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Chapter 6

Stability Operations and Support Operations

Target acquisition radars are well suited to support stability operations and support operations across the entire spectrum of conflict from peacetime military engagement (PME) to major theater war (MTW). Target acquisition radars can support these operations as a single radar section or as part of a TA organization. Early entry forces are deployed to support the Commander in Chief's (CINC) or other Joint Force Commander's (JFC) concept of operations in a pre-crisis or crisis situation. They must deploy rapidly, enter the operational area, secure the lodgment, and immediately present a credible deterrent force. To do this, they must have lethal and survivable units. Target acquisition radars support these early entry requirements by providing counterfire coverage, verification of hostile and friendly fires and enhancing the accuracy of friendly fires.


Force projection operations usually begin as a response to a crisis somewhere in the world. Target acquisition radars, TA platoons, or TABs will usually deploy in the initial stages of a force projection operation to provide counterfire coverage for critical assets. Many Army contingency plans call for establishing an intermediate staging base (ISB) to introduce contingency forces into a theater to demonstrate national resolve against a potential adversary. On these occasions, the Air Force will use strategic airlift (C-141s, C-17s and C-5s) to establish the ISB. If this show of force fails and U.S. forces are committed, C-130s, CH-47s and UH-60s will be likely choices to move these forces from the ISB to the area of operations. Larger equipment may be transported by rail or ship when necessary. TA radars are deployable on all Air Force standard transport aircraft. However, some radars require significant preparation and disassembly for aircraft movement.


The TA radars may participate in a number of stability operations. Stability operations include:

  • Noncombatant evacuation operations (NEO).

  • Arms control.

  • Humanitarian and civic assistance.

  • Security assistance.

  • Support to counter drug operations.

  • Combating terrorism.

  • Peace operations.

  • Show of force.

  • Support for insurgencies.

  • Foreign Internal Defense (FID).

The types of stability operations and extent of participation may vary. However, TA radars are best suited to support peace operations, shows of force, FID and NEO. TA radars might, in rare circumstance, be required to provide support for insurgencies or counterinsurgencies.


Peace operations (PO) encompass three types of activities: support to diplomacy, peacekeeping operations, and peace enforcement. The environment of peace operations and related concepts, principles, and fundamentals are described in FM 3-07.3, Peace Operations. TA radars are ideally suited for participating in peace keeping and peace enforcement operations.

Peace Keeping

Peace keeping operations (PKO) support diplomatic efforts to maintain peace in areas of potential conflict. They stabilize conflict between two or more belligerent nations, and as such, require the consent of all parties involved in the dispute. The US may participate in peacekeeping operations when requested by the United Nations, with a regional affiliation of nations, with other unaffiliated countries, or unilaterally. US personnel may function as impartial observers, as part of an internal peacekeeping force, or in a supervisory and assistance role. Peacekeeping often involves ambiguous situations requiring the peacekeeping force to deal with extreme tension and violence without becoming a participant. These operations follow diplomatic negotiations that establish a mandate for the peacekeeping force. The mandate describes the scope of the PKO in detail. It typically determines the size and type of force each participating nation will contribute. It also specifies the terms or conditions the host nation intends to impose on the presence of the force or mission and a clear statement of the functions the peacekeeping force is to perform.

A peacekeeping force deters violent acts by its physical presence at violence-prone locations. It collects information through means such as observation posts, patrols, convoys and aerial reconnaissance. TA radars are ideally suited to this task. Their ability to acquire and classify targets provides a means for holding belligerents accountable for their use of indirect fire systems. These acquisitions can be used to direct peacekeeping forces to a hostile firing location or vector other intelligence gathering systems, such as the UAV, to validate the incident. This information can be used during negotiations between belligerents. Further, the possibility of using the acquisitions for attack operations also acts as a deterrent.

Peace Enforcement

Peace enforcement operations (PEO) are the application of military force, or the threat of its use, normally pursuant to international authorization, to compel compliance with resolutions or sanctions designed to maintain or restore peace and order. Unlike PKO, PEO do not require the consent of all parties. PEO maintain or restore peace and support diplomatic efforts to reach a long-term political settlement. Army forces assigned a PEO mission must be able to conduct combat operations. PEO normally includes one or more of six subordinate operations:

  • Forcible separation of belligerents.

  • Establishment and supervision of protected areas.

  • Sanction and exclusion zone enforcement.

  • Movement denial and guarantee.

  • Restoration and maintenance of order.

  • Protection of humanitarian assistance.

TA radars may support PEO in a traditional counterfire role, and/or by providing accountability for fires. TA radars are particularly suited for accountability operations. They can track hostile and friendly fires and assist with developing historical records to document fires by all parties. This information can be used to support diplomatic actions. Further, the friendly fire functions of the radar may play a significant role in situations where the precision of friendly direct fires must be validated. The information generated by radars can play a key role in denying belligerents the opportunity to exploit the propaganda value resulting from collateral damage caused by intentional or errant indirect friendly or hostile fires.


A show of force is a mission carried out to demonstrate US resolve in which US forces deploy to defuse a situation that may be detrimental to US interests or national objectives. Shows of force lend credibility to the nation's commitments, increase regional influence, and demonstrate resolve. These operations can influence other governments or politico-military organizations to respect US interests and international law. They can take the form of combined training exercises, rehearsals, forward deployment of military forces, or introduction and buildup of military forces in a region. The appearance of a credible military force can underscore national policy interests and commitment, improve host-nation military readiness and morale, and provide an insight into US values.

TA radars are well suited for this role. They can support shows of force by providing coverage for critical assets and, should the situation escalate, support the employed force with targeting data. Furthermore, participation in shows of force positions radars in country to support follow-on force-projection operations. TA radars can then be used to provide coverage for aerial ports of debarkation (APOD) and sea ports of debarkation (SPOD) in the deployment phase of a contingency operation.


Foreign internal defense (FID) is participation by civilian and military agencies of a government in any action programs taken by another government to free or protect its society from subversion, lawlessness and insurgency. FID consists of indirect support, direct support not involving combat operations, and combat operations. Combat operations include offensive and defensive operations conducted by U.S. forces to support a host nation's fight against insurgents or terrorists. TA radars might support combat operations where the insurgent force possesses a creditable indirect fire threat.


Noncombatant evacuation operations (NEO) relocate threatened civilian noncombatants from locations in a foreign nation to secure areas. Normally, these operations involve US citizens whose lives are in danger either from the threat of hostilities or from a natural disaster. They may also include host nation citizens and third country nationals. Army forces, normally as part of a JTF, conduct NEO to assist and support the Department of State. NEO remove noncombatant Americans and others from the threat of being killed or taken hostage. Relocating these potential targets expands options available to diplomatic and military authorities.

NEO can be conducted as a prelude to combat actions, as part of deterrent actions, or as part of a PO. Most often, evacuation force commanders have little influence over the local situation. They may not have the authority to use military measures to preempt hostile actions, yet must be prepared to protect the evacuees and defend the force. The imminent threat may come from hostile forces, general lawlessness, dangerous environmental conditions, or a combination of all three. Correctly appraising the threat and the political-military environment in which forces operate is key to NEO planning.

TA radars may support NEO in cases where there is an indirect fire threat to evacuees. Radars would establish radar coverage and zones for evacuation routes, control points, evacuation centers, APOE, and SPOE.


In support operations, Army forces provide essential support, services, assets, or specialized resources to help civil authorities deal with situations beyond their capabilities. Army forces conduct support operations to assist foreign and domestic civil authorities to prepare for or respond to crises and relieve suffering. The overarching purpose of support operations is to meet the immediate needs of designated groups for a limited time until civil authorities can accomplish these tasks without Army assistance. TA organizations and soldiers may participate in support operations as part of a larger Army force. Radars will seldom be used. However, in certain instances, radars may be required to provide coverage for critical assets or support counterterrorism activities during foreign humanitarian assistance operations when a credible indirect fire threat exists. The following paragraphs identify the types and forms of support operations.


The two types of support operations are domestic support operations (DSO), and foreign humanitarian assistance (FHA). Army forces conduct DSO in the US and its territories and FHA outside the US and its territories. Army forces have broader requirements and more significant and extensive obligations in DSO than FHA. Army forces normally conduct FHA operations only in a permissive environment. In uncertain and hostile environments, Army forces conduct FHA operations as part of larger stability or offensive and defensive operations. It is in these situations that radars may be used.


During DSO Army forces perform relief operations, support to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD), support to civil law enforcement, and community assistance. In FHA Army forces most often conduct relief operations; however, FHA may also involve support to incidents involving WMD and community assistance. Army forces involved in support operations execute overlapping activities. The forms of support operations are:

  • Relief operations.

    – Disaster relief.

    – Humanitarian relief

  • Support to incidences involving WMD.

    – Domestic preparedness.

    – Protection of critical assets.

    – Response to WMD incidents.

  • Support to civil law enforcement.

    – Support to antiterrorism/force protection.

    – Support to counterdrug operations.

    – Civil disturbance operations.

    – General support.

  • Community Assistance.


Stability operations often involve an operational area that is non-linear. This environment requires consideration of employing radars in an area that extends 6400mils around the radar. In these situations, IPB, positioning, masking and aspect angle require additional attention.


The S3/S2 and the targeting officer determine position areas for radars and the radar section leader selects the final radar site based on FFPAS and visual sighting. At the division level, the S3/G3 and CFO determine position areas. Often, radars will require a position that permits 6400mil coverage. Further, the tactical situation may require positioning of the radar within the lodgment area. Positioning inside a lodgment area requires careful consideration of site improvement. The radar section leader coordinates site improvement or "hardening" directly with supporting engineers or designated host nation agencies. Site improvement normally includes survivability of the radar, safety, and line of site. Engineers can dig positions or build berms to protect radar components. Berms should be constructed to the height of shelter and vehicles. The antenna should be bermed to the height of the antenna trailer. This provides protection for ATG electronics while providing a clear line of sight for the antenna. Engineers may also clear obstacles to provide a clear line of site. Safety for units in the vicinity of the radar is also a consideration. The heat and radiation generated by the radar poses a personnel hazard. These hazards are minimized by positioning the radar a safe distance from troops (see Chapter 4 for MSDs). Elevating the antenna above the level of personnel and vehicles can mitigate the radiation hazard. This is accomplished by sighting the radar on elevated terrain or building a berm to elevate the ATG above friendly troops and vehicles. Figures 6-1 and 6-2 depict improved radar positions.

Figure 6-1. Improved Radar Position (Top View)

Figure 6-1. Improved Radar Position (Top View)


Figure 6-2. Improved Radar Position (Side View)

Figure 6-2. Improved Radar Position (Side View)

Other positioning considerations include providing security and eliminating interference, or jamming, between radar systems. Jamming should be considered when selecting positions and search sectors. Radars in close proximity or sectors of search that cause radars to point their antennas at one another may cause jamming. Search sectors should be planned to avoid this problem. Techniques such as frequency splitting may also be used to eliminate jamming. Care should be taken to maintain the correct vertical angle when splitting frequencies with the Q-36. Finally, security should be considered. Radar sections are not manned adequately to conduct 24-hour operations and provide their own security. Security can be provided by a dedicated security force or by collocating the radar with other friendly elements. Dedicated security should be allocated to protect the radar when it is positioned away from other friendly units and there is a plausible threat. Operations from within a lodgment may reduce or eliminate the need for dedicated security.


The radar section leader must consider visibility (masking) when operating in an area of varied elevations, dense trees or foliage, or high buildings. This assumes a greater importance when the radar must cover a 6400mil sector. The FireFinder Position Analysis System (FFPAS) may be used to conduct site analysis and determine the optimum initialization data. Further, blind spots in the radar's coverage can be determined and reported to the S3/G3 for appropriate action. A detailed discussion of FFPAS is contained in Chapter 4.


In non-linear situations, aspect angle is an important consideration. Aspect angle is the angle between the radar beam and the target path. The aspect angle must be greater than 1600mils for the radar to acquire hostile targets.

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