Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities Program

by Chief Warrant Officer Two Charles S. Montgomery, Sergeant First Class John G. VanKirk, and Staff Sergeant John P. Moody

The purpose of the TENCAP Program is to exploit the current and future tactical potential of national space systems and to integrate these capabilities into the Army's tactical decisionmaking process as rapidly as possible. The TENCAP program provides the commander immediate access to national assets and the information they provide. Without a TENCAP asset, the commander has to be force-fed national-level intelligence from above. With a TENCAP asset, the commander is able to pull the data he requires, when he needs it. The bottom line is that these assets and the information they provide are readily available to the commander.

Since 1973, the Army Space Program Office (ASPO) has been the proponent for managing the TENCAP Program. During this time, the ASPO has fielded numerous systems that provide the tactical commander from echelons-above-corps (EAC), corps, division, and the separate brigade access to national and theater overhead collection capabilities. These systems have deployed worldwide, on a variety of platforms from 40-foot vans to high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) and man-portable workstations. Current EAC and corps TENCAP systems include the Electronic Processing and Dissemination System (EPDS), the Modernized Imagery Exploitation System (MIES), the Enhanced Tactical Users Terminal (ETUT), and the Enhanced Tactical Radar Correlator (ETRAC).


The TENCAP systems allow the commander to plan contingency operations in otherwise denied areas. They also support deep and rear operations by --
All TENCAP systems are capable of robust communications via the TROJAN Special Purpose Integrated Remote Intelligence Terminal (SPIRIT), Mobile Subscriber Equipment (MSE), satellite communications (SATCOMs), and the Automated Digital Information Network (AUTODIN).
All TENCAP systems act as preprocessors for the All-Source Analysis System (ASAS). These systems use the TENCAP Communication System Processor (CSP) for communicating with the ASAS.
As today's TENCAP systems migrate into the Tactical Exploitation System (TES), preprocessing for and interoperability with the ASAS is a key requirement. This requirement extends to the creation of a seamless environment between the TES and the ASAS in which intelligence products, files, and databases can be pushed or pulled between the two systems. This interactive environment should greatly reduce the time required for Acquisition of a target by a sensor.

Corps and EAC TENCAP Systems

EPDS. The EPDS is a trailer-mounted, transportable system that receives and processes data collected by national, theater, and corps sensors and forwards the products to the tactical commands supported by TENCAP and the ASAS. Products of the EPDS include tailored and automatic intelligence reports, electronic order of battle updates, and dynamic database processing and reporting. The XVIII Airborne Corps, V Corps, III Corps, I Corps, the 513th MI Brigade, and the 501st MI Brigade have EPDS systems.
MIES. The MIES is an imagery exploitation system capable of receiving, processing, exploiting, and disseminating national imagery and imagery products. The MIES products include annotated secondary imagery dissemination (SID) products, intelligence reports, hard-copy prints, imagery and "hasty" map products. MIES is organic to the XVIII Airborne Corps, V Corps, and the 513th MI Brigade.
ETUT. The ETUT is a trailer-mounted system that processes signals intelligence (SIGINT) data and intelligence received from other TENCAP systems. It provides security sanitization of the data it receives and also provides tailored reporting to its command. Products include intelligence reports, annotated imagery, and targeting data. The XVIII Airborne Corps, V Corps, III Corps, I Corps, 513th MI Brigade, and 501st MI Brigade all currently have ETUTs.
ETRAC. The ETRAC provides all-weather day and night real-time image data to the corps commander, by receiving, processing, exploiting, and disseminating theater imagery. ETRAC products include--
The XVIII Airborne Corps and V Corps currently have the ETRACs system.

Support to Division and Below

Army TENCAP provides support to the division, armored cavalry regiments, and other specialty commands by the Mobile Integrated Tactical Terminal (MITT) and the Forward Area Support Terminal (FAST). The MITT provides ETUT functionality in a more mobile vehicle than a trailer, the HMMWV. The FAST also provides ETUT-like functionality in a man-transportable, modular, survivable stand-alone multi-tasking system. The MITT and FAST systems both provide seamless multisource intelligence receipt, transmission, and analysis of a wide range of intelligence products from national, theater, and tactical collection assets.
The TENCAP architecture allows the dissemination of multisource collection to all echelons in near-real time. This is done via the TENCAP Communication System Processor (CSP). The TENCAP CSP provides the capability to receive and transmit data from both landlines and radio-frequency circuits. It also provides connectivity to up to 15 mode-1, mode-1s, Generic Gateway (Digital Data Communications Protocol,DDCMP/Full Duplex Message FDMP), half duplex and asynchronous tactical circuits. This equipment is common to all TENCAP systems and gives tactical decisionmakers at all echelons the information they need, when they need it.

Support to SASOs

TENCAP has been instrumental in providing intelligence and C2 assistance during numerous stability and support operations (SASO) from Somalia to Bosnia. Currently, V Corps TENCAP assets are supporting Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR both in Germany and Bosnia by providing near-real-time operational intelligence to the Peace Implementation Force (IFOR) deployed in the theater. Previously, the 10th Mountain Division's FAST deployed in support of Operations UPHOLD/MAINTAIN DEMOCRACY in Haiti and RESTORE HOPE in Somalia. TENCAP not only provided intelligence data but, because of the robust communications that TENCAP brings to the theater of operations, TENCAP provided collection managers with an additional C2 capability. Additionally, during Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, numerous TENCAP assets from V Corps and III Corps deployed to Saudi Arabia.
This was the first time that the TENCAP systems from all echelons deployed to support multinational forces. During all of these deployments, TENCAP systems provided near-real-time intelligence support to the tactical decisionmakers for the alliance forces and was instrumental in providing robust communications support to all U.S. Forces.

Future Initiatives

The ASPO and the TENCAP Program plan a number of future initiatives. These include the Advanced EPDS (AEPDS), Tactical Exploitation System (TES), Graphical Situation Display (GSD) software, and automatic and assisted target recognition (ATR) processors.
AEPDS. The AEPDS combines the functions of the EPDS and the ETUT in a single downsized system. Its initial fielding will be in 1997. All four corps and the EAC MI brigades will receive it.
TES. The TES is a TENCAP system of systems combining the capabilities of the AEPDS, the MIES, and the ETRAC into a modular and tailorable package that is rapidly deployable and is as mobile as the headquarters it supports. The TES will segment into forward and main elements. The forward segment will be able to land with the initial entry forces to provide the Commander with immediate national- and theater-level intelligence support. The main segment has been designed to
The prototype TES will be available approximately FY 98 and will be organic at corps and EAC units.
GSD. The GSD is an Army-led joint program to standardize graphic information displays. Integrating GSD concepts, methodologies, standards and software modules into existing hardware and software architectures will deliver immediate benefits. First, the speed with which an analyst will be able to interpret the data before him and produce a report will increase dramatically, and in some instances will be automated. Next, the generated reports will be readable by all other intelligence and electronic warfare (IEW) and C2 systems, layered in detail of data and echeloned presentation, and will fit into standard databases. Everyone will get the same information but the layering and databasing capabilities will allow customers to write queries that are specific to their needs and echelons. This allows a commander at corps, for instance, to call-up a graphical depiction of all tank battalions in the commander's area of interest; another commander can use the same database to display every individual tank in the battalion's area of interest. Both commanders could flicker between this data from an hour, a day, or a week ago to instantly understand the changes that have occurred. This system is available in the MIES now and should be in the other current systems by the end of calendar year 1996.
ATR. The ASPO continues to research and develop ATR processors for integration into TENCAP systems. These processors would aid the imagery analyst in performing initial target detection from wide area search imagery. ATR processors will automatically scan the imagery as it is processed, for specific patterns and shapes, and will notify the analyst, using GSD, of the targets' locations and perceived identities. The analyst will confirm, deny, or modify the processors call and can then immediately release a preformatted message or graphic report to the customer.


In today's environment of operations ranging from SASO to full scale war, it is imperative that MI provides the commander with all relevant intelligence available. It is also imperative that the commander controls the assets providing this intelligence. TENCAP has a history of reliably delivering the intelligence the commander needs, when needed, in an easily used format. The future initiatives of TENCAP insure that this tradition will continue and improve as we move into the 21st century and support Force XXI.
Chief Warrant Officer Two "Steve" Montgomery is currently Chief of the TENCAP Team, Systems Division, Directorate of Combat Developments, USAIC&FH. He holds a bachelor of science degree (BS) in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland. His previous assignments include service at the Intelligence Threat and Analysis Center, Washington D.C. and 501st MI Brigade in Korea as an Indications and Warning Analyst. Readers can contact him at (320) 533-4614, DSN 821-4614, and via E-mail/PROFS mont gomc%hua1 @huachuca-emh11.army.mil or tencap@huachu ca-emh3.army.mil.
Sergeant First Class John Van Kirk is the NCOIC of the TENCAP Team; he has a BS in Electrical Engineering from San Diego State University. Staff Sergeant John Moody is the TENCAP Project NCO. He will be moving to the Joint Intelligence Center-Pacific in Hawaii. Both NCOs are highly experienced with TENCAP systems. Readers can contact them at (520) 533-4620, DSN 821-4620.