Index FM 100-12 Army Theater Missile Defense Operations

Appendix A

Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace

This appendix describes the IPB process as it applies to TMD operations. The IPB includes an analysis of the terrain to determine constraints on enemy TM activities and favorable conditions for the establishment of assembly areas, forward operating bases, hide sites, and launch points. It provides the location of areas of interest (AIs) where enemy TMD activities are likely to occur and the identification of TAI, HPTs, and high-value targets (HVTs). It discusses the effects of weather on both friendly and enemy TMD activities and weapons systems.

The IPB is constantly updated as new information is obtained and as the battle situation evolves. Templating is performed continuously to predict likely enemy COAs regarding TM activity, anticipate the enemy actions, and locate TM targets.


A-1. FM 34-130 explains the IPB process in detail. The commander uses IPB to understand the battlefield and the options it presents to friendly and threat forces. IPB is a systematic, continuous process of analyzing the threat and environment in a specific area. By applying the IPB process, the commander gains the information necessary to selectively apply and maximize his combat power at critical points in time and space on the battlefield. IPB for TMD must include aspects from both ground and aerial dimensions. The intelligence staff must consider all the aspects of missile operations and must be aware of the capabilities of all missile threats, including TBMs and airborne TM launch platforms. The intelligence sections have overall staff responsibility for IPB. All officers with TMD staff responsibilities must provide input to the intelligence sections to facilitate integrating TMD into the IPB process.

A-2. The IPB process has four steps:

    1. Define the battlefield environment.
    2. Describe the battlefieldís effects.
    3. Evaluate the threat.
    4. Determine threat COAs.

A-3. Since terrain, weather, and other characteristics of the battlefield have different effects on TMD operations, TMD IPB differs from ground IPB. Enemy forces must be evaluated in relation to the effects that weather, terrain, and friendly operations will have on them. TMD IPB must be integrated into the IPB process at all levels.


A-4. The battlefield includes aerial dimensions to AO, battle space, and AI. During this step, the staff identifies specific features of the environment or activities within it that may influence available COAs or the commanderís decisions. TMD IPB focuses on areas and characteristics of the battlefield, which will influence the TMD mission. To effectively define the battlefield environment the following parameters must be considered.

Area of Operations

A-5. The AO is a geographical area assigned by a higher commander to an Army commander who has responsibility and authority for military operations. The AO has lateral, forward, and rear boundaries that usually define it within a larger joint geographical area.

Battle Space

A-6. Battle space is the environment, factors, and conditions that must be understood to successfully apply combat power, protect the force, or complete the mission. This includes the air, land, sea, space and the included enemy and friendly forces, facilities, weather, terrain, the electromagnetic spectrum, and information environment within the AOs and AIs.

Area of Interest

A-7. An AI is an area, including the area of influence, from which information and intelligence are required to execute successful operations and to plan for future operations. It includes any threat forces or characteristics that will significantly influence accomplishment of the commandís mission. (See also AO and battlespace.)

Geopolitical Considerations

A-8. Commanders must determine geopolitical considerations and constraints, which could affect operations including:

Commanderís Critical Information Requirements

A-9. Critical information directly affects the successful execution of operations. The commanderís critical information requirements (CCIR) include information the commander requires that directly affects his decisions and dictates the successful execution of operations. CCIR are:

A-10. The CCIR are expressed as three types of information (see FM 101-5-1):


A-11. The effects of terrain and weather on the enemy and friendly forces must be analyzed. The terrain and weather must be analyzed from both a ground and aerial standpoint.

Terrain Analysis

A-12. Once the AO and AI have been established, the terrain must be analyzed by looking closely at observation and field of fire, cover and concealment, obstacles, key terrain, and avenues of approach (OCOKA) to determine the effect of that terrain on TMD operations. During this analysis, the TMD planners determine probable BM and CM launch points, hide positions, movement routes, et cetera. Automated terrain analysis systems provide a helpful tool to examine specific areas for suitability.

Observation and Fields of Fire

A-13. In IPB, observation relates to optical and electronic line of sight (LOS). LOS plays an important role in operations for ground-based radar systems. Radars rely on LOS to detect and track enemy TMs, so terrain must be analyzed to determine areas of radar coverage. Coverage diagrams constructed either by automated or manual means may aid this process. Attack and reconnaissance aircraft require LOS to detect, acquire, and/or attack their targets. These criteria, applied to terrain, allow the TMD planner to determine what types of threats are and are not able to operate throughout the AI.

Cover and Concealment

A-14. Concealment measures are a double-edged sword offering protection to enemy and friendly forces alike. CMs may attempt to use terrain to prevent detection and to protect them from direct fire. Radar systems may be able to use camouflage, emission control, thermal masking, and other techniques to avoid being targeted. The need for cover and concealment must be considered along with the need for good radar coverage along probable enemy air avenues of approach. Enemy mobile missile launchers normally occupy hide sites prior to moving to and firing from predetermined launch points. Hide sites are concealed positions usually located in relatively close proximity to launch points.


A-15. Obstacles for air breathing threats are anything that cause aircraft or CMs to follow particular flight profiles or routes, or that cause them to gain excessive altitude. Some examples of air obstacles are tall trees, power lines, towers, built-up areas, weather, threats, mountains, et cetera.

A-16. Ground obstacles may restrict or constrain the movement of enemy mobile missile launchers. Narrow roadways, bridges, and difficult terrain may channelize movement of missile launchers along specific routes. Analysis of these obstacles may help predict TEL movement routes.

Key Terrain

A-17. Key terrain is any locality or area in which the seizure, retention, or control of it will afford a marked advantage to either combatant. In the aerial dimension, these consist of terrain features that channelize or constrain air threat systems and terrain with an elevation higher than the maximum ceiling of threat systems. Other areas that may be considered as key terrain are airfields, missile launch sites, enemy hide positions, and TM logistic sites.

Air Avenues of Approach

A-18. Air avenues of approach are those routes that protect CMs and airborne TM launch platforms from detection and engagement, while still allowing maneuver and providing adequate LOS to accomplish the mission. Enemy BMs are relatively unaffected by masking considerations. Factors that should be used to determine air CM avenues of approach, both ingress and egress are:

A-19. Type of Air Threat. Most surfaced-launched CMs are terrain following, and they use terrain masking. Due to their range, they may take indirect approach routes. TBMs are not terrain dependent. They fly a straight ground track from launch point to objective. Their flight is not restricted by terrain. ASMs usually fly direct routes from launch platform to the target. Fixed-wing aircraft usually follow major terrain features. Depending on range, they may fly a straight line to the target. Ordnance or payload may affect range and altitude of the air system and, thus, influence the selection of avenues of approach.

A-20. Point of Origin. When determining air avenues, the staff looks at the commanderís entire AI. Analysis begins at the threat airfield or missile launch site and works toward the probable enemy objective. This allows a look at the big picture. The staff considers the range of the air systems and location of navigation aids and ground control sites.

A-21. Probable Threat Objective. Each avenue of approach must end at a target. Reverse IPB is used to pick threat objectives.

A-22. Freedom to Maneuver. Does the avenue¾

A-23. Protection for System. Does the avenue provide¾

Examples of Areas with Terrain Analysis Implications

A-24. Specific areas of enemy TMD operations with direct impacts on terrain analysis include:

Weather Analysis

A-25. Weather analysis is performed to determine the effects of weather on both friendly and enemy missile defense weapons systems, intelligence sources, and missile performance. Among factors that should be considered are visibility, wind speed and direction, precipitation, cloud cover, temperature, and humidity. The supporting weather unit can provide weather data and information on weather effects on the theater of operations.

Impact on Theater Ballistic Missiles

A-26. The following weather conditions could have an impact on TBMs:

Impact on Cruise Missiles

A-27. The following weather conditions could have an impact on CMs:


A-28. Threat evaluation for TMD operations consists of a detailed study of enemy TM capabilities, organization, and doctrine. The following steps should be used when evaluating the threat:

Collect and Analyze Doctrinal Threat Data

A-29. Typical questions that should be answered during this step are listed below. Analysis in this phase must also include the commanderís critical information requirements and priority intelligence requirements:

Analyze Threat Air Capabilities

A-30. TMD IPB must evaluate a broad range of OB data and threat capabilities. This analysis also evaluates the answers to the following questions.


A-31. What are the capabilities of the air systems in terms of¾

Theater Ballistic Missiles

A-32. What are the capabilities of threat TBM systems in terms of¾

Cruise Missiles

A-33. What are the capabilities of threat CM systems in terms of¾

Industrial Facilities

A-34. Specific information requirements regarding industrial facilities include:

Marshaling Areas

A-35. Specific information requirements for determining possible marshaling sites include:

Launch Points

A-36. Specific information requirements for determining possible launch points include:

Hide Sites

A-37. Specific information requirements for determining possible hide sites include:

Conduct Target Value Evaluation

A-38. This action should determine what targets are to be labeled as HVTs. HVTs are assets the enemy or friendly commander has deemed as important for the successful accomplishment of a particular mission. HVTs are determined by operational necessity and weapon system capability.


A-39. Subsequent to evaluating threat missile forces preferences and the effects of the operational environment, likely enemy objectives and COAs must be evaluated. The G2/S2 develops enemy threat models that depict the threatís TM COAs. They also prepare event templates and matrices that focus intelligence collection on identification of which COA the threat will most likely execute. The process of developing these templates and matrices is covered in depth in FM 34-130. The decision support template is an integrated staff product that results from the analysis of potential friendly COAs.

Situation Template

A-40. The situation template is a doctrinal template arrayed on the map, integrating TM attack profiles with weather and terrain restrictions and with confirmed intelligence added. The completed situation template shows the movement of enemy missile units from their lager sites to upload and fueling sites, to hide positions, and to prospective fire positions; as well as deployment timelines and prospective targets. This process assumes knowledge of enemy doctrine and employment tactics. The planner must also consider the possibility that an enemy might deviate from normal procedures.

Event Template

A-41. Built on the situation template, the event template is an intelligence collection plan built into graphic form. It incorporates time phase lines (TPLs) that depict expected movement times and rates for TM forces and support elements. Event templates provide a means of comparing activity on different avenues of approach. In order to make the template useful for enemy TM analysis, it is sometimes helpful to create a separate TM event template. The event template provides answers to the questions where to look, when to look, and what to look for.

A-42. The event template identifies areas called NAI, which are points or areas where enemy activity or lack of activity confirms or denies enemy COAs. Each NAI must be monitored by a sensor or other means. Prospective firing locations for TBM and CM units could be listed as NAI. Large blocks of airspace through which missiles might travel could also be NAI. Those NAI that the unit cannot monitor with its own assets are sent to higher echelons with a request that those specific areas be monitored. It is critical that NAI be placed far enough out that decisions can be made in time for units to react to specific intelligence collection at the NAI.

Decision Support Template

A-43. The decision support template (DST) displays all of the information from the situational template and the event templates. It is a graphic picture of the intelligence estimate combined with the OPLAN. The DST does not dictate decisions to the commander; rather it identifies when and where decisions must be made. This is done through TAI and decision points (DPs).

A-44. TAI are areas where interdiction of enemy forces by maneuver, fires, or jamming eliminates or reduces a particular enemy capability. These TAI are depicted on the DST and indicate that some type of fires or counteraction must be planned and coordinated. If NAI have been properly identified, enemy activity within those NAI will indicate which TAI are of immediate interest. Sample TAI may include:

A-45. DPs identify those events and areas that may require a tactical decision and when decisions must be made. The commander selects DPs. Example decisions might include types and numbers of engagements, changes in EMCON status, CSS adjustments, and relocating fire units. If NAI have been properly placed, they indicate when and where decisions must be made. Factors affecting placement of DPs include the time required to:

A-46. A decision support matrix is an alternate means of showing the commander those decisions that he will face. The matrix indicates the DPs, options available, NAI and collection assets providing the cues and appropriate TAI. The matrix can be structured by area or by time. Many commanders find the matrix form easier to use than the graphics format.


A-47. IPB is a systematic, continuous process for analyzing the threat and environment in a specific geographic setting. Applying the IPB process helps the commander apply and maximize his combat power at critical points in time and space by determining the threatís likely COAs and describing the environment and its effects on operations. Preparation and continuous updates of the IPB are fundamental to the execution of the TMD mission on the modern battlefield. When considering IPB and TMD, both ground and aerial IPB are equally significant. IPB should be a synergistic product combining all dimensions and not delineated by separating the aerial portion from the ground portion of the process.