From the Director U. S. Army Capabilities Integration Center

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3-2. Introduction

a. One of the many success stories associated with GF support to operations during the current conflicts is the scope and responsiveness of GF organizations to requests for support from operating forces that could be effectively met through reachback rather than direct support in theater. Virtually every GF organization can claim a substantial track record of experience in this area. In addition, although significant capability existed at the beginning of OEF in 2002 and OIF in 2003, GF organizations have taken deliberate action to expand and improve their capability to provide reachback support, such as the establishment of operations cells or reachback centers to handle and record requests.

b. The majority of reachback support tends to flow through Army analytical and knowledge centers which have an inherent capability to provide such support. However, because of the robustness of the Army's global network, operating forces also have the capability to make direct contact with GF staff elements and individual subject matter experts in order to forward requests for such support. The emergence of multiple informal Internet Web-logs (blogs) on unclassified and classified networks also represents another well-used set of sources for reachback information and advice on operational matters. In addition, civilian educational institutions are an expanding source of direct support through reachback; ADTs, HTTs, and other GF entities leverage research and scholarly products from civilian universities to support operations. Clearly it is not possible to track all such requests, particularly those that are informal.
c. FM 1-01 defines most of the sources and kinds of reachback support that have been effective. This chapter draws heavily from FM 1-01 to depict those capabilities and includes additional examples not mentioned in the manual, or that emerged during or after its publication. The chapter first identifies the analytic and knowledge centers within the GF available for exploitation by operating forces, and then describes the specific reachback functions that the GF can provide across the three main doctrinal categories of support.

3-3. GF knowledge and analysis centers

a. The organizations briefly described below all are available to operating forces for reachback support to operations. In some cases, these organizations also have experience in providing "virtual staff" support to deployed forces to meet specific planning requirements.


(1) HQDA is the Army's policy making and executive body. Staff capabilities germane to support to operations are enumerated in numerous documents, including the How the Army Runs handbook updated every 2 years by the U.S. Army War College. They are also summarized in FM 1-01, appendix A, so they will not be reiterated here. However, there are two field operating agencies directly subordinate to HQDA that are important reachback knowledge and analysis centers for deployed forces.

(2) The Center for Army Analysis (CAA), located at Fort Belvoir and under the direction of HQDA G-8, is the Army's premier analytical center for operations analysis and decision support analysis. CAA has been tasked to conduct analyses in support of operations.
(3) The U.S. Army Force Management Support Activity (USAFMSA), under the direction of the HQDA G-3/7 FM, is available to support force development and integration activities carried out by operating forces charged with conducting security force assistance with partner nations.
(4) Two other HQDA elements that provide substantial reachback support, the Asymmetric Warfare Office and the rapid equipping force (REF), are discussed in chapter 6.

(1) TRADOC's centers and schools all provide reachback services in their areas of expertise for information, specific products (for example, doctrinal, training, and education products), advice, and analysis across the DOTMLPF domains. (These include the six centers aligned with the Army's warfighting functions – mission command, maneuver, fires, intelligence, maneuver support, and sustainment – and the various centers of excellence designated to focus on specific areas of expertise.)47 In most cases, they have also established unique networks with industry, academia, and other external sources that can be tapped to respond to reachback requests. Several of the centers now staff internal reachback offices specifically to respond to requests for support from operating forces and some, such as MANSCEN and the Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM), maintain their own subordinate lessons learned capabilities that are relevant and available to support ongoing operations. TRADOC HQ and its subordinate commands also participate in numerous joint warfighter forums that are reachback resources.

(2) The TRADOC Analysis Center (TRAC) has conducted operations analysis in support of operating forces.
(3) The primary mission of the Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) at the CAC is to collect information, collaborate with joint and other service lessons learned organizations, conduct analyses, and write products to support operating forces in the conduct of their assigned missions. CALL often deploys collection teams to theater in the course of this mission.
(4) The University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies (UFMCS), under the TRADOC G-2, conducts the Red Team training courses at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and is a repository of information on foreign cultures and military capabilities. The UFMCS includes the FMSO as a subordinate organization.
(5) The TRADOC Intelligence Support Activity (TRISA), under the TRADOC G-2, provides reachback support and expertise to the Army training community regarding the representation of opposing force capabilities.
(6) The TRADOC Culture Center established at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, in 2006 is a repository of information and analyses regarding foreign cultures, enables expansion of cultural awareness, and develops products available to individuals and operating forces.
(7) ARCIC's Force Design Directorate, serving as TRADOC's force development staff, located at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, has the capability to provide subject matter expertise and related products to deployed forces involved in security force assistance.

(8) The JCISFA at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas is an initiative established by mutual agreement of the Army and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to develop concepts and capabilities in the area of security force assistance (SFA). Although JCISFA is a Joint Chiefs of Staff organization, the commander of CAC serves as the JCISFA Director. A valuable resource to deployed joint and Army forces, JCISFA performs the following:

(a) Provides operational planning and analytical support regarding SFA requirements and reachback links to information or resources.
(b) Conceptualizes future SFA requirements and translates them to stakeholders in the SFA community in the interests of common understanding.
(c) Develops products and recommendations with respect to best practices, identifies capability and capacity gaps regarding SFA, and proposes possible solutions.48
(9) The U.S. Army/USMC Counterinsurgency Center, located at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas was established to help develop robust U.S. military counterinsurgency (COIN) capabilities. It is a collaborative "land service" activity that reports directly to its co-chairs, the commanders of CAC and the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Development Command. The COIN center provides assistance to Army/USMC components in application of the body of thought contained in FM 3-24 in order to improve U.S. ground forces' capability to operate in a full-spectrum COIN environment. It is also the focal point for CAC matters involving COIN operations. The COIN center is staffed with a cadre of Army and Marine Corps subject matter experts who have operational experience and academic education in counterinsurgency operations. It discharges its role using six lines of effort: doctrine implementation and best-practice tactics, techniques, and procedures; integration of COIN; research; advise leaders and organizations; improve education; and outreach (reachback is a major means to accomplish these tasks, so visits to theaters of operation are also conducted). The COIN center has expanded its focus to other services, interagency, and coalition partners dealing with COIN and broader COIN-like threats.

(10) The U.S. Army Stability Operations Proponency Office and the U.S. Army SFA Proponency Office were established to support CAC in providing focus on these expanding mission areas. They also serve roles as TRADOC GF reachback centers. The links between these offices and the COIN center continue to grow.

(11) The U.S. Army Accessions Command can assist host nations in designing and implementing indigenous recruiting and initial military training programs.
(12) The Army Security Assistance Training Management Office, attached to the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, deploys security assistance teams worldwide and provides reachback support through and to those deployed teams.
(13) The U.S. Army War College is the Army's senior service school focused on strategy and strategic leadership. It has the capability to provide reachback support to combatant commanders and operating forces with respect to the development of strategic education programs and strategic leader capabilities for partner nations. Within the war college, the Strategic Studies Institute is a research organization that produces analytical and historical reports with utility for the conduct of current operations.

(14) The Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) located at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania and assigned to the Army War College, "serves as the U.S. military's center of excellence for mastering stability and peace operations at the strategic and operational levels in order to improve military, civilian agency, international, and multinational capabilities and execution." PKSOI's activities with respect to research, publications, training, education, concept and doctrine development, lessons learned, after action reviews, civil-military integration, and operational integration comprise a body of knowledge and action relevant to support of operations through reachback. The institute actively advises and assists deployed commands in these areas. Its stability operations lessons learned information management system is designed to allow U.S. military, USG civilian agencies, multinational military and civilian organizations, international organizations, nongovernment organizations (NGO), and private sector organizations to engage in a collaborative process for the collection, analysis, dissemination, and integration of lessons learned for peace and stability operations. PKSOI also administers three unclassified online blogs. (PKSOI sends personnel or sponsored individuals into theaters of operations to advise and to carry out first-hand assessments.)

(15) The Joint Training Counter-IED Operations Integration Center (JTCOIC), under the TRADOC G-2, is a cooperative effort between TRADOC and the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) to ensure counter-IED reachback is trained and imbedded at division and higher elements of the operating force.
(a) JTCOIC provides training support to ensure that troops receive the proper exposure to the center and counter-IED resources, such as online tools, and to requests for support.
(b) The JTCOIC Systems Integration and Modeling and Simulation Directorate, transforms a report of an actual IED event in Iraq or Afghanistan into a three-dimensional interactive visualization in approximately 4 days.
(c) The JTCOIC central training brain transforms real-world information to generate realistic and operationally-relevant training environments.

(d) The comprehensive look team works with the JIEDDO's own Counter-IED Operations Integration Center (COIC) to provide analytic reachback support to operating forces engaged in attacking IED networks.

(16) TRADOC capability managers (TCM). In 2006 TRADOC transitioned from the TRADOC systems manager construct to the TCM. System managers were systems-focused and tied to the fielding of specific assigned systems, while TCMs have a broader perspective. They serve as the Army's centralized manager for all combat developments user activities associated with assigned capability areas and associated systems, coordinating with applicable combat developers, training developers, material developers, testers, major Army commands), and HQDA staff on issues impacting capabilities documentation and development, funding, test and evaluation, training, fielding, and integration of DOTMLPF solutions. The TCM is the user advocate and counterpart to the acquisition community's program managers and program executive officers. Most striking with this transition was the establishment of TCMs for the heavy BCT, Stryker BCT, and infantry BCT. These TCMs can provide an integrated perspective on these modular formations, enhanced by the BCT warfighter forums oriented on each type BCT, where the TCMs work directly with FORSCOM and the corps commander who leads each BCT warfighter forum. This ensures direct interaction with deployed, deploying, and returning forces to develop integrated lessons learned and assess required capabilities.

d. AMC
(1) All four of AMC's LCMCs provide reachback support to operations in their areas of technical expertise, primarily through their deployed LARs.
(2) RDECOM and its subordinate research and development centers comprise the principal source of reachback support with respect to advanced science and technology solutions to operational needs. Deployed RDECOM elements attached to supported AFSBs and to most major joint and Army commands are the conduits through which most such requests surface and are satisfied. Within RDECOM, the Army Materiel Systems Analysis Agency (AMSAA) conducts systems and engineering analyses to support decisions on technology, materiel acquisitions, and the designing, developing, and sustaining of Army weapon systems.
(3) The USASAC provides total program management, in conjunction with HQDA, of Army security assistance materiel and services programs and FMS, and provides reachback support through overseas security assistance offices.
(4) The ASC provides reachback support to operating forces through its theater committed forces and its comprehensive network of support elements reaching down to the brigade and the forward operating base level.
(5) The ACC provides advice, assistance, and guidance to operating forces through its theater committed contracting support brigades, and in response to requests for support in the area of contracting for services outside of CONUS.
(6) The CMA is a reachback resource in the area of secure storage and disposal of chemical warfare and hazardous materials.
(7) The logistics support activity provides logistics information to deployed forces in the areas of equipment readiness, analysis of distribution pipeline performance, and asset visibility.

e. FORSCOM. As the Army force provider in the global force management process, FORSCOM is permanently engaged in daily support of the Army's deployed commands through reachback to meet global requirements for forces required for operations, training, and exercises.

(1) The USACE possesses a vast storehouse of technical expertise and analytical capability available through reachback to the agencies described below. Reachback is accomplished through USACE deployed elements, including FEST-A and FEST M, CREST, EnvST, and BDT teams (see chapter 2 for more complete descriptions), as well as overseas districts and field offices.
(2) The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), headquartered at Vicksburg, Mississippi, is USACE's distributed research and development command. ERDC consists of seven laboratories which collectively constitute an excellent capability of expertise across a broad range of engineering disciplines that are relevant to support of operations, as well as to building partner capacity with respect to infrastructure development and reconstruction.
(3) The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville, Alabama, provides reachback and direct support for major specialized programs, such as chemical demilitarization and the removal and disposal of unexploded ordnance.
(4) The establishment of the URO created a dedicated conduit that enables USACE HQ to manage and respond effectively to reachback support of operations.

g. MEDCOM. MEDCOM and the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) include a wide range of organizations to provide health care for Soldiers, at home and deployed, and their families. This entry highlights a number of those activities to demonstrate adaptation and innovation of GF assets to provide direct support to operations, to include expanded reachback. Besides those organizations specifically detailed below, reachback is also provided by the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Agency for combat medical systems and products; the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory for health hazards of Army aviation, tactical combat vehicles, and weapons systems; the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases for medical protection from biological threats; the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine; the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research for biomedical research; the U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency; and the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency for medical logistics and medical materiel life cycle management.

(1) Medical treatment facilities such as medical centers and medical department activities, as well as the other services' facilities, the military health system TRICARE partners, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, are among the reachback sources that provide worldwide telemedicine support. Telemedicine is the use of information and telecommunications technologies to transmit electronic medical patient information and digital images between a medical provider and a medical specialist located in a GF hospital for the purpose of obtaining an expert opinion and/or diagnostic treatment and/or evacuation recommendations to support patient care. The creation, routing, viewing, tracking, storage, retrieval, and reporting of telemedicine consultations are essential for the delivery of patient care in a theater of operations. NETCOM provides the communications and network capabilities that enable telemedicine between operating forces and GF treatment facilities. An example of enabling telemedicine capabilities through the demonstration and exploitation of emerging information technology was the development and deployment of the joint telemedicine network, which serves as the primary means to transfer digital radiographs and other very large imagery files.
(2) In addition to its inherent capability to field special medical logistics augmentation response teams to provide assistance to deployed forces, MEDCOM provides reachback support through the following subordinate organizations:
(a) The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command is a knowledge center for emerging medical solutions and medical materiel improvements, and includes a worldwide network of laboratories, medical logistics organizations, and contracting activities.

(b) The U.S. Public Health Command (USAPHC) provides worldwide scientific expertise and services in clinical and field preventive medicine, occupational and environmental health, health promotion and wellness, epidemiology and disease surveillance, toxicology, and related laboratory sciences.

(c) The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research provides requirements-driven medical solutions and products for combat casualty care, including state-of-the-art care for trauma, burns, and critical injuries, ranging from self-aid through definitive care, across the full spectrum of military operations to Soldiers, DOD beneficiaries, and civilians worldwide. The institute also provides burn special medical augmentation response teams as needed.
(d) The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense provides expert analytical and consultative services related to medical chemical defense research and to the medical management of chemical casualties.
(e) The Telemedicine and Advanced Technologies Research Center manages Congressional special interest extramural research programs encompassing technology research areas. The emergency medical services component tests interactive telemedicine technologies to treat patients in both urban and rural settings.
(f) The U.S. Army Medical Information Technology Center provides the infrastructure for a single Army medical network operating environment that enables corporate information sharing and centralized management.
h. IMCOM. IMCOM is the Army's worldwide manager of installations and provides capabilities in support of joint and Army force commanders, including reachback support. Two subordinate IMCOM commands also provide reachback and direct support as required.
(1) The Army Environmental Command (AEC) advises commanders in support of operations in environmentally constrained conditions and provides expertise with respect to environmental regulatory requirements regarding conservation, restoration, compliance, and pollution prevention programs. The command also oversees a collection of services associated with environment hazards and Army environmental programs in foreign countries.

(2) The U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Command enables Soldier and family readiness at garrisons around the world. It has been active in creating morale, welfare, and recreation resources to support OEF and OIF and responds to reachback requests for advice, assistance, and planning support.

i. INSCOM. HQ INSCOM synchronizes the operations of all INSCOM units to produce intelligence in support of the Army, COCOMs, and the national intelligence community, and is the parent command for theater-committed military intelligence brigades (MIB). As a knowledge and analysis center, HQ INSCOM responds to taskings for support to operations that cannot be met by the MIBs in the areas of counterintelligence, signal intelligence, human intelligence, image intelligence, signature intelligence, technical intelligence, electronic warfare, and information operations. In most instances, these requests can be satisfied through reachback activities.
j. National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC). NGIC produces and disseminates all-source integrated intelligence on foreign ground forces (conventional and irregular) and related military technologies and systems to ensure that U.S. forces have a decisive edge in current and future military operations. NGIC produces scientific and technical intelligence and military capabilities analysis on foreign ground forces required by warfighting commanders, the force modernization and research and development communities, DOD, and national policymakers.
k. NETCOM. NETCOM operates and defends the Network Enterprise to enable information superiority, execute full-spectrum cyber operations, and ensure that operating and generating forces have freedom of access to the network in all phases of joint, interagency, and multinational operations. To carry this out, the commander of NETCOM is dual-hatted as commander of the 9th SC(A) and oversees the theater signal commands and signal brigades, as well as other enabling assets. Theater signal commands and brigades are operating forces aligned with ASCCs and CJTFs.

l. ATEC. ATEC teams with the REF and other rapid equipping organizations to provide direct test and evaluation support for those functions. It does not appear to be a significant provider of reachback support.

m. CIDC. The CIDC deploys elements in support of operations, attaches representatives to contracting support brigades, and provides theater committed forces to perform its mission of investigative support. Its deployed elements have the capability to reach back to the parent command for support in any of its specific areas of expertise.
n. USMA. USMA is a knowledge center that is occasionally tapped for research and scholarly products to support operations.
o. Reachback contributions to doctrinal categories of GF support to operations are summarized here; these are certainly not all-inclusive. The means to enable reachback continues to rely most heavily on Internet-based communications over various unclassified and classified networks to provide the most rapid submission of requests for support and dissemination of responses/products, access to databases, and interaction on blogs and bulletin boards.49 Tables 3-1 through 3-3 identify the reachback functions performed and the primary organizations involved in their accomplishment.
Table 3-1.
Category 1: Adapting to the operational environment (OE)

Reachback Function

Understanding the OE

Direct collaboration with operational forces on OE

Updates to OE and operational considerations

OE analysis, handbooks, and assessments

OE databases

Campaign plan modeling and analysis

Global medical threat assessment

Legal advice and assistance


GF Agent




Multiple sources



The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School


Table 3-1.
Category 1: Adapting to the operational environment (OE), continued

Infrastructure and Environmental Analysis

Geospatial and terrain analysis

Base camp/infrastructure master planning

Hydrologic analysis

Force protection

Environmental compliance

Flood control

Chemical demilitarization

Environmental hazard




Engineer School (USAES),






Chemical-Biological Activity, CMA


Intelligence and Information Support

Broad intelligence support, data mining

Threat templates for specific OEs

Opposing force analysis and studies

Area studies

Sensitive site exploitation

Predictive analysis

Technical analysis of enemy systems

Forensic analysis

Computer forensic analysis

Specified research projects and products








Biometric Task Force,





USMA, Strategic Studies Institute, TRADOC Culture

Center, others

Operations Research/Systems Analysis Support

Economic forecasting

Force on force analysis

Weapons systems analysis

Date collection and U.S. equipment analysis




Table 3-2.
Category 2: Enabling strategic reach

Reachback Function

Deployment Planning and Asset Visibility

Redeployment planning and support

Facilities planning, base development

Technical reachback maintenance, system contractor support

Campaign plan modeling and analysis

GF Agent






Table 3-3.
Category 3: Developing multinational partner capability and capacity

Reachback Function

Force Development Support to Partner Security Forces



Organizational designs

Equipment distribution plans

Risk analysis

Ministerial level advice and assistance

Recruiting and manning

Career progression models

Security Force Assistance

Training products and curricula

Training infrastructure

Advise and assist products

Reconstruction and Infrastructure Development

Construction planning

Infrastructure assessments

City Management

GF Agent


(including AMEDD Center
and School)







Accessions Command

Human Resources Command


Schools and Centers,

TRADOC G-3/5/7

162d Infantry Brigade/Joint Readiness Training Center



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