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FM 34-54: Battlefield Technical Intelligence




This chapter describes Battlefield TECHINT operations, functions, and procedures within the context of the Intelligence Cycle.

Battlefield TECHINT operations consist of collecting, handling, analyzing, evacuating, and exploiting CEE, documents, and other materiel.

Force commanders and their staffs, as well as the unit's TECHINT asset, are responsible for Battlefield TECHINT operations. However, the individual soldier normally initiates Battlefield TECHINT operations by capturing and reporting on an item of TECHINT interest.


Each command has directors, coordinators, produces, and executors who perform critical IEW functions. Battlefield TECHINT is a subsystem of the overall IEW system. Battlefield TECHINT has the same functional structure at each level of operational and tactical command:

    º Directors are the force commanders; their requirements must be satisfied.
    º Coordinators are the G2/S2 and the G3/S3 who supervise and direct the operations of producers and coordinate the command's executor efforts.
    º Producers are the collection management and dissemination (CM&D) team members who support the coordinators.
    º Executors are the unit commanders who do the assigned IEW mission.

The MI unit commander is the command's primary Battlefield TECHINT executor. But, as with other IEW missions, being primary does not mean being the only executor. Other essential Battlefield TECHINT collectors are the commanders of the following units and teams:

    º Combat.
    º Special operations.
    º Military police (MP).
    º NBC.
    º Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD).
    º Medical.
    º Engineer.
    º Civil Affairs (CA).
    º All other organizations capable of executing Battlefield TECHINT operations.

The G2, G3, TECHINT commander, and MI commander comprise the Battlefield TECHINT team. The staff officers plan, organize, direct, coordinate, and control; while commands execute the directives. The MI commander manages MI assets to accomplish assigned Battlefield TECHINT missions. The MI commander exercises command and control over all organic and attached MI assets, and has operational control over supporting MI assets.

No single unit or organization is capable of meeting all of the force commander's Battlefield TECHINT requirements with organic assets. Each is dependent on other commands and organizations to complete the overall intelligence picture of the battlefield. These interdependencies require detailed interfaces. The IEW system and specific producers, such as the CMEC or attached TECHINT team, provide these interfaces.


Intelligence is the responsibility of all commanders. This includes Battlefield TECHINT. Every unit must be prepared to capture, secure, report, and evacuate enemy materiel of TECHINT interest, with or without specific orders. Capturing and reporting items of known or possible TECHINT interest is the key to making the Intelligence Cycle a dynamic and viable tool in the Battlefield TECHINT effort.

The Intelligence Cycle (Figure 3-1) is dynamic because it allows for nontasked input. It is called a cycle because it is a continuous process. Each phase of the cycle is done sequentially, but all phases are done simultaneously. The Intelligence Cycle is defined as the planning and supervision of the four phases needed to accomplish the mission or meet the goal.


The commander's staff plans the mission and supervises each phase of the Intelligence Cycle. Intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) is the first step in planning the mission. (See FM 34-130.) IPB is used to analyze the data base we have on the enemy. This is done to determine the impact of the enemy, weather, and terrain on operations in specific battlefield situations. IPB is the basis for determining and evaluating enemy capabilities, vulnerabilities, and probable courses of action.

The five functions of IPB are:

    º Terrain analysis.
    º Weather analysis.
    º Battlefield area evaluation.
    º Threat evaluation.
    º Threat integration.

During the IPB process, we also discover what we know and don't know about the enemy. This knowledge, or lack of it, along with the commander's concept of the operations, drives intelligence collection requirements and their priorities.


The four phases of the Intelligence Cycle area:

    º Directing.
    º Collecting.
    º Processing.
    º Disseminating.


Directors establish priority intelligence requirements (PIR) and information requirements (IR). PIR and IR are the basis for all intelligence collection and production, including TECHINT. The commander, through the G2/S2, directs Battlefield TECHINT collection.

The theater MI Brigade TECHINT Battalion provides a TECHINT liaison element to the single discipline team (SDT) section of the all-source analysis center (ASAC) of the echelons above corps intelligence center (EACIC). (See Figure 3-2.) This TECHINT team coordinates collection management functions with the CMEC and serves as a link between the CMEC and the G2. It supports TECHINT integration into the all-source intelligence product and the establishment of TECHINT collection requirements.

The ASAC TECHINT team coordinates with the CMEC to match the requirements they have received to their specific operational or tactical areas of concern. Then they compare these requirements to the existing data base to make sure we only collect on requirements we have not already answered.

The ASAC TECHINT team also ensures these requests are translated into terms combat units or other specific collectors can understand and act on. (See Figure 3-3.)

The commander's list of PIR and IR is the preferred method of communicating Battlefield TECHINT collection requirements. However, if an item is found to be of special TECHINT interest, the echelon wanting the item provides reporting instructions, along with a photograph, sketch, or description of the item. This is forwarded as a specific order or request to the G2 or S2 of the command tasked.

The G2 or S2 of the tasked unit briefs the command about the item needed and the reporting channels to be used in case the item is located within their area of operations. (See Figure 3-4.)


Collecting is the process of gathering information from all sources. Battlefield TECHINT collection also includes capturing, reporting, and evacuating CEM. All intelligence collection is guided by the commander's PIR and IR. TECHINT category PIR and IR and collection procedures are presented in the TECHINT Appendix of the Intelligence Annex to an Operation Order. (See Appendix A.)

The TECHINT appendix is also called the TECHINT plan. It is prepared at theater and all subordinate echelons to guide the Battlefield TECHINT effort of those commands. The TECHINT plan is updated, as needed, to identify foreign or enemy equipment and technical documents of new or special TECHINT interest. (See Appendix B.) The TECHINT plan establishes procedures and responsibilities for identifying, handling, reporting, evacuating, and exploiting special item of TECHINT interest. (See Appendixes C and D.)

Executors collect item of known or possible TECHINT interest. Combat units normally capture enemy materiel. The capturing unit safeguards the materiel. That unit then SALUTE reports the capture through the next higher command to the first TECHINT element in the reporting chain. Higher commands continue to forward the report of the capture until it reaches the CMEC or the TECHINT team.

Once the command's Battlefield TECHINT element receives notice of a possible TECHINT capture, they verify that the materiel is still required. The CMEC or TECHINT team then forwards instructions back to the capturing unit. The capturing unit continues to safeguard the TECHINT materiel until directed otherwise by higher headquarters.

Higher headquarters may decide to send a TECHINT team forward to exploit the CEM in place or supervise its disposition. They might direct the capturing unit to initiate evacuation or simply abandon or destroy the item. If the unit is ordered to evacuate the item, the command tells the unit how to package, mark, and tag it. This ensures proper handling, evacuation, and identification when it arrives at the CMEC. Figure 3-5 outlines the ideal sequence of events upon initial discovery of a possible item of TECHINT interest. The capturing unit provides security until instructions arrive. (See Appendixes C and D.)


Processing is the procedure by which information becomes intelligence. The theater MI Battalion (TECHINT) is responsible for Battlefield TECHINT. The CMEC or supporting TECHINT team is the TECHINT materiel processor. The CNEC or TECHINT team evaluates, correlates, and analyzes the enemy materiel in support of the all-source intelligence product.


Disseminating and using intelligence is the last and most vital phase of the Intelligence Cycle. The CMEC and Battlefield TECHINT teams rapidly disseminate both raw data and processed intelligence of a perishable nature to those who need it. They do this without waiting for additional information or processing. They input all information obtained for further evaluation in support of the all-source intelligence product.

Following exploitation, the TECHINT team prepares and forwards the appropriate reports, summaries, diagrams, photos, and samples, or the actual piece of equipment to the CMEC or higher headquarters. Items are further exploited as the situation permits.

The most frequently used Battlefield TECHINT report is the SALUTE report. Information or intelligence believed to answer the supported commander's PIR and IR is, by definition, information of immediate value. All such information must be spot reported immediately, consistent with required security.

There is no prescribed format for the spot report. However, it should follow the SALUTE format: Size, Activity, Location, Unit, Time, Equipment; plus a remarks paragraph for any other PIR and IR information not included above. The SALUTE report is used to notify higher commands of the capture or identification of enemy materiel believed to answer PIR and IR. (See Figure 3-6.)

After initial battlefield exploitation, the TECHINT team prepares and forwards to the CMEC or higher headquarters the appropriate reports

such as the Complementary Technical Report (COMTECHREP). The COMTECHREP includes: summaries, diagrams, photos, samples, or the actual piece of equipment. Items are further exploited as the situation permits.

After the TECHINT team finishes its evaluation, the team arranges to have the materiel evacuated to the CMEC. The CMEC performs a more detailed and time exploitation of the materiel. When they are finished, they submit their results in a Detailed Technical Report (DETECHREP).

The CMEC may also prepare a Special Technical Report. This report provides TECHINT input to studies and plans of the Command G2. (See Appendix E for these and other report formats.)

TECHINT analysts also prepare other reports such as operator manuals, maintenance manuals, TECHINT Bulletins, Tactical User Bulletins, and Technical Document Translation Reports:

    º Operator and maintenance manuals are prepared the same way Army manuals are.
    º The TECHINT Bulletin is a short descriptive report on a particular piece of equipment for the specific purpose of disseminating technical information.
    º The Tactical User Bulletin is a short description of how the average soldier can operate a piece of equipment.
    º The Technical Document Translation Report is based on translations, normally prepared by the interrogation company's document exploitation platoon.

The CMEC forwards copies of all reports through the supported commander to the next higher echelon.


The primary elements of the Army's Battlefield (TECHINT), system are the MI Battalion (TECHINT), direct support Battlefield TECHINT teams, and the CMEC. Their elements, structure, and mission are discussed below.


The FMIG is the Army's only AC TECHINT unit. The FMIG mobilizes for war as a battalion and includes:

    º A headquarters and headquarters company.
    º An analyst company.
    º Two training detachments.

RC TECHINT elements mobilize as either companies or battalions. Regardless of their size, both AC and RC TECHINT units have the same battlefield function.

The MI unit (TECHINT) mission is to provide intelligence derived from the exploitation of weapons, equipment, and other materiel found, captured, or squired within the theater Army area of operations. This includes all items of a scientific and technical nature.

The MI company (TECHINT) or the TECHINT battalion's analyst company consists of a headquarters and the following platoons:

    º Intelligence support.
    º C-E intelligence.
    º NBC and medical intelligence.
    º Weapons and munitions.
    º Mobility intelligence.


The EAC TECHINT battalion provides direct support Battlefield TECHINT teams to ECB MI units. These TECHINT teams are mobile. They are organized according to available resources and subordinate command requirements.

TECHINT teams perform a mission similar to, but more limited than, the CMEC. They concentrate on the initial identification and exploitation of CEM and providing TECHINT assistance to the corps or division tactical operations center. Detailed analyses by these teams are rare due to personnel limitations and lack of organic laboratory facilities.

The TECHINT battalion also provides a TECHINT liaison team to the SDT section of the ASAC, EACIC. This team supports collection management and TECHINT integration into the all-source intelligence product.

ECB Battlefield TECHINT teams normally have 10 analysts, 1 per each specialty found in the CMEC. (See Figure 3-7.)


The TECHINT battalion accomplishes its mission through a CMEC formed from its own resources and augmented by other SMEs. When augmentation includes SMEs from other services, the CMEC becomes a JCMEC.

The CMEC is the first real processor of CEM. When it receives CEM, it evaluates it to determine its level of TECHINT interest and importance. If an item is on the TECHINT requirements list or if it is of TECHINT interest, the CMEC concentrates on exploiting the CEM for immediate tactical or operational level use.

The specialists in the CMEC are able to conduct a rapid, initial scientific and technological analysis of this materiel in their battlefield laboratory. These specialists may include scientists and experts from other services, allies, and S&TI activities.

Any immediate countermeasures, information, or intelligence they develop is quickly distributed to appropriate combat, combat support, and combat service support battlefield elements for immediate use. At the same time, the CMEC quickly evacuates the CEM to CONUS for in-depth, detailed exploitation.

Ideally, the CMEC is located in the theater rear near main supply routes and air and sea ports. Regardless of its location, it is fully equipped with sensitive and sophisticated test equipment. Analyst teams use this equipment to perform more detailed and time-consuming exploitations than TECHINT teams can do at ECB.

The CMEC coordinates the evaluation of captured items of special. TECHINT interest to and from the CMEC. For items we cannot evacuate or that are of critical interest, the CMEC task organizes and deploys a quick reaction team to coordinate the evacuation or to exploit the item on-site.

The CMEC also task organizes its specialist assets into general support teams to meet requirements of echelons without TECHINT assets. These teams operate far forward to provide the CMEC and the supported commander timely screening and identification of CEM and evaluation of battle damaged friendly equipment.

CMEC teams provide the capturing unit with identification and tagging instructions so that the captured item is properly accounted for. The teams identify the items requiring exhaustive exploitation and coordinate their evacuation to the CMEC.

The CMEC and ECB Battlefield TECHINI teams are usually staffed with analysts capable of exploiting enemy equipment and documents in five functional areas: C-E, weapons and munitions, NBC, medical, and mobility:

    º C-E TECHINT is the analysis and exploitation of foreign and threat and jamming equipment, intercept and jamming equipment, and like systems, including electro-optic and directed-energy technology.
    º Weapons and munitions TECHINT involves the analysis of foreign and enemy weapons and weapon systems, including rocket, tube artillery, and mortar-associated munitions and fire control systems.
    º NBC TECHINT is based on the analysis of foreign and enemy offensive and defensive NBC materiel including flame munitions and obscurants. This analysis determines enemy strengths and vulnerabilities in relation to NBC operations. (See Appendix H.)
    º Medical TECHINT focuses on the identification, evaluation, and exploitation of foreign and enemy medical materiel and general purpose systems modified for medical support.
    º Mobility TECHINT exploits foreign and enemy vehicles, engineer and barrier crossing or breeching equipment, materiel handling equipment, and power generation. Mobility TECHINT determines the capabilities and vulnerabilities of the enemy to maneuver combat, combat service, and combat service support resources on the battle field.


Once a TECHINT unit takes custody of the TECHINT item, Battlefield TECHINT exploitation begins. TECHINT analysts and specialists use checklists established by S&TI and Battlefield TECHINT units to exploit each type of enemy system or equipment for which requirements exist.

S&TI and Battlefield TECHINT units develop battlefield exploitation procedures from three sources:

    º The US Army Test and Evaluation operation procedures. Command's international test
    º Coordination with S&TI analysts.
    º Their own experience.

Exploitation procedures generally are standardized; however, these procedures are constantly updated and condensed into many different exploitation plans. This is based on the type of equipment or documents being exploited. These plans steer the analysis process.

The materiel moves up through the TECHINT chain (for example, from the corps team to the theater CMEC). As it does, each echelon completes as much of the exploitation procedure as possible. The enemy's current level of technology and our predictions about how it will be used on the battlefield determine which plan is used. (See Figure 3-8.)

TECHINT units maintain procedures and plans for sampling, exploiting, and handling materiel in the following categories:

    º Missile guidance.
    º Missile warhead, fuze, and propellants.
    º Munitions and explosives, including fuze and warhead designs.
    º Effects of munitions, explosives, and weapons.
    º Small arms, guns, and artillery of all types.
    º Tracked and wheeled vehicles and transporters.
    º Different types of armor, radios, and radar.
    º Electronic warfare (EW) and intercept and jamming equipment.
    º Antenna, relay, and telephone equipment.
    º Teletypes.
    º Electro-optics.
    º Directed energy.
    º Automatic data processing (ADP) hardware and software.
    º NBC weapons, defense equipment, and agents.
    º Tactical aviation.
    º Medical
    º Mine warfare.

Although exploitation plans are extremely useful, it is the individual analyst who determines the actual steps to use in each procedure. Analysis always begins with what is, and is not, known about the piece of equipment.

For a comprehensive field list of specific exploitation plans see Appendix F.

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