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Chapter 4


Battle command is the art of battle decision making, leading, and motivating soldiers and their organizations into action. Battle command embodies two vital components-command and control (C2).

Command consists of the ability to decide and the ability to lead. However, battle command represents a refinement and maturation from the old concept of command and control to one that focuses on the exercise of command and considers control as the subordinate means.

Battle command is the natural expansion of C2 brought on by changes in the scope, intensity, and tempo of current and future operations. Technology provides an abundance of real-time information that must meet the needs of more ambiguous, less certain threat situations.

This chapter describes the fundamentals of corps-level battle command. It establishes the basis for utilization of the Army battle command system to achieve success in military operations.


Corps battles are the key to tactical and operational success. The commander's personal leadership is the most essential element of combat power and will, therefore, have the most critical impact on the outcome of those battles. (See FM 100-5.)

Leadership requires making decisions, providing the force of will to implement decisions, and taking responsibility for making decisions. Commanders must act without all relevant information, make the best decisions possible, and deal with the consequences thereof.

Lack of available information does not invalidate the responsibility of command. After forces have been put in motion, the commander provides the strength and will to follow through with choices and the wisdom to know when he must make changes and further decisions. The commander's leadership is that element of combat power that molds the corps into a cohesive entity capable of winning battles.

The corps commander is responsible for leading and training the corps in peacetime so it will be prepared for war. Leaders must develop units with this warfighting focus as the cornerstone of all activity.

Future corps operations will always be joint and, in some cases, multinational operations. When the corps commander is the commander of joint or multinational forces, he extends his battle command activities to include the entire force.

The way the corps trains will be the way it operates in war and in OOTW. The corps commander determines what his leadership team and subordinate organizations need to do, establishes or reinforces standards, and trains the corps.



Tenets of Army Operations


Split-Based Operations


Command Group (CG)

Tactical Command Post

Main Command Post

Rear Command Post

Assault Command Post

Future Battle Command Support Centers


Communications and Automation Systems

Planning, Executing, and Coordinating Operations


The Battlefield Coordination Element (BCE)

Corps Staff and Joint Service Interface

Joint Task Force Operations





Counter C2

C2 Protection

The corps commander identifies and explains the elements, the METL, and the standards he expects the corps to meet. He then ensures that resources and opportunities are available.

The corps commander builds on the principles in FM 22-103 by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to his force. He provides purpose through his vision and focus on warfighting. He provides direction by developing subordinate leaders who can help prepare the corps to perform its mission, sustain it, and successfully apply warfighting doctrine. He provides motivation by empowering competent subordinates and rewarding those who do likewise because he knows that this is a prerequisite for successful operations.

The commander communicates his intent so others understand what they must do, and then allows subordinates to decide how to accomplish their missions. He engineers a command climate by focusing attention on warfighting and competition against standards, not against other units. He sets the standards and exemplifies courage, candor, competence, and commitment.

Mutual trust and confidence is the basis that al-lows the commander to call on his soldiers to implement his will on the battlefield. By his example, he encourages decentralizing decision making to the appropriate level and allows subordinates to determine the methods to accomplish their missions.

A critical element of the art of battle command is the ability to visualize the battlefield. Battlefield visualization is an essential leadership attribute and is critical to accomplishing the mission. It is learned and attained through training, practice, experience, wisdom, and available battle command technologies. It results from the commander's understanding of his higher commander's intent, his assigned mission, an understanding of the enemy, and his knowledge of friendly force capabilities and limitations.

The corps commander must be able to see how enemy and friendly forces relate to each other over time, space, and purpose and how external factors (such as terrain, weather, and illumination) impact both. In visualizing the battlefield, the corps commander must fully understand his current state and have the ability to foresee an achievable, desired end state.

Battlefield visualization includes the commander's view of what his force is to do and the resources he will need to do it. He envisions a sequence of actions (an intellectual war game) that will cause his force to arrive at the desired end state. The commander includes in his vision the contingencies (branches) and follow-on missions (sequels) the force might encounter when conducting the operation. Ultimately, the commander's battlefield vision evolves into his intent and helps him develop his concept of operations.

The corps commander's intent is a clear, concise statement of the what and why and how much risk is acceptable. His concept of operations--

  • Must convey to his subordinates his vision of how to accomplish the mission in a manner that allows those subordinates' maximum initiative.
  • Is built around intelligence-gathering and the employment of precision fires as a precursor to decisive maneuver.
  • When properly constructed, provides the basis for--
    • Task organization.
    • Scheme of maneuver.
    • Tasks to subordinates.
    • Terrain organization.
    • Synchronization.
    • Identification of critical collateral operations.

The commander's concept includes--

  • The overall scheme of operations.
  • The necessary interfaces and coordination.
  • The sequencing and phasing for the operation.
  • His priorities.
  • The risks he is willing to take.
  • The focus for all subordinate unit operations and extends the corps commander's intent throughout the entire force.

Each subordinate commander, in turn, develops his intent and concept of operations in consonance with the higher commander's concept. This nesting of intents and concepts provides unity of effort throughout the force to every maneuver and functional unit, with the focus being successful mission accomplishment across the range of military operations.

Success in execution of the concept requires the corps commander's personal attention and perseverance, his ability to recognize the need for changes or modifications to the concept, and his ability to effect the necessary changes.

The commander formulates a new concept or revises it when there is a changing mission or situation. He continuously analyzes his mission and maintains a continuous estimate of the situation, modifying his concept over time as the need arises.

The commander must be able to visualize the large and complex operation of his own force, as well as that of the enemy, and he must be able to project that visualization into the future. The concept must be sufficiently detailed so the staff can develop plans and subordinate commanders can take actions throughout the depth of the AO that support the plan--even in the absence of subsequent guidance.

Commanders must be able to orchestrate all the functions that help them affect their battle space--intelligence, fires, force positioning, resourcing, deception, and timing. In addition, they must have a total mission awareness of the operation. The corps commander's challenge is to establish the command climate that fosters bold, innovative risk-taking and the immediate exploitation of opportunities within the context of his intent.

Tenets of Army Operations

There are five tenets of Army operations: initiative, agility, depth, synchronization, and versatility. Depth is the extension of operations in time, space, resources, and purpose. Corps commanders must think in depth in order to conduct today's operations, approve tomorrow's operations, and plan for future operations.

Synchronization is arranging activities in time and space to obtain overwhelming combat power at the decisive time and place. Corps commanders provide a clear statement of intent that subordinate commanders use to arrange branches and sequels to the current operation. The leadership the corps commander exercises most directly influences the remaining tenets--initiative, agility, and versatility.


Initiative at the corps level consists of two related, but independent, concepts. The first is initiative as it applies to the offensive spirit. The other is initiative as it applies to decentralization and intent.

Initiative encompasses the principle of war known as surprise. Corps achieve tactical surprise by acting in an unanticipated manner. Initiative is applicable in the offense, the defense, and in OOTW.

Setting or changing the terms of battle by action requires a constant effort. This concept of initiative implies that the corps must always have an offensive orientation. The corps must drive the enemy to react to the corps' plan instead of the corps reacting to the enemy's.

The other concept of initiative requires decentralized decision authority within the corps. The mechanism through which decentralization occurs is the mission order and the corps commander's intent.

The climate set by the commander fosters subordinate initiative. Critical to the implementation of this intent is the team building between the corps commander, the staff, and subordinate commanders, especially in joint and multinational operations.

Division commanders focus their operations on the given mission and operate within the framework of the corps commander's intent. By doing so they have the freedom and responsibility to develop opportunities they might otherwise lose.


The corps achieves agility through four means:

1. Mental flexibility of the commander and his ability to visualize future operations.

2. A well-trained, forward-thinking corps staff that thinks in sync with the commander.

3. A responsive battle command system.

4. The capability of corps forces to rapidly anticipate and respond to change.

Any degradation of one of these means significantly affects the ability of the corps to react to the rapidly changing conditions when conducting operations. The most decisive factor affecting the corps' agility is the corps commander's mental flexibility and his ability to anticipate future events.

The complexity and scope of corps operations are far greater than those of subordinate units. The corps commander must visualize future operations in time and space to maximize utilization of available assets. He must consider supportability and CSS implications in greater depth than would subordinate commanders. As a result, commanders require accurate information.

Commanders must also be prepared to act without hesitation in an environment of incomplete and conflicting input. Waiting for confirmation or additional details is often the same as deciding not to act. The corps may lose opportunities while seeking additional information.

The commander must also be tenacious. The friction of battle will be tremendous. Loss of communications, inaccurate reporting, use of weapons of mass destruction, loss of a command post, attacks within the corps rear area, and so forth, will work against the commander's will.

Tenacity demands that the corps accomplish the mission. However, tenacity does not imply rigidity. The commander's will must be strong, but flexible. Calculated risk-taking must be the norm, not the exception, if the corps is to be victorious.

Command, and the decision making and problem solving that come with it, do not occur in isolation. The commander's staff and subordinates help develop, modify, and improve the initial versions of plausible COAs. They also help develop future COAs for events that most likely are not yet totally clear.

The commander must develop, train, guide, and demand high standards of performance from all members of his staff. Doing so will ensure a well-trained, smoothly functioning corps staff. This demands realistic, difficult training exercises with all the key players present and performing their staff function as they would in battle.

The ability to think in consort with the commander is more than just understanding the commander's intent. It is a single unity of thought developed through interaction with the commander on a daily basis. The staff must thoroughly understand the commander's thought processes and how he would react in any given situation.

The CofS plays a key role in assisting the commander in developing staff proficiency. Accelerated staff action (rapid, mental, and/or informal execution of steps in the decision-making process) requires a thorough understanding of the process as well as frequent training under realistic stressful conditions. (See FM 101-5 (D) for details.)

Achieving agility requires a responsive battle command system. The commander must be able to command and control from any location on the battlefield. The system must provide timely and accurate information and rapidly transform the commander's decisions into specific directions to corps units. The commander provides the structure for the system by organizing the staff, establishing C2 facilities, and defining battle command procedures using the organizations, facilities, and processes this manual describes.

The commander must develop the corps' ability to react with speed and instill the aspect of force agility at all levels of command. Agility hinges on the commander's ability to visualize the objective, conceptualize the operation, and make decisions. Physical agility is inculcated at lower levels by stressing the ability to move, concentrate, strike, and sustain the momentum of operations. The commander emphasizes these actions through task organization and training.

At this level, the corps must practice its capability to reorient divisions, change task organization, commit the reserve, or realign support relationships during all types of exercises if it is to perform well in combat. The corps must also train myriad support forces to react to and continuously support reorientation of combat forces. It is this trained and practiced physical and mental agility by all elements of the corps force that will ensure the ability of the commander to synchronize corps activities in rapidly changing circumstances.

Battle command demands that leaders position themselves where they can best command without depriving them of the ability to respond to changing situations. The commander must be able to go where he can best assess the operation and risks and make the necessary adjustments.

Napoleon positioned himself on high ground overlooking the battlefield so he could directly sense the progress and requirements of the battle. Today's corps commander cannot physically observe the entire battlefield, but the requirement to "see" it remains.

Reports, including periodic situation reports, and other battle information systems, are a means of monitoring the battle. However, a face-to-face discussion with a subordinate commander often tells a commander more about a situation than he could get from his staff in a long briefing.

The commander must be where he can effectively concentrate combat power at the point of decision. There is little value to having the commander in the supporting effort's AO unless the threatened failure of that effort would result in the corps' defeat.

The commander must also position himself where he can best enhance the corps' morale. General Patton often rode to the front in highly visible ground transportation. His return to rear areas was likely to be in aircraft and other less visible means. His readily apparent presence was integral to the fighting spirit of his commands. The ability to see the battlefield, concentrate combat power, and promote command presence drives the corps commander to select his location for each particular case.


Versatility is the ability to perform in many roles and environments during war and OOTW. It is the result of well-led, well-trained, and well-equipped forces as well as high standards and detailed planning.

The corps commander provides the impetus for versatile units by understanding the dynamics of force projection. He must anticipate the variety of missions and tasks his forces may need to accomplish. Holding his units to high standards in training, and in actual operations, he ensures that they can successfully conduct many different kinds of operations, either sequentially or simultaneously.

Versatility requires competence in a variety of missions and skills. All commanders must be able to rapidly and efficiently shift focus, tailor forces, and move from one role or mission to another.

The Army no longer emphasizes fighting a well-known enemy on familiar battlefields with massive forward-deployed forces. The Army must strategically deploy tailored force packages with the appropriate battle command apparatus at the moment of need, to fight a previously unforeseen enemy. Therefore, the corps commander must be able to orchestrate all resources available to him to locate, target, and defeat the adversary as rapidly as possible at least cost.


Tempo is the rate of speed of military action. Tempo is not synonymous with speed. At times, the commander may wish to slow operations and induce the enemy to hasten his operations.

The corps commander's responsibility is to take all appropriate actions required to dictate the pace of events in his battle space thereby gaining and maintaining the initiative over the enemy. The commander must sustain the initiative and control enemy tempo.

In the age of instantaneous global information exchange, the potential impact of the media on national will and public opinion cannot be overestimated. Therefore, control of the tempo in military operations is vital to their success.

The increased tempo of future operations will be manifested through requirements to move forces rapidly, destroy the enemy quickly, and reset for subsequent operations before the enemy can recover or respond. The commander who can master time will spare his forces while defeating the enemy.

Split-Based Operations

Future corps operations will require a battle command structure supported by selected elements that may never deploy from home station or that may operate strictly from secure base areas. Modern communications equipment enhances access to critical information because less time is spent deploying or moving these links in support of the operation.

Systems that support the battle-command process must be modular and capable of supporting the commander from wherever he is on the battlefield. The challenge to commanders and staffs is to configure state-of-the-art communications, sensors, and automation systems into the most suitable and efficient package to provide the relevant information and required interoperability for successfully conducting joint, combined, or interagency operations.

The corps commander and his staff must also have the flexibility to realign the structure and functions of its command posts according to the unique requirements of each mission and other factors inherent in force-projection operations. Such factors might include the availability of strategic lift, opposed or unopposed entry requirements, technological sophistication of HN infrastructure, and the tempo of anticipated operations.


The corps commander exercises C2 through the Army Battle Command System (ABCS) from three command posts and a command group. A CP provides the means for a commander to exercise control of his forces. Command posts support the corps commander by providing the structural framework to facilitate the planning, directing, controlling, and coordination of corps operations.

Several factors affect where the corps commander positions himself on the battlefield. First, the commander must be where he can effectively see the battlefield. He cannot be a prisoner of a command post. Wherever he is on the battlefield, he must retain access to the information he needs to command and determine the actual location, composition, and organization of the headquarters elements.

Many actions that enhance a CP's ability to conduct effective operations may degrade survivability, and vice versa. For example, a rapidly mobile CP may lack the protection of a CP complex located behind heavily fortified positions.

Striking the proper balance between operations and survivability is the key to effective C2. The commander should also pay attention to factors that are not diametrically opposed (SOPs, qualified personnel, training, and so on).

In many operations, corps CPs are echeloned into a tactical (TAC) CP, a main CP, and a rear CP. The TAC CP controls corps close operations. The main CP synchronizes all corps operations. The rear CP performs rear security operations and sustainment of the entire corps.

To be effective, each CP must operate efficiently as well as be able to survive in a highly lethal environment. In addition to the three CPs, a separate entity called the command group is formed and has specific functions and characteristics.

Command Group (CG)

The command group's primary purpose is to keep the commander informed. When separated from the corps' CPs, the command group normally consists of the commander and representatives from the G3, G2, and fire support element (FSE). When the command group is at one of the corps' CPs, it consists of the commander and whoever is with him at the time.

The command group must be able to receive information and transmit battle decisions from any place on the battlefield. It must be highly mobile to allow the commander to move to the point of decision and to afford an added measure of security. Existing equipment limitations, coupled with time and space considerations, may require equipment augmentation to ensure that the command group can function anywhere on the battlefield.

The command group's primary functions are--

  • To make a personal situation assessment.
  • To provide leadership.
  • To provide intent.
  • To provide guidance.
  • To make decisions.

Its secondary functions include--

  • Alternate means for subordinates to enter the corps communications nets.
  • Additional liaison capability (with subordinate units).
  • Limited CP capability.
  • Command post redundancy.

The group's characteristics are that--

  • It consists of the corps commander and selected personnel.
  • It is small.
  • It can relocate to any position on the battlefield.
  • It can maintain continuous communications.
  • It relies on its small signature and speed, in addition to collocating with other headquarters, for security.
  • It is controlled by the commander.

Tactical Command Post

The TAC CP primarily concentrates on conducting corps close operations. It monitors deep and rear operations only for their effect on close operations.

Because the main CP conducts detailed planning and coordination, the TAC CP can remain small and mobile. This enhances its mobility and minimizes its signature. The TAC CP can operate mounted, but can be dismounted to take advantage of the local environment.

The TAC CP's organization is simpler and more flexible than that of the main CP. It consists of a single cell where current operations, intelligence, fire support, CS, and CSS elements operate under the corps G3's control (Figure 4-1).

Traditionally, the TAC CP positions well forward in the vicinity of a division main CP. It may locate with or near critical elements, such as the main effort division in the offense or the attacking unit in a mobile defense. Regardless of the TAC CP's location, the commander always locates where he can best command the corps.

The TAC CP's primary functions are--

  • To control close operations.
  • To synchronize combat, CS, and CSS for close operations.
  • To maintain the current close operations situation.

Its secondary functions are--

  • To update requirements for CS and CSS for close operations.
  • To provide close situation information to the main CP.
  • To monitor deep and rear operations.

The TAC CP's characteristics are that--

  • It is organized as a single, cohesive cell.
  • It can be mounted or dismounted.
  • It positions forward.
  • It is controlled by the G3.

NOTE: See Appendix B for a more detailed description.

Main Command Post

The main CP synchronizes the battle command system and provides continuity for corps operations. This CP has a broader orientation and is more future-oriented than the TAC CP. It synchronizes the entire corps battle, conducts corps deep operations, and plans all future operations.

The main CP's primary functions are--

  • To synchronize corps operations.
  • To conduct deep operations.
  • To synchronize combat, CS, and CSS units in support of deep operations.
  • To plan future (close, deep, and rear) operations.
  • To allocate resources.

Its secondary functions are--

  • To be the alternate for the TAC CP.
  • To be the alternate for the rear CP.

The main CP's characteristics are that--

  • It is organized by cell.
  • It is normally positioned in the forward portion of the corps' rear area.
  • It is controlled by the chief of staff.

The main CP consists of--

  • The corps tactical operations center (CTOC).
  • The signal element.
  • The life support area.
  • The security element.

The main CP is a large organization with attendant mobility and signature problems. It normally locates in the general vicinity of the division rear boundaries. If possible, it locates in a built-up area to hide its signature and take advantage of fixed facilities.

The main CP relocates as needed to enhance its survivability. It must be capable of--

  • Displacing while still retaining the ability to perform all of its required functions.
  • Echeloned displacement (movement of the entire CP by echelon or movement of each cell of the CTOC by echelon).

Because of the unique signature of massed CPs and their greater vulnerability to acquisition and attack, the corps should disperse the cells of the command posts whenever feasible. In a dispersed configuration, each cell, operating at a separate location, must possess the following distinct characteristics:

  • They must be multidisciplined.
  • They must be able to conduct continuous operations while displacing (split operations or operating during movement).
  • They must be capable of independently entering communications networks.
  • They must have an independent power source.
  • They must have local security.
  • They must possess a command group C2 capability.
  • They must have an interoperable automation and communications capability.
  • They must be able to share their data base with other cells.

Because of the size and breadth of responsibilities, the main CP must be functionally oriented to facilitate synchronization. Within the main CP, multidisciplined cells are created to enhance and speed coordination. The cells include the CP headquarters cell, current operations cell, plans cell, intelligence cell, fire support cell, and the CSS cell (Figure 4-2). (Appendix B describes each of these cells in greater detail along with an expansion of the functions each performs.)

Command Post Headquarters Cell

The CP headquarters cell consists of the CofS, the secretary of the general staff (SGS), and command liaison elements that the corps either receives or provides. The CP headquarters cell's primary functions include--

  • Coordinating and synchronizing activities of the main CP's cells.
  • Providing guidance to the main CP's staff.
  • Analyzing situation information to anticipate requirements.
  • Providing and accepting command liaison elements.

Current Operations Cell

The corp G3 plans and coordinates current and future operations and allocates resources to divisions fighting the battle. The G3 staff at the main CP is divided into a current operations cell, responsible for current combat operations, and a plans cell, responsible for planning future operations.

The current operations cell has the primary function of synchronizing current deep, close, and rear operations. It also controls deep maneuver operations; synchronizes combat, CS, and CSS in support of deep operations; and maintains the current corps situation.

Other functions of the current operations cell include allocating resources to current operations based on the commander's guidance, developing branches to current operations, and providing current situation information to higher, lower, and adjacent headquarters as well as the other cells of the command posts. The current operations cell monitors close and rear operations by maintaining communications with the TAC and rear CPs, respectively.

Plans Cell

The plans cell plans future operations as sequels for the current corps operation. It coordinates all combat, CS, and CSS activities with higher and adjacent headquarters. It also synchronizes future operations within the corps during the development of these plans.

The major focus during this planning process is determining a concept for deep operations. The plans cell must monitor the current situation for its impact on future operations and make appropriate adjustments.

Intelligence Cell

The corps G2 is the principal staff officer for all military intelligence and security matters. He advises the corps commander on intelligence, CI, EW, and force-protection issues.

The G2 directs the corps' intelligence effort and focuses intelligence support from outside intelligence organizations. He develops and executes the corps intelligence plan through the corps' intelligence cell.

The intelligence cell requests, collects, and analyzes intelligence information from all sources to produce and distribute combat intelligence. It con ducts continuous IPB to support future operations planning and as the basis for target development.

The intelligence cell interacts with the current operations cell to provide enemy situation information that impacts current operations. Interaction with the plans cell ensures that current and anticipated enemy situation information is included in the development and analysis of future operations.

As part of the deep targeting process, the intelligence cell implements the collection plan and notifies the tire support cell and current operations cell when high-payoff targets are detected and tracked. The intelligence cell manages CI activities in support of rear area security, OPSEC, and deception.

Fire Support Cell

The corps fire support cell manages fire support resources under the FSCOORD's supervision. Representatives of aviation, ASOC, ANGLICO, air liaison officer (ALO) and or naval liaison officer (NLO), TACP, EW, and chemical support elements collocate with the fire support cell.

The fire support cell--

  • Coordinates CAS, FA support, and EW.
  • Develops corps-prioritized interdiction missions and target lists.
  • Controls all deep fires as part of the delivery function of deep targeting.
  • Coordinates the use of airspace with the corps' Army airspace command and control (A2C2) element, which collocates with the fire support cell.

  • Coordinates USAF support through the ASOC and/or ALO.
  • Interacts with the current operations cell to ensure fire support assets are maximized for current operations.
  • Provides representation in the plans cell to integrate fire support into future operations. Controls lethal and nonlethal deep fires.

Corps Deep Operations Coordination Cell

Deep operations are operations directed against enemy forces and functions not engaged in the close battle. Successful deep operations at the corps level require the careful and continuous synchronization of activities between the corps' G2, G3, EW officer, aviation brigade, FSE, air defense element (ADE), A2C2 cell, ASOC, and other agencies as the requirements of the operation might dictate.

The technique of using an ad hoc targeting cell to focus the activities of all of the participants involved in the planning and execution of deep operations is inefficient and inappropriate for missions of this magnitude. The solution is to use a deep operations coordination cell (DOCC), usually within the main CP. The DOCC's role is to act as the battle C2 facility, which exists to support the successful execution of deep operations.

In the main CP, the DOCC positions so it can maintain visibility on the status of close and rear operations and continually assess their relationship with deep operations criteria as initially planned. Through the targeting process of decide, detect, deliver, and assess, units select targets and allocate and employ detection assets.

The DOCC confirms and validates targeting data, determines if the original decide criteria for that target remains in place, then allocates the attack resource to engage the target. The DOCC must accomplish the coordination for the allocation of intelligence and EW assets to perform BDA early in the planning process for the deep operation.

Allocation of intelligence-collection assets to the assessment operation may be at the expense of assets needed for ongoing detection operations. The corps commander must continually balance these competing requirements and provide guidance to the appropriate sections, agencies, and units.

The responsiveness of target-acquisition systems and receipt of targeting information directly affect the outcome of any deep operation. With the DOCC in place, the battle C2 process is continuous, interactive, and driven by the commander's intent, missions, and events.

Combat Service Support Cell

The CSS cell monitors the personnel and logistic situation through communications with the rear CP. A staff judge advocate (SJA) representative monitors the operational law situation from the CSS cell. The CSS cell interacts with the current operations cell to ensure CSS assets and support are maximized for the current operation.

To ensure supportability and integration of CSS into future operations, the CSS cell provides representation to the plans cell. During operations when the corps disperses the main CP, the commander incorporates the elements of the CSS cell into the current operations and plans cells to reduce the administrative requirements for providing life support, communications, and security for another location.

Command and Control Warfare (C2W) Cell

The C2W cell synchronizes all corps activities to protect friendly C2 activities while disrupting enemy C2 activities. This cell contains the G3 deception, EW, and OPSEC sections along with the PSYOP support element from the tactical PSYOP battalion.

Working together, and with the FSE, the various cell elements coordinate their respective efforts to build a synergistic C2W plan that supports the corps commander's mission and concept of operations. A C2W officer (for example, the chief of the deception element) leads the cell. Whether or not the cell reports to the G3 directly or through another cell, such as plans, is a matter of command preference.

The major functions of the C2W cell are--

  • To plan the corps' overall C2W effort.
  • To develop counter-C2 and C2 protection concepts to support the concept of operations.
  • To establish C2W priorities to accomplish planned objectives.
  • To determine the availability of C2W resources to carry out C2W plans.
  • To recommend taskings to the G3 for C2W operations.
  • To coordinate corps C2W operations with higher echelons responsible for the overall C2W campaign.
  • To coordinate consolidated intelligence support to C2W.

Rear Command Post

The rear CP conducts rear operations. The corps commander designates a rear operations commander, normally the deputy corps commander, to command and control the planning and execution of corps rear operations.

The rear operations commander exercises his rear operations responsibilities through the corps rear CP. The corps rear CP normally locates in close proximity to the COSCOM CP for life support, local security, and ease of coordination.

Because of the vast expanse of a typical corps rear area, the rear CP executes rear operations through subordinate rear area operations centers (RAOCs). Area RAOCs execute rear operations functions within areas of responsibility that the corps rear CP assigns to them.

The areas of responsibility and headquarters locations normally coincide with corps support groups and, when possible, MP battalions. RAOCs normally collocate with corps support groups or MP battalions for life support, local security, and ease in coordination.

The rear CP normally provides liaison to adjacent corps rear CPs, area support groups supporting the corps, the main CP, and HN organizations responsible for providing security to the rear of the corps' rear boundary. The CP's primary functions are--

  • To command and control rear security operations.
  • To perform terrain management of the corps rear area.
  • To plan and control rear security operations.
  • To sustain corps close, deep, and rear operations.
  • To plan and control corps administrative movements.

Its secondary functions are--

  • To be an alternate for the main CP.
  • To monitor close operations.
  • To monitor deep operations.

The rear CP's characteristics are that--

  • It is organized by cell.
  • It is not 100-percent mobile.
  • It is controlled by the rear operations commander.

The rear CP contains three cells. Each cell is functionally organized, but interacts with the others. Cells include the CP headquarters cell, operations cell, and the CSS cell (Figure 4-3).

Rear CP Headquarters Cell

The CP headquarters cell consists of the corps rear operations commander who normally is the deputy corps commander and his supporting staff. It coordinates and synchronizes activities of the operations and CSS cells of the rear CP. The CP headquarters cell provides guidance to the staff of the rear CP and analyzes the situation for its impact on current and future operations.

Rear CP Operations Cell

The operations cell's primary functions include--

  • Planning and controlling rear security operations.
  • Terrain management of the corps rear area.
  • Synchronizing combat, CS, and CSS in support of rear security operations.
  • Maintaining the current situation by monitoring close and deep operations through communications with the TAC and main CPs.
  • Completing and continually updating the IPB and risk assessment for the rear area.

Rear CP CSS Cell

The primary functions of the CSS cell are--

  • To collect, analyze, and provide CSS information to sustain close, deep, and rear operations.
  • To plan and control administrative movements.
  • To maintain the personnel and logistic status.
  • To control personnel and logistic operations to provide required information to the CSS cell at the main CP.

The corps PMC works within the CSS cell. It consists of the AG and the personnel operations division of the personnel group. The PMC's mission is--

  • To sustain corps personnel readiness.
  • To synchronize postal and replacement activities.
  • To ensure that soldiers, civilians, and joint service personnel receive essential personnel services.

The COSCOM augments the G4 (normally with personnel from the MCC) to perform movement planning functions. (See Appendix B for details.)

Assault Command Post

The corps commander has the option of creating an assault CP based on mission requirements. The intent is for the assault CP to be a flexible and rapidly deployable battle command element capable of conducting operations in a forward-deployed and austere environment.

The actual configuration and level of manning is based on some initial planning factors that the commander determines but that may change with each specific situation. (See Appendix B for more information.)

Future Battle Command Support Centers

Technology changes the way staffs collect, deliver, and present information to commanders. The availability of a common, relevant picture of the battle at every level and across every BOS reduces the requirement for large staffs to gather and collate data.

The current CP structure must be capable of sustaining its functions on a continuous basis while operating with highly mobile forces. It must also have the flexibility and agility to support the commander's needs for controlling current operations and to provide the means to adjust plans for future operations. These considerations drive the need to relook the way corps conduct and resource operations.

The design and arrangement of command posts will change in relation to the requirements of future operations. A forward and rearward CP configuration may be more consistent with the realities of force-projection operations. This arrangement takes full advantage of the technologies available, now and on the horizon, that support battle C2 for mobile operations. The Army is currently facing the need to consider alternative approaches to CP structuring because of--

  • The increase in battlefield automation and satellite-based communications and intelligence systems.
  • The constraints on deployment assets.
  • The reduction of forces and resources.
  • The fast-paced operational tempos.
  • The force-based versus theater-based logistics.
  • The regional focus.
  • Other variables.

A forward and rearward CP structure is defined by two zones, the secure area and the combat zone (Figure 4-4). In the secure area, the rearward CP and, perhaps, a CONUS sustaining base are relatively safe from high-level threats.

The rearward CP would locate in the theater where threat levels are low but close enough to the forward CP to be able to effectively perform its functions of detailed planning and analysis. In some rare cases, the rearward CP may collocate in CONUS with the sustaining base.

The rearward CP collects, processes, stores, and ships data as required. Large electronic pipelines link it to the sustaining base. The rearward CP, in addition to controlling the rear operations, responds to the forward CP's requests for information and provides products in the form of analyses, targeting, graphics, future predictions, and written plans and orders.

Both CPs require robust automation capabilities; long-haul, high-volume communications; and access to significant amounts of intelligence and logistic data. These CPs lack considerable mobility and must be secure.

The future vision of command posts is for agile, immediately responsive, modular, forward CPs directly supporting the commander's immediate needs for commanding current operations and the means to adjust plans for future operations. The forward CP must be capable of coordinating the development of plans, synchronizing deep operations, and producing intelligence of immediate concern to the commander.

As much as possible, the amount of detailed coordination, analysis, and integration at the forward CP should be limited so it can remain mobile. Detailed staff work can best be accomplished at a static, secure rearward CP. The forward CP is modeled after the current tactical CP and reinforced with additional staff elements, particularly in plans and intelligence.

The forward and/or rearward CP configuration requires the maintenance of reliable communications links between the two CPs, making distance relatively unimportant. Some functions would then be able to remain at the home station, and staff actions could then pass electronically to and from the TAC CPs in theater. (This is the idea behind split-based operations.)

The commander must have the freedom to position himself wherever he feels he can best influence the situation in conducting a major operation, usually forward of his command posts. He must have the necessary communications and automation capabilities to remain electronically connected to a number of information sources: his forward CP; higher, adjacent, and subordinate warfighting commanders; and broadcast-sensor information.

Actions are underway to provide the commander's vehicle (CV) with sufficient capability for the acquisition and communication of critical information at all times. The vehicle's integrated communications and automation suite provides the commander access to processed or fused information based on his specific requirements.

Figure 4-5 depicts the linkage of air and ground vehicles to form an integrated battle command system. This system is commander-centered and optimized to accomplish command functions.

Using a CV will also allow the commander to assemble a small personal battle staff to help him assess the situation and control the operation. The CV is mobile enough to allow the commander to position himself where he can best feel the pulse of the battle, influence the situation, and best invoke his will on the force in battle.


Communications and Automation Systems

The corps has a unique role in battle command activities as the integrator of higher level joint and multinational systems with the Army Battle Command System (ABCS) (Figure 4-6). The ABCS provides the commander and his staff information they need to effectively plan, coordinate, control, and direct operations.

To be effective, the corps' ABCS must link into a network that allows free and timely flow of information. The corps headquarters provides the link between the ABCS and the battle command systems of the next higher command. The corps is also the link between the ABCS and joint or theater Army C2 systems for sustainment of the corps.

The ultimate objective of all components of the ABCS is to provide the warfighter and his force free transfer of information throughout the entire architecture on a global basis. Global connectivity requires a seamless communications and automation architecture; one that supports every phase of force projection and is adaptable to the full range of military operations. Corps commanders must be able to exchange relevant information with the CINCs, other service components, US government agencies, allies and coalition partners, authorized commercial agencies, and industry.

The revised ABCS architecture represents the seamless nature of the automation and communications system. The five functional automation systems are integrated, interoperable, and they share data through exchange of force-level information.

The communications architectures and the interlocking and overlapping spheres, are technically integrated. The larger circle represents the seamless environment. Users connected to this environment transfer information regardless of the communications means.

Broadcast transmissions, as a common information service capability, have been added to the components that make up the ABCS architecture. Broadcast transmissions do not eliminate the need for the other components within the architecture; they mitigate the stress currently placed on them.

The ABCS architecture extends from joint and strategic C3I systems via the Global Command and Control System (GCCS) through the theater of operations. From there it extends to the operational and/or tactical headquarters, and it culminates in near-real time digital links among the tactical BOS functions at brigade and below. Key components of this system are the Army WWMCCS Information System (AWIS), the Standard Theater Army Command and Control System (STACCS), and the ABCS.

The AWIS provides strategic connectivity, and it facilitates exchange of information on apportionment, allocation, and logistic support between Army planners and combatant commands. The STACCS provides decision support to tactical and operational commanders, and it is the Army commander's primary link to joint and combined systems, such as the Contingency Theater Automated Planning System (CTAPS) and the Joint Maritime Command Information System (JMCIS).

The ABCS is the integration of five functional battlefield automated systems that provide situational information and decision support to operational and tactical commanders at corps and below. Current and future components of this system include--

1. The maneuver control system (MCS), which is the primary information and decision support system for the tactical commander and the operational staff. The MCS allows timely control and synchronization of close, deep, and rear operations. Commanders use it to distribute plans and estimates in support of future operations. The MCS must be fully interoperable and should include EAC and subordinate echelon battlefield automation systems.

2. The all source analysis system (ASAS), which is the IEW component. This is a mobile, computer-assisted, IEW processing, analysis, reporting, and technical control system. The ASAS receives and rapidly processes large volumes of combat information and sensor reports to provide timely and accurate targeting information, intelligence products, and threat alerts. The modules in this system continually evolve to improve its ability to process and report information and to interface with other systems.

3. The combat service support control system (CSSCS), which provides critical timely, integrated, and accurate automated CSS information, including all classes of supply, field services, maintenance, CHS, personnel and movements, maneuver, theater commanders, and logistic and special staffs. The CSSCS processes, analyzes, and integrates resource information to support evaluation of current and projected force sustainment capabilities.

4. The forward area air defense (FAAD) command, control, and intelligence (C2I) system, which provides the automated interface between the FAAD C2I nodes and weapons systems. FAAD C2I is the AD component of ABCS at division and below. It integrates with and processes information from ABCS, STACCS, joint, and multinational theater AD operations. Functional applications include rapid dissemination of air battle management information, hostile aircraft cuing to fire units, and exchange of commander's essential information with other subsystems.

5. The advanced field artillery tactical data system (AFATDS), which provides automated integration of the fire support battle C2 system for planning, coordinating, controlling, and executing joint and combined fires. AFATDS also performs all of the fire support operational functions of automated allocation and distribution of frees based on target-value analysis.

The Army brigade and below (AB2) architecture is a system of digitally interoperable, BOS-specific, functional applications designed to provide near-real time situational information to tactical commanders, on the move, down to vehicle or squad level. The AB2 provides--

  • Automated friendly positional location information.
  • A display of adjacent units.
  • Current tactical battlefield geometry for both friendly and enemy forces.
  • Automated situational reporting.
  • The capability to disseminate graphic and textual tactical orders.

Users of these automated systems must deal with the danger that not all units will have ABCS automation and that the ability to use the electronic environment may be degraded or even fail. Commanders must make efforts to provide compatible battle C2 automation equipment to all participants in an operation. Special provisions are often required for joint forces, multinational forces, activated reserve units, and many CS and CSS units. The G3 will establish contingency distribution of automation equipment and training plans to provide limited training, equipment, and access as required.

As the fielding of communications and automation systems expands throughout the Army, the corps commander must be aware of the possibility of having information overload among subordinate commanders and possibly within his own headquarters. The potential for this condition occurring can be decreased by continual refinement of the hardware and software packages to ensure that flexibility is built into the systems. This flexibility will enable commanders and staffs to tailor information flow to meet the specific requirements of a given operation.

The electronic environment might be degraded in varying degrees of severity from local single-frequency jamming to wholesale destruction of electronics components that are sensitive to electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A set of procedures dealing with the entire spectrum of degradation must be addressed within SOPs for each of the five battlefield functional area control systems (maneuver, fire support, intelligence and EW, CSS, and AD).

The SOP should address redundancy, records storage, protection, OPSEC, decontamination, messengers, and hardening. The CofS ensures the inclusion of procedures to counteract degradation of the entire system.

Whatever systems evolve over time, the ABCS will always require an integration of fielded and developmental systems. The systems should be capable of being employed in developed and undeveloped theaters, in fixed or semi-fixed installations, and in mobile networks while on the move. The key objective is to functionally link strategic, operational, and tactical headquarters and to interoperate with joint and combined battle command systems across the range of military operations.

Planning, Executing, and Coordinating Operations


While techniques and procedures may vary, planning and executing the fight are continuous and concurrent activities. The corps commander uses his assessment of current operations and his estimate of the posture of the force in relation to future operations to guide him and his subordinates through planning, preparation, and execution.

The commander's estimate and staff estimate processes are continuous. This concurrent process of maintaining the running estimate is key to keeping the commander armed with viable options. The commander is thereby able to dominate the enemy and set the terms of battle. If the staff properly executes and synchronizes this process, the commander can make timely decisions, consistent with his vision of the intended outcome and postured to perform future operations.

The corps commander's key responsibility is to conceptualize every operation. The commander no longer monitors the decision-making process with periodic input at specified steps along the way. He must now drive the entire process.

From the initial intelligence preparation, through COA development, to the actual issuance of orders and directives, the personal role of the commander is central. Orders need to be simple and timely. The role of the staff is defined and focused by the direction the commander provides.

When time is available before or during an operation the commander and staff follow a formal military decision-making process. Often, in the course of conducting an operation, the need exists to expedite this process to take advantage of an opportunity or changing battlefield condition. The commander and his staff will then employ a shortened decision-making process. (See FM 101-5 (D), Chapter 4, for details.)

The chief of staff must organize to take advantage of the time available to prepare the force with the necessary orders and means to accomplish the mission. He must do all of this in consonance with the commander's concept.

Commanders issue warning orders announcing as much information about the next operation as feasible. This allows subordinate commanders time to begin preparation and reconnaissance. The process of maintaining the running estimate by the battle staff is key to keeping the corps commander armed with viable options.

As information becomes available and is refined, the commander's visualization of the consequences and circumstances to be produced expand the concept of mission analysis and initiates the synchronization effort by the staff. Battle synchronization starts with the commander's concept of operations. The war-gaming process refines it.

The war-gaming process generates branches and sequels essential for rapid response to changing operational conditions and situations. It helps to identify decision points and critical information requirements (CIR). This then drives the corps' intelligence and reconnaissance efforts.

The staff prepares the necessary plans and orders based on the commander's decision. The preparation should be a quick, established procedure. (The format for orders is in FM 101-5 (D)).

Orders will be short and mission-oriented. Limitations to subordinate commanders' freedom will be restricted to those required to ensure a coordinated and synergistic accomplishment of the corps mission. In a time-critical situation, an order may be given orally but will be followed by a confirming written FRAGO or OPORD.


Control is the activity through which the commander and staff operate to ensure the force accomplishes the commander's will and intent. The commander and staff effect control by establishing orders, directives, SOPs, control measures, monitoring of the situation, and actions to correct aberrations. They also establish control by ensuring a clear division of labor between the corps and its subordinate units.

Effective and efficient execution of the commander's concept of operations requires the commander and staff to issue explicit decisions and guidance concerning which echelons have responsibility and control over various activities within the concept of operations. These decisions and statements of guidance also help synchronize battlefield activities.

The corps employs and transmits control measures through many means. Means could be required reports, graphic measures (boundaries, phase lines, fire support coordination measures, and so on), coordinating instructions, functional area restrictions (ADA weapons status, restricted frequency lists, obstacle restrictions, and so on), SOPs, standing orders, ROE, and other means.


Coordination is one of the major actions the corps staff performs when executing battle C2. Generally, coordination occurs within the other three functions--planning, directing, and controlling.

Corps operations always occur in a joint environment and, at times, involve combined forces or nonmilitary agencies. Success requires close coordination and cooperation among the corps and supporting joint forces.

Joint doctrine must be clearly understood by all participants. Procedures must be well-established to ensure smooth and successful operations.

The coordination requirement is both internal and external to the corps. As a result, coordination of friendly COAs is of concern. The battle C2 processes of adjacent forces become interdependent and, consequently, slows down the processes. This situation is further compounded in a multinational operation because of the differences in language, organizations, facilities, and processes.

One of the most visible means of effecting coordination is the exchange of liaison officers. The corps should staff, resource, form, train, and exercise liaison elements before committing the corps to any operation.

Liaison teams are a means for the corps to perform coordination, promote cooperation, and exchange essential information. As a minimum, these teams must have reasonable life support capabilities, communications and automation equipment, and transportation. In addition, they must have constant access to essential information and changes in the commander's intent or the concept of operations. Each team should be capable of continuous operations to ensure timely information exchange, coordination, and availability to the commander and staff.

When possible, a corps should exchange liaison teams with higher, lower, and adjacent units. If reciprocal liaison is not possible, a corps must provide liaison with its subordinate elements. When moving through another force's AO, or when conducting a passage of lines, a corps establishes liaison with the element through which it passes.

Coordination is no less important when considering the internal functioning of corps staff elements. Each CP (and the cells within these CPs) interacts, exchanges information, and coordinates on a continuous basis.

Decision-making processes do not consist of sequential steps. A skilled, well-led, and properly prepared staff will appear to flow through the process without hesitation or delays. Their success totally depends on the commander's personal influence and competence.


Corps are capable of responding to worldwide situations and will frequently fight as the largest ground formation in the theater. There must be close coordination between land operations and air operations--

  • To synchronize the application of joint combat power.
  • To optimize support.
  • To prevent friendly interference.
  • To achieve success throughout the corps' AO.

The Battlefield Coordination Element (BCE)

The BCE is the organization that provides the interface between the Commander, ARFOR (COMARFOR), and the ACC. The BCE provides Army representation at the AOC. The AOC is the operational facility in which the ACC and elements of his tactical headquarters operations and intelligence staff agencies have centralized the functions of planning, directing, and employing assets.

Placing LNOs at the BCE significantly improves the BCE's ability to assist the corps. If the corps is the highest Army element in theater, the BCE is assigned to the corps headquarters and collocates with the AOC.

The BCE can be tailored to support the requirements of smaller operations if the entire corps does not deploy. The BCE monitors and analyzes the land battle for the AOC and provides the interface for exchange of current intelligence and operational data and support requirements between the ARFOR, the ACC, and the corps. (See Figure 4-7.)

The BCE has seven sections: plans, fusion, ADA, A2C2, intelligence, operations, and airlift (Figure 4-8). The BCE also includes ground liaison officers (GLO) (numbered air force and airlift), air reconnaissance liaison officers (ARLO), and LNOs (one per corps).

The BCE plans section coordinates ARFOR requirements for CAS in developing the air tasking order (ATO). The BCE is in the AOC combat plans division. It provides the AOC with the Army scheme of maneuver and priorities for CAS.

The BCE fusion section analyzes the most current intelligence and the friendly situation to help refine and validate targets for attack during the execution of the current ATO. It collocates with the enemy situation correlation division (ENSCD) of the AOC. In addition, the fusion section collects BDA data on Army-nominated targets.

The BCE ADA section coordinates Army AD activities with the AOC's combat plans and operations sections. It exchanges information with the control and reporting center (CRC), ARFOR air defense headquarters, and the corps ADE. In addition, the ADA section advises the area air defense commander (AADC), who is usually the JFACC, on all Army AD matters and status.

The BCE A2C2 section coordinates the Army's planned and immediate airspace matters with the AOC combat plans and operations sections for inclusion in the airspace control order (ACO). Such matters include permissive and/or restrictive fire support coordination measures, ATACMS missions, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), special electronics mission aircraft (SEMA), and attack helicopter operations.

The BCE intelligence section coordinates with the corps and/or ARFOR G2 sections to obtain Army intelligence reports and collection requirements. It provides the AOC combat intelligence division (CID) with information on the enemy's ground order of battle and helps develop targets.

The BCE operations section monitors execution of the current ATO and coordinates changes to ARFOR targets and priorities that occur during the battle. It collocates with the AOC combat operations division. The BCE keeps the AOC updated on ARFOR operations, including providing updated information on interdiction missions and targets. The BCE operations section also stays abreast of the current air situation by monitoring those sorties of interest to Army commanders. Commanders can then ensure that approved interdiction sorties are not cancelled or diverted without consultation with the appropriate headquarters.

The BCE airlift section--

  • Coordinates and monitors execution of airlift missions in support of Army operations.
  • Collocates with the AOC air mobility element.
  • Advises USAF airlift elements on ARFOR airlift requirements and intent.
  • Reviews scheduled Army missions on the ATO.
  • Monitors locations and conditions of LZs and/or DZs.
  • Exchanges operational and logistic data with the corps G3 Air and the G4 to facilitate immediate airlift requests for ARFOR.

Corps LNOs to the BCE exchange information with BCE sections and respective corps staff elements. They also provide the BCE with corps priorities for attack.

Corps Staff and Joint Service Interface

The corps staff is organized to efficiently help the commander develop the concept of operations. The staff also helps synchronize the activities of the ASOC, ANGLICO, and/or TACP.

Synchronization of these activities provides the commander ready access to advice on the capabilities and limitations of combat air to support corps operations. Figure 4-9 depicts the functional relationships between these activities and members of the corps staff. Division requests for CAS are forwarded to the corps to be integrated into the corps' overall priorities.

The TACP provides advice and assistance to the corps commander in planning air support for his forces. The corps ALO or NGLO is the senior USAF, USN, or USMC officer in the TACP.

Each member of the TACP provides advice on the capability and availability of fighter and reconnaissance assets to support the corps. They help develop and synchronize EW activities, interdiction missions, target nomination, and pre-planned CAS.

The ASOC is the operational component of the theater air control system designated to coordinate and direct CAS and tactical air reconnaissance (TAR). The ASOC is under the AOC's OPCON. The ASOC normally collocates with the corps staff at the corps' main CP.

The ASOC's primary concern is the exchange of combat data between air and ground forces. Such data includes the coordination and execution of CAS for ground operations. The ASOC controls CAS and TAR sorties.

The TACP reconnaissance liaison officer (RLO)--

  • Operates with the intelligence cell of the main CP.
  • Advises on USAF tactical reconnaissance resources.
  • Coordinates reconnaissance operations.
  • Helps the intelligence cell prepare the integrated air reconnaissance plan.
  • Helps prepare TAR requests.
  • Identifies requirements and initiates requests for EW and air defense suppression missions in support of reconnaissance operations.

A corps G3 air representative collocates with the ASOC. He helps facilitate coordination and communication between the ASOC and the corps.

The corps planning process includes continuous advice from the corps TACP on the capabilities and limitations of CAS. To ensure that CAS is responsive in supporting corps operations, the commander must make known his CAS requirements early in the planning process. To aid in this determination, the corps receives a forecast of interdiction sorties from the BCE plans section.

The ALO at corps helps the G3 plan the employment of forecast interdiction sorties. The corps prioritizes ALO requests then forwards its interdiction target nominations. Nominations will be either fixed targets with precise locations and projected times for attack or be in terms of mission-type orders with desired effects on a general type target at a general location with a projected time for attack.

The TACP fighter liaison officer (FLO)--

  • Operates with the current operations cell, the plans cell, and the fire support cell of the main CP.
  • Advises on the capabilities of USAF offensive resources.
  • Helps develop Army requests for pre-planned fighter support.
  • Requests Army J-SEAD support.
  • Coordinates with the corps fire support cell and the A2C2 element to integrate artillery fire and air missions.
  • Coordinates USAF scatterable mining missions with corps engineers.

The TACP tactical airlift liaison officer (TALO)--

  • Advises the CSS cell of the rear CP on all aspects of airlift capabilities and limitations.
  • Helps the rear CP CSS cell prepare plans and requests for airlift support, airdrops, CDS operations, and LAPES.
  • Coordinates with the airlift control center (ALCC) and other airlift agencies for airlift support.
  • Advises TACPs on tactical airlift support.

The ASOC tactical air reconnaissance (TAR) section--

  • Plans, coordinates, and controls TAR.
  • Matches TAR resources with requests from the corps.
  • Reviews Army immediate reconnaissance requests for completeness, feasibility, and applicability.
  • Coordinates with the ASOC intelligence target analyst and the corps G2 representative.
  • Assigns air reconnaissance targets to committed or alert sorties.
  • Obtains additional reconnaissance from AOC combat operations.
  • Gives reconnaissance mission sightings to the corps main CP intelligence cell and the ASOC sections.

The ASOC intelligence section--

  • Processes immediate CAS for target validation and force size and ordnance recommendations.
  • Recommends adjustments to pre-planned CAS missions.
  • Assesses weapons effects for immediate requests for CAS.
  • Recommends matching ground and airborne alert ordnance loads to specific targets.
  • Coordinates weapons effects data for pre-planned and immediate CAS attacks.
  • Coordinates requests for immediate reconnaissance missions.
  • Provides assistance to the FLO and the fire support cell in developing requests for tactical air support and expertise on enemy air and missile capabilities.
  • Maintains the air intelligence situation, including enemy surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs), surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), and J-SEAD threat priorities.

A corps G2 representative collocates with the ASOC to facilitate coordination and communication between the ASOC and corps.

The ASOC close air support section--

  • Plans, coordinates, and controls CAS operations.
  • Matches CAS and forward air controller (FAC) resources with requests from subordinate TACPs.
  • Exercises scramble authority (normally delegated to ASOC from AOC) over distributed immediate sorties.
  • Diverts pre-planned airborne or assigns ground-alert CAS sorties to fill immediate CAS requests.
  • Orders launch of CAS alert sorties by contacting the appropriate wing operation center (WOC).
  • Diverts sorties, with the approval of the corps G3, from assigned CAS missions.
  • Requests replacement sorties from AOC combat operations to cover diverted missions.
  • Helps coordinate the use of Army EW and fires in support of J-SEAD.

Joint Task Force Operations

A JTF includes assigned or attached elements of two or more services. A JTF can be designated by the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF), a CINC, a subordinate unified commander, or by the commander of an existing JTF. A JTF is normally established when a mission has a specific limited objective and does not require overall centralized control of logistics.

Corps commanders and staffs must plan well in advance for the transition from a single service headquarters with joint representation, to a joint headquarters capable of functioning as the headquarters of a JTF. Joint doctrine establishes the structure, functions, responsibilities, limitations, and guiding principles for JTF operations.

One purpose of this manual is to help Army units develop operational and training plans for conducting activities as a JTF headquarters. Corps commanders and staffs must consult appropriate joint doctrinal publications for JTF operations and activities within the JOPES for both deliberate and crisis-action planning. (See JP 5-03.1 and JP 5-03.11 for detailed guidance.)

To take resources from an existing organization to build an ad hoc element degrades the capabilities of both. It is generally more desirable to establish a JTF or ARFOR headquarters around the nucleus of an established organization.

When the corps is tasked to form a JTF headquarters, it is imperative that all of the staff sections and agencies have joint service representation. The corps staff must transition to a joint staff structure to ensure unity of effort within the task force.

Joint service representation on the staff should be in relative proportion to the service composition of the JTF. This will allow service components to fully participate in all staff processes.

The JTF establishing authority is responsible for providing personnel and resources for the corps when the corps is a JTF. However, the corps commander. as the CJTF, must determine what augmentation requirements he needs for the task at hand and coordinate support through the establishing authority. This augmentation is essential in the transition of the corps to a JTF structure.

The CJTF must tailor augmentation for specific situations. The following areas usually require augmentation:

  • Joint and special staff sections.
  • Specific functional area augmentation, such as CA, movement control, and PSYOP.
  • Headquarters life support functions.
  • Communications support.
  • Security support for the JTF headquarters.

Combatant commanders usually organize augmentation for the joint staff into packages based on the nature and tempo of developments and the existing capabilities of the headquarters designated as the JTF. These packages fall into three broad categories:

1. Quick response cells to rapidly augment the JTF headquarters with joint and operational area expertise during the early stages of a crisis-action situation. (Figure 4-10 shows a typical JTF staff organization.)

2. Functional area augmentation to provide the JTF with expertise not organic to its staff or to enhance specific capabilities based on mission requirements (Figure 4-11).

3. Joint staff augmentation to provide the coordinating and special staff sections expertise in joint procedures and service-unique capabilities (Figure 4-12).

Augmentation also facilitates coordination between the JTF staff and the combatant command joint staff, especially with regard to accessing information and capabilities available at the combatant command level.

Joint Staff Directorates

A discussion of joint staff directorates, and the specific centers that the JTF may need to establish on a mission basis, follows.

J1, Manpower and Personnel Directorate. Parent services routinely provide personnel support to JTF subordinate commands. The J1--

  • Formulates joint personnel policies, common services, and procedures that promote equity among the different rating systems, service benefits, postal operations, entitlements, travel, and pay.
  • Supervises the administration of military and civilian personnel within the command.
  • Supports concurrent noncombatant evacuation operations (NEO), humanitarian relief, life support, and combat operations.

J2, Intelligence Directorate. The J2 provides timely and complete intelligence on the characteristics of the mission area and the enemy, his capabilities, and his intentions. The J2 directs the intelligence staff, and when required, forms and supervises the activities of the JIC.

The JIC provides operational intelligence for the JTF and supplements information to subordinate commands. Usually located near the joint operations center (JOC), the JIC has connectivity to national-level intelligence functions, service component intelligence centers, and the headquarters establishing the JTF.

The J2 establishes and supervises any required functional intelligence organizations, such as--

  • A joint interrogation facility (JIF).
  • A joint materiel exploitation center (JMEC).
  • A joint documents exploitation center (JDEC).

J3, Operations Directorate. The J3 helps plan, coordinate, and execute JTF operations. He organizes a battle staff containing representatives of all the directorates within a JOC in order to provide consolidated oversight.

The J3 has a plans section to conduct near-term planning of branches to the current operation. If the joint staff is not organized with a J5 plans division, the J3 also performs long-range or future planning and conducts civil-military affairs, including transfer of control to civilian authorities.

In addition to the JOC, the J3 may also supervise--

  • A joint targeting coordination board (JTCB) to coordinate targeting guidance and objectives and to develop the joint target list.
  • A joint rescue coordination center (JRCC), although the CJTF may task a component commander to perform this function.
  • A joint EW staff of component representatives and representatives of the J2 and J6.
  • A corps PSYOP support element (CPSE) to plan and develop PSYOP support for the PSYOP campaign plan.
  • A joint meteorological forecasting unit (JMFU) to provide weather support.
  • Activities associated with MP functions.
  • A civil-military cell (CMC) to provide CA and civil-military affairs integration in OOTW.

J4, Logistics Directorate. The J4 plans, coordinates, and supervises supply, maintenance, transportation, general engineering, health services, and other related logistic activities. Each service component of the combatant command is responsible for the logistic support of its respective forces except where the CJTF designates a single service responsibility for a particular logistic function.

The CJTF establishes logistic priorities for the force, assigns terrain and facilities for use as support bases, and designates and maintains LOCs. The J4 supervises the activities of any required logistic-related coordinating centers and boards. These may include--

  • A joint movement center (JMC), which coordinates strategic movement with TRANSCOM and ensures effective use of transportation assets.
  • A subarea petroleum office (SAPO) formed around elements from the combatant command's joint petroleum office (JPO) to augment the JTF in managing petroleum-related logistics.
  • A joint facilities utilization board (JFUB) to manage real estate requirements, unless the JTF engineer is designated a special staff officer and assigned these duties.
  • A joint civil-military engineering board (JCMEB) to provide overall direction for civil-military construction efforts and to develop a civil engineering support plan (again, the JTF engineer may manage this activity).
  • A joint medical regulating office (JMRO) to coordinate the movement of patients in and out of the AO.
  • A joint military blood program office (JMBPO) to coordinate the distribution of whole blood within the AO.
  • A joint mortuary affairs office (JMAO) to coordinate mortuary affairs actions (normally tasked to the ARFOR).

J5, Plans Directorate. The J5 conducts long-range planning and preparation of the campaign or operations plan. The corps G3, plans division, with augmentation from the combatant command, forms the basis of the J5.

The J5 is responsible for coordinating TPFDD and monitoring force closure. He normally participates in JTCB and EW planning. He may establish a CMC in the joint operations center (JOC) to coordinate CA and civil-military matters. This would ensure proper coordination with any HN government or appropriate US embassy staff essential in OOTW.

J6, Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Systems Directorate. The J6 ensures communications capabilities support the CJTF's operational concept. During planning, the WWMCCS is the primary means of C2 with higher headquarters.

The WWMCCS is supplemented by secure voice telephone and TACSAT. The WWMCCS intercomputer network (WIN) is the primary means for the corps to input data that will drive the allocation of necessary transportation resources to support force projection.

Continuous access to WWMCCS is essential for effective C2 and operations planning. This includes access to the system once the JTF deploys to its AO (by deploying a WWMCCS terminal with the headquarters). During operations, WWMCCS remains the primary means of communications with higher headquarters while TACSAT is the main link with assaulting forces.

The J6 is also responsible for frequency management and may form a JCCC to provide overall systems management. The joint communications support element (JCSE) may augment joint task force communications.

Joint Special Operations

The commander of a JTF may create subordinate JTFs to meet specific mission requirements or to simplify C2 relationships. The JSOTF is an example of such a subordinate task force.

The JSOTF may be specifically established to meet designated operational requirements or it may be formed, for simplicity, around an existing force structure. A JSOTF's organization is similar to a conventional JTF. The JSOTF may have OPCON of all SOF, less PSYOP, assigned to the JTF and or SOF in support of conventional force commanders.

A JPOTF normally plans, coordinates, and executes the theater PSYOP campaign plan. In some cases, the CJTF may elect to create separate JTFs for PSYOP, the JPOTF, and for the joint civil-military operations task force (JCMOTF). The nature of the operation and the objective to be accomplished ultimately determines specific command relationships.

Command and Control

Commanders and staffs must integrate battle C2 elements early in the deployment flow with the combat forces during force-projection operations. However, the JTF may elect to conduct split-based operations, leaving the majority of the C2 structure at a fixed base outside the operational area while a small command element closes into the theater of operations. The decision to conduct a split-based operation affects both the JTF staff structure and the physical setup at both locations.

Peacetime planning, CAP, and the execution of joint operations is accomplished through the JOPES. The JOPES translates policy decisions into OPLANs and OPORDs in support of national security objectives.

The JOPES is a continuous process that begins in response to perceived or identified threats to US security interests. It continues through military option selection and COA development, and it results in the development of OPLANs and OPORDs.

Execution of joint operations is the final step. Corps use JOPES during both the deliberate planning process and during CAP. Once deliberate planning is listed in a CINC's deliberate OPLAN as a possible JTF, the corps uses it to develop OPLANs in response to potential contingency situations.

The corps uses the CAP process in fast-developing situations where NCA are considering the commitment of military forces. Although early augmentation to the corps staff usually includes personnel with JOPES expertise from the combatant command staff, the time sensitivity of CAP dictates that the corps have JOPES expertise on its staff.

The deliberate-planning process results in the approval of either an OPLAN or a contingency plan. An OPLAN is a complete and detailed joint plan that normally includes all annexes and TPFDD. A contingency plan is an abbreviated plan that requires expansion, which includes the development of TPFDD files. The deliberate-planning process has five phases:

1. Initiation, where the staff identifies planning tasks.

2. Concept development, where mission analysis and COA development take place.

3. Plan development, where the staff prepares the OPLAN and CONPLAN in detail, including support and TPFDD annexes as appropriate.

4. Plan review, where the CJCS, the combatant commander, and other appropriate agencies assess and validate plans.

5. Supporting plans, where the supporting commands finalize all actions required to support the basic plan.

Crisis-action planning helps adjust existing contingency plans, or develops and executes OPORDs where no plan exists, in response to an evolving crisis. A crisis-action situation where a military force is committed usually requires the rapid projection of combat power to achieve a quick resolution to the crisis. Often, a forcible entry capability will be required. The force may then have to simultaneously fight and continue deployment of follow-on forces. There are five phases in crisis-action planning:

1. Situation development, where command authorities recognize and report events with possible national security implications.

2. Crisis assessment, where the higher command analyzes potential political, economic, diplomatic, and military implications.

3. Course of action development, where the staff considers alternative responses to the crisis, usually initiated by a CJCS warning order.

4. Course of action selection, where CJCS and the NCA select the COA to be implemented, and the SECDEF issues an alert or planning order.

5. Execution planning, where the staff develops and approves the OPORD for execution on order.

The JTF usually enters the deliberate-planning process once the CINC makes the decision to establish a JTF to support the overall combatant commander's plan. This allows for parallel planning as planners generate and develop various COAs into the OPLAN and/or CONPLAN.

The JTF could enter the deliberate-planning process during the supporting plans phase when the detailed plans for operations in support of the combatant command's campaign plan are finalized. Likewise in CAP, it is desirable that the JTF be designated early during COA development to permit parallel planning-an even more important consideration because of the compressed time lines of crisis action. However, in some cases, planners may conduct corps-level CAP with minimal input from the JTF because of these constraints.

The tactical decision-making process must address the increased impact that political, economic, interagency, and coalition considerations have on the corps when it serves as a JTF headquarters. It must also be adapted to allow for joint formatting and terminology.

On receipt of the alert or planning order, the JTF finalizes the COA and prepares the OPORD while making refinements to the TPFDD. It is essential that the corps begins execution planning as soon as a likely COA becomes apparent. The time between the decision to commit a military force and the actual execution of operations is often short.

Joint Fires

Joint fire support encompasses the process for planning, coordinating, requesting, deconflicting, and employing fire support assets from one service in support of another service's operations. The goal of joint fire support is to balance surface commander's requirements for firepower with available nonorganic assets.

The commander is the key to focusing joint fires. The capabilities of joint fires expand the corps commander's battle space and facilitate simultaneous attack in depth.

In situations where the corps commander is the JFC, he must establish overall guidance for joint fire support. The JFC defines and implements a methodology for joint planning, prioritization of missions and targets, apportionment, and allocation of resources.

The JFC's concept of operations specifies the objectives to be met. He also task organizes the joint force to accomplish the mission, establishes the communications and automation architecture to support joint fire support activities, and establishes constraints and conditions for employment of weapons systems.

In other cases, when the corps commander is not the CJTF, he performs detailed planning and execution of joint fire support operations. His responsibilities include identifying requirements, nominating targets, and employing maneuver control and fire support coordination measures to facilitate joint operations.

Joint fire support operations are inherently complex and often involve competition for limited fire support assets. The corps commander must continually make the corps' target priorities known to the JFC. Liaison officers who are thoroughly briefed on the corps commander's concept of operations can perform this function.

If the corps commander is the CJTF, he decides whether or not to create the JTCB and its composition. If the corps commander is not the CJTF, he must ensure that corps representation on the board is adequate to meet the needs of all subordinate elements of the corps. A JTCB reviews target information, deconflicts targets among members of the joint force, develops priorities and guidance for the JFC, prepares target lists, and allocates resources to weight the main effort. (See also JP 3-0.)

The delivery of joint fires must be synchronized to support the operations plan. Aggressive interface between intelligence and acquisition systems, fire planners, operation planners, and delivery systems in the joint environment ensures that the corps can apply overwhelming combat power at the decisive point. This is the essential element of successful joint operations.


Future military operations will always be joint operations, and, in many cases, they will be conducted in cooperation with other nations as multinational operations. Multinational operations are military actions that military forces from two or more nations conduct, typically within the structure of a coalition or alliance. Existing alliances, established over along time, or ad hoc coalitions, formed as a rapid response to unforeseen crises, can undertake multinational operations.

The key to successful multinational operations is the establishment of mutual trust and confidence between the respective senior commanders of the various military forces. United States commanders who work with multinational forces must know how to coordinate activities among partners with dissimilar objectives and different military capabilities.

Commanders must possess a leadership style that instills confidence and builds harmony between all of the members of the force. All commanders must work to establish rapport, mutual respect, and unity of effort in the face of differing national agendas.

Multinational operations are inherently difficult operations. There is a natural reluctance for commanders of forces of one nationality to place their soldiers under the OPCON, TACON, or TACOM of an officer of a different nationality.

There are problems with language, communications and automation equipment, tactics, and procedures. These problems are lessened by the exchange of LNOs and, when possible, the establishment of International Standardization Agreements (ISAs), standing operating procedures (SOPs), and clearly written, uncomplicated orders.

United States doctrine clearly defines the importance of articulating the commander's intent when developing plans and orders. This practice may or may not be used by non-US multinational commanders. United States commanders must ensure that all members of the multinational force recognize the importance of this requirement in all military operations.

Field Manual 100-8 identifies several potential command and staff structures based on the needs, political climate, international restrictions, and objectives of participating nations. These structures generally fall into the categories of parallel, lead nation, or integrated commands.

In a parallel command structure there is no single commander of all forces. Each nation in the force has a separate command structure. A principal feature of the parallel command structure is the existence of a coordination center (Figure 4-13). As the force matures, the participating nations send staff officers and LNOs to the coordination center to help resolve issues involving sustainment, alert and warning, HN support, movement control, training, and possibly, battle C2.

An example of a command structure in UN activities is the coalition lead-nation command structure (Figure 4-14). All coalition members are subordinated to a single commander. While this structure has the advantage of unity of command, nations are reluctant to grant this degree of control to a commander from another nation. This problem is lessened by ensuring broad coalition representation on the lead-nation headquarters staff.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an example of an integrated command structure that provides unity of command in the multinational setting. The commander is selected from one of the member nations; the staff and subordinate commands are multinational representatives. The lead-nation commander decides the staff's ultimate composition. (Figure 4-15 is an example of an integrated structure.)

There are several factors at the operational level that the corps commander must consider as early as possible in planning for multinational operations. In addition to selecting the proper command structure, the commander must ensure that all participants in the operation understand the terminology used to describe command relationships.

The corps commander must have a reasonable understanding of the multinational force's equipment, doctrine, and capabilities. This is essential for developing plans and allocating resources in all multinational operations. Conducting operational fires is difficult in any operation but especially so in multinational operations where common methods of control may not exist and where there are wide differences in capabilities.

The US corps commander may have access to intelligence sources and methods that he cannot share with the partners in multinational operations even if he is subordinate to a non-US commander. This situation certainly strains relationships and complicates attempts to establish trust. Fortunately, much of the coordination and negotiation for sharing intelligence occur at national and strategic levels. (See FM 100-8 for other considerations.)


Defense and promotion of US national interests in war, conflict, and peace require the combined efforts of all the instruments of national power. In war, the military instrument has primacy and is supported by other government and nongovernment agencies. In peace and conflict, the relationship is reversed, but the need for unity of effort assumes even greater importance.

Among government organizations, there is no true unity of command below the level of the President and the National Security Council. That is, no single agency of government can give authoritative direction to other departments and agencies. Command, as it is known in the armed forces, does not exist. Direction by consensus takes its place.

One exception to this general rule is the statutory authority of an ambassador over US government activities in the country to which he is accredited. The law reads in part: Under the direction of the President, the chief of a mission to a foreign country--(1) shall have full responsibility for the direction, coordination, and supervision of all Government executive branch employees in that country (except for employees under the command of a United States area military commander) (Title 22, USC).

The area military commander is generally considered to be a unified CINC who exercises combatant command. His forces are excluded from an ambassador's directive authority. That means that a corps or its major elements deployed for operations is not subject to the ambassador's direction. On the other hand many corps activities in OOTW, such as mobile training teams (MTT) and small exercises, are subject to the ambassador's approval.

There is precedent for a fully integrated interagency organization. During the Vietnam War, the Civil Operations Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS) organization integrated civilian and military personnel from top to bottom.

CORDS was headed by a civilian, with the personal rank of ambassador, who was also the deputy commander, US Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), for CORDS. From national, through province, to district levels, military and civilian personnel alternated in command positions. If a commander was military, he had a civilian deputy and vice versa. CORDS was responsible for pacification, the destruction of the enemy's insurgency infrastructure, and development efforts to alleviate the causes of revolution.

CORDS enjoyed considerable success and contributed to the enemy's decision to abandon insurgency methods for an approximation of conventional war. CORDS owed its existence to the personal direction of President Lyndon B. Johnson and his advisor, Ambassador Robert Comer, who became the first deputy commander, MACV, for CORDS. No organization as formal and elaborate is likely to be established absent similar high-level intervention.

CORDS does, however, provide an example of interagency organizational efficiency, and can serve as a model for military commanders and their civilian agency counterparts. Interagency relationships must be established through negotiation.

Agreements should be in writing, as memoranda of understanding or terms of reference, to ensure understanding and to avoid confusion. Most such agreements are made at the unified command or JTF level.

An Army corps reaches such agreements when it acts as the nucleus of a JTF or as an Army component command. Moreover, local commanders can and should reach cooperative understanding with their civilian agency counterparts. That includes the corps or its elements.

One caution is in order. There are serious legal restrictions on the use of military personnel and equipment, especially in OOTW. Therefore, the commander must consult the SJA when developing cooperative agreements.

Relations with other government agencies and international and private organizations are so important to OOTW that the corps commander should devote a major part of his personal attention to them. He should entrust day-to-day operation to a deputy commander, executive officer, or chief of staff and provide the necessary commander's intent so the designated officer can function effectively.

The commander should make periodic checks on the conduct of operations to assure himself that they are progressing satisfactorily. However, his attention should focus on interagency matters.

The corps commander cannot give orders to other agencies. Instead, he must participate in consensus-building as one voice among equals. He must persuasively present the military view, but he must also be ready to compromise. His preferences will be accepted by other organizations only insofar as he presents them convincingly and in a spirit of cooperation. By doing so, other government and private agency officials will be inclined to accept the commander's expertise in military matters and to listen attentively to his opinions on the overall operation.

In OOTW, the corps', or its deployed elements', mission will be to provide services to other organizations which carry the main weight of mission success. This support may include combat operations for the protection of civilian activity, as in the Somalian humanitarian relief efforts of 1992-1993. It also includes the provision of services and equipment of various kinds, as in Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the California earthquakes of the early 1990s.

The key to success in interagency operations is liaison. The corps commander (or any Army commander) must identify participating agencies and establish regular liaison. Some may be reluctant to be identified with military activity and must be persuaded that they stand to gain through cooperation. This is especially true of private volunteer organizations that fear being identified with combat operations. The requirements for liaison will usually exceed personnel and equipment strengths authorized in tables of organization and equipment (TOE).

Liaison in interagency operations also requires maturity of judgment in politically sensitive situations. Therefore, personnel assigned this role must be carefully selected. Liaison parties must either be language-qualified or demonstrate their ability to operate effectively through interpreters.

Most civilian organizations, whether government or private, do not have command, control, communications, and computer equipment comparable to the Army's. What they do have may be incompatible. Therefore, the Army may have to provide equipment and personnel to those agencies in order to effect unity of effort.

The demand on the corps' human and materiel resources will be great. The corps must look to external sources for augmentation and be prepared to take resources from units that do not deploy to support those that do.

Whether the corps is the supported or the supporting force, it must act as a bridge between tactical operations and the interagency requirements of the operational and strategic levels of war. The corps' appropriate attention to the requirements of interagency operations makes an important contribution to the national objective in any political-military environment.


The A2C2 element performs A2C2 for corps operations in the fire support cell of the corps' main CP. The corps' A2C2 officer (normally the G3 air) supervises the element and publishes the corps' A2C2 plan. The A2C2 element integrates C2 of corps airspace users with the USAF AOC through the Army BCE.

The USAF accomplishes coordination with the corps through the ASOC, which is also at the corps' main CP. The purpose of A2C2 is to maximize the use of airspace by CAS, Army aviation, UAVs, ADA, FA, and EW assets.

All A2C2 elements (corps, division, maneuver brigade, and battalion) form a vertical and horizontal channel through which the corps commander and his staff coordinate, disseminate, and synchronize airspace control requirements, plans, orders, and information with the tactical plan. (For detailed information see JP 3-52 and FM 100-103.)

The corps A2C2 element consists of designated representatives from selected staff sections and liaison elements to the corps' main CP. Liaison elements include, specifically, the G3 section, ADA element, aviation element, FSE, USAF TACP, and the supporting air traffic service battalion. Designated personnel from these staff and liaison elements collocate to perform fill-time A2C2 functions.

Personnel from these elements and sections, who have A2C2 staff responsibilities, accomplish two separate tasks. First, they perform their primary staff functions. Second, they help synchronize the airspace requirements of their parent units with the airspace users of the combined arms team and supporting services.

The A2C2 element's primary tasks include--

  • Coordinating and integrating airspace user requirements within the corps AO.
  • Maintaining A2C2 information displays and maps.
  • Developing and coordinating airspace control SOPs, plans, and annexes to corps OPORDs and OPLANs and disseminating airspace control orders, messages, and overlays.
  • Approving, staffing, and forwarding to the next higher headquarters requests for special use airspace.

The A2C2 element at the main CP is the focal point for all airspace control activities related to corps rear operations, deep operations, and the planning for future close operations. Airspace control activities supporting the execution of close operations normally pass through the TAC CP to the A2C2 element at the main CP for further action. The TAC CP and the A2C2 element maintain close coordination at the main CP to ensure that airspace requirements, which changes to the tactical situation generate, are met in a timely, effective manner.

At the TAC CP there is no formal A2C2 element. Designated representatives from selected staff and liaison elements accomplish airspace control functions. At a minimum, representatives include a G3 officer, who is responsible for the A2C2 effort and who is assisted by a fire support officer; an aviation representative; an ADA representative; and the USAF liaison officer.

The GLO provides the interface between the Army and supporting USAF units to facilitate the conduct of tactical air support, airlift, and aerial reconnaissance operations. The GLO may be assigned to a specific Army unit or may be part of a liaison group specifically organized to coordinate operations between the services.

The GLO receives his guidance from the Army unit being supported. This may be through direct coordination with the Army unit or through another coordination cell such as the BCE. The exact structure is theater-dependent.

Although assigned to an Army unit, the GLO serves "with duty" at the USAF unit location, and works with the operations or intelligence section of that unit. If the GLO is part of a liaison group, he may not habitually work with the same unit, but will be sent to perform liaison duties for whatever Army unit is being supported.

The corps' primary A2C2 focus is on conducting battles in the forward portion of the combat zone, in the corps' rear boundary, and forward. Therefore, airspace control activities must synchronize all airspace users of the combined arms team and supporting services with corps close, deep, and rear operations. Corps airspace control methodology stresses the use of procedural control, relying on standing operating procedures, selected use of theater airspace control measures, and compliance with the theater airspace control plan and SOPs.

If the corps is the JTF headquarters, the commander's and the staffs responsibilities may change. Instead of coordinating and synchronizing Army assets in close, deep, and rear operations, they must synchronize land, air, maritime, SOF, space, and multinational forces. In addition, forces subordinated to the JTF may be organized on a functional basis, such as designating the USAF commander as the JFACC.

The CJTF has many diverse responsibilities in the airspace arena. An Army corps staff has neither the expertise nor capability to effectively plan and coordinate all aspects of joint airspace control.

The CJTF must personally involve himself, with all functional component commanders, in the development of the airspace control plan. The intent is for the senior tactical and operational commanders to express their airspace, ground, and maritime requirements in mutually agreeable terms to meet the JFC's operational objectives.

Traditional relationships may change. Historically, the corps has worked with the USAF for tactical air support and interdiction. In larger unit operations, where the corps was subordinate to an Army EAC headquarters, the BCE worked for the EAC headquarters, and the corps A2C2 element reported to the BCE. The corps, as a JTF, may have the BCE assigned or under OPCON.

The change in national military strategy and the Navy's redirection from deep water operations to littoral operations has also changed the JFACC concept. Historically, the BCE was an Army/Air Force relationship, but relationships are changing. The JFACC may be afloat. The BCE may collocate on board ship with the maritime component commander initially serving as the JFACC, then moving ashore if JFACC responsibilities pass to the USAF.

When the USAF does not provide tactical air support to Army forces, such as in Operation Restore Hope (Somalia), voids in command and support relationships become apparent. In light of these voids, the corps must evaluate its airspace control responsibilities and capabilities, then request support from the combatant commander or the ASCC.

When a corps is the JTF, the ASOC, ANGLICO, GLOs, and TACPs must be included in all phases of crisis-action or deliberate-planning processes. Deployment planning must include GLOs who may have to be recalled. The CJTF may require that the TACPs remain with corps and divisions to provide tactical air support coordination.


For a commander, effective battle command of his forces is key to success on the battlefield. Therefore, he has an inherent responsibility to protect his C2 systems and to counter the enemy's. The resulting differential in C2 effectiveness facilitates friendly operations.

Command and control warfare is the integrated use of OPSEC, military deception, PSYOP, EW, and physical destruction, supported by intelligence to deny information to influence, degrade, or destroy adversary C2 capabilities, and to protect friendly C2 against such actions.

Counter-C2 is the division of C2W that commanders use to deny adversary commanders and other decision makers the ability to effectively command and control their own forces. Actions to maintain the effectiveness of friendly C2 despite both adversary and friendly counter-C2 actions is called C2 protection.

Counter C2

Planning for C2W is also based on the corps commander's concept of operations. It describes how the corps will disrupt the enemy's C2 capability through deception, PSYOP, EW, and fires. It further describes how the commander will use available information warfare capabilities to enhance his own operations.

Used with OPSEC, deception can feed selected information to an enemy commander's (decision-maker's) information-gathering system; play to his biases, including those toward friendly actions; and get him to see an incorrect picture and act on it. Some of C2W's specific deception goals include--

  • Causing the enemy to employ his forces in ways advantageous to the friendly force.
  • Causing the enemy to reveal his strengths, dispositions, and future intentions.
  • Overloading the enemy's intelligence and analysis capabilities and creating confusion as to friendly intentions in order to achieve surprise.
  • Causing the enemy to expend firepower on false or unprofitable targets.

Commanders can use PSYOP against enemy C2 to either create or reinforce perceptions. Given that, it becomes obvious that PSYOP is closely integrated with OPSEC and deception in that all seek to portray a picture of reality in a way beneficial to what friendly forces wish to accomplish.

Electronic warfare contains three areas--ES, EA, and EP. All three divisions can be used in information warfare.

Electronic warfare support (ES) gives the commander combat information. When he can intercept enemy communications and locate enemy transmitters, he has the potential to immediately target enemy C2 systems and forces with fires.

Electronic attack (EA) is one type of fires. For the purposes of the corps, this equates to jamming the enemy's critical C2 nodes.

Electronic protection's (EP) major mission is to starve the enemy's intelligence. Friendly forces need to pay close attention to communications security (COMSEC) to ensure that vital information is not lost when emitters radiate.

For the purposes of C2W, destruction of a hostile C2 function means that function cannot perform permanently or for a given time. With this definition in mind, the commander must clearly communicate his destruction intentions to the FSE so it can spread limited fire support means to cover the most targets. It is important to remember that C2 W will be competing with other targets needing the same weapons systems.

C2 Protection

The corps commander bases C2 protection planning on his concept of operations. The process begins when the commander assesses the enemy's intelligence and counter-C2 capabilities and identifies those corps characteristics vulnerable to the enemy's intelligence and counter-C2 actions.

The G3 identifies priority characteristics that require special protection as essential elements of friendly information (EEFI). The staff assists the G3 in determining and implementing OPSEC measures that eliminate or reduce vulnerabilities.

The staff must also consider ways to prevent fratricide. Fratricide in this case is the degradation of corps C2 capabilities by friendly actions intended to counter enemy C2. Allocating frequencies, implementing deconfliction procedures, or establishing restricted frequency lists are examples of measures that help reduce the occurrence of the problem.

In C2 protection, OPSEC measures deny targeting information to the enemy. Jamming disrupts enemy communications between his sensors and his fire support systems. Destruction is used in C2 protection to attack enemy information warfare resources.

Destroying enemy jammers, fire direction centers, and deception units protects corps C2 capabilities from lethal and nonlethal attack and deception operations. In turn, the corps can use deception to negate enemy targeting and surveillance assets.

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