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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

If a sub-unit is compromised, is incapable of performing a critical task, or loses a key asset, then a decision is required as to how to proceed. Critical hide positions, location of the main attack Avenue of Approach, the location of the assault position, or the positioning and maintenance status of key breaching equipment are all examples of potential EEFI’s. These items are high value targets to us in that we cannot afford for the enemy to detect them. They are high value targets to the enemy in that their ability to detect and disrupt them would greatly benefit their plan.

The commander’s vision of the battle dictates what events, assets, locations, and times will fall under EEFI. He must assess the criticality of what he owns, what his units will do, and where they will go, in relation to mission success and in terms of time, space, and effects. Those events, times, and locations that are essential to victory must be tracked and protected. EEFI that indicates a key failure or an unexpected opportunity may very well trigger the implementation of a branch plan. If an EEFI event goes as planned it may alert the commander that the time has come to execute the sequel.



As a way to think about CCIR, it is useful to visualize the fight in terms of “IF”, “AND”, and “THEN”, before categorizing CCIR as PIR, FFIR, and EEFI. For example:

IF a certain enemy or friendly situation occurs (in some relative time and space) – AND I have a specific set of capabilities available, or not available, in time and space to deal favorably with the situation – THEN the Commander must make a decision.

The specifics associated with the “IF” and “AND” answers can then be categorized as either PIR, FFIR, or EEFI as appropriate. They should be articulated using descriptive words that do not require further analysis by an observer. The “THEN” forms the basis for development of a branch / contingency plan. Once articulated and disseminated throughout the organization, the CCIR allows the entire unit to recognize information that is critical to the commander.


The commander’s intent for CCIR is for anyone who sees it to transmit it unfiltered to the commander or to empower any RTO to recognize it when he monitors it. It allows command posts to focus their battle tracking priorities and anticipate requirements. It also allows subordinate commanders to decide and act in accordance with the commander’s intent, if there is a loss of communication with the commander or, if the situation is now different from the original plan. Most importantly, it extends the commander’s personal decision making scope, CCIR allows the entire unit to help his efforts to stay ahead of the enemy’s decision making cycle.

Commander’s Decision Pont 1: “Commit my reserve if enemy breaches river.”
IF the enemy breaches the river (NAI 1 and 2) in platoon size or greater (LTIOV – H+12) … PIR
AND B CO or A CO can not contain enemy in their AOs … FFIR
AND D CO is postured to Ctr Atk … FFIR
AND has not been discovered by enemy reconnaissance … EEFI
AND the FA BN can support the Ctr Atk …FFIR
THEN commit the reserve … Decision

Let’s put this into practice with a few simple scenarios.



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