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Posted on Mar 24, 2007 in Front Page Features, Tactics101

Tactics 101: 014. Decision-Making and the Power of CCIR

By Rick Baillergeon and John Sutherland

Just like all components of CCIR, PIR must be refined and filtered by the commander to weed out the key bits of information that facilitates decision making. What enemy successes, failures, and movements, precipitate a key decision; implementation of a branch or sequel, commitment of the reserve, employment of a time sensitive or limited combat multiplier, shifting of the point of attack, and so on?

A good PIR should be written in the form of a question (sounds like Jeopardy!) and provide intelligence to support a single commander’s decision. The PIR must focus on a specific time, place, and enemy unit or activity. This enables us to focus our reconnaissance efforts and resources to answer the question. Without this focus, we will waste our valuable assets and we may gather intelligence that is relatively useless for us.


Below is an example of a PIR that would assist the commander in making a decision:

1. Will the 84th Tank Division commit one regiment south of the Green River vicinity, LB 3070 (Named Area of Interest 1)? (Decision Point1 – Shift main effort, Latest Time Information is of Value: H+24)

In this PIR, we have formulated a question in which the answer will assist the commander in making a decision (Decision Point 1 – Shift the Main Effort). It is focused on an enemy unit and activity (the 84th Tank Division committing one regiment). It is focused on a specific location (south of the Green River vicinity LB 3070 – we have named this NAI 1 to assist in our recon/surveillance plan). Finally, we have specified a time when the information is needed. When we put Latest Time Information is of Value is H+24; we are saying after H+24 we no longer need the information to make a decision. This allows us to shift recon assets elsewhere.

Below you will find some examples of tying decisions to PIR:


FFIR — Friendly Forces Information Requirements

"The General should be ignorant of none of the situations likely to occur in war. Who can attempt to accomplish what he does not understand?" The Emperor Maurice

FFIR is critical information the commander needs to know about friendly forces in order to develop his plans and make effective decisions during execution. In other words, it is what the commander requires to know about himself to make a decision. This information could be tied to unit locations, composition, readiness, personnel status, logistics, and leadership. As you can see, this is a pretty extensive list of subject areas. In order for it to be considered an FFIR it must be tied to a commander’s decision. If it is not it is simply an information requirement.

Again, our experience is that we see many laundry lists of items that are nice to know things or are Standard Operating Procedure items. For example, knowing the combat status of all the subordinate units under your command is necessary. However, in an operation some units are obviously more important than others. If that unit is tied to a key commander’s decision then that unit is truly important. This is information that should be determined FFIR.

This information could be the status of your reserve, the location of your counterattack element, the ability of your attack helicopters to conduct a deep attack, the fuel status of the tank battalion that is your main effort and is ready to assault a key objective etc… This is truly information tied to a commander’s decision.

FFIR are time sensitive requirements. A commander generally needs to know “now” this information. If the commander sees the enemy having the potential to break through his defense and has designated a reserve to react to this event; he needs to know the status and location of his reserve. If the reserve is combat effective and in position, he can make his decision to launch the reserve.

We like to write our FFIR just as our PIR. Here is an example:

What is combat effectiveness and location of 1st Battalion if the enemy breaches our main defense belt vicinity Battle Position A? (Decision Point 1 — Maneuver 1st Battalion to Attack Position B to defeat enemy elements in Engagement Area 5 in order to set the conditions for future offensive operations).

EEFI — Essential Elements of Friendly Information

"No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution." Machiavelli

EEFI is the critical aspects of a friendly operation that, if known by the enemy, would subsequently compromise, lead to failure, or limit success of the operation, and therefore must be protected from enemy detection. In other words, it is what the commander doesn’t want the enemy to know about himself before making a decision. Again, we must be careful of developing laundry lists. EEFI must be limited to events that require the commander’s personal intervention, execution information that aids in decision making.

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