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Combat information


Combat information refers to any organized and processed data about enemy forces, tactics, or the environment that holds immediate relevance to current or potential military engagements. This information is gathered through various intelligence sources, including reconnaissance, surveillance, and human gatherings. The primary aim of combat information is to support decision-making processes and facilitate successful military operations by providing real-time insights about various battle elements.

Key Takeaways

  1. Combat information consists of real-time data about enemy forces, activities, and environmental conditions collected and analyzed during military operations, enabling commanders to make informed decisions and achieve mission objectives.
  2. It is gathered through various sources like intelligence gathering, surveillance, reconnaissance, and direct observation, and can be shared among different units and branches of the military for better situational awareness and coordinated action.
  3. Accurate and reliable combat information is crucial to the success of military operations, enabling rapid responses and minimizing friendly casualties. Modern military forces use advanced communication and information technology systems to effectively collect, process, and distribute combat information throughout the organization.


Combat information is vital in military operations as it serves as the basis for accurate, informed decision-making by commanders and their staff.

This term encompasses all relevant data about the enemy forces, their intentions, capabilities and limitations, as well as the situational awareness of friendly forces in the area of interest.

Timely and precise combat information allows military leaders to make well-founded tactical and strategic choices, resulting in a higher likelihood of successful mission outcomes, the minimization of casualties, and the efficient utilization of resources.

Furthermore, having a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of the operational environment enhances a unit’s ability to maintain the initiative, exploit enemy vulnerabilities, and effectively counter threats, ultimately contributing to the overall success and effectiveness of the military forces.


Combat information serves as an essential component in the strategic planning and execution of military operations. Its primary purpose is to facilitate well-informed decision-making by providing military commanders and their staff with timely, accurate, and relevant data on enemy forces, terrain, weather, and other key factors.

By gathering, analyzing, and disseminating this information, military personnel can assess the current situation, anticipate future developments, and formulate appropriate courses of action. Ultimately, the effective utilization of combat information translates to increased situational awareness, improved operational efficiency, and enhanced mission success.

In the dynamic and ever-changing environment of warfare, the need for combat information becomes increasingly critical to maintain a tactical advantage and protect friendly forces. This information is collected through various means, such as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) assets, human intelligence sources, and technological advancements in communication and sensor systems.

Once gathered, the information is processed, analyzed, and distributed to decision-makers and tactical units to support the planning and execution of military operations. As a result, combat information acts as a force multiplier, enabling military forces to adapt, overcome challenges, and achieve their objectives in a timely and efficient manner, while minimizing the risk to personnel and equipment.

Examples of Combat information

Combat information refers to any tactical intelligence and reconnaissance data collected before, during, and after a mission that provides a real-time picture of enemy forces, geographic details, and other relevant aspects to support military decision-making. Here are three real-world examples illustrating the use of combat information in military operations:

Operation Desert Storm (1991): In this operation to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation, the coalition forces comprising mainly US military extensively used combat information gathered from various sources such as satellite imagery, human intelligence, and signals intelligence. This information was used to locate and target Iraqi military installations, communication nodes, and troop movements. Additionally, data collected from aerial reconnaissance was shared amongst coalition forces real-time, allowing for coordinated strikes and effective battle planning.

The Battle of Tora Bora (2001): During the efforts to capture Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda forces following 9/11, the US military used combat information on a smaller scale to target and plan their operations. Data collected from human intelligence assets, surveillance, and signals intelligence were used to coordinate ground forces and air support during this battle in the mountainous region of Afghanistan. The use of combat information helped plan the attack, track potential escape routes, and locate enemy positions.

Operation Red Wings (2005): This operation involved a US Navy SEAL team’s mission to capture or kill a high-ranking Taliban leader in Afghanistan. Prior to the mission, combat information was collected using satellite imagery and signals intelligence to understand the terrain, enemy positions, and communication networks in the area. Unfortunately, the mission was compromised, but the gathered combat information played a vital role in assisting and informing the rescue operations that followed during Operation Red Wings II.

FAQ: Combat Information

What is combat information?

Combat information refers to the real-time tactical data collected and analyzed about the enemy, weather, terrain, and other factors during military operations. This information is essential for commanders to make informed decisions and successfully execute their missions.

How is combat information gathered?

Combat information is gathered through various means including reconnaissance, surveillance, intelligence reports, communication intercepts, and direct observations from friendly units on the ground, in the air, and from space-based assets.

Why is combat information important?

Combat information is crucial for the successful planning and execution of military operations. It helps commanders to understand the enemy’s intentions, capabilities, and location, allowing them to make informed decisions and effectively allocate resources for the mission.

What is the role of technology in combat information?

Technology plays a significant role in modern combat information gathering, analysis, and dissemination. Advanced systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), space-based satellites, and advanced communication systems enable the rapid collection, processing, and sharing of information with relevant units and command structures.

What are some challenges faced when dealing with combat information?

Some challenges faced while dealing with combat information include information overload, adversary deception, time-sensitive decision-making, maintaining information security, and interoperability between various units, allies, and technology systems.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • Combat-related Special Compensation (CRSC)
  • Veterans’ Preference
  • Disability Compensation for Combat Wounds
  • Purple Heart Benefits

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