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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

Tactical Simulation System (TACSIM)

The Tactical Simulation System (TACSIM) is the Army's leading intelligence collection and dissemination model. In near-real time, TACSIM aids in the training of Intelligence Analysts, Collection Managers, and staffs for the design of collection requirements and the analysis of raw intelligence. TACSIM uses interactive computer-based simulation to support intelligence training from MI Battalion through Echelons Above Corps in exercises such as REFORGER, Central Fortress, Ulchi Focus Lens, Team Spirit, Warfighter, and others across Germany, Korea, and the United States. TACSIM accomplishes this mission by simulating and or stimulating the entire spectrum of intelligence operations, with the exception of HUMINT that was added in the release.

The model was originally developed as the Post Oak Simulator System (POSSIM) in 1979 under TRADOC. In 1980 it was renamed TACSIM and one of its first missions was to stimulate the All Source Analysis System (ASAS) with a scripted scenario database. TACSIM operated intelligence missions over enemy forces and generated reports in United States Message Text Format (USMTF) that were provided to ASAS at multiple classification levels. TACSIM generates TACREP, TACELINT, RECCEXREP, REXREP, and IIR/IPIR intelligence messages in standard USMTF format.

The Tactical Simulation (TACSIM) software version featured major improvements over version New capabilities in this late 1995 release included a human intelligence (HUMINT) model. The TACSIM HUMINT model simulates the tasking, collection and reporting of HUMINT to TACSIM users. Information reported through HUMINT channels is restricted to the information that TACSIM receives from the operational models like CBS or information that TACSIM has created to enhance the database such as call signs and frequencies. The HUMINT capability provides a critical piece of the puzzle that has been missing from previous TACSIM training or was scripted to augment intelligence reporting. Other major enhancements to version include enhanced electronic intelligence capabilities such as "WARM" emitter frequencies and improved imagery intelligence reporting capabilities which permit reporting of minefields as reported in the Corps Battle Simulation (CBS) scenario.

Recent additions to TACSIM include:

In some cases, exercise participants do not have the analytical staff to work with TACSIM products or they only wish to receive aggregate products which do not require detailed analysis. TACSIM provides this capability through a system call the TACSIM Analysis Operations Node (TALON). TALON is a TACSIM subsystem that receives all products generated by TACSIM collection missions and also ground truth information which is relayed through TACSIM The reports generated by TALON are Situation Reports (SITREPs); Size, Activity, Location, Unit, Time, and Equipment Reports (SALUTEs); and performance statistics (STATS).

TACSIM provides maximum flexibility to the user to input variables to tailor the system to meet specific user requirements. For example, V Corps in Europe has a piece of equipment known as the Tactical Radar Correlator (TRAC) which is part of its organic Receive Link (RL) called the Imagery Processing and Dissemination System (IPDS). The TRAC has the capability to not only receive the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System (ASARS) imagery downlink from a U-2 but also can control it. TACSIM simulates this unique capability and provides V Corps with a report known as a Radar Exploitation Report (REXREP).

TACSIM models the tasking, collecting, and reporting functions of specific Army and Air Force intelligence collection assets. TACSIM has the capability to replicate any intelligence sensor from national down to individual tactical collectors like TRQ 32s and PRD 12s. For national collection, TACSIM uses a sub-system called the NATIONAL WARGAMING SYSTEM (NWARS). NWARS models all overhead systems and provides reporting at the collateral level. However, NWARS tasking is highly sensitive and must be done in the TACSIM SCIF.

The TACSIM collection suite contains 34 collectors, including:

              COMINT              ELINT                IMINT

              Guard Rail          Quick Look           SR-71 Optical Bar Camera
              Quick Fix           Senior Ruby          SR-71 High Resolution Radar
              Rivet Joint         Rivet Joint          SR-71 TEOC
              Senior Spear        SR-71 EIP            RF-4C Photo and IR
              Cefirm Leader       EA-6B                UPD-4 SLAR
              Comfy Levi          Team Pack            U-2 H-Camera
              Team Mate           TEREC                U-2 ASARS
              Tacjam              National ELINT       OV-1D SLAR
              TRQ-30                                   National IMINT
              Traffic Jam

TACSIM is currently operational at:

with future a installation planned for XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, NC.

Sources and Methods

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Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Created by John Pike
Updated Friday, November 21, 1997 7:14:20 PM