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.
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.
- Providing the ability to see deep.
- Providing targeting, terrain ingress and egress
- Improving command and control (C2).
- Fusion with other intelligence.
- Presentation to the commander as the common picture of
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
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
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
The XVIII Airborne Corps and V Corps currently have
the ETRACs system.
- Annotated SIDs products.
- Intelligence reports.
- Hard-copy prints and imagery.
- Hasty map product.
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
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)
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.
- Operate behind the initial entry forces.
- Support split-based operations.
- Provide continuous updates while the force is moving to
- Conduct detailed analysis of intelligence collected.
- Maintain a master database.
- Gather intelligence on other contingency areas.
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
[email protected] 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.