1. Staff Estimates Overview.
a. The staff assists the commander in reaching a decision by making estimates in their assigned areas of
responsibility. The purpose of the estimate of the situation is to collect and analyze relevant information for
developing, within the time limits and available information, the most effective solution to a problem. Estimates
also identify factors that affect formulation, analysis, and comparison of feasible courses of action. The staff
estimate concludes and recommends feasible courses of action. In making an estimate, the staff officer consults
with other staff officers and agencies.
b. Staff offices prepare estimates on a variety of areas. Coordinating and special staff officers may prepare
estimates covering the entire area of their staff responsibilities, or some subarea or activity.
c. Staff estimates may be prepared mentally, orally, or in writing. Often, only the staff officer's conclusions
or recommendations are presented to the commander.
2. The Estimate Format.
a. The extract from FM 24-16 at Figure 3-1 shows a format for the estimate of the situation. This format is
used for both the commander's estimate and the staff estimate.
b. The staff estimate is a document that shows an analysis of the situation, courses of action, and
recommendations. The following analysis of each paragraph of the estimate is based on FM 24-16,
(1) Paragraph 1-Mission.
(a) The signal support mission can be determined by a thorough analysis of the mission of the
command, the concept of the operation, and the tasks for subordinate units as stated in the higher headquarters
operations plan (OPLAN). In the signal operations estimate, the mission should include a reference to the
standing operating procedures (SOP) for normal signal support and any unusual or special signal support
requirements. Whether prescribed or deduced, the mission will not usually identify all tasks involved. The S3
provides information and assists the commander in determining additional tasks, such as establishing any
locations and making movements ("jumps").
(b) The mission statement may include any one or a combination of the elements of who, what, when,
where, how, and why. However, it does not normally specify the details to be done. Therefore, the S3 is
primarily concerned with determining those elements not included in the mission statement. At battalion level,
this often includes selecting locations for signal installations and determining how battalion units will be used.