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FM 34-1 Chptr 3 - Force Projection Operations



If I always appear prepared, it is because before entering on an undertaking, I have meditated for long and foreseen what may occur.

--Napoleon Bonaparte, 1769-1821

In the force projection era, the Army relies largely on a CONUS-based force with a relatively small forward presence that can rapidly project combat power anywhere in the world. IEW provides the commander with the intelligence he needs to successfully plan and execute force projection operations. As stated in Chapter 1, IEW support to force projection operations rests on the understanding of five principles: the commander drives intelligence, intelligence synchronization, split-based operations, tactical tailoring, and broadcast dissemination. These principles, executed in joint, combined, or interagency environments, are critical to successful force projection operations.


Successful IEW support during force projection operations relies on continuous peacetime information collection and intelligence production. Peacetime IEW operations support contingency planning and develop baseline knowledge of multiple potential threats and operational environments. They engage and challenge the Intelligence BOS to respond effectively to the commanders' contingency planning intelligence requirements. During peacetime, commanders conduct critical examinations of Ml force structures, operations, and training. These examinations ultimately lead to a mission-ready IEW force which supports the needs of the commander, and meets the key force projection imperatives of flexibility, scalability, and tailorability.

Peacetime IEW operations are particularly important to corps and division commanders. In force projection operations, the Army force (ARFOR) in the joint force will be drawn largely from CONUS-based corps and divisions. In addition, a corps or division commander could also be appointed the ARFOR or JTF commander. Corps and division commanders must, therefore, be prepared not only to provide the ARFOR to the JTF but also to assume the duties of the ARFOR or JTF commander. Both responsibilities require the commander to place additional emphasis on intelligence readiness. The corps and division commanders need intelligence to support contingency-based training and planning. They need the broad understanding of the operational environment of the contingency area that comes from continuous interaction with higher echelon and joint intelligence organizations. Commanders must focus and drive the intelligence system daily to ensure this support is available and that their forces and staffs are ready to conduct force projection operations.


IEW supports the eight stages of force projection operations.

These stages are not necessarily distinct or sequential and therefore present the commander with planning and execution challenges. Intelligence personnel and organizations must be prepared to assist the commander in overcoming these challenges.

IEW operations must anticipate, identify, consider, and evaluate all potential threats to the force as a whole throughout force projection operations. This is especially critical during the deployment and entry operations stages of force projection. During these stages, US Forces are particularly vulnerable to threat actions. Intelligence personnel must, therefore, emphasize the delivery of I&W products that indicate a basic change to the nature of US operations in theater.


Mobilization is the process by which the Armed Forces or part of them are brought to a state of readiness for war or other national emergency. The Army Mobilization and Operations Planning and Execution System (AMOPES) and FM 100-17 provide guidance for mobilization of assets for contingencies and large protracted conflicts or wars. To prepare for and execute mobilization, commanders and G2s (S2s) should consider the following:

Predeployment Activity:

Predeployment activity provides the foundation for subsequent force projection operations. During this stage, commanders ensure AC and RC MI organizations are trained and equipped to conduct IEW operations. Commanders integrate mobilization and deployment tasks into unit METL and training. Commanders also emphasize and integrate critical aspects of force projection into battle tasks and planning.

In planning force projection operations, the commander establishes intelligence requirements which direct peacetime intelligence operations supporting contingency planning. Key contingency planning ingredients are to stay out front in intelligence planning by developing broad baseline knowledge on contingency areas, and to understand how to get intelligence support. As OPLANs are activated, the commander focuses on intelligence to support specific mission decisions and planning requirements. In addition, the commander begins planning for the crossover point in intelligence when initial reliance on higher echelon intelligence is replaced by tactical IEW assets within the AO. See Figure 3-1.

The G2 (S2) supports peacetime contingency planning with IPB products and data bases on likely contingency areas. The OPLAN identifies the IEW requirements supporting that plan, to include --

The OPLAN also establishes collection strategies and plans that will activate upon alert notification. For smooth transition from predeployment to entry, intelligence staffs must coordinate collection and communications plans before the crisis occurs.

The G2 (S2) and MI units must continually monitor and update their OPLANs to reflect the evolving situation, especially during crisis situations. National intelligence activities monitor regional threats throughout the world and can answer some intelligence requirements supporting the development of OPLANs. The commander and G2 (S2) must be proactive in focusing national and theater intelligence on emerging requirements.

Upon alert notification, intelligence staffs update estimates and IPB products needed to support command decisions on force composition, deployment priorities and sequence, and the AO. At the strategic level, planners use the updated IPB products to assist in developing the logistics preparation of the theater plan which attempts to minimize requirements for strategic lift and maximize the in-theater support capabilities. MI organizations at all echelons reassess their collection requirements immediately after alert notification. Collection managers begin verifying planning assumptions within the OPLANs. MDCI and other IEW personnel provide force protection support to optimize OPSEC and antiterrorism measures.

Throughout the predeployment and deployment stages, intelligence activities provide deploying forces with the most recent intelligence on the AO. G2 (S2) and MI units also update technical data bases and situation graphics.


Success in force projection operations hinges on the capability of airlift and sealift assets to move forces to the AO, as well as the timely deployment of air and seaport transportation, terminal, and deployment control units. The size and composition of forces requiring lift are based on METT-T, the availability of pre-positioned assets, the capabilities of host nation support, and the forward-presence of US Forces. Force or tactical tailoring is the process used to determine what is the correct mix and sequence of deploying units.

One of the first tailored IEW assets to deploy with the force G2 (S2) is the DISE. The DISE is the initial forward intelligence support team of split-based operations. The mission of the DISE is to provide the deployed commander accurate, detailed, continuous, and timely intelligence in support of the rapid introduction of US Forces. Depending on the size and mission of the deployed force, the DISE may be the only MI asset actually deployed in-country to support the G2 (S2). In large operations, the DISE may deploy with and support the early entry force G2 (S2) until the complete processing capability of the unit's ACE arrives. Once the ACE is in place, the DISE rejoins the ACE, moves forward to support the tactical command post, or moves to wherever its capabilities may be required. The two types of tailorable DISE configurations are the Mini-DISE (manportable packages), and DISE (vehicular). Together, these DISE configurations provide the commander with a robust intelligence capability in support of a deploying force. Figure 3-2 provides an example of two possible initial entry packages.

During deployment, intelligence organizations in the rear such as the CMISE and the ACE of the theater MI brigade take advantage of modern satellite communications (SATCOM), broadcast technology, and automatic data processing (ADP) systems to provide graphic and textual intelligence updates to the forces enroute. Enroute updates help eliminate information voids and allow the commander to adjust OPORDS prior to arrival in theater.

Intelligence units extend established networks to connect intelligence staffs and collection assets at various stages of the deployment flow. Where necessary, new communications paths are established to meet unique demands of the mission. The theater ACE and the CMISE play a critical role in making communications paths, networks, and intelligence data bases available to deploying forces.

Space-based systems play an important part in supporting IEW during the deployment and the subsequent stages of force projection operations by --

Entry Operations:

Force protection and situation development dominate IEW activities in this stage. Intelligence staffs attempt to identify all threats to arriving forces and assist the commander in developing force protection measures.

During initial entry operations, echelons above corps (EAC) organizations provide major intelligence support. This support includes providing access to departmental and joint intelligence, and deploying scalable EAC intelligence assets. The entire effort focuses downwardly to provide tailored support to deploying and deployed echelons in response to their commanders' PIR and IR.

Collection and processing capabilities are enhanced as IEW assets build up in the deployment area. Particular attention is given to the buildup of the in-theater capability required to conduct sustained IEW operations. As the buildup continues, intelligence staffs strive to reduce total dependence on extended split-based "top-driven" intelligence from outside the AO. As organic IEW assets flow into the theater, intelligence staffs begin to rely on them for tactical intelligence although national and theater organization remain a source of tactical and operational intelligence. Figure 3-3 illustrates IEW tactical tailoring and imperatives.

Intelligence staffs provide the commander support in planning the composition and deployment of follow-on combat, CS, and CSS units. As AR FOR enter the theater of operations, the JTF J2 implements, and where necessary, modifies the theater intelligence architecture planned during predeployment.

Deploying intelligence assets establish liaison with staffs and units already present in the AO. Liaison personnel and basic communications should be in place prior to the scheduled arrival of parent commands. MI units establish intelligence communications networks to support combat commanders.

Coordinating staffs at all levels establish reporting and request procedures to ensure the timely receipt of intelligence.

CONUS and other secure intelligence support bases outside the AO continue to support deployed units. In a mature theater, as systems such as Joint STARS begin operating, units equipped with the Joint STARS ground station module (GSM) or the common ground station (CGS) will be able to receive downlink data in NRT tailored to each unit's area of operation.

Systems capable of rapid receipt and processing of intelligence from national systems and high capacity, long-haul communications systems are critical to the success of split-based support of a force projection operation. These systems can provide a continuous flow of intelligence, including annotated imagery products, to satisfy many operational needs. Examples of these type systems are the Imagery Processing and Dissemination System (IPDS), the Electronic Processing and Dissemination System (EPDS), TROJAN SPIRIT, and SUCCESS radio.

Intelligence staffs help plan friendly deception, deep attack, and other operations that create conditions for decisive operations. They also adjust collection activities to look deeper into the battle space as combat strength builds and begin to concentrate on situation and target development.


With sufficient combat power and resources in place, the commander shifts his focus from IEW support for deployment to support required for sustained operations. At the beginning of the operations stage, intelligence reaches the crossover point where tactical intelligence becomes the commander's primary source of support, replacing top-driven national and theater intelligence. The commander uses both tactical and operational intelligence to decisively engage and defeat the enemy in combat operations. In OOTW, the commander may use all levels of intelligence to accomplish his mission.

During operations, intelligence staffs and units support the development and execution of plans by identifying threat centers of gravity and decisive points on the battlefield. The G2 (S2) ensures the collection management and synchronization processes focus on the commander's PIR. MI units continually evolve their concepts of employment to reflect changes in the operation.

Figure 3-4 provides an example of IEW support during this stage of force projection operations.

War Termination and Postconflict Operations:

Upon cessation of hostilities or truce, deployed forces enter a new stage of force projection operations. Postconflict operations focus on restoring order, reestablishing host nation infrastructure, preparing for redeployment of forces, and planning residual presence of US Forces. While postconflict operations strive to transition from war to peace, there remains a possibility of resurgent hostilities by individuals and forces. As during deployment, this stage and the next will place renewed emphasis on force protection.

During this stage, commanders redirect their PIR and IR to support units conducting restoration operations. These might include --

Collection management continues to support the commander's PIR. The nature of the PIR shifts from assessing threat forces to assessing political, economic, and other conditions that affect force protection and the desired end state.

Redeployment and Reconstitution:

As combat power and resources decrease in the AO, force protection and I&W become the focus of the commander's intelligence requirements. This in turn drives the selection of those MI units that must remain deployed and those which may redeploy.


Demobilization is the stage where MI individuals and units return to premobilization posture or predeployment activities. MI units resume contingency-oriented peacetime IEW operations. RC MI units deactivate and return to peacetime activities.