Ready-for-Sea Handbook
United States Naval Reserve Intelligence Program


1. Mission Planning (MP) 6-
2. Multi-Sensor Interpretation (MSI) 6-
3. Strike Mission Planning (STRIKE PLOT) 6-
4. CVIC Photo Lab 6-
5. Library 6-
6. Debriefing Area 6-
7. Sensitive Compartmented Intelligence Facility (SCIF) 6-
B. Supplementary Plot (SUPPLOT) 6-
C. Chart Vault 6-
D. Main Photography Lab 6-
E. Ship’s Signals Exploitation Space (SSES) 6-


The ship’s intelligence work centers coordinate to provide the commanding officer or higher embarked authority with the most up-to-date tactical picture. Most ships will have some kind of intelligence coordination center and personnel assigned to it in either a primary or collateral duty. Of course, the ultimate intelligence fusion center is found on the carrier itself. Smaller ships in the battlegroup act as information gatherers, reporting sensor and positional data in real time to the carrier. The total intelligence fusion effort then takes place across many different platforms and work centers. Learning where you fit in is crucial to maximizing your effectiveness as a reservist.

The carrier CVIC is the largest single intelligence work center in the battlegroup. We will start there and examine how the intelligence effort is divided into not one but several areas on and off the carrier itself.


CVIC is only one part of the total intelligence effort on board the carrier. It is considered to have two major functional groups; Mission Planning (MP) and Multi-Sensor Interpretation (MSI). Overall, the CVIC must be responsive to the air wing, ship, and embarked staff(s). This involves a great deal of coordination with other functional areas including Operations, Weapons, Strike Operations, EW, SSES, and many other non-organic sources to be effective. The flow of information between CVIC and other intelligence work centers on the carrier is the key to success. CVIC continually strives to maintain a comprehensive, current and accurate operational intelligence picture.

CVIC provides the embarked air wing with the capability to process and analyze collected information rapidly, combine it with other tactical intelligence, and correlate this data with other information in the database. The CVIC can generate mission planning material for the embarked commander and air intelligence briefing and planning materials.

The major physical sections of CVIC include:

Mission Planning (MP)

Debriefing Area

Multi-Sensor Interpretation (MSI)

Chart Vault

Photo Lab

Strike Plot


Sensitive Compartmented Intelligence Facility (SCIF)



Note that MSI, MP, Strike Plot, Administration Spaces, Library, SCIF, and Photo Lab are what physically constitute a CVIC. The SSES, SUPPLOT, Main Photo Lab, and Chart Vault, although closely associated with CVIC, are normally located in different areas of the carrier.

1. Mission Planning (MP)

The main mission planning areas of support are flight operations and strike support. Individual functions within mission planning generally fall into two categories: photographic reconnaissance and strike mission planning.

2. Multi-Sensor Interpretation (MSI)

The second major group within CVIC is multi-sensor interpretation (MSI) which focuses on collection, reporting and reconnaissance. It is defined as the employment of two or more sensors simultaneously or covering of the same target with two or more sensors on the same mission. The "products" of MSI are reports generated from multi-sensor analyses such as TARPS photography from F-14s and ISAR imagery from ES-3Bs). MSI contributes to the overall strike support readiness effort. When considering MSI systems there are two areas of concern: reconnaissance and interpretation.

MSI Reconnaissance is concerned with collecting intelligence. Ideal reconnaissance systems should have all of the following basic capabilities; all weather performance, day and night performance, provide location of target data, identification and status of target(s), and good resolution. Multi-sensor systems currently include; optical photography, side looking airborne radar (SLAR), synthetic aperture radar (SAR), inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR), infrared systems (IR), LASER systems, and passive electronic countermeasures (PECM). Combining sensors usually results in producing the greatest amount of intelligence data about a potential target.

There are several MSI systems in this area: NIPS A/B, PC-NIPS , GCCS-M, JDDS, STRED, and GALE LITE. The CVIC may also have access to tactical circuits such as TACINTEL, TADIXS-A, OTCIXS, TDDS, TADIXS-B, and TIBS. Later modules will cover these systems in depth.

3. Strike Mission Planning (STRIKE PLOT)

The CVIC mission planning area provides pilots with an area to prepare for upcoming missions. Here the pilot and intelligence officer will find all the tools and intelligence data required for planning the mission. All pre-mission intelligence briefings are given from CVIC and disseminate out to the individual squadron ready rooms over the Secure Closed Circuit Television System (SCCTV) which is described in Module 10. Post-flight debriefings are also conducted either in this area or some other specially designated area. Mission Planning utilizes a host of specialized electronic systems. These systems also will be discussed in detail later in Module 9.

4. CVIC Photo Lab

All incoming film collected by airborne platforms (e.g., helicopters and TARPS missions) and the ship’s onboard sighting team is developed and processed in the photo lab. It is then taken to the multi-sensor interpretation (MSI) area located in CVIC for analysis, evaluation and dissemination to operators.

5. Library

This area is a collection of various publications frequently used by intelligence personnel in CVIC. It can include both classified and unclassified data. There are various commercially available as well as classified GENSER publications found here dealing with worldwide combat fleets, weapons systems and aircraft. Also found in CVIC libraries are hard copies of some electronic displays, microfiche collections, and CD-ROMs.

6. Debriefing Area

Aircrew are debriefed in this are following mission completion to assess the overall success or possible shortcomings of the mission. Debriefing is discussed in the next module.

7. Sensitive Compartmented Intelligence Facility (SCIF)

The SCIF is a special restricted area where Top Secret/SCI material is stored. The SCIF is managed by the Special Security Officer (SSO) and reports directly to the ship’s Intelligence Officer. Special access is required to utilize information stored in this area.

B. Supplementary Plot (SUPPLOT)

The function of SUPPLOT is to gather indications and warning (I&W) information and pass it quickly to the pertinent warfare commander(s). It is not physically located within CVIC. SUPPLOT can be thought of as an afloat information correlation center. SUPPLOT provides tactical indications and warning, intelligence support to the ship, air wing, embarked CARGRU/CRUDESGRU staff, and to the composite warfare commanders. SUPPLOT serves as a focal point and fusion center for all-source operational intelligence information. The information is derived from organic intelligence sensors as well as from intelligence assets from outside the battlegroup (e.g., national assets). The combined warfare commander uses this fused intelligence in combination with information from other battlegroup assets to determine a course of action. Additionally, many CVBGs choose to stand up their C2W (AQ) watch in SUPPLOT spaces.

C. Chart Vault

This area, not physically located in CVIC, includes a large collection of navigational and aircraft plotting maps useful in the mission planning process. The most used chart however, are stored in CVIC. Coverage of the charts will usually correspond regionally to where the CVBG is normally assigned.

D. Main Photography Lab

This is the other photo lab found on board a carrier. As already mentioned, it handles more carrier-oriented photography duties such as administrative and publicity duties. It nevertheless can support intelligence related efforts should extra processing be needed (e.g., in support of a major exercise).

E. Ship’s Signals Exploitation Space (SSES)

Module 3 mentioned that some cruisers and smaller vessels have a SSES where specially detached enlisted cryptologic personnel from NAVSECGRU monitor SIGINT and ELINT emanations. Exploited SIGINT is passed along to pertinent users in the battlegroup for use in support of operations.