people, equipment, and documentary material that may provide valuable intelligence. This is important because ranger commanders must consider the impact of all of their activities on the civilian population.

In support of ranger mission planning, preparation, and executions, CA elements--

  • Identify and acquire foreign resources.
  • Coordinate with other agencies to minimize civilian interference.
  • Assist in meeting legal and moral obligations to the local population, families of supported indgenous forces, and persons displaced by ranger operations.
  • Supplement the intelligence effort by collecting information during CMO.
  • Act as staff focal point feet ranger operations.
  • Provide input during for cultural aspects that affect pre-mission planning and preparation. This minimizes civilian interference and reduces collateral damage to the civilian populace and economy.

PSYOP Support

PSYOP supports ranger operations by reducing the effectiveness of the enemy force and enhancing and eliciting the support of the local population. Ranger PSYOP elements--

  • Exploit hostile vulnerabilities in the operational area.
  • Design PSYOP for deployed ranger units to execute.
  • Review ranger plans to identify potentially adverse effects on target audiences that could affect mission accomplishment.
  • Provide basic and special PSYOP assessments that add to the overall intelligence effort in the operational area.
  • Advise ranger commanders and their staffs on the psychological impact of military operations on target audiences within the operational area.

Ranger Support to the IEW System

Like any other unit, ranger elements can be excellent sources of combat information. Rangers are often the first to encounter the enemy and can confirm or deny friendly assessments of threat organization, equipment, capabilities, and morale. They can bring back captured threat equipment for evaluation and report on the effectiveness of friendly weapons on threat systems. Rangers can also provide real time assessments of the target area civilian population's psychological and physical disposition for use in fine tuning PSYOP and CA plans for follow-on forces. Ranger SIOs must be proactive in debriefing rangers to ensure this valuable information enters the IEW system.

MC&G and Other Intelligence Products

The ranger regiment and its subordinate battalions have an account with the DIA and the Army Intelligence Agency (AIA). All pertinent reports and studies are sent to the ranger regiment and battalions, as requested. Maps, IMINT, and other special products are also routinely supplied. These and other national assets supply information and intelligence for quick response missions under certain conditions. DIA or MA may even dedicate assets like foreign ASTs to support special ranger missions.

Ranger units with a proper DMA account obtain MC&G products direct from the DMA Combat Support Center, which is the OCONUS Army map depot. USASOC assists units to obtain special MC&G products and services.

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