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Chapter 2

Organizations and Force Structure

The GI&S assets are task-organized (based on METT-TC) to support Army, joint, and combined operations at all levels and throughout the spectrum of conflict. These assets remain flexible to meet mission requirements. Units may deploy in full to support the operation or they may employ split-based operations. The GI&S support for split-based operations requires a robust communications system for transmitting data and products between the deployed element and the split-based element. Split-based logistics include everything from one squad to a company minus the support platoon. In most situations, a squad of terrain analysts and surveyors will deploy into a theater of operations (TO) with the initial-entry force. Additional topographic elements will follow based on the size of force buildup. The entry force will provide rapid-response mapping and TDA support for the task force (TF), while GI&S support will continue from the split-based element using national and commercial sources not readily available to the forward-presence element.

Unified Commands

2-30. Unified and component commanders define military task requirements to support contingency plans (CONPLANs), operation plans (OPLANs), and operations orders (OPORDs) based on the commander's concept of the operation. The corresponding echelon for topographic support and the theater GI&S officer advise the Intelligence Directorate (J2) and other staff officers in preparing the global geospatial information and services (GGI&S) annex for each CONPLAN, OPLAN, or OPORD. The commander outlines the specific support requirements needed for the command.

Joint Task Force

2-31. Joint task force (JTF) topographic support assets identify GI&S requirements to support OPORDs and coordinate support within their TF. They also collect, review, and validate topographic requirements from component commands. These topographic assets can come from a division, corps, or theater unit, depending on the JTF's task organization.

Army Forces

2-32. Topographic units are task-organized to provide GI&S support for Army forces (ARFOR) in the JTF. This support includes directing, supervising, and coordinating all topographic issues having an impact on the command.

National Imagery and Mapping Agency

2-33. The National Imagery and Mapping Agency's (NIMA's) role is to support the war fighter through priorities established by the commanders in chief (CINCs). This support comes in the form of imagery, imagery intelligence, and GI (including standard maps and data sets) in support of national security objectives. The agency's vision is to guarantee ready access to the world's imagery, imagery intelligence, and GI.

2-34. NIMA has technical and liaison representatives at the CINC level who work with the staff and the GI&S officer to establish requirements and priorities and to identify the best products and services that NIMA can provide. These representatives prioritize, validate, and consolidate requirements identified by major subordinate commands (MSCs).

2-35. NIMA has a global mission, as established by the NIMA Act of 1996. It has the unique responsibilities of managing and providing imagery and GI to national policy makers and military forces. NIMA is also an established part of the US intelligence community in recognition of its unique responsibilities and global mission. The agency incorporates the now disestablished Defense Mapping Agency (DMA), the Central Imagery Office, and the Defense Dissemination Program Office in their entirety. It also incorporates the mission and functions of the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA's) National Photographic Interpretation Center. Also included in NIMA are the imagery exploitation, dissemination, and processing elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office.

2-36. NIMA brings together in a single organization the imagery tasking, production, exploitation, and dissemination (TPED) responsibilities and the mapping, charting, and geodetic functions of eight separate organizations of the defense and intelligence communities. NIMA continues to improve support to national and military customers through comprehensive management of US imaging and geospatial capabilities.

Defense Logistics Agency

2-37. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is a logistics combat-support agency whose primary role is to provide supplies and services to US military forces worldwide. The DLA's mission includes managing over four million consumable items and processing over 30 million annual distribution actions. The DLA manages the inventory of NIMA's hard-copy media (including paper maps, charts, compact disks—read-only memory [CD-ROMs], laser disks, publications, and pamphlets). The DLA processes customer requisitions and inquiries. It is responsible for receipt processing, storing, issuing, packing, shipping, filling subscriptions, and processing customer-unique requirements.

Corps of Engineers

2-38. The Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is the US Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE's) distributed research and development command. It consists of eight unique laboratories—five in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and one each in Hanover, New Hampshire; Champaign, Illinois; and Alexandria, Virginia. The ERDC's headquarters is located in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

2-39. The ERDC provides world-renowned scientists and engineers using the latest in specialized equipment to address problems facing the military and the nation. Research support includes—

  • Mapping and topographic analysis.
  • Infrastructure design, construction, operations, and maintenance.
  • Structural engineering.
  • Cold regions and ice engineering.
  • Coastal and hydraulic engineering.
  • Environmental quality.
  • Geotechnical engineering.
  • High-performance computing and information technology.
The following are laboratories within the ERDC:
  • The Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  • The Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, New Hampshire.
  • The Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois.
  • The Environmental Laboratory in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  • The Geotechnical Laboratory in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  • The Information Technology Laboratory in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  • The Structures Laboratory in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  • The Topographic-Engineering Center in Alexandria, Virginia.

Topographic-Engineering Center

2-40. The Topographic-Engineering Center (TEC) in Alexandria, Virginia, provides technical expertise and analytical products that support topographic engineering. The TEC is under the command of the ERDC's commander, who is subordinate to the Commanding General, USACE. The TEC serves as the Army's center of technical expertise on all digital topographic matters. Its mission is to provide the war fighter with a superior knowledge of the battle space and to support the nation's civil and environmental initiatives through research, development, and expertise in the topographic and related sciences. The TEC has 5 major divisions with 16 branches of support.

2-41. The TEC provides a variety of topographic services to the Army along with topographic research, development, testing, evaluation, M&S, and acquisition. The TEC supplies software to support GI&S. It also provides technical support for TEC-developed software, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)/nondevelopmental-item hardware, TDA software, survey and positioning systems, digital databases, and digital imagery.

TEC's Commercial Imagery Library

2-42. The TEC's Geospatial Information Division (GID) was designated by the Office of the Assistant Chief of Engineers in 1990 to monitor the Army's commercial/civil imagery (C 2 I) acquisition. This action was designed to prevent Army agencies or organizations from duplicating C 2 I data purchases.

Key capabilities

2-43. Efficient management of the research, acquisition, and distribution of imagery and products is increasingly important as Army units expand their use of this technology, especially with the fielding of the Digital Topographic Support System (DTSS). The GID serves several functions in its role as monitor (as defined in a memorandum of understanding [MOU] between the Army and the US Geological Survey [USGS], dated November 26, 1990). These functions include—

  • Acting as the Army's primary point of contact (POC) for C 2 I sources to support engineer- and terrain-analysis operations and applications.
  • Acting as the monitor for all Army purchases of C 2 I.
  • Serving as a repository of purchases and scenes available to the Department of Defense (DOD) that are crucial to Army missions.

US Army Space And MISSILE Command

2-44. The US Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) optimizes access to space-based information sources and communication means in support of Army operations. The SMDC uses commercial, foreign, and DOD satellite assets to augment standard topographic data sources and data distribution. Such satellite assets generate responsive data input to the Geographic Information Systems (GISs) operated by Army topographic units. The SMDC serves as the Army's leader for direct downlinking of topographic imagery data as well as the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) on the preprocessing and transfer of remote-sensing data. At the tasking of the DA Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (DCSOPS), the Army Space Command (ARSPACE) (located within the SMDC) provides rapid-response imagery. ARSPACE maintains the capability to deploy rapidly with emerging space-based spectral-imagery technology in support of topographic task organizations.

Army Service Level

2-45. The Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (DCSINT) at Headquarters, DA (HQDA) is responsible for developing (in coordination with the DCSOPS) topographic plans and programs, identifying and validating Army mapping requirements, and coordinating mapping issues with the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, NIMA, and other DOD organizations. The chief of engineers is responsible for executing the Army's topographic program and providing GI&S advice and technical support to the DA staff (refer to Army Regulation [AR] 115-11 for more information).

TRADOC Program Integration Office—Terrain Data

2-46. The TRADOC Program Integration Office (TPIO) acts as the Army's centralized manager for coordinating and synchronizing all Army digital terrain data requirements for digital force development and training, experimentation, combat developments, and M&S. This mission incorporates the integration, interoperability, and commonality aspects of terrain data and products for the necessary development, testing, production, and fielding of Army systems requiring digital terrain data. The TPIO reports to the Commander, TRADOC through the Commander, US Army Maneuver Support Center (MANSCEN) and the Deputy Commanding General, Combined Arms Center.

2-47. The TPIO will integrate terrain data requirements for live, virtual, and constructive M&S for the training, exercises, and military operations (TEMO); advanced concepts and requirements (ACR); and research, development, and acquisition (RDA) domains.

Maneuver-Support Battle Laboratory

2-48. The Maneuver-Support Battle Laboratory's (MSBL's) mission is to be the Army's primary maneuver-support war-fighting experimentation resource. The MSBL integrates experimentation actions across the DTLOMS spectrum and provides enhanced capabilities to soldiers through analyses, insights, and recommendations to the architects of the future army. The MSBL ensures that topography (as a part of maneuver support) is included in all future war-fighting concepts. The lab conducts analyses of experiments to provide input across the DTLOMS spectrum. The MSBL's enduring battlefield function is performing operations to protect the force from the effects of enemy action and providing the force with the freedom of movement during military operations. The enduring battlefield functions of maneuver, fires, battle command, and sustainment all require continuous support from maneuver-support forces that are composed primarily of military police (MP), chemical, and engineer soldiers.

Program Executive Office—Command, Control and Communications Systems

2-49. The Program Executive Office for Command, Control, and Communications Systems (PEOC 3 S) is the material-developer manager for Army Battlefield Command Systems (ABCSs). This office provides overall architecture-based engineering and integration management and oversight for developing command, control, and communications (C 3 ) systems throughout each ABCS's life cycle. The DTSS is included within the ABCS to provide geographic information and support services.

Project Director, Combat Terrain Information System

2-50. The Combat Terrain Information System (CTIS) is an Army program managed by the PEOC 3 S and colocated at the TEC. The CTIS project director is responsible for project management and the material development and acquisition program for a CTIS. He develops and acquires assigned tactical topographic-support systems that include the following:

  • The DTSS-Heavy (DTSS-H).
  • The DTSS-Light (DTSS-L).
  • The DTSS-Deployable (DTSS-D).
  • The DTSS-Base (DTSS-B).

2-51. These systems will enable topographic units to analyze and develop reports and to manage the geographic information database to provide terrain visualization to commanders. The DTSS will also facilitate dissemination of digital and hard-copy topographic products to all battlefield functional areas.

US Army Engineer School

2-52. The USAES located under the MANSCEN is the Army's school for all engineers and is the TRADOC proponent for topography. The engineer component of the MANSCEN is responsible for developing topographic concepts, materiel requirements, combat developments, training requirements, and doctrine for the design of the topographic force structure and all matters related to Army topographers and topographic units.

Defense Mapping School

2-53. The Defense Mapping School (DMS) conducts Army topographic institutional training at all levels with direction from the USAES. Entry-level training is focused on developing basic cartographic and terrain-analysis skills. Midlevel training is focused on managing GI&S data, developing advanced topographic-analysis skills, and generating products. The leadership training is focused on integrating GI&S throughout the military planning and decision-making process. The DMS also provides mobile training teams for sustainment training to the units. It is one of four schools in NIMA's training arm; it falls under the National Imagery and Mapping College (NIMC) located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.


2-54. Quartermaster Corps proponent units have the responsibility at all levels for distributing (storage, requisition, processing, and issuance) unclassified standard geospatial products to units that maintain a standard DOD activity address code (DODAAC). Classified products are distributed through logistics units; however, units must have a DODAAC capable of receiving classified documents.

Communications Systems

2-55. The signal community is responsible for providing state-of-the-art communication systems for rapidly moving data and products to the maneuver commander. These systems will ensure that the common topographic operating environment (CTOE) is available for every ABCS platform down to the lowest level. The C 2 systems relying on digital geospatial data must receive that data according to procedures established by signal elements.

Intelligence Units

2-56. Intelligence units at all levels are responsible for integrating topographic information into the IPB process and for assisting commanders in the decision-making process. The Assistant Chief of Staff, G2 (Intelligence) (G2) and Intelligence Officer (US Army) (S2) provide a conduit for topographic requirements and priorities for their commanders. The division and corps G2s and engineers consolidate and prioritize requirements for the division and corps terrain units. Intelligence units also assist in collecting imagery and information to augment the topographic database.


2-57. From the Office of Chief of Engineers at HQDA down through the division engineer, the engineer officer has special staff responsibility as the functional proponent for topography and for executing the topographic mission. The terrain-analysis technician (215D) at all echelons is the terrain-analysis and GI&S expert. All engineer officers have topographic expertise in terrain visualization and assist in collection requirements for terrain data to fill data voids in GI&S databases. Engineer officers are responsible for planning and estimating for mobility, countermobility, survivability, and general-engineering missions.

2-58. The echelons-above-corps (EAC) topographic-engineer battalion is the Army Service Component Command (ASCC) topographic asset. The battalion commander is the theater topographic engineer. The battalion has a headquarters and headquarters company (HHC), an EAC topographic-engineer company, and a separate numbered planning and control (P&C) detachment. The EAC company contains terrain-analysis, map- and data-reproduction, data-generation, survey, and database capabilities. The terrain platoon maintains a database for the theater area of operation (AO). The company develops, maintains, disseminates, and deploys the theater's topographic database. This database provides GI&S for EAC commanders. It supports corps-and-below topographic requirements. The P&C detachment locates with the theater headquarters to prioritize topographic requirements. These EAC assets can conduct topographic operations from home-station, split-based logistics, or deployed environments.

Topographic-Engineer Battalion

2-59. The commander of the topographic-engineer battalion at EAC has oversight of all topographic units in the theater. Figures 2-1 and 2-2 show active topographic companies at the EAC and corps levels. The topographic-engineer battalion commander is responsible for—

  • Providing the P&C element to the appropriate theater component staff.
  • Providing general support (GS) to unified and specified commands.
  • Providing GS to subordinate topographic units for requirements beyond their capability.
  • Furnishing topographic support to all Army units at EAC.
  • Managing the in-theater, topographic-production program (including topographic databases).
  • Generating data.
  • Collecting and managing data.
  • Providing supply-point storage and distribution of special topographic products at EAC and corps levels.
  • Assisting assigned units with topographic technical supplies.
  • Providing direct support (DS) and GS maintenance of topographic equipment located at all assigned units.

    Figure 2-2. EAC Topographic Company

    Figure 2-2. Corps Topographic Company

Topographic-Engineer Company

2-60. The corps topographic-engineer company is a DS asset that focuses on the corps's contingency areas. It is responsible for all terrain analysis and GI&S support to the corps. The terrain platoon maintains a database for the corps's area of interest (AOI). The corps company places emphasis on quick-response topographic decision aids and maintains collection and management of the corps database. It conducts topographic operations from a home base or while it is split based or fully deployed. The corps topographic-engineer company works for the corps engineer and provides terrain-analysis and GI&S support to the corps staff and all MSCs. The corps G2 and Assistant Chief of Staff, G3, (Operations and Plans) (G3) are consistently the critical supported staff elements.

Nondigital Division Topographic-Analysis Detachment

2-61. The division topographic-analysis detachment (see Figure 2-3) is responsible for all terrain-analysis and GI&S support to the division (collecting, analyzing, managing, integrating, and disseminating the division's geospatial database). The terrain-analysis detachment is attached to each division. It works with the division staff for planning operations and integrating terrain and GI&S products into the IPB process.


    Figure 2-3. Nondigital Division Terrain Detachment

Digital Division Terrain Detachment

2-62. The digital division terrain detachment is responsible for all terrain-analysis and GI&S support to the division. The terrain-analysis detachment is attached to each division. It works for the division engineer and colocates with the planning and operations staff. The terrain-analysis detachment works with the engineer mobility cell for planning operations and integrating the terrain analysis and GI&S into the IPB and EBA processes. The detachment is responsible for collecting, analyzing, managing, integrating, and disseminating the division's GI&S database. The detachment is task-organized into squads to support the division main (DMAIN), the tactical command post (TAC), and the maneuver brigade command posts (CPs) when the division is deployed (see Figure 2-4). These squads will colocate with the division headquarters in garrison to consolidate efforts to support the division's planning process. When deployed, the squads will provide terrain-analysis and GI&S support to the commander at their echelon through the organic engineer brigades or battalions. They will also maintain the secondary topographic-data storage device. Tailored terrain-analysis products and database management provide brigade and battalion commanders with the CTOE and the effects of terrain and weather on their soldiers, weapons, and tactics.


    Figure 2-4. Digital Division Terrain Detachment

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