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Chapter 1


CCD is the use of materials and techniques to hide, blend, disguise, decoy, or disrupt the appearance of military targets and/or their backgrounds. CCD helps prevent an enemy from detecting or identifying friendly troops, equipment, activities, or installations. Properly designed CCD techniques take advantage of the immediate environment and natural and artificial materials. One of the imperatives of current military doctrine is to conserve friendly strength for decisive action. Such conservation is aided through sound operations security (OPSEC) and protection from attack. Protection includes all actions that make soldiers, equipment, and units difficult to locate.


1-1. CCD degrades the effectiveness of enemy reconnaissance, surveillance, and target-acquisition (RSTA) capabilities. Skilled observers and sophisticated sensors can be defeated by obscuring telltale signs (signatures) of units on the battlefield. Preventing detection impairs enemy efforts to assess friendly operational patterns, functions, and capabilities.

1-2. CCD enhances friendly survivability by reducing an enemy's ability to detect, identify, and engage friendly elements. Survivability encompasses all actions taken to conserve personnel, facilities, and supplies from the effects of enemy weapons and actions. Survivability techniques include using physical measures such as fighting and protective positions; nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC) equipment; and armor. These actions include interrelated tactical countermeasures such as dispersion, movement techniques, OPSEC, communications security (COMSEC), CCD, and smoke operations (a form of CCD). Improved survivability from CCD is not restricted to combat operations. Benefits are also derived by denying an enemy the collection of information about friendly forces during peacetime.

1-3. Deception helps mask the real intent of primary combat operations and aids in achieving surprise. Deception countermeasures can delay effective enemy reaction by disguising information about friendly intentions, capabilities, objectives, and locations of vulnerable units and facilities. Conversely, intentionally poor CCD can project misleading information about friendly operations. Successful tactical deception depends on stringent OPSEC.

1-4. Smoke and obscurants are effective CCD tools and greatly enhance the effectiveness of other traditionally passive CCD techniques. Smoke and obscurants can change battlefield dynamics by blocking or degrading the spectral bands used by an enemy's target-acquisition and weapons systems. More recently developed obscurants are now able to degrade nonvisual detection systems such as thermal infrared (IR) imaging systems, selected radar systems, and laser systems. (See FM 3-50 for more information on planning smoke operations.)


1-5. Each soldier is responsible for camouflaging and concealing himself and his equipment. Practicing good CCD techniques lessens a soldier's probability of becoming a target. Additionally, a thorough knowledge of CCD and its guiding principles allows a soldier to easily recognize CCD as employed by an enemy.

1-6. A commander is responsible for CCD of his unit, and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) supervise well-disciplined soldiers in executing CCD. They use established standing operating procedures (SOPs) and battle drills to guide their efforts. CCD is a combat multiplier that should be exploited to the fullest extent.

1-7. An engineer is a battlefield expert on CCD. He integrates CCD into higher unit operations and advises commanders on all aspects of CCD employment as it relates to a unit's current mission.


1-8. Every soldier and military unit has an inherent mission of self-protection, and they should use all CCD means available. However, CCD countermeasures have become more complicated due to advancing technology. Commanders must recognize that advanced technologies have—

  • Enhanced the performance of enemy recon and surveillance equipment.
  • Increased an enemy's ability to use electromagnetic (EM) signature analysis for detecting friendly units.
  • Reduced the time available to apply CCD because units must perform nearly all aspects of battlefield operations at an increased speed.

1-9. When time, camouflage materials, or other resources are insufficient to provide adequate support to units, commanders must prioritize CCD operations. Considerations for establishing these priorities involve analyzing the mission, enemy, terrain, weather, troops, time available, and civilian considerations (METT-TC). The following sets forth a METT-TC methodology to help determine CCD priorities:

  • Mission. The mission is always the first and most important consideration. CCD efforts must enhance the mission but not be so elaborate that they hinder a unit's ability to accomplish the mission.
  • Enemy. An enemy's RSTA capabilities often influence the camouflage materials and CCD techniques needed to support a unit's mission. Before beginning a mission, conduct an intelligence analysis to identify the enemy's RSTA capabilities.
  • Terrain and weather. The battlefield terrain generally dictates what CCD techniques and materials are necessary. Different terrain types or background environments (urban, mountain, forest, plains, desert, arctic) require specific CCD techniques. (See Chapter 7 for more information.)
  • Troops. Friendly troops must be well trained in CCD techniques that apply to their mission, unit, and equipment. A change in the environment or the mission often requires additional training on effective techniques. Leaders must also consider the alertness of troops. Careless CCD efforts are ineffective and may disclose a unit's location, degrade its survivability, and hamper its mission accomplishment. Intelligence analysis should address the relative detectability of friendly equipment and the target signatures that unit elements normally project.
  • Time. Time is often a critical consideration. Elaborate CCD may not be practical in all tactical situations. The type and amount of CCD needed are impacted by the time a unit occupies a given area, the time available to employ CCD countermeasures, and the time necessary to remove and reemploy camouflage during unit relocation. Units should continue to improve and perfect CCD measures as time allows.
  • Civilian considerations. From conflict to war and from tactical to strategic, civilians in the area of operation (AO) may be active or passive collectors of information. Commanders and their staffs should manage this collection capability to benefit the command and the mission.


1-10. CCD training must be included in every field exercise. Soldiers must be aware that an enemy can detect, identify, and acquire targets by using resources outside the visual portion of the EM spectrum.


1-11. Each member of the unit must acquire and maintain critical CCD skills. These include the ability to analyze and use terrain effectively; to select an individual site properly; and to hide, blend, disguise, disrupt, and decoy key signatures using natural and artificial materials.


Ensure that local environmental considerations are addressed before cutting live vegetation or foliage in training areas.


1-12. Unit CCD training refines individual and leader skills, introduces the element of team coordination, and contributes to tactical realism. If CCD is to conserve friendly strength, it must be practiced with the highest degree of discipline. The deployment and teardown of camouflage; light, noise, and communications discipline; and signal security must be practiced and evaluated in an integrated mission-training environment. CCD proficiency is developed through practicing and incorporating lessons learned from exercises and operations. A unit must incorporate CCD (who, what, where, when, and how) into its tactical standing operating procedure (TACSOP). (Appendix B provides additional guidance on integrating CCD into a unit's field TACSOP.) Generally, CCD is additive and synergistic with other defensive measures. CCD enhances unit survivability and increases the likelihood of mission success. A unit that is well trained in CCD operations more easily recognizes CCD as employed by an enemy, and this recognition enhances a unit's lethality.


1-13. CCD training should be realistic and integrated with a unit's training evaluations. Employ the following techniques to enhance training evaluations:

  • Have small-unit leaders evaluate their unit's CCD efforts from an enemy's viewpoint. How a position looks from a few meters away is probably of little importance. Evaluators should consider the following:
    • Could an approaching enemy detect and place aimed fire on the position?
    • From what distance can an enemy detect the position?
    • Which CCD principle was ignored that allowed detection?
    • Which CCD technique increased the possibility of detection?
  • Use binoculars or night-vision or thermal devices, when possible, to show a unit how it would appear to an enemy.
  • Use photographs and videotapes, if available, of a unit's deployments and positions as a method of self-evaluation.
  • Incorporate ground-surveillance-radar (GSR) teams in training when possible. Let the troops know how GSR works and have them try to defeat it.
  • Request aerial multispectral (visual, IR, radar) imagery of friendly unit positions. This imagery shows how positions appear to enemy aerial recon. Unit leaders should try to obtain copies of opposing forces (OPFOR) cockpit heads-up display (HUD) or videotapes, which are excellent assessment tools for determining a unit's detectability from an enemy's perspective. Another valuable assessment tool is the overhead imagery of a unit's actions and positions. Overhead imagery is often difficult to obtain; but if a unit is participating in a large-scale exercise or deployment, the imagery probably exists and can be accessed through the unit's intelligence channels.
  • Use OPFOR to make training more realistic. Supporting aviation in an OPFOR role also helps. When possible, allow the OPFOR to participate in the after-action review (AAR) following each mission. The unit should determine what factors enabled the OPFOR to locate, identify, and engage the unit and what the unit could have done to reduce its detectability.


1-14. Warfare often results in personnel losses from fratricide. Fratricide compels commanders to consider CCD's effect on unit recognition by friendly troops.

1-15. Army policy prescribes that camouflage aids be built into equipment and supplies as much as possible. Battle-dress uniforms (BDUs), paint, Lightweight Camouflage Screen systems (LCSSs), and decoys help achieve effective camouflage. These aids are effective only if properly integrated into an overall CCD plan that uses natural materials and terrain. During training exercises, ensure that cutting vegetation or foliage does not adversely effect the natural environment (coordinate with local authorities). CCD aids should not interfere with the battlefield performance of soldiers or equipment or the installations that they are designed to protect. (See Appendix C for more information on CSSs.)

1-16. When employed correctly, expedient CCD countermeasures are often the most effective means of confusing an enemy. Along with the standard items and materials listed above, soldiers can use battlefield by-products, construction materials, and indigenous or locally procurable items to enhance unit CCD posture. For example, a simple building decoy can be constructed with two-by-fours and plywood. With the addition of a heat source, such as a small charcoal pit, the decoy becomes an apparently functional building. However, as with all CCD countermeasures, ensure that expedient treatments project the desired signatures to the enemy and do not actually increase the unit's vulnerability to detection. Expedient CCD countermeasures are also beneficial because the enemy has less time to study and become familiar with the selected countermeasures.

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