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Chapter 4


4-1. The Brigade/Battalion Environment

Brigades and battalions are organized to fight and support battles on any part of the battlefield and in conventional, nuclear, or chemical environments. Brigades and battalions complete major tactical tasks as part of a corps or division operation. Higher headquarters assign missions to brigades and battalions. They must accomplish these missions and conform to the commander's intent.

Brigade Environment.

Brigade-sized units control two or more battalions. Their self-supporting capabilities vary with the type of brigade. Brigades combine the efforts of their battalions and companies to complete engagements successfully.

Maneuver brigades are major division combat units. They can also be organized as separate units. They can use any combination of maneuver battalions. FA battalions, aviation units, and smaller combat, CS, and CSS units normally support maneuver brigades.

Separate brigades of infantry, armor, FA, ADA engineer, aviation, or armored cavalry regiments can augment corps and division. Separate brigades and regiments usually perform as whole units when attached to corps and divisions.

Other combat, CS, and CSS brigades control nondivisional units for corps and larger units. Engineer, ADA signal, aviation, MP, and transportation brigades are typical units.

Battalion Environment.

Battalions consist of two or more company-sized units and a headquarters. Most battalions are organized by branch, arm, or service. In addition to their operational companies, they contain a headquarters company that allows them to perform some administrative and logistic services. Typically, battalions have three to five companies in addition to their headquarters.

Combat arms battalions perform single tactical missions as part of the brigade's tactical operations. They can be reinforced with other combat and CS companies to form task forces for special missions.

CS and CSS battalions vary in type and organization. They may be separate divisional or nondivisional. They perform functional services for a larger supported unit within its area of operations. Engineer, ADA, and signal battalions assigned to or supporting divisions operate throughout the division area. Their commanders are on the division staff.

4-2. Signal Support Responsibilities

General. Effective signal support at the brigade/battalion level is crucial. At this level, the events of battle shape the entire war effort. The commander must have dependable communications resources to accomplish the mission. His functional staff and signal support personnel must work together ensuring these resources are available.

Brigade/Battalion Signal Support Staff.

The brigade/battalion signal officer (BSO) advises and assists the commander on all signal support matters. The BSO must use the commander's intent and factors of mission, enemy, terrain, troops, and time available (METT-T) to plan signal support for current and future battle contingencies. Understanding individual unit missions, capabilities, and limitations is essential to his signal support planning.

Unit SOP and memorandum of agreements (MOAs) become less effective during brigade/battalion task force operations. The need for internal and external coordination to include signal operation instructions (SOIs), key variables, ACUS frequency plans, net structure, and liaison support is greatly increased.

The BSO's responsibilities in a maneuver brigade/battalion include more than communications support. He performs in the full realm of signal support as outlined in the IMA concept. Under this concept, the BSO could serve as a telephone control officer (TCO), automation officer, and COMSEC custodian. The BSO--

  • Advises the commander and his staff on all signal matters.
  • Plans, manages, and directs all aspects of the unit communications systems.
  • Exercises staff supervision over the communications activities of subordinate and attached units.
  • Plans the integration of lower, adjacent, and higher headquarters into the unit's communications systems.
  • Plans and monitors the installation and operation of tactical communications and automation facilities.
  • Supervises maintenance of the unit signal equipment.
  • Monitors the status of unit and subordinate unit signal equipment in support maintenance.
  • Prepares and writes the signal annex of unit OPORDs, operation plans (OPLANs), and command SOP.
  • Serves as COMSEC officer or COMSEC custodian for the unit COMSEC account.
  • Issues and accounts for key lists, codes, ciphers, and authentication systems following current regulations.
  • Maintains, issues, and accounts for the unit SOI following current regulations.
  • Prepares, updates, and presents unit training programs (including COMSEC, electronic security, technical signal training, and an extensive cross-training program).
  • Assists the unit S3 and the headquarters unit commander in locating the unit CP and support areas.
  • Exercises operational control (OPCON) of the unit communications section/platoon (if no platoon leader is assigned).
  • Plans and directs signal support for CP displacement including a jump CP as required.
  • Assists in preparing electronic warfare (EW) plans and annexes.
  • Monitors signal support personnel in the command.
  • Recommends duty assignments for assigned signal support personnel.
  • Develops reporting procedures throughout the unit for meaconing, intrusion, jamming, and interference (MIJI) reporting.

4-3. C2 support

The brigade/battalion commander requires a dependable C2 system. He must be able to rapidly receive orders from higher echelons and disseminate them to subordinates in a timely manner. The brigade/battalion CP is highly mobile and must have a communications system that supports this mobility.

ACUS. The ACUS assets at battalion level are not as extensive as those found at the corps and division level. Despite this limitation, the brigade/battalion commander is given full access to the network. The MSE network provides the brigade/battalion reliable and redundant voice/data signal support. This is provided by using small extension nodes (SENs), mobile subscriber radiotelephone terminals (MSRTs), and CNRs through the net radio interface (NRI).

The small extension node switch (SENS) provides the brigade/battalion's wire subscriber access to the ACUS. It provides local switching and network access for 26 subscribers (AN/TTC-48(V1)) or 41 subscribers (AN/TTC-48(V2)). A habitual relationship may be established and maintained between extension nodes including line-of-sight (LOS) teams and the supported unit's Cps. While a habitual relationship may be desired (for tactical familiarity and ease in support), MSE extension nodes do not revert to a reserve role when the supported CP/unit assumes a reserve role. In these situations, MSE extension nodes are assigned a revised support role. Habitual relationships may be reestablished when the affected elements return to an active role.

External signal support of wire subscribers consists of installation, operation, and maintenance (IOM) of the system and its associated equipment. Equipment includes the node switch, LOS radios, cable (CX-4566 and CX-11230/G), and junction equipment (J-1077 distribution box or TD-1234 remote multiplexer combiner (RMC)). The user is responsible for connecting the WF16 field wire to the junction equipment and providing power for the RMC. The user unit is also responsible for installing and maintaining its subscriber terminal equipment. Subscriber terminal equipment includes--

  • TA-1035/U digital nonsecure voice terminal (DNVT).
  • TSEC/KY-68 digital subscriber voice terminal (DSVT).
  • AN/UGC-144 communications terminal (CT).
  • AN/UXC-7 lightweight digital facsimile (LDF).
  • AN/VRC-97 MSRT.

The BSO and the communications platoon/section are responsible for ensuring the equipment is installed. Figures 4-1 and 4-2 show typical SEN support deployment for the brigade/battalion in the corps and division.

The supporting signal unit and its own user-owned and -operated equipment provide the brigade/battalion's mobile subscriber access to the ACUS.

MSRT. The MSRT is a user-owned component. It allows the user to dial up and communicate with any discretely addressed MSE subscriber. The MSRT (AN/VRC-97) consists of a DSVT and an RT-1539(P)/G VHF radio with a vehicle antenna kit.

Radio access unit (RAU). The mobile subscriber gains network access through the RAU. The supporting signal unit owns and operates this equipment. Its signal planner deploys RAUs to provide battlefield coverage. One RAU can provide a 15-kilometer radius area coverage (planning range) in the area of operations (Figure 4-3). Following initial affiliation, mobile subscriber affiliation is maintained automatically as he moves from one RAU's range to another. If the mobile subscriber is engaged in a telephone conversation and leaves the serving RAU's range, the conversation is terminated and must be redialed.

MSRT and RAU. The RT-1539(P)/G MSRT radio and the RAU's radio are identical and interchangeable. In the MSRT or RAU, the radio operates in a FULL DUPLEX mode with a high and low frequency band for transmit and receive channels. In the RAU, the radio transmits in the high band and receives in the low band. This procedure is reversed when the radio is used in the MSRT configuration. The MSRT has the following capabilities:

  • Automatic random channel selection for each call.
  • Automatic RF transmit level adjustment.
  • Automatic receiver sensitivity adjustment.
  • Stand-alone field kit (SAFK).
  • DSVT remote capability.
  • Range extension using an elevated antenna.

The mobile subscriber uses the DSVT as the primary access terminal to the ACUS. The DSVT provides cryptographic facilities for the MSRT and has a 16 kb/s data port for interface of data devices (facsimile, CT). The MSRT can be removed from the vehicle and operated using the SAFK. Figure 4-4 shows the mobile subscriber interface to ACUS.

CNR. CNR is the primary means of communications within the brigade/battalion environment. This network of single-channel radios fulfills the brigade/battalion commander's requirement for mobile C2. The CNR network is designed around three separate radio systems. Each system has different capabilities and transmission characteristics. The three systems are--

  • IHFR.
  • Single-channel TACSAT.

IHFR. IHFR selectively replaces the current high frequency (HF) manpack and vehicular radios. It uses ground and sky wave propagation paths for short-and medium-range communications. FM 24-18 covers radio wave propagation. IHFR given the brigade/battalion commander another way of passing voice and data communications. It has a dual role with voice C2 taking precedence over data transmission. The high power version of IHFR is used for voice networks that pass highly perishable C2 information or for medium-to long-range communications (50 to 300 kilometers). Brigade and battalion level units primarily use the low-power version. All versions of IHFR are user-owned and -operated.

SINCGARS. SINCGARS is replacing all AN/PRC-77 manpack and AN/VRC-12 series vehicular mounted VHF and airborne VHF-FM radios. SINCGARS accepts either digital or analog inputs and imposes the signal onto an FH output signal. In FH, the input changes frequency about 100 times per second over portions of the tactical VHF range from 30 to 88 MHz. This hinders threat intercept and jamming units from locating or disrupting friendly communications. SINCGARS is the primary means for short-range (less than 35 kilometers) secure voice C2 at the brigade/battalion level. It is also the secondary means for CS and CSS units throughout the corps. SINCGARS can provide access to the ACUS network through the NRI. In the NRI, SINCGARS uses the KY-90 to link the MSE radio and the switched area communications network. Presently, the NRI gains access into the switch (SENS) shelters. This allows a SINCGARS radio user to access the entire common-user network. The KY-90 is replaced by the C-6709 when SINCGARS is being linked to analog switch equipment. FM 11-32 covers SINCGARS extensively.

Single-Channel TACSAT System. The current single-channel TACSATs found at the brigade/battalion level are the AN/URC-101, AN/URC-110, ANWSC7, AN/PSC-3, and the AN/VHS-4. These terminals provide reliable, highly portable communications support. They have minimum setup and teardown time and satisfy a need for extended distance communications. The system operates in the UHF band between 225 MHz to 400 MHz and uses fleet satellite (FLTSAT) and Air Force satellite (AFSAT) space segments. The Army terminals using the FLTSAT space segments are the AN/PSC-3, AN/VSC-7, AN/URC-101, and the AN/URC-110.

Battlefield Electronic CEOI System (BECS).

BECS is critical in operating the CNR system successfully. It provides the BS0 with an automated system for real-time SOP data and network management. As the primary BECS operator, the BSO--

  • Develops and submits initial SOI data base information and subsequent revisions to higher headquarters.
  • Determines network structures for the unit with the S3.
  • Coordinates with higher and adjacent headquarters for SOI and FH variables when the unit must operate outside normal channels.
  • Develops distribution schemes for users in the unit networks.
  • Develops operator training plans for electronic notebook (EN) remote fill procedures.

BECS at the brigade and separate battalion level also gives the BSO a quick method of developing an SOI for task force organization. The BSO determines the units assigned to the task force from the mission OPORD. He then uses the BECS terminal to pull out the call signs of those units and stores them in a separate file for recall.

The BSO is responsible for control and distribution of FH variables and SOI materials. He can use BECS to centralize this control and simplify distribution to the individual user units.

ADDS. ADDS is a data distribution system consisting of EPLRS and JTIDS. These systems have high throughput capacity and automatic relay capability that is transparent to the user.


The BSO is the key player in his unit for ensuring EPLRS operates successfully. He must involve the user community, CSOs and DSOs, signal battalion S3s, and system operators. The BSO must use his signal support channels to assist him in developing his unit's EPLRS requirements.

The signal officer at the battalion level should pass his unit's requirements to the signal officer at the brigade level. The requirements would then be validated against doctrinal and command authorizations and then consolidated and passed to the division signal office. Figure 4-5 provides a conceptual layout of EPLRS.


Army JTIDS will consist of the Class 2M terminal, dedicated JTIDS relay unit (DJRU), and the net control station-JTIDS (NCS-J). The Class 2 terminals are user-owned and -operated and will be a focal point for the BSO.

The impact of JTIDS in the brigade/battalion environment is in the area of air defense. This system is deployed by divisional ADA battalions to pass the divisional air picture. The connectivity and net management of the system are the responsibilities of the supporting signal battalion.

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