G. Combat Information Center (CIC)

16G1. Mission and functions

The shipís combat information center (CIC) is the organization which processes tactical information. Its mission is to keep command and control stations informed of the tactical situation at all times. In general terms, this means that CIC (usually referred to as Combat) must maintain an up-to-date, comprehensive picture of the disposition of all friendly and enemy forces within range of the available intelligence. CIC must maintain the picture in a form which will permit rapid interpretation of each new bit of information, integration of new information with all other data, and immediate transmission of the new information with its significant implications to all who need it in the performance of their duties. Procedures employed by CIC in accomplishing its mission in any tactical situation are summarized in the titles of five routine functions:






1. Collection. By means of internal and external communications systems, CIC collects tactical data from the following major sources:

a. Radar.

b. Sonar.

c. Radio.

d. Visual lookouts.

e. Publications (operation plans, orders, etc.).

f. ECM equipment.

2. Display. Data collected by CIC are displayed prominently on the following standard displays:

a. Summary plot. A comprehensive relative display of the positions and/or tracks of friendly, unidentified, and enemy forces, geographical points, and other data required to accomplish any tactical mission in which the ship or task group may be engaged.

b. Geographic plot (DRT). A true display of the positions and or tracks of friendly, unidentified, and enemy surface and subsurface forces, geographical points, and other objects, moving or fixed.

c. Surface plot. A relative display of the positions and/or tracks of friendly, unidentified, and enemy surface and subsurface forces, and other objects, moving or fixed.

d. Disposition diagram. A relative display of all ships in a formation, showing all stations in the formation, axis and center, and the screen sector origin and center.

e. Status boards. A convenient and prominent display of tactical data. The size, and purpose of status boards vary with different types of ships. Data displayed thereon will also vary.

f. Strategic plot. Displays of tactical and strategical information on navigational and grid charts. In general, charts are used for display of information which is beyond the range of the standard plots or which is of more permanent nature.

g. Air plot. Displays all air contacts, and includes information derived from own shipís radar or radio reports from other ships.

S. Evaluation. Evaluation (appraisal, determination of the tactical significance of information collected and displayed in CIC) is accomplished on two levels: (a) the routine application of the principles of dead reckoning (time, speed, distance, direction) and relative movement (the resultant of two or more relative motions) to all tactical data; (b) the broader integration of the information thus gained with all available knowledge and. information of tactical or strategical value, and the arrival at a conclusion or decision.

4. Dissemination. Information which has been collected, displayed, and evaluated must be disseminated without delay to those who need it for proper performance of their duties. As a matter of routine, CIC keeps the following command and control stations informed:

a. Primary control (bridge, CO, tactical plot, etc.).

b. Weapon control (main battery, secondary batteries, torpedoes, depth charges, etc.).

c. Flag plot.

d. Officer in tactical command.

e. Airborne aircraft under control.

5. Control. Having collected, displayed, evaluated, and disseminated each new bit of information, CIC may be directed by command to take action or to assume certain control functions.

a. These control functions usually are assumed in CIC in accordance with doctrine:

(1) Control of all search radars and passive electronic countermeasures equipment.

(2) Control of communications with other ships in the formation on inter-CIC radiotelephone nets. Also control of communications with airborne aircraft which are under own shipís control.

(3) Control of assigned airborne aircraft.

b. When directed by command, CIC will assume control in the following situations:

(1) Jamming on enemy radar frequencies.

(2) Interception of air contacts or raids by designated combat air patrol (CAP).

(3) Control of SFPC spotting nets.

(4) Control of torpedo firing under conditions of low visibility or torpedo director failure.

(5) Direction of the attacking ship in coordinated antisubmarine attacks, and of own ship in case of sonar failure.

(6) Control of the air phases of search and rescue, including control of communications with all units.

(7) Control of AA defense (own ship, unit, or force).

16G2. Personnel

Normally, all Radarmen and Radarman strikers are assigned to the CIC division for duty and for administrative purposes. The CIC division is a part of the operation department. The operations officer is the head of the department, and the CIC officer usually is the division officer.

Personnel requirements for each type of ship are based on the size of the ship, the functions for which the ship was designed, and the minimum number of positions to be manned during normal cruising on a continuous watch-standing basis.

Every member of the CIC team is trained to perform the duties and accept the responsibilities of each station in Combat. Personnel participate in formal training programs aboard ship and in team-training activities at fleet training centers. In addition, the men are rotated at the various positions during normal cruising watches to provide the broadest possible experience.

The key personnel in CIC are:

1. Evaluator. An officer experienced in tactics (normally the operations officer) acts as adviser to command. By his qualifications and experience, he is well versed in all matters pertaining to naval operations. He is kept informed of the general tactical situations in order to make the best evaluation of information available in CIC. The evaluator is charged with general supervision of the combat information center during general quarters.

2. CIC officer. Under the operations officer, he is charged primarily with the operation and maintenance of the combat information center and the equipment connected therewith. His duties include the collection and distribution of operational information, supervision of lookouts, maintenance of records, and preparation of reports.

3. Controller. This man is charged with the responsibility for controlling aircraft in the air-defense area. He is qualified to perform all CIC functions, and is particularly proficient in all phases of air-craft control. His other duties include assisting the CIC officer in evaluating the tactical situation, supervising CIC operations, and controlling communications used in interceptions under his control.

4. CIC watch officer. The CIC watch officer takes charge of the watch in Combat. He sees that CIC logs are properly maintained and that watch routine is observed. He is responsible for the performance of CIC during the period of his watch.

5. Gunnery liaison officer. An officer of the gun-department responsible for passing target indication data from CIC to gunnery control stations is stationed in CIC. He is proficient in the interpretation of radar indications. His duties include effecting the transfer of targets from search radars to fire control radars, and relaying available radar spotting information to gunnery control stations. He must have a complete knowledge of the target designation and acquisition situation.

6. Enlisted personnel. Enlisted personnel positions in CIC are identified by the specific plot upon which a plotter is recording information, and by the specific radar or other equipment which the man is operating. The men are generally designated plotters, operators, talkers, or recorders.

16G3. Tactical application of functions

The effectiveness of CIC is determined, by the proficiency with which it performs the five routine functions in naval tactical operations. CICís contributions in such operations are discussed briefly below. In every case CIC collects, displays, evaluates, and disseminates information. Where CIC also has some measure of control of the operation, the extent of control is mentioned.

1. Radar-assisted navigation. In radar navigation, CIC plots the shipís track, obtains radar fixes, determines set and drift, keeps the bridge informed of all hazards, and makes recommendations for appropriate courses and speeds. The geographic plot and navigational charts are used for this purpose.

2. Formation and screen maneuvers. In formation and screen maneuvers, CIC keeps a plot of all friendly forces, solves relative-movement problems for changing stations, and makes recommendations to the bridge for appropriate course and speed changes. CIC also tracks all unidentified contacts and keeps the bridge informed. The disposition diagram, the surface plot, and the geographic plot are the principal equipment used in tactical maneuvers.

3. Gunnery coordination and liaison. In gunnery liaison, CIC:

a. Indicates available targets by passing information on all contacts to command and gunnery control stations.

b. Designates specific targets to gunnery control stations as directed by command.

c. Assists gunnery control stations in acquisition of targets by using target-designating and internal communications systems to transfer designated targets from search radar to fire control radar tracking. In gunnery or AA coordination, CIC controls the special communication channels which are required. All standard displays in CIC provide information in gunnery coordination and liaison.

4. Naval gunfire support. CIC performs the same duties in naval gunfire support as in radar navigation, keeping, the bridge informed and, in addition, supplying gunnery control stations and plot with data for fire control solutions-course, speed, set and drift, bearing and range to the target, location of front lines of own troops on shore, etc. The geographic plot and target-area designating grid charts are used for this purpose. Surface plot also is used for plotting unidentified contacts and keeping track of friendly forces.

CIC also controls communications with the observing party on shore, when directed.

5. Torpedo attack control. CIC solves relative movement problems, and makes recommendations to the bridge for approach and retiring courses and speeds. Having solved for base torpedo course and firing point, CIC is prepared to transmit pertinent information to torpedo control, if directed. The geographic plot and the surface plot are the principal equipment used in torpedo attack. The maneuvering board and other aids are used for precise solutions.

CIC normally provides supplementary information for torpedo attack. Under a radar-controlled attack, CIC exercises direct control, with instructions to torpedo control.

6. Antisubmarine operations. CIC uses both sonar and radar information continuously to track the submarine and other assisting or attacking ships. Combat keeps the bridge, underwater battery plot, and sonar control fully informed. CIC recommends courses and speeds for execution of search plans; is prepared to furnish firing times for throwing weapons and depth charges, if required; and also furnishes sonar control with information necessary for gaining or regaining contact. The geographic plot is the principal display equipment used in ASW. Surface plot and the PPI-scope also play an important part.

CIC also controls the attacking ship in certain types of multiship attacks, and may control own ship, if so directed.

7. Air control. In air control operations, CIC performs all five of its basic functions: collection, display, evaluation, dissemination, and control. Combat controls communications with airborne aircraft, controls aircraft on routine patrol stations, and controls interception of air contacts, when directed. Combat maintains the complete air picture on the air summary plot, follows individual raids and interceptions on the intercept plot, and performs all CAP control directly on the PPI-scope.

16G4. Conclusion

The combat information center is, briefly, an agency for the collection, display, evaluation, and dissemination of tactical information, and for facilitating the use of that information. CIC is not something strange and complex, nor is it merely a radar plot or an antisubmarine plot under another name. It provides a marked clarification and simplification of work for command. The captain receives information as he needs it; and he is free to concentrate on his decisions and carry the burden of command. He also has, in CIC, an organization to which he can delegate secondary decisions and control duties as the occasion may require.
A. Introduction
B. Principles of radar
C. Types of radar equipment
D. Special purpose equipments
E. Principles of optics
F. Types of optical equipment
G. Combat information center (CIC)