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Chapter 6

Theater Communications Network

At the theater level, organizations and the operational chain-of-command are unified, possibly consisting of armed forces from two or more US service components and supporting commands, other US government agencies, and combined forces. They plan joint operations in support of a single theater commander, the CINC, or CJTF. All efforts in the theater of operations contribute to the CINC's intent and concept of operations.


6-1. There are seven potential sources of communications assets to the theater of operations for the execution of the CINC or CJTF's or operational intent. In some theaters, part or all of these sources may be well developed; in others, they may be underdeveloped or nonexistent.


6-2. These are military tactical communications assets organic to assigned theater ARFOR, Air Force Forces (AFFOR), Navy Forces (NAVFOR), Marine Forces (MARFOR), and SOC forces. These assets interconnect under the direction and management of the CINC/JTF C3 systems directorate (J6) to form a hybrid network that is called the TCS.


6-3. These communications assets normally support base operations at posts, camps, and stations worldwide. The USASC manages US Army assets. Other services have similar operations. During war, these systems continue to support routine garrison operations, as well as any intermediate staging of mobilizing or deploying forces.


6-4. These communications assets provide connectivity between the sustaining base and theater/tactical environments on a worldwide basis. The DISA has overall management responsibility for the DISN. The USASC manages the segments of strategic systems provided by the Army. During war, at the direction of the CINC, these systems may be reconstituted or extended into the JOA via tactical communications assets. These systems provide the JOA with critical C2 gateways to the sustaining-base environment.


6-5. These are existing US commercial communications systems throughout the world. These assets are made available through the Defense Certification Office-Army (DCO-A). As the Army's advocate for telecommunications, the DCO-A manages Army service requests for leased commercial communications. The CINC/JTF J6 must validate these service requests.


6-6. These are existing commercial and tactical communications systems provided by combined forces. Interoperability with these systems is not well documented and continues to be an item of serious study by the various CINC staffs and the Joint Interoperability Engineering Organization (JIEO).


6-7. These are tactical US military communications assets under the direct OPCON of the CJCS. These assets may be organic to a joint organization such as the JCSE or to a tactical unit of one of the services. The TSC may submit a Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff Instruction (CJCSI) 6110.01 request to release CJCS-controlled assets to support theater requirements for which assets are not available in the JOA. This request is required before deploying a tactical unit of one of the services that has organic CJCS-controlled assets.


6-8. These are communications assets, indigenous to foreign nations, used to support the public. Past operations have demonstrated the importance of a complete understanding of these systems. Sophistication and availability vary from theater to theater and country to country. It is especially important at EAC to understand the availability of these systems and the requirements to interface with them.


6-9. The TCS provides circuit or message switches and direct access to various worldwide DOD networks. Some of these DOD networks are briefly discussed in this section.


6-10. AUTODIN is the principal, long-haul, DOD automatic digital network. It provides message switching to transmit record data traffic on a store and forward basis between AUTODIN switching centers, tactical message switching equipment (such as the TYC-39[A]), and fixed or transportable subscriber terminals. Types of subscriber terminals include teletypewriters, teleprinters, local digital message exchanges, and computers.

6-11. AUTODIN is designed around remote, interconnected AUTODIN switching centers. Subscribers may access the AUTODIN switching centers using the Allied Communications Publication (ACP) 127, Joint Army-Navy-Air Force Publication (JANAP) 128(I), US Message Text Format (USMTF), and Defense Operating Instructions (DOI) 103 formats. The AUTODIN switching centers transmit record or data traffic between dissimilar terminals by virtue of code, format, and line-speed conversions. AUTODIN switching centers processes GENSER, or R type traffic, and Defense Special Security Communications System (DSSCS), or Y type traffic, separately. Elaborate security measures protect against the inadvertent transmission of DSSCS traffic to unauthorized terminals.

6-12. Tactical theater subscribers usually gain switched access to the AUTODIN via the AN/TYC-39(A) message switch. The AN/TYC-39(A) emulates an AUTODIN switching center in capabilities and characteristics. This switch is a store and forward message system that forms the message switched network at theater level and can provide a gateway to AUTODIN and allied networks.

6-13. There are currently two messaging classes: organizational and individual. AUTODIN provides the majority of organizational messaging. Within the DISN, standard mail transfer protocol (SMTP)-based systems and other proprietary LAN-based e-mail systems provide individual messaging. Users demand additional features that SMTP-based systems do not provide. Users also want to connect to a single system that provides both organizational and individual messaging capabilities.

6-14. AUTODIN is based on 30-year old technology with high operational costs and staffing. DMS updates this technology while lowering the operational costs and level of staffing. DMS is implemented in three phases. A transitional phase is underway with the placement of some gateways between AUTODIN and DISN, allowing AUTODIN and SMTP users on DISN to exchange messages.

  • Phase I. With the initial fielding of Phase I, some DMS components will be added to DISN. DMS Phase I security level will be unclassified but sensitive.
  • Phase II. During this phase, transitional components will replace some of the AUTODIN components, and users will begin to transition to the new services. DMS is MLS.
  • Phase III. During this phase, the SMTP and AUTODIN systems will disband. All e-mail and AUTODIN users will transition to X.400/X.500/DMS.


6-15. The DSN is the principal common-user, switched, nonsecure voice communications network within the DISN that provides long-haul voice communications.

6-16. The CONUS DSN consists of commercial-leased facilities, while OCONUS DSN is principally government owned.

6-17. The DSN processes traffic using common control cell switching and stored program routing. A multilevel precedence and preemption (MLPP) feature is used to ensure completion of high precedence telephone calls. The DSN accommodates all levels of precedence.

6-18. Tactical subscribers usually gain common-user, circuit switched access to DSN via the TCS. Interswitch trunks (ISTs) are established between DSN switching centers and several TCS gateways employing an AN/TTC-39(A) circuit-switch. Call processing throughout the circuit switched network supports the DSN MLPP features. The ISTs may be established to support any level of precedence and preemption. Subscribers must be individually class-marked in the network switching database for DSN access and maximum precedence allowed.


6-19. The DISN consists of three IP router networks separated by classification level.

  • NIPRNET, which replaces military network (MILNET).
  • SIPRNET, which replaces DISNET 1, 2, and 3. NOTE: SIPRNET provides transport for the TOP SECRET Support System (TSSS).
  • Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) (TOP SECRET [TS]/sensitive compartmented information [SCI]).

6-20. The formal definition for DISN was originally established by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for C3I. It states--

A subelement of the Defense Information Infrastructure, the DISN is the DOD's consolidated worldwide enterprise-level telecommunications infrastructure that provides the end-to-end information transfer network for supporting military operations. It is transparent to its users, facilitates the management of information resources, and is responsive to national security and defense needs under all conditions in the most efficient manner.

6-21. The new DISNs provide the warfighter with a full range of government-controlled and secure information transfer services for exchanging voice, video, data, and imagery to support warfighter requirements into the 21st Century. It will be structured to satisfy requirements that are evolving in response to changing military strategy, changing threat conditions, and advances in information and communications technology.

6-22. The chosen alternatives maximize the use of commodity services that exploit off-the-shelf technology. DISA will capitalize on efforts and resources previously expended in consolidating the DISN router and multiplexer networks. Multiple procurements will be executed for the replacement of expiring contracts and aging systems (MILNET, DSNET).

6-23. The DISN architecture represents a technological evolution from the use of networks and systems that are owned and operated by the DOD to the use of commodity services wherever possible. DISN is the subset of the DII, primarily providing information transport services in and across the DII boundaries. The DII is a seamless web of communications networks, computers, software, databases, applications, and other capabilities that meet the information processing and transport needs of DOD users in peace, crises, conflict, humanitarian support, and wartime roles.

6-24. The DII is a subset of the government systems information infrastructure, which provides the same service functions for the US government. DII is also a subset of the national information infrastructure and the global information infrastructure, providing the same service functions for the nation, including private and commercial concerns.

6-25. Tactical theater subscribers access the DISN via the TCS. Access methods depend on the theater of operations. Access may be via a sustaining-base host computer, tactical host computer, a tactical Army CSS computer system (TACCS), or a tactical packet switched network (PSN).


6-26. The GCCS is an AIS used to support deliberate and crisis planning with the use of an integrated set of analytic tools and flexible data transfer capabilities. It provides a means to migrate from the proprietary architecture of the Worldwide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS) to an open systems architecture. The GCCS provides combatant and supporting commanders with the required C2 capabilities that the WWMCCS provided, plus much more. When fully implemented, GCCS will become the single C4I system to support the warfighter from the foxhole to the CP. The goal is to implement GCCS by linking LANs by SIPRNET among the CINCs and supporting defense agencies. The Army's portion of the GCCS is the GCCS-A.


6-27. DSCS is the DOD high capacity transcontinental transmission system, providing long-haul service between CONUS and various OCONUS locations. Operating in the extremely high frequency (EHF)/SHF bands, the space and associated ground segments provide critical strategic connectivity and directly support the GMF.

6-28. DSCS normally provides theater access to the DISN. DSCS can provide analog and digital transmission paths for virtually every type of military telecommunications application. In the JOA, GMF/SHF provides theater access to the DSCS. Special user requirements can be accommodated via the DSCS with JCS approval. These requirements are for critical voice and secure voice (2.4 to 50 kbps), computer-to-computer connectivity (9.6 to 56 kbps), and low-to-medium speed (75 bps to 4.8 kbps) data/teletype duplex circuits.


6-29. As the CINC describes his operational intent, theater strategy, and campaign plans, communications at the theater level must be an integration of all the multigeneration advanced communications systems throughout the JOA. Communications equipment and facilities cannot be employed in the JOA without regard for overall theater system integration and the standards and procedures established by the CINC.

6-30. In general, the TCS--

  • Supports joint or combined US military and allied/host country forces.
  • Provides inter-theater and intra-theater common-user services for component elements and allied/host forces.
  • Integrates all communications, component services, equipment, and personnel into a composite system. These can include DISN/DSCS entry and exit station, mobile/transportable equipment, and submarine cable heads.
  • Links with the DISN to provide worldwide connections.
  • Connects theater headquarters to each component service and allied/host forces headquarters.


6-31. The theater C2 and support systems include both communications and automation systems. The area common-user system (ACUS) consists of communications equipment and facilities installed, operated, and maintained for common-user access by the Army. The ACUS, primary provider of Army EAC subscriber access to communications at theater level, simultaneously provides theater level network switching, gateway access, and redundancy. The GCCS-A is a user-owned, operated, and automated C2 support system used throughout the operational continuum. GCCS-A assists theater commanders in the execution of crisis and wartime EAC sustainment and limited operational maneuver functions. Centralized control and management of the TCS, associated communications facilities (by signal support units), and automated C2 support systems (by commanders and staffs) are imperative. They are fundamental to survivable, robust, and redundant communications and automation support at the theater level in support of the CINC's intent.


6-32. Communications at the theater level employ an area nodal topology, with the AN/TTC-39(D) family of circuit switches as the key piece of equipment in an area node (see Figure 6-1). The AN/TTC-39(D) provides subscriber access and tandem switching to the area node. The area node primarily provides tandem switching for communications at the theater level, while generally supporting a few loop devices. Redundant trunking of these circuit switches forms the basis of the theater architecture.

Figure 6-1. Area Nodal Topology


6-33. Extension nodes, either the SEN or the large extension node (LEN), provide subscriber access on a geographic area basis at the theater level. Extension nodes connect to an area node for tandem switching and network access. SENs connect to one area node, and LENs connect to two area nodes. The LENs support large command group clusters.


6-34. Terminal instruments for subscribers at the theater level are generally user-owned and user-operated. The only exception is when the signal unit is supporting a non-army unit (joint or multidepartmental), then the signal unit provides the necessary equipment to effectively accomplish the mission. In addition to secure and nonsecure digital voice terminals, there are:

  • Personal computers and integrated services digital network (ISDN) terminals.
  • Processor driven, single subscriber communications terminals for access to the message switched network and AUTODIN (GENSER and DSSCS).
  • Lightweight digital facsimile machines.

6-35. Data ports on some voice terminals allow for data transmission on a dial-up basis.


6-36. Through unified commands, DISA, and military services, the CJCS ensures that the commander at each echelon has the communications necessary to accomplish his assigned mission. The required communications capability is provided from the DISN, other national level agencies' communications systems, or other DOD communications systems.

6-37. The director of the DISA provides engineering support, technical support, and commercial leasing assistance to the JCCC. This ensures seamless architecture and satisfaction of user requirements for the DISN interfaces and fulfillment of any requirements of the NCA and GCCS.

6-38. The CINC prepares and submits to the CJCS (with information copies to the services, defense agencies, and the JIEO) requirements for tactical communications capabilities for joint operations within the scope of their respective missions and functions. Included are the requirements for JCS-controlled mobile/transportable communications assets, when normal military departments or military service processes do not satisfy such requirements. The CINC controls, reviews, and coordinates assigned communications resources and actions affecting C4 resources. Tactical communications in the JOA and/or theater is phased-in and established according to appropriate plans and orders. These are prepared based on CJCSM 6231 Series.

6-39. The CINC reports to the director, DISA incompatibilities or lack of interoperability among tactical C3 systems and between tactical systems and the DISN. As a part of JCS-sponsored or command-sponsored exercises, the CINC tests the communications portions of the appropriate operation plan (OPLAN).

6-40. Service components and subordinate unified commands submit requirements for all tactical and strategic communications equipment applicable to joint operations through the CINCs to the military departments or services according to required operational capability procedures. CINCs biannually submit a C4 system master plan to the CJCS.

6-41. The US unified commander provides communications between the unified headquarters and the US service component headquarters and, as required, to other US government agencies and allied commands within the theater of operations. The US unified commander assigns these communications tasks to one or more of the service components.

6-42. The US unified commander normally assigns the J6 the task of planning and managing the TCS. The J6, in conjunction with the service components, develops a responsive and redundant secure and nonsecure communications system to ensure positive C2 during each critical phase of operations in the JOA. The J6 places emphasis on the planning and engineering requirements for a joint, integrated circuit switched network supporting communications at the theater level.

6-43. The JIEO, in coordination with the unified commands, develops technical interoperability standards for tactical communications use during joint operations.

6-44. The J6 establishes the JCCC to manage and control the TCS. The JCCC establishes and promulgates the plans, policies, and procedures used to implement, monitor, direct, and control the TCS. Each service component establishes a similar staff to interface with the JCCC. The TSC has this responsibility for the Army. Changes to the TCS are not made without prior approval of the JCCC. With the advent of TRI-TAC automatic switching systems, which require intensive database management to ensure interoperability throughout the switching network, the JCCC takes on the role of the network manager for the TCS.

6-45. Each service component is generally tasked to install, operate, and maintain a portion of the communications at the theater level. The integration of each of the service component's communications equipment provides for joint common-user access on a geographic area basis at the theater level. The CINC/J6 may task an individual component to install, operate, and maintain a portion of the TCS that is in direct and primary support of another service component. The CINC/J6 may also task the TSC to take on the unified theater role as either the J6 or the JCCC. All service components should comply with joint communications doctrine as prescribed in JCS publications and as supplemented by the US unified commander.



6-46. At the theater level, commanders need to have a robust information system that supports the CINC's operational intent. Theater level information systems must accurately process and disseminate information in sufficient time for forces to process and respond appropriately. The goal of the theater level information system is to enhance and facilitate agility, initiative, depth, synchronization, and versatility on the battlefield. This concept supports implementation, operation, and signal support management in the theater/tactical environment.

6-47. Individuals collect, process, store, create, and distribute information to support the commander. Information systems are built to perform these same functions. The user of an information system determines what information is needed to support the commander. Users own and operate the requisite means to provide that information. Information managers determine how the information is collected, processed, transferred, presented, stored, and disposed of when no longer needed. Centralized control is a constraint rather than an aid in such an environment. However, a consistent direction is necessary and information management provides that direction.

6-48. The commander manages of his information just as any other critical resource. The commander is assisted in his information management role by his signal element, which has the responsibility to provide the technical direction, assistance, and integration of the required support.

6-49. The approved concept of user-owned and user-operated with TSC advice and technical assistance is fundamental. The user-owned and user-operated concept means that the commander manages information by operating owned information systems (hardware, software, and people) to create and use information internal to his needs. The commander must rely on external information systems to distribute and retrieve information external to his command.

6-50. The TSC provides interfaces to external systems, as well as the technical oversight and direction that produce an integrated system of systems. The concept is extended to individual responsibilities, since the production, control, dissemination, and disposal of information is the responsibility of the originator or user of the information. The TSC provides the interfaces for transferring permanent battlefield information and records to Army and national archives.

6-51. Information management at the theater level includes all resources and activities employed in the acquisition, development, collection, processing, integration, transmission, dissemination, distribution, use, retention, retrieval, maintenance, access, disposal, security, and management of information.

6-52. Theater level tactical signal support is the implementation of signal support at the strategic through tactical levels of war. It is also the collective, integrated, and synchronized use of information systems to support warfighting capabilities across the operational continuum.


6-53. The concept of signal support at the theater level is more than communications and involves more than the TSC. Signal support consists of the disciplines of communications, automation, and VI.

6-54. Technological advances are causing the disciplines to converge on a common foundation. Today's manual methods are being converted to automated processes. Smaller, more sophisticated and powerful devices have led to the era of user-owned and user-operated systems. All of the disciplines are evolving towards one integrated information system capability within the Army at the theater level.


6-55. At the theater level, the signal support disciplines must directly support the tactical commander. Each unit commander is ultimately responsible for how well the information created and used in his unit is managed. The primary office/staff supporting the commander in his information management responsibilities is the signal office.

6-56. The signal office/staff--

  • Advises and assists the commander in the role as a coordinating staff office.
  • Supports the operational needs of the headquarters by providing signal support to the commander's unit and tenant units in the area.
  • Supports and manages the informational needs of the headquarters staff. This requires an expansion of the traditional role for the signal officer.

6-57. At the theater level, the division of responsibilities between the user, functional managers, and the signal office/staff is complex. Table 6-1 delineates signal support responsibilities to ASCC units and units traversing the COMMZ. Signal support will be tailored to meet the unique requirements of the specific theater and the operational intent of the US unified commander. AR 25-1 prescribes the policies and responsibilities for the management of information and information systems.

Table 6-1. Signal Support Responsibilities at the Theater Level 1 4

    Preparing correspondence:
        Establishing distribution schemes
OS (Organic Signal) TSC/OS
    Authenticating correspondence:
        (defined as approved for release)
User User
    Reading file:


    Staff supervision of correspondence:
        Setting local procedures
        Governing authentication (who, what, when, how)
        Setting local procedures
        Governing reading files
    Correspondence training User User
    Classification authority J2/G2 J2/G2
    Classification document control: policies,
        procedures, and inspections

    Classified document distribution OS TSC 3
    Classified document storage User User
    TOP SECRET centralized repository OS TSC
    Document destruction:
        TOP SECRET


    Process requests OS TSC
    Identify requirement User User
    Approve requirement Staff Staff
    Setting policy and procedure OS TSC
    Staff supervision of reproduction OS TSC
    Copier management:
        Determine need for requirement


    Validate requirement
        Assist/advise in satisfying requirement
    Copier operation and user maintenance User User
    Centralized reproduction OS TSC
    Staff supervision of publications:
        Setting policy and procedures
    Publications account management OS User
    Identify publications requirement User User
    Publications library:
        Not a mandatory requirement
        When applicable, geared towards user's
        function (for example, maintenance)
Staff Staff
    Command unique publications storage
        and distribution
    Forms management:
        Setting policy and procedures
        Compiling, ordering, and internal distribution
        of forms


    Area stockage, acquisition, and distribution Staff TSC
    Requests for new forms (Recommend approval) User User
    Adhere to forms usage policy:
        Includes use management
        Requesting resupply
        Resupply stockage


    Staff supervision of files management OS TSC
    Files transfer to records holding area User User
    Operate records holding facility Sig Spt Sig Spt
    Approval of files listings and
        electronic conventionalizing
    Files maintenance User User
    Staff supervision OS TSC
    Community distribution NA TSC
    Unit Distribution OS NA
    Pickup and internal distribution User User
    External distribution service:
        Set policy and procedure
        Provide resources for necessary
        messenger service

Sig Spt

Sig Spt
    Official mail: 5
        Official mail delivery


    Staff supervision of FOIA Sig Spt Sig Spt
    Implementation of FOIA User User
    Point of contact (POC) for Privacy Act/FOIA OS TSC
    Establish policy and procedures Sig Spt Sig Spt
    Staff supervision of VI policy and procedures Sig Spt TSC
    Develop VI requirements/needs User Sig Spt
    Allocate VI resources User Sig Spt
    Integrate VI into OPLANs, battle plans, and
        standing operating procedures (SOPs)
    Determine interface requirements Use User
    Perform technical integration of VI into functional
        communications and information systems
    Provide technical integration assistance for systems
        integration and standardization of VI into
        functional information systems
OS TSC/Sig Spt
    Install, operate, maintain VI equipment/systems
        designated user-owned and user-operated
User User
    Effective maintenance beyond preventive
        maintenance checks and services (PMCS)
Sig Spt TSC
    Effect disposition of record/file VI material User User
    Coordinate VI support not available through
        organic assets
OS Sig Spt
COMCAM 7    
    Coordinate COMCAM support OS Sig Spt
    Establish COMCAM policy and procedures Sig Spt Sig Spt
    Staff supervision of COMCAM policy and procedures Sig Spt Sig Spt
    Develop COMCAM requirements, and needs User User
    Establish priorities for COMCAM TSC TSC
    Allocate COMCAM resources plans and SOP Sig Spt Sig Spt
    Determine interface requirements and perform
        functional and technical integration of COMCAM
        into communications and information systems
    Manage technical standardization of COMCAM
        (such as formats and standards)
Sig Spt Sig Spt
    Install, operate, maintain COMCAM
    Produce and distribute unique COMCAM
        reports/support products for commander/staff
    Perform user maintenance on COMCAM equipment TSC TSC
    Perform organizational maintenance on COMCAM
    Maintain repair parts stockage for COMCAM
    Maintain direct exchange or backup COMCAM
        equipment stockage
    Determine specific communications requirements/
        needs for joint, combined operations
Joint Staff (JS)/
Sig Spt/User 8
JS/Sig Spt/
User 8
    Determine communications requirements/needs for
        a heavy/light, light/heavy, integrated Army task
Sig Spt Sig Spt
    Analyze/evaluate terrain using a map for signal site
    Conduct signal site reconnaissance TSC/OS TSC
    Configure a signal nodal/site TSC/OS TSC
    Analyze communications systems and communications
        equipment outages
    Prepare and update a signal estimate of the situation OS OS
    Establish signal operation instructions (SOI) Sig Spt Sig Spt
    Implements SOI User User
    Identify individual unit communications requirements OS TSC
    Plan and coordinate communications operations,
        including preparation of signal plans and orders
OS Sig Spt

    Provide over-the-counter service TSC TSA
    Coordinate with appropriate signal supporting
User/OS User/OS
    Coordinate for external signal support OS TSC
    Install, operate, and maintain "user-owned" and
        "user-operated" equipment
User User
    Identify and evaluate electronic counter-counter
        measure (ECCM) requirements and plans
    Implement ECCM User/OS User/TSC
    Execute communications operation User/OS/TSC TSC
    Frequency management TSC TSC
    Manage COMSEC key distribution OS OS
    Protect communications equipment from EMP User/OS User/OS
    Signal and communications securities:
        Establish policy and procedures
Sig Spt User/Sig Spt
    Follow policy and procedures User/OS User/TSC
    Perform operator PMCS on communications
User User
    Perform organizational maintenance on signal
        communications equipment
    Perform organizational maintenance on
        communications equipment from other than
        signal units
User User
    Evacuate communications equipment to next higher
        maintenance level
User/OS User/TSC
    Perform direct support and higher maintenance
        on communications equipment
OS/Ordinance TSC/Ordinance
    Maintain repair parts stockage for communications
User/OS/Ordinance User/TSC/
    Plan, install, and operate all noncommunications
        electrical systems (lighting, power security,
        intelligence, and entertainment systems)
User User
    Perform organizational maintenance for all
        noncommunications electrical systems
User User
    Determine specific automation requirements for
        joint and combined operations
    Established standards for the design and
        implementation of locally developed AIS
Sig Spt Sig Spt
    Define standards for interface with net Sig Spt TSC
    Develop information requirements/needs User User
    Establish priorities for information User User
    Allocate automation devices User User
    Develop continuity of operations plan (COOP) Sig Spt TSC
    Plan WAN TSC TSC
    Design databases User/ Sig Spt TSC
    Determine initialization information for devices
        and data
User TSC
    Advise user regarding AIS bases Sig Spt TSC
    Install equipment for operation TSC/User TSC
    Install LAN User User
    Coordinate interface requirements with
        communications network
TSC/ User TSC/User
    Local system, functional software TSC/ User TSC
    Operate functional AIS TSC TSC
    Perform basic word processing and spreadsheet
User User
    Update and manipulate databases User User
    Backup and restore databases User User
    Employ automation security procedures User User
    Supervise AIS network operations TSC/User TSC/User
    Develop and produce unique reports for
TSC/User TSC/User
    Control software versions Sig Spt TSC
    Perform operator maintenance User User
    Perform unit level maintenance/evacuate User/OS User/OS
    Troubleshoot and isolate faults to hardware
        or software
User/OS User/OS
    Conduct operator/crew training User User


6-58. The signal officer's tool for the management and coordination of the BIS in support of the theater and subordinate unit headquarters is the Information Services Support Office (ISSO). BISs include correspondence, files and forms management, classified document control, Privacy Act and FOIA, distribution, printing, publications, official mail, and reproduction.

6-59. The ISSO has staff supervision responsibility for all BIS, recommending policy, procedures, standards, and conventions to facilitate information services support. The ISSO provides for the centralized execution of and central point of contact for BIS requiring centralized management to the headquarters (distribution and official mail, Privacy Act and FOIA, and printing requests).

6-60. An ISSO is established at every echelon at the theater level and is under the signal officer's control. At battalion and brigade, the S1 accomplishes the ISSO function. At support units with no organic supporting signal unit, the signal office is the proponent for information services on the staff. The functional staff remains responsible for its execution. The responsibilities of the ISSO at the theater level are listed in Table 6-2.

Table 6-2. Signal Support/ISSO Responsibilities at the Theater Level

    Supervision of correspondence:
        Recommending policy, procedures, and conventions
    Preparing correspondence:
        Establishing distribution schemes
    Authenticating correspondence:
        (authentication is defined as approved for release)
    Reading file:

    Staff supervision of correspondence:
        Recommending local procedures and conventions governing
        authentication (who, what, when, how)
    Recommending local procedures governing reading files ISSO
    Staff supervision of classified document control:
        Recommending policy, procedures, and convention
    Classification authority:
        Recommending classified document control, policies, procedures,
        and inspections 1
    Classified document distribution ISSO
    Classified document storage User
    TOP SECRET repository ISSO
    Classified document control:
        As correspondence or file
    Document destruction:
        TOP SECRET

    Staff supervision of printing:
        Recommending policy, procedures, and conventions
    POC for any request to be forwarded ISSO
    Priority establishment User
    Staff supervision of reproduction:
        Recommending policy, procedures, and conventions
    Copier management:
        Determine need for requirement
        Validate requirement
        Assist/advise in satisfying requirement
    Copier operation and user maintenance User
    Contracting and maintenance coordination ISSO
    Staff supervision of publications:
        Recommending policy, procedures, and conventions
    Publications account management:
        Consolidating, ordering, and distributing subordinate unit requests
        through pin-point distribution requests through function occurs only
        at the echelon owning the pin-point account.
    Identify publications requirement User
    Publications library:
        Not a mandatory requirement
        When applicable, geared towards user's function (S2, maintenance)
    Staff supervision of forms management:
        Recommending policy, procedures, and conventions
    Compiling, ordering, and distributing forms:
        This function occurs only at the element owning pin-point account
    Requests for new forms:

    Adhere to forms usage policy:
        Includes use management
        Requesting resupply

    Separate user pin point accounts Staff
    Staff supervision of files management:
        Recommending policy, procedures, and conventions

    Files transfer to records holding area Staff
    Approval of files listings and electronic conventionalizing
        Files maintenance
    Staff supervision of distribution
        Recommending policy, procedures, and convention

    Internal Headquarters distribution POC
        Distribution center operations
        Pickup of distribution
    External distribution service:
        Recommend policy, procedures, and convention
        Provide resources for necessary messenger service.
        Maximum use is made of existing delivery systems (Classes I, V)
        Task resources for necessary messenger service


    Official mail distribution
        Censorship 4
    Staff supervision of privacy act and FOIA:
        Recommending policy, procedures, and convention


6-61. Each functional staff element implements signal support policies, procedures, and standards within the functional area of operation. For instance, the S3 provides internal distribution at the tactical operations center location when tactically deployed.

6-62. Generally, the signal unit, the ISSO, and signal staff at each echelon at the theater level will have the same mission and functions.

1 In this table, OS elements are the dignal assets on the modified TOE(MTOE)TDA of a given unit. The OS elements are not only limited to nonsignal units, but also refer to duties a signal element in a signal unit must do. Under the Tactical column, TSC refers to the tactical signal units assigned to the TSC. Under the Sustaining-base column, TSC refers to the strategic and sustaining-base signal units within the TSC. Signal support denotes the DCSIM/DOIM staff. When used in this table, the term staff refers to the functional staff element and user refers to user responsibilities.

2 User refers to the organization or individual and signal represents ISSO responsibilities assigned to the supporting signal unit.

3 Distribution internal to community for sustaining-base.

4 In this table, OS elements are the signal assets on the modified TOE(MTOE)/TDA of a given unit. The OS elements are not only limited to nonsignal units, but also refer to duties a signal element in a signal unit must do. Under the Tactical column, TSC refers to the tactical signal units assigned to the TSC. Under the Sustaining-base column, TSC refers to the strategic and sustaining-base signal units within the TSC. Signal support denotes the DCSIM/DOIM staff. When used in this table, the term staff refers to the functional staff element and user refers to user responsibilities.

5 Delivery of mail is a postal dunction, not a signal function. Official mail is delivered by a postal unit. Once it is received by headquarters, it becomes distribution.

6 Functional commanders and users are responsible for integrating VI (enhancements) into their information systems and activities to support their own requirements on the battlefield. Units such as psychological operations (PSYOP), intelligence, medical, and public affairs, own and operate their own VI equipment and systems in support of their mission. Irrespective of its functional application, the sole purpose of VI equipment/system is to perform VI functions, provide VI services, and produce VI products. The application of all VI on the battlefield is governed by VI (signal support) doctrine.

7 COMCAM is VI documentation covering air, sea, and ground actions of armed forces in combat and combat support operations, and in related peacetime training activities such as exercises, war games, and operations. COMCAM capabilities are external to any specific functional (user-owned and -operated) information system, and are provided by TSC COMCAM teams and signal units. COMCAM is not meant to replace user-owned and user-operated VI systems such as those used specifically for intelligence, medical, prisoner documentation, and PSYOP. The purpose of COMCAM is to provide combat documentation in support of the NCA, and the local commander's decision making process, and to create an operational record of unit avtivities on the battlefield. COMCAM will augment functional VI systems only when they cannot provide the required support. VI is the responsibility of the echelon signal office.

8 All three must participate simultaneously on a single concept of operations.

9 At the theater level, the automation responsibilities of the US unified commander overlap those of the USASC. In this table, the USASC provides support to the theater on a regional basis. While some of the organizations within the theater are actual USASC assets, they are considered part of the theater, specifically the TSC.

10 At the theater level, all planning for and staff supervision of TA automation activities are generally performed by the TSC. DCSIM staff validates user requirements. Identification of needs and allocation of resources to meet the needs are performed by the user. For joint automation activities, these functions are generally performed by joint staff.

11 Instalation of major, theater-wide Army AIS is generally the responsibility of the TSC. Other AIS and local area networks are installed by using organizations.

12 Operation of TA AIS is generally the responsibility of the TSC. Other AIS and local area networks are operated by the using units.

1 Classified document control must apply in all phases and areas of the signal support (correspondence, printing/reproduction, distribution/mail, and file management).

2 The signal reproduction detachment provides volume printing (reproduction) support at theater when required. If the need arises, the ISSO forwards printing requests through signal channels to the signal reproduction unit.

3 Separate user pin-point accounts.

4 Mail may be categorized as both official and personal; however, once a unit recieves official mail, it becomes normal distribution. Personal mail remains mail, subject to postal requlation until delivered to the intended recipient. Official mail contains military information. Personal mail contains personal information, subject (sometimes) to censorship.

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