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Collection requirements management (CRM)

Definition Collection requirements management (CRM) is a critical aspect of military operations that deals with the systematic process of gathering, prioritizing, and satisfying intelligence needs. It focuses on identifying intelligence gaps, allocating appropriate resources for data collection, and coordinating efforts across intelligence disciplines. CRM aims to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of intelligence support to […]


Collection requirements management (CRM) is a critical aspect of military operations that deals with the systematic process of gathering, prioritizing, and satisfying intelligence needs. It focuses on identifying intelligence gaps, allocating appropriate resources for data collection, and coordinating efforts across intelligence disciplines. CRM aims to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of intelligence support to achieve specific operational objectives.

Key Takeaways

  1. Collection Requirements Management (CRM) is a crucial process in military operations that involves identifying, prioritizing, and coordinating intelligence gathering efforts to support decision-making and mission accomplishment.
  2. CRM is an essential component of the broader intelligence cycle, ensuring that collected information is relevant, timely, and actionable for commanders and their staff in making well-informed decisions and maintaining situational awareness.
  3. Effective CRM relies on continued collaboration and communication between intelligence personnel and supported units. This process involves consistent evaluation and adjustment of requirements to adapt to the changing operational environment and the availability of collection assets.


Collection Requirements Management (CRM) is a critical aspect of military operations, as it enhances decision-making, situational awareness, and overall effectiveness of intelligence and surveillance efforts.

By systematically identifying, prioritizing, and allocating intelligence assets and resources to gather crucial information, CRM ensures that the right data is collected in a timely and organized manner.

This efficient use of resources not only optimizes operational planning, but also allows the military to react swiftly in dynamic and complex environments, ultimately leading to the achievement of strategic objectives and mission success.


Collection Requirements Management (CRM) serves as a critical component in military operations, designed to effectively gather and analyze necessary information to enhance decision-making. Its primary purpose is to manage and prioritize the various intelligence requirements of military commanders to ensure they have the most credible and timely data at their disposal.

This is crucial in executing tactical and strategic operations, facilitating mission success, and reducing potential risks. CRM focuses on synchronizing the collection, analysis, and dissemination of relevant intelligence amongst the different military units, thereby streamlining the flow of information and enabling commanders to make informed decisions in a rapid and efficient manner.

Moreover, CRM is utilized for coordinating and integrating assets across the intelligence community, which might include human intelligence, signals intelligence, and geospatial intelligence. By leveraging these assets, CRM optimizes resource allocation and minimizes redundancy, ensuring that relevant and mission-focused data is collected without duplication or gaps.

It enables a proactive approach by anticipating future information needs, continuously updating priorities, and adapting to changes in the operational environment. In essence, Collection Requirements Management strengthens the overall effectiveness of military operations by enhancing situational awareness, promoting inter-agency collaboration, and providing commanders with accurate and actionable insights for strategic planning.

Examples of Collection requirements management (CRM)

Operation Desert Storm (1991): During the Gulf War, the United States-led coalition employed Collection Requirements Management (CRM) techniques to effectively gather intelligence and prioritize information requirements. The coalition forces utilized various sources like signals intelligence (SIGINT), imagery intelligence (IMINT), and human intelligence (HUMINT) to create a comprehensive and integrated understanding of the battlefield. CRM played a key role in optimizing the collection process, allowing the coalition forces to efficiently allocate resources and target critical enemy positions.

Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-2014): In the initial stages of the war in Afghanistan, one of the main challenges faced by the coalition forces was identifying and targeting key members of the Taliban regime and Al-Qaeda network. CRM was instrumental in addressing this challenge by prioritizing intelligence requirements and coordinating the collection efforts of national and tactical assets. This led to the successful capture of high-value targets and enabled the coalition forces to adapt to the constantly changing battlefield environment.

Operation Inherent Resolve (2014-present): The ongoing military campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria highlights the importance of CRM in modern warfare. The multinational coalition forces involved in the operation have been using CRM processes to effectively manage multiple intelligence collection requirements. By providing a systematic and structured approach for prioritizing targets, assessing capabilities, and allocating collection assets, CRM has proven to be crucial in ensuring the success of airstrikes and other tactical operations against ISIS.

FAQ: Collection Requirements Management (CRM)

1. What is Collection Requirements Management (CRM)?

Collection Requirements Management (CRM) is the process of identifying, validating, and prioritizing the need for information or intelligence, and then coordinating the collection resources to gather the necessary data to support military operations and decision-making.

2. Why is CRM important in military operations?

CRM is essential in military operations because it ensures that the right information is collected efficiently and effectively to aid in decision-making and mission planning. By prioritizing and allocating collection resources optimally, CRM allows commanders and intelligence officers to make informed decisions with the highest quality intelligence available.

3. What roles are involved in CRM?

Key roles involved in CRM include the Collection Manager, who oversees and coordinates the entire CRM process, and intelligence analysts, who help identify and validate the intelligence requirements. Additionally, various collection resource managers and operators contribute to the successful execution of CRM by allocating resources and acquiring the necessary information.

4. How is CRM integrated into the Intelligence Cycle?

CRM is an integral part of the Intelligence Cycle, providing a link between the Planning & Direction and Collection phases. CRM ensures that during the Planning & Direction phase, collection strategies are developed to address specific intelligence requirements. In the Collection phase, CRM enables the prioritization of these requirements and the coordination of collection assets to gather the necessary data.

5. What types of collection resources are typically used in CRM?

The types of collection resources utilized in CRM can vary depending on the intelligence requirement and the specific mission. Common collection resources include signals intelligence (SIGINT), geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), human intelligence (HUMINT), open-source intelligence (OSINT), and measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT). Each of these resources can provide valuable information and contribute to the overall intelligence picture.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Debt Collection Improvement Act (DCIA)
  • Debt management services (DMS)
  • Federal Claims Collection Standards (FCCS)
  • Overpayment Recovery
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Levy Program

Sources for More Information

  • Joint Chiefs of Staff – Official website of the United States military leadership body, including information on CRM.
  • Defense Intelligence Agency – The official website of the United States Defense Intelligence Agency, which has an essential role in CRM.
  • NATO – The official website of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, providing information on military operations and CRM.
  • Federation of American Scientists – Independent organization aimed at providing research and analysis on military operations, including CRM.

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