b. Support the commander's campaign, operation, or battle plan. Signal support maximizes
combat effectiveness from the theater army to company level and below. Battlefield operations rely on
signal support to ensure that all information pertaining to the commander's campaign, operation or battle
plan is distributed.
c. Synchronize force operations. Synchronization means that maximum combat power is
focused at the decisive point to defeat the enemy on the battlefield. When signal support is planned for
early, continuously, and exists at the required time, then optimum synchronization of actions against the
d. Sustain force operations. Signal support assists the commander in providing basic
sustainment operations for the total force. It provides the means to acquire, process, store, and distribute
information in support of all sustainment functions on the battlefield.
Signal Support Imperatives. A commander must consider a number of essential support related
issues in planning for any mission. FM 24-1 describes these imperatives:
a. Consider mission, enemy, terrain, troops, and time available (METT-T). Upon receiving a
mission, the commander issues a warning order and makes an estimate of the situation. He identifies the
tasks required to fulfill the mission and usually translates the mission into specific objectives that are
required to defeat the enemy. As he makes his estimate of the situation, the commander considers the
factors of METT-T. METT-T is as critical to signal support as it is to all combat, combat support (CS),
and combat service support (CSS) operations.
(1) Mission. When planning, the signal commander restates the mission, focusing on his
area of responsibility and his organic signal support assets. His staff then develops the plan (staff
estimates/recommendations). The staff conducts an estimate of the situation to support all possible
maneuver courses of action. Subordinate missions must be attainable.
(2) Enemy. The commander must consider the enemy's disposition, equipment, doctrine,
capabilities, and probable intentions. The enemy's radio electronic combat (REC) capabilities are of
particular concern to signal support.
(3) Terrain and weather. The operation area's physical characteristics impact on signal
support. The size of the area of operations and the relief of the terrain have a tremendous influence on
signal support. Selected signal support means and their level of effectiveness vary due to terrain and
weather. Large geographic areas require more network nodes and more relays or tactical satellite links to
maintain connectivity. Rugged, compartmentalized terrain inhibits line-of-sight (LOS) combat net radio
operations, and often requires retransmission or tactical satellite links to maintain connectivity. The key
is to use terrain and weather to a friendly advantage. We must deny the enemy our signal (information)
and at the same time maintain good signal support. Electronic preparation of