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FM 90-24
Chapter 1 - Strategy


C3CM strategy to ensure that commanders of friendly forces retain control of their forces and, at the same time, deny enemy commanders the ability to command and control their forces.


The objectives of C 3 CM are divided into two categories: counter-C 3 and C 3 protect.


Counter-C3 consists of measures to deny adversary decision makers the ability to effectively command and control their forces. The objective of the counter aspect of C3 CM is to destroy, disrupt, or degrade the enemy's C2 in support of the friendly commander's objectives. The counter C3 process consists of the following:

  • Identify the enemy C 3 nodes.
  • Analyze nodes for criticality and vulnerability.
  • Prioritize the nodes.
  • Determine the effect desired and how each of the four components will contribute to the overall objective.
  • Assign assets to each of the nodes to be attacked.
  • Determine the effectiveness of the operation.
Counter-C3 must concentrate on degrading critical enemy C2 functions rather than simply defeating specific targets. To achieve functional kills, planners must identify specific enemy C3 targets that relate to enemy C3 capabilities. High-payoff targets include enemy C2 , maneuver, weapons control, and sustainment C3 facilities. At critical times in battle, the coordinated destructive and disruptive attack of the enemy's maneuver C3 facilities is expected to --
  • Slow the enemy's tempo.
  • Disrupt the enemy's operations and plans.
  • Disrupt the enemy commander's ability to generate combat power.
  • Degrade the enemy commander's decision cycle for executing mission orders and movement instructions.
  • Degrade the flow of combat information and intelligence to enemy forces.
C3 Protect

C3 protect is designed to protect friendly high-value targets (critical assets) from enemy attack or deception techniques. The objective of C3 protect is to deny, negate, or turn to friendly advantage an adversary's efforts to destroy, disrupt, deceive, or deny information concerning friendly C2 , including supporting information and intelligence activities.

The C3CM staff officers devise a C3 protect plan that protects friendly, critical assets from enemy attack or deception techniques. To assist them in preparing this concept, the staff uses vulnerability studies, internal and external evaluations, operations security (OPSEC), standing operating procedures (SOP), and C3CM decision aids.

The commander may employ OPSEC, deception, and destructive or disruptive means to protect friendly, critical resources. The C3CM protect process provides the commander a comprehensive list of options. The process involves continuous planning, data collection and analysis, reporting, and execution of orders and instructions. The protect process is cyclic. It changes depending on the nature of both the threat and friendly vulnerabilities. The protect process should include, but not be limited to --

  • Identifying friendly, critical C3 nodes.
  • Identifying hostile intelligence collection threats.
  • Identifying friendly force profiles and recommended essential elements of friendly information (EEFI) on C3 facilities and vulnerabilities.
  • Analyzing risk and selecting critical EEFI.
  • Recommending countermeasures.
  • Selecting OPSEC and deception techniques to conceal EEFI from hostile capabilities and intelligence.
  • Applying selected countermeasures to attack, destroy, or disrupt enemy reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, and intelligence systems.
  • Directing efforts to monitor the effectiveness of the applied countermeasure.
  • Monitoring effectiveness of countermeasures used and analyzing them.
  • Recommending adjustments to the countermeasures.
  • Selecting critical survival tasks to decrease friendly C3 vulnerabilities.

To be effective, commanders need to synchronize C3CM with other military actions. As an example, jamming is most effective when important information is being transmitted over the link being jammed. Similarly, the optimum time to destroy a command post or a command element is when an immediate need exists for that commander to issue new orders or for the staff to change a course of action.

For countermeasures to be effective against anticipated targets, commanders must carefully plan them. For example, by using deception, commanders might deceive the enemy as to the actual location of the main attack. By jamming enemy reconnaissance elements, the report of actual location can be delayed.

The effectiveness of C3CM is directly related to the detailed knowledge and understanding of the enemy's C3 system. A wide variety of C3 elements could be targets for countermeasures, The intent of C3CM is not indiscriminate communications jamming but disruption of critical enemy C3 functions when friendly forces can take advantage of the enemy's confusion.


Deconfliction is "The process of optimizing the usage of the frequency spectrum incorporating both the requirements of the Battlefield Spectrum Managers and of the EW operations . . . [deconfliction] is concerned with the interoperability aspects of managing battlefield communications-electronic (C-E) systems to minimize electromagnetic spectrum conflicts with the intelligence and/or EW (IEW) units of the friendly forces. . . ."2

To accomplish the mission, the joint staff uses the C 3 CM deconfliction planning process to ensure appropriate target selection and neutralization. The staff must detect, locate, and assign priorities in relation to other battlefield activities. Afterwards, it selects an appropriate weapon system to attack the target. During the C3CM process, deconfliction is a critical step in determining priority, availability, and courses of action.


Deconfliction of C3CM operations is an integral part of the planning and execution process. Deconfliction planning is a means of weighing resource conservation against the desired results. Planners must consider the effects of C3CM actions on friendly operations.

Deconfliction planning is a necessary step in the C3CM process. Planning is important to the success of any C3CM strategy. Success is dependent upon the degree to which the staff planners integrate the deconfliction process in the overall staff planning cycle.


The deconfliction planning process should start with the issuance of the commander's guidance. Based upon the commander's guidance, the J3, J3, J6, and the joint commander's electronic warfare staff (JCEWS) will deconflict the C3CM strategy. Figure 1-1 shows the C3CM functions, responsibilities, and required coordination.

Airlift and special operations forces. Deconfliction of C3CM operations is essential to all forces, including airlift and special operations forces. For example, airlift aircraft require target and mission deconfliction through close coordination between the tactical air control center (TACC) and airlift control center (ALCC). This is particularly important when conducting direct delivery missions to engaged combat forces and cross-forward line of own troops (FLOT) missions.

Deconfliction, especially frequency deconfliction, is performed between the TACC and ALCC or the Air Force special operations command (AFSOC) element. Proper frequency deconfliction prevents aircraft equipment degradation and loss of electronic countermeasures (ECM) effectiveness.

Electronic warfare. Managing EW-produced electromagnetic (EM) interference requires the cooperation of all commanders and their staffs and results in the realization of EW as a combat force multiplier.

The first step in the process of EW deconfliction involves planning for the most effective employment of ECM assets against hostile targets while protecting friendly receivers from unintentional jamming. Following the commander's guidance, the J3 defines the concept of operations to include TABOO, GUARDED, and PROTECTED functions and frequencies. The J3 approves the joint restricted frequency list (JRFL) and establishes the joint commander's electronic warfare staff to facilitate EW operations. The J6 develops the frequency management plan and closely coordinates with the J2, J2, and electronic warfare officer (EWO). The EWO is responsible for publishing and disseminating the JRFL. The EWO develops the EW target list, after considering input from the J2, J3, and J6, and assists in developing the JRFL.

The second step of EW deconfliction includes maintaining and updating the JRFL, as well as resolving conflicts. The J3 is responsible for maintaining and updating the JRFL throughout an operation as functions and frequencies change or as expected time lines differ from planning. Conflict resolution begins when an operator of friendly communications or noncommunications equipment experiences EM interference.

The EW deconfliction process starts with a meaconing, intrusion, jamming, and interference report that identifies the interference. The J6 analyzes the interference to determine its possible cause. If the analysis indicates interference is from enemy activities or is from an unknown source, the J6 recommends remedial action or takes action to alleviate the interference. The J3 takes appropriate action if the interference is from friendly ECM activities and occurs on a TABOO, PROTECTED, or GUARDED frequency. These actions should resolve any self-induced interface.


A wide range of actions and activities needed to achieve a successful operation is involved in C3CM. Equipment, forces, and operational tasks that contribute to C3CM may be used in other capacities. Achieving an integrated mix of these actions against the correct targets, at the optimum time, makes C3CM a complex and demanding task. Assets which are C3CM-capable will be used in conjunction with other priorities. C3CM integrates and supports the theater commander's strategic concept or the subordinate commander's operational concept. As such, C3CM is part of a theater strategic and operational plan.


Army Approach

AR 525-203 contains Army C3CM policy. The Army uses C3CM to enhance combat effectiveness on the battlefield. If employed with the proper mix of operations (for example, jamming and physical destruction) at the proper time and against the correct targets, C3CM measures can provide a military advantage. C3CM activities are conducted to support the commander's concept of operations and scheme of maneuver.

The staff planning and decision-making process will define the targets to be engaged, the desired effects, and the desired time for engagement. The process will also define threat collectors to counter in support of the commander's concept or deception story. Commanders may direct C3CM actions against a range of threat targets to influence deep, close, and rear operations. These actions will vary according to echelon, available assets, targets of interest, and time and space dimensions.

Deception is used as a means of influencing the enemy decision maker via his own surveillance and intelligence systems. OPSEC measures, to include smoke, obscurants, camouflage, and decoys, are primarily directed toward enhancing survivability of friendly forces and protecting their intentions. Deception and OPSEC measures employed by the Army share the objective of misleading the enemy decision maker into specific but erroneous courses of action. Deception and OPSEC measures also delay, disrupt, or divert the enemy's plans and actions. C3CM targets for the Army span the entire battlefield, and results from C3CM actions may not be seen for several days. The OPSEC planning sequence the Army uses addresses OPSEC from the battalion level upwards. Every type of Army operation, exercise, or project must identify and control vulnerabilities regardless of echelon.

Each echelon may take specific C3CM measures to support rear, close, and deep operations. For example, C3CM which result in a delay in the commitment of follow-on forces may impact on the force ratio. Similarly, efforts which result in successful misdirection of the enemy may provide commanders with increased time to maneuver and concentrate their forces. The use of C3CM will increase the friendly, tactical advantage if done at the critical time and against the critical node.

Air Force Approach

The Air Force is highly dependent upon C3 for effective application of combat power. Consequently, relative combat power can be favorably affected by superior C3 , which is the ultimate objective of an effective C3CM strategy. The fundamental elements of C3 -processors, decision makers, communicators, and intelligence collectors - are vulnerable in varying degrees to weapons effects, jamming, deception, and OPSEC. Successful C3 depends upon a rapid flow of accurate information, using integrated networks within these fundamental elements. Actions that degrade one or more of these elements tend to degrade the C3 network as a whole.

The Air Force incorporates much of the C3CM strategy under the broader aspects of what it terms electronic combat (EC). In Air Force terms, EC includes EW, elements of C3CM that involve the EM spectrum, and portions of the suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) that are directed against an enemy's EM capabilities (see Figure 1-2). The Air Force considers C3CM to be one key means to achieve superiority in the EM spectrum, which is a critical combat element.

AFR 55-504 and the 55-series of AirForce regulations and manuals5 contain Air Force C3CM policy. These publications cover OPSEC, deception, ECM , electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM), and other C3CM-related matters. Development of specific tactics, techniques, and procedures for C3CM operations varies with each theater and available assets. The actual employment of C3CM support assets depends on the target systems, threat, and mission objectives. Specific concepts of employment of C3CM jamming assets such as COMPASS CALL are undergoing refinement and review.

The Air Force Tactical Air Warfare Center, the 28th Air Division at Tinker Air Force Base, OK, and the 65th Air Division in Europe are the focal points in the Air Force to evolve the best tactics for using C3CM to support the Air Force's primary combat missions.

Electronic combat is a specialized task performed by the Air Force to support operations against the enemy's EM capabilities.6 Specialized tasks are aerospace operations performed in direct or indirect support of Air Force missions such as strategic aerospace offensive, strategic aerospace defensive, counterair, air interdiction, close air support, special operations, airlift, aerospace surveillance and reconnaissance, and aerospace maritime operations.


The four fundamental functions of C3CM are destruction, disruption, deception, and denial. These functions generally correlate with the four principal components within the definition of C3CM: physical destruction, jamming, military deception, and OPSEC, respectively (see Figure 1-3). Each function is valid for countering adversary C3 and protecting friendly C3 . Maximum military effectiveness of C3CM operations is normally attained when commanders integrate two or more of these functions.

Commanders may take C3CM actions before the outbreak of hostilities. For example, commanders may employ deception and OPSEC to enhance the survivability of friendly forces by degrading a potential enemy's intelligence-gathering capability without causing an act of war.

Physical Destruction

Physical destruction is the fully coordinated use of lethal assets to suppress, neutralize, or destroy enemy troops, equipment, and/or facilities. This method enables friendly forces to physically destroy enemy C2 functions. Applying limited-destruct resources requires the capability to accurately locate and prioritize enemy targets.


Jamming is the deliberate radiation or reradiation of EM energy to prevent or degrade the reception of information by a receiver. In general, the effectiveness of jamming depends on --

  • Relative power between transmitter and jammer.
  • Relative distance between transmitter, jammer, and receiver.
  • Terrain barriers.
  • Use of a directional antenna.
Communications jamming is targeted against hostile communications systems for many purposes. First, it introduces delays into the hostile C2 system that allows the friendly commander time to fully exploit his options. Secondly, hostile, time-critical information can be delayed until it is no longer useful. Thirdly, in conjunction with intelligence collection, communications jamming can be used to force the enemy into actions that are useful to friendly operations. For example, secure communications can be targeted for jamming to force the enemy to transmit in the clear and become exploitable for combat information. Communications jamming can also aid in direction finding by forcing the enemy to transmit longer. Longer transmissions allow time for detection and multiple lines of bearing from different locations for position determination.

Noncommunications jamming is directed against such electronic devices as radar, navigation aids, and guidance systems. Currently, the Army does not have any offensive airborne non-communications jamming capability. If such support is needed, the JFACC must provide it.

Jamming against communications and non-communications equipment is accomplished using spot, sweep, or barrage jamming.

Spot Jamming

Spot jamming may be directed at a single frequency or multiple frequencies through --

  • Sequential spot jamming, in which various frequencies are jammed one at a time in sequence.
  • Simultaneous multispot jamming, in which several frequencies are jammed at the same time.
In both spot and sequential spot jamming, the full power of the jammer is directed against one frequency at a time, increasing the effectiveness and range of the jammer. Spot jamming is less likely to interfere with friendly communications because receivers and transmitters can easily avoid it by slightly changing (detuning) the frequency they are receiving.

Sweep Jamming

In sweep jamming, the jammer goes through a frequency range then repeats the sweep continuously. AH frequencies in the range are jammed. Friendly frequencies may be affected unless protected by the JRFL.

Barrage Jamming

Barrage jamming, unlike spot jamming, simultaneously spreads the jammer's power over a much larger portion of the frequency spectrum, thereby reducing the radiated power directed at any single target frequency. Barrage jamming is similar to sweep jamming, since all frequencies are jammed within the targeted portion of the spectrum.

Military Deception

JCS Publication 1-0 defines military deception as follows:

    Actions executed to mislead foreign decisionmakers [sic], causing them to derive and accept desired appreciations of military capabilities, intentions, operations, or other activities that evoke foreign actions that contribute to the originator's objectives.

Deception tools include measures designed to mislead the enemy by manipulating, distorting, or falsifying evidence to induce it to react in a manner counter to its interests. In protecting friendly C3 capabilities, commanders can use battlefield deception to inject ambiguity into the enemy's decision-making process, thus slowing the enemy's ability to respond to the current situation. Such deception is accomplished by many means, including portraying false friendly intentions, capabilities, and dispositions. These means can cause the enemy to --

  • Mass or disperse.
  • Hold in place or commit.
  • Commit prematurely or too late.
  • Adopt inappropriate force configurations.
  • Adopt a style of maneuver inappropriate to its operations.
Furthermore, electronic means of battlefield deception can result in development of false target and situation data through the use of imitative communications deception, manipulative electronic deception, and simulative electronic deception.

Imitative communications deception is the injection of false and misleading information into the enemy's communications nets.

Manipulative electronic deception is the transmission of false information on friendly communications nets to mislead the enemy.

Simulative electronic deception is used to mislead the enemy as to the composition, deployment, and capabilities of friendly units by simulating communications of those forces.

These deception methods effectively degrade the enemy's C3 capabilities by making the enemy question its intelligence and by interfering with its decision-making cycle.

Common Factors

All deception operations have the following common factors:

Objective. The deception objective is the desired enemy action or inaction as it relates to the accomplishment of the mission, The commander should determine the deception objective before selecting a course of action.

Story. The deception story can be any false or true cover story provided to mislead the enemy. The enemy may then make an incorrect decision, putting it at a tactical disadvantage in terms of friendly, true intentions. The deception objective can be met if the deception story delays an enemy's decision cycle, resulting in untimely decisions. For the deception story to be even partially successful, the enemy must evaluate it from its point of view according to the criteria in Figure 1-4.

Target. The deception target is the enemy commander with the authority to make the decision necessary to achieve the deception objective. While the deception story must deceive analysts and staff officers, it must convince the commander since he is the decision maker.

Notional order of battle. The notional order of battle (NOB) is the force that deception planners will portray in the deception plan, NOB should not be confused with the existing task organization. Planners will prepare NOB as a tab to the deception annex and include the order of battle for the entire force, showing what each subordinate unit must portray. Certain elements or all of the NOB should be passed to the enemy.

Evaluation. Intelligence is a prime ingredient required for evaluating the effectiveness of a deception operation. While deception operation results may vary, the intelligence staff should evaluate all with the following questions in mind:

  • Was the deception story implemented, observed, and received as planned?
  • Does evidence indicate that the operation influenced enemy decisions or actions?
  • Did enemy reactions or actions indicate that the deception was accepted?
  • Did the enemy react as planned?
  • Did the deception support the primary mission?

Operations Security

Operations security is a process of analyzing friendly actions attendant to military operations and other activities to --

  • Identify those actions that adversaries can observe.
  • Determine indicators that hostile intelligence Every member of the command or agency is systems might obtain which could be interpreted or pieced together to derive timely, critical information useful to adversaries.
  • Select and execute measures that eliminate or reduce to an acceptable level the vulnerabilities of friendly actions to adversary exploitation.
Every member of the command or agency is responsible for OPSEC. It consists of two major categories - countersurveillance and other measures - which are interrelated. Members must consider both categories for all operations and activities. Neither category requires OPSEC systems, but relies on a unit's doctrine, equipment, and training to enhance the effectiveness of security.


Countersurveillance denies the enemy information in the visual, infrared, radar, radio, microwave, and sonic portions of the energy spectrum. It includes the use of camouflage, heat shields, reflectors, noise and light discipline, smoke, obscurants, other limited visibility conditions, and other measures that prevent the enemy from seeing friendly activities. The countersurveillance program includes the following:

Physical security is the protection of operational activities and facilities by using security forces, barriers (obstacles such as concertina, explosives, flames, field expedients), or anti-intrusion devices. Physical security provides the means to deny or limit enemy access to information that might be gained through espionage or other unauthorized entry to our facilities.

Signal security (SIGSEC) encompasses communications security (COMSEC) and electronic security (ELSEC). COMSEC includes the use of communications codes, secure voice or data equipment, and approved procedures to protect friendly communications. ELSEC includes the use of techniques to reduce operating time and to properly position radar and antennas to protect friendly command and control.

Information security is the protection of written, verbal, and graphic communications, both classified and unclassified.

Emission control (EMCON) is the selective and controlled use of electromagnetic, acoustic, or other emitters to optimize C2 capabilities. For OPSEC, EMCON minimizes the enemy's detection and exploitation of friendly emissions. It also minimizes mutual interference among friendly systems and/or executes a military deception plan.

Other Measures

Other measures to overcome specific aspects of adversary intelligence-gathering efforts by exploiting known friendly OPSEC vulnerabilities are --

Counterintelligence, which includes those activities concerned with identifying and counteracting the threat to security posed by a hostile intelligence service or organization or those activities by individuals engaged in espionage, sabotage, subversion, or terrorism.

Electronic counter-countermeasures, which include that division of electronic warfare involving action to ensure effective friendly use of the EM spectrum, despite the enemy's use of electronic warfare.

Intelligence Support

Intelligence support to the C3CM process begins upon receipt of the mission. The C3CM process includes target detection, location, and identification. The support staff collects and analyzes data from a variety of sources. Some C3CM collection sources are signals intelligence (SIGINT), human observers, and imagery.

After the intelligence staff identifies potential counter-C3 targets, it makes a criticality and vulnerability assessment of the targets' relative contribution to the enemy's order of battle. Input via the fragmentary order can give additional targets and C3 protection. Using all available sources of information, the intelligence staff recommends selection and priority of C3 targets to the J3 or joint force commander (JFC). The intelligence staff nominates targets by priority, using an analysis of resources available versus input on friendly forces from the J3 and/or JFC.

After the intelligence staff nominates targets, the C3CM process shifts to an operational focus, where mission planning and execution are primary considerations. When the results of the C3CM effort are collected, the intelligence staff evaluates the input to determine the impact on enemy operations.

Because of the expansive amount of information that intelligence personnel must collect, filter, correlate, and act upon, any degradation must be minimized. The stress of continuous operations means leaders must manage competing requirements in an effective manner. This management requires operations and intelligence staffs to war-game different alternatives to determine recommended approaches and then allot the time to prioritized collection. Effective management of competing requirements becomes absolutely critical.

Intelligence for the C3CM effort must support the overall concept of operation (see Figure 1-5). In order for the J2 to select relevant C3 targets or target sets, intelligence information must focus on the commander's intent and concept of operation. Through sensors and the intelligence staffs estimate of the battlefield, intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) supports intelligence estimates. The commander uses the intelligence and operations estimates to plan friendly operations. Planners anticipate enemy responses so that C3CM operations are timely and effective. Planning and coordination actions necessary to detect and attack specific targets must be accomplished early enough to allow synchronization of required sensors, weapons, and communications.

The intelligence staff provides information for critical decision making throughout the C3CM process. The intelligence system supports the analysis of friendly C3 vulnerabilities, threat collection, and lethal attack systems. Intelligence support must accurately target specific enemy C3 functions which aid both the counter and protect components of C3CM.

The intelligence staff supports the C3 protect mission by using counterintelligence. It identifies and locates enemy threats to friendly C3 and targets for jamming and destruction. These targets either represent a threat to friendly C3 operations or are enemy functions that must be countered. Intelligence information supports the C3CM components (see Table 1-1).

1 Strategy is a science and art of military command exercised to meet the enemy in combat under advantageous conditions (JCS Memorandum of Policy 185, Command, Control, and Communications Countermeasures, 20 December 1983.)

2 Battlefield Spectrum Management Deconfliction, 23 May 1985.

3 Command, Control, and Communication Countermeasures Policy, 1 July 1981.

4 (C) Command, Control, and Communications Countermeasures Policy(U), December 1985.

5 Operations series.

6 Electronic Combat Operations, AFM 2-8, 30, June 1987.

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