PSYOP are defined as operations planned and executed to convey selected information and indicator to foreign audiences to influence their ambitions, motives, objectives, and reasoning. They ultimately influence the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of PSYOP is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the unit's objectives. Special operations forces (SOF) are regionally oriented with experience and expertise in every country in which a IWO could be conducted.
PSYOP units support NEOs by assessing the psychological climate in the area of operations and determining the most effective application of PSYOP to influence the indigenous population. Information programs may be directed at US evacuees and may involve radio, loudspeaker, and leaflet operations.
Indigenous target audiences, on the other hand, may be targeted for PSYOP programs that channel their behavior toward noninterference. PSYOP efforts in support of NEOs include--
- Explain the purpose of the US or multinational force actions to counter disinformation confusion, and misinformation.
- Assist the commander and CA officer in establishing control of noncombatant evacuees, the neutral local populace, and other groups in the area of operations to help minimize casualties and prevent interference with friendly military operations.
- Assist the commander and CA officer in providing an analysis of political and cultural factors to help maximize political and psychological factors of the operation.
- Assist the commander and CA officer by creating positive perceptions of US intent and goodwill.
- Planned audiences for PSYOP during a NEO include nonbelligerents (local neutral populace) and friendly civilian (noncombatant evacuees). While PSYOP cannot be directed against a US audience, it can provide resources and assets for providing information to such an audience.
- Analyze potential targeted audiences to identify critical communicators and media, cultural and language nuances, and applicable themes and symbols.
- Develop programs and products which support supported CINC's mission and objectives, based on the above analysis.
- Employ organic and nonorganic assets to develop print photographic, audio, visual, and audiovisual products which support these programs.
The 4th POG (A) is capable of providing PSYOP support ranging from propaganda and product development, to media production, to strategic, operations, and tactical information dissemination. The 4th POG's organic media assets include light-to-heavy print production; audio production; amplitude modulated (AM), FM, and shortwave radio broadcasting stations; audiovisual production and dissemination; and tactical loudspeaker dissemination.
During contingency operations, PSYOP battalions or their subordinate elements are task-organized to provide the full range of PSYOP support required. The following paragraphs describe major task organizations.
The PSYOP task group (POTG) is employed on large-scale sustained operations and commanded by 4th POG (A) commander. It consists of group headquarter, appropriate regional PSYOP battalions, a dissemination battalion one or more tactical PSYOP battalions (potentially including RC units), and, if required, an enemy prisoner of war (EPW) PSYOP unit. Commander, 2d POG (an RC group) could also command a second POG in case of two large-scale contingencies. When augmented with assets from other services, the force becomes a joint POTG (JPOTG).
The PSYOP task force (POTF) is employed on a wide range of small-scale operations (for example, Hurricane Andrew relief, Operation Restore Hope), and commanded by a regional PSYOP battalion commander. It consists of a task force headquarter, appropriate regional PSYOP battalion assets, elements of a PSYOP dissemination battalion, and elements of a tactical PSYOP battalion. The POTF can range in size from 20 to almost 300 personnel, depending on the mission.
The PSYOP planning cell is employed as a temporary staff augmentation to a joint headquarter or for assessment and planning of a contingency where no previous OPLAN or CONPLAN exists. It is usually led by a major with appropriate functional area experts attaché usually less than 12 personnel. It is the most likely PSYOP element to augment the staff of a JTF or CTF formed to conduct a NEO.
The military information support team (MIST) is a rapidly deployable, mission-tailored team. It has the media capability of a small town (mini- AM/FM radio station, 1-kilowatt television station, modest newspaper or leaflet production capability, and three to six tactical loudspeaker teams) which can deploy on little more than one C-141 aircraft. Large-scale sustained operations require a larger deployment package.
The corps PSYOP support element (CPSE) is employed to provide PSYOP support to a corps. The CPSE conducts PSYOP staff planning for the corps staff based on the corps commander's guidance and the PSYOP campaign plan. It provides staff supervision of the DPSEs (see below).
The division PSYOP support element (DPSE) is a seven- to nine-man staff-planning section with selected equipment from a tactical PSYOP company. The DPSE conducts PSYOP staff planning based on the supported commander's guidance and the PSYOP campaign plan. It provides staff supervision for BPSEs attached to maneuver brigades. The brigade PSYOP support element (BPSE) consists of a three- to four-man headquarter and three to five loudspeaker teams of three personnel each.The BPSE conducts PSYOP staff planning based on the supported commander's guidance and the PSYOP campaign plan. The BPSE provides either staff supervision for tactical PSYOP teams (see below) which have been attached to subordinate maneuver battalions, or provides C² for tactical PSYOP teams retained under brigade control. A BPSE, along with TPTs, could be a PSYOP package attached to NEO marshaling force and or security force.
The tactical PSYOP team (TPT) can work under the C² of the BPSE, DPSE, or directly for a maneuver battalion commander. When attached to a maneuver battalion, the TPT chief acts as the PSYOP staff advisor to the battalion S3. Each TPT is equipped with tactical loudspeaker systems which may be manpacked or mounted on unit's organic high-mobility, multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV). In addition to loudspeaker broadcasts, TPTs can disseminate printed materials, conduct face-to-face PSYOP, gather and access the effectiveness of friendly and hostile PSYOP, or acquire PSYOP-relevant information from and on the local populace. TPTs are force multipliers for NEO marshaling teams and security elements.
The 4th POG (A) personnel (soldiers and civilian) include regional experts and linguists who understand the political, cultural ethnic, and religious subtleties of the target audience. They also include functional experts in technical fields such as broadcast journalism radio operations, print, illustration, interrogation layout operations, and long-range tactical communications.
The unified command's PSYOP officer is responsible for preparing the PSYOP portion of the Operations Annex to the CINC's NEO OPLAN or CONPLAN. Authority for approval for PSYOP programs and products should be delegated to the JTF commander in the PSYOP appendix. On approval of the PSYOP portion to the OPLAN by the Joint Staff and OSD, the unified command PSYOP officer requests a PSYOP supporting plan from USSOCOM (SOJ9). This request is forwarded through operations channels to the 4th POG (A) and appropriate regional PSYOP battalion. In coordination with interagency policy makers, the Joint Staff has developed and provided to the unified commands a generic PSYOP support plan for NEOs.
The PSYOP supporting plan includes identification and development of a generic PSYOP campaign and products to support potential NEOs based on guidance from the unified command's PSYOP appendix. Many generic PSYOP products have been developed to support crisis-situation (limited nature) NEOs.
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