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Combat information center (CIC)

Definition The Combat Information Center (CIC) refers to a central command hub found in naval warships and air defense facilities, responsible for gathering, processing, and analyzing tactical data in real-time. The CIC facilitates decision-making and coordinates the execution of orders through efficient communication. It plays a crucial role in maintaining situational awareness, ensuring the proper […]


The Combat Information Center (CIC) refers to a central command hub found in naval warships and air defense facilities, responsible for gathering, processing, and analyzing tactical data in real-time. The CIC facilitates decision-making and coordinates the execution of orders through efficient communication. It plays a crucial role in maintaining situational awareness, ensuring the proper functioning of weapons systems, and synchronizing the operations of various units.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Combat Information Center (CIC) is a centralized hub within a warship or military installation that processes and communicates situational information, intelligence, and command decisions during combat operations.
  2. Personnel within the CIC interpret and manage data from various sources, such as radar, sonar, and intelligence reports, to provide real-time battlefield awareness to commanding officers and coordinate the actions of various military assets.
  3. Modern CICs rely heavily on advanced technology and computer systems to efficiently process large amounts of data, enabling a swift and effective response to dynamic military situations.


The Combat Information Center (CIC) is a vital component of military operations as it serves as the nerve center for processing and disseminating critical information that ensures the efficient coordination and execution of missions.

The CIC integrates data from various sources such as radar, sonar, and communications, which enables commanders to make informed decisions about tactical situations.

It plays a crucial role in managing situational awareness, directing resources, and coordinating the actions of different branches within a military operation.

Furthermore, the CIC’s ability to effectively process and analyze real-time information is key in providing timely support to personnel engaged in combat situations, ultimately contributing to the overall success and safety of military missions.


The Combat Information Center (CIC) plays a critical role in modern military operations as a centralized hub for managing and coordinating combat-related information. It is designed to efficiently process and disseminate relevant data to facilitate decision-making and enhance situational awareness during missions.

The purpose of the CIC is to gather, analyze, and present relevant data from various sources to commanders, who can use this information to make informed and timely decisions. By streamlining the flow of information and enabling rapid communication among different units, the CIC ensures a cohesive and well-coordinated response to any potential threat or operation.

In order to serve its purpose effectively, the CIC relies on a range of sophisticated tools and technologies that allow for real-time monitoring, secure communication, information analysis, and data visualization. These tools typically include radar systems, tracking devices, radio communication systems, and advanced computer networks.

The integration of these technologies helps analysts in the CIC identify and predict the movements and actions of hostile forces, track friendly troops, and map out the terrain to ensure the optimal deployment of resources. Throughout military operations, the CIC acts as a nerve center that effectively turns raw data into actionable intelligence, thereby significantly contributing to the overall success of a mission.

Examples of Combat information center (CIC)

USS Missouri (BB-63) CIC during World War II: The USS Missouri was an Iowa-class battleship commissioned in 1944 that served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Gulf War. Its Combat Information Center (CIC) was a key component of the ship’s operation, responsible for collecting, processing, and analyzing data related to enemy targets, friendly forces, and navigation. The CIC of USS Missouri exemplifies the vital role of this centralized hub in maintaining situational awareness during battles at sea and delivering accurate targeting information to the ship’s weapons systems.

The Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyer CIC: The Type 45 Destroyer, also known as the Daring-class, is a class of guided missile destroyers in service with the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. These modern warships feature advanced CICs, which are designed to manage the entire ship’s combat, navigation, and communication systems. The Type 45 CIC integrates radar and sonar information with intelligence data from various sources and utilizes state-of-the-art electronic warfare systems to provide real-time situational awareness, allowing commanders to make informed decisions and efficiently manage their ship’s assets during combat operations.

The USS Nimitz (CVN-68) Carrier Strike Group CIC during Operation Enduring Freedom: The USS Nimitz is a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier of the United States Navy and the lead ship of her class. During Operation Enduring Freedom, which was initiated in response to the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group participated in various combat operations in the Middle East. The CIC on board the USS Nimitz was responsible for managing the complex coordination of air, surface, and subsurface warfare operations, including tracking enemy movements, monitoring friendly assets, and analyzing intelligence data. The Nimitz CIC was essential to the successful execution of the carrier’s mission and the overall effectiveness of the strike group during the operation.

Combat Information Center (CIC) FAQ

What is the purpose of a Combat Information Center (CIC)?

The purpose of a Combat Information Center (CIC) is to serve as the operational nerve center of a ship, aircraft, or military unit. It is responsible for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of vital tactical information required for the effective command and control of military operations.

What are the main functions of a CIC?

The main functions of a CIC include: tracking and identification of friendly, hostile, and neutral forces; coordination and control of weapons systems; navigation and maneuvering support; and coordination of communication, both internally and externally with other military units.

What kind of equipment can be found in a CIC?

A CIC typically contains equipment such as radar and sonar displays, communication devices, ship and navigation plotting tools, status boards, and computer systems for data analysis, decision-making, and information sharing. The exact composition of equipment can vary depending on the platform and mission requirements.

What types of personnel work in a CIC?

Personnel working in a CIC often come from various military disciplines such as intelligence, communications, operations, and weapons control. They collaborate to execute the mission in a cohesive and efficient manner. The CIC is usually led by a senior officer, often a tactical action officer (TAO) or a combat information center officer (CICO).

How does the CIC contribute to a unit’s overall effectiveness?

By integrating and consolidating vital tactical information, the CIC enables commanders to make well-informed and timely decisions that enhance the unit’s overall effectiveness. The CIC also ensures seamless communication among different components of a military operation, contributing to the successful execution of assigned missions.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Command and Control Systems
  • Threat Evaluation and Weapon Assignment
  • Situational Awareness and Surveillance
  • Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR)
  • Air and Missile Defense

Sources for More Information

  • U.S. Navy Homepage: For official information and insights into the role of CIC in U.S. naval operations.
  • Naval History and Heritage Command: For historical context and details about the development of the CIC in naval warfare.
  • Naval Postgraduate School: For academic research, discussions, and studies related to military operations, including the CIC.
  • The Diplomat: For articles and analyses on military strategies and equipment, including the functions and use of the CIC in various contexts.

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