The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


FM 34-8: Combat Commander's Handbook On Intelligence

Appendix A
Establishing and Prioritizing Intelligence Requirements

  • During wargaming, your S2/G2 develops a set of IRs for each friendly COA. Each is linked to a specific enemy action that requires a friendly response.

  • PIRs are those IRs critical to the accomplishment of your mission. Wargaming will dictate which IRs will become PIRs as the mission runs its course.

  • As the commander you must always selector approve the PIRs. Below are some guidelines to follow:

    1. Every IR must be situationally templated and wargamed.
    2. The collection manager should not accept or propose an IR until he fully understands and can track the friendly action the IR is designed to support.
  • The S2/G2 should nominate PIRs for approval ONLY FROM THE LIST OF ALREADY PLANNED AND COORDINATED IRs.
  • Information that will answer a PIR must be able to be collected and you must understand how your S2 intends to collect to satisfy your PIR.
  • You must restrict your PIR to only your most critical requirements becausethere are limited collection assets available.

Examples of poor PIRs

The following is an often seen but still poor PIR:

"Will the enemy attack? If so, how, when, where, and in what strength?"

The criticisms of this PIR:

  • First, the PIR contains five significantly different questions. Which of these five questions is the priority? Unless your S2/G2 gives more guidance, the individual collection asset must determine which part of this "PIR" to work on.

  • Second, your S2/G2 probably knows more about the situation than "the enemy might attack somehow, sometime, somewhere, and in some strength." The PIR as presently stated might prompt some collection assets to collect information that is already known.

  • Third, even for the issues that your S2/G2 doesn't know, the enemy can only select from a limited range of COAs due to terrain, weather, politics, etc. If the PIR takes IPB into account, the S2/G2 through more specific tasking, will minimize the chance that collection assets will look for the enemy where he is not likely to be.

  • Finally, when your staff wargames they may find some aspects of this question to be irrelevant to your present situation. For example, your defense may be fully capable of defeating an enemy attack regardless of when they actually attack. Why waste collection assets on a question you really don't need answered?

Examples of good PIRs

There is no "set" of PIRs we can present that will be useful for all tactical situations, any more than there is a set of maneuver paragraphs that you can plug into any OPORD. Below are some examples of the TYPES of PIRs you should expect to see from your S2 for your approval. Because your intelligence needs will change over time, most PIRs will only be important during certain times. Referring to PIRs as "time phased" is redundant. They are dynamic just as the battle will be dynamic. The following are examples of good PIRs.


MISSION: 2d Bde atks in zone at 270430 May 92 to destroy enemy forces on OBJ JOHN (WK2395). Establish hasty defenses on OBJ JOHN NLT 290600" May 92 to stop atk of the 43d MRD. On order continue the attack in zone to seize OBJ BLACK (WK4098).

230600- 282130 Will the enemy use chemical agents on our reserve in AA SMITH?
230600- 270800 Will the enemy defend OBJ JOHN using a forward-slope defense?
230600- 270900 Will the enemy reserve tank battalion reach PL BOB before270900 May 92? (Note: PL BOB is 3 km past OBJ JOHN.)
271000- 302200 Will the 43d MRD send its main attack along avenue of approach 2?
271000-031200 What size enemy force is defending OBJ BLACK?
291200- 031200 Are the bridges over the Bodango River intact? (Note: the Bodango River lies between OBJ JOHN and OBJ BLACK and is unfordable.)

Join the mailing list