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Techniques of employing Camouflage, Cover and Concealment (CCD)

Hiding, blending, disguising, disrupting, and decoying

CCD is an essential part of tactical operations. It must be integrated into METT-TC analyses and the IPB process at all echelons. CCD is a primary consideration when planning OPSEC. The skillful use of CCD techniques is necessary if a unit is to conceal itself and survive. A general knowledge of CCD methods and techniques also allows friendly troops to recognize CCD better when the enemy uses it. The table below lists the five general techniques of employing CCD (hiding, blending, disguising, disrupting, and decoying).

METT-TC

The following sets forth a METT-TC methodology to help determine CCD priorities:

Mission. The mission is always the first and most important consideration. CCD efforts must enhance the mission but not be so elaborate that they hinder a unit's ability to accomplish the mission.

Enemy. An enemy's RSTA capabilities often influence the camouflage materials and CCD techniques needed to support a unit's mission. Before beginning a mission, conduct an intelligence analysis to identify the enemy's RSTA capabilities.

Terrain and weather. The battlefield terrain generally dictates what CCD techniques and materials are necessary. Different terrain types or background environments (urban, mountain, forest, plains, desert, arctic) require specific CCD techniques.

Troops. Friendly troops must be well trained in CCD techniques that apply to their mission, unit, and equipment. A change in the environment or the mission often requires additional training on effective techniques. Leaders must also consider the alertness of troops. Careless CCD efforts are ineffective and may disclose a unit's location, degrade its survivability, and hamper its mission accomplishment. Intelligence analysis should address the relative detectability of friendly equipment and the target signatures that unit elements normally project.

Time. Time is often a critical consideration. Elaborate CCD may not be practical in all tactical situations. The type and amount of CCD needed are impacted by the time a unit occupies a given area, the time available to employ CCD countermeasures, and the time necessary to remove and reemploy camouflage during unit relocation. Units should continue to improve and perfect CCD measures as time allows.

Civilian considerations. From conflict to war and from tactical to strategic, civilians in the area of operation (AO) may be active or passive collectors of information. Commanders and their staffs should manage this collection capability to benefit the command and the mission.

 

Five general techniques of employing CCD

CCD Techniques

Sensor Systems
[Optical] [Thermal] [Radar]
Hiding Earth cover
Earth embankments
Vegetation
LCSS
Screens
Smoke
Earth cover
Earth embankments
Vegetation
LCSS
Screens
Smoke
Chaff
Earth cover
Earth embankments
Vegetation
Nets
RAM
LCSS
Blending Paint
Foam
Lights
Vegetation
LCSS
Textured Mats
Thermal paint
Foam
Air conditioning/heating
Vegetation
LCSS
Textured mats
Water
Insulation
Vegetation
LCSS
RAM
Reshaping
Textured mats
Disguising Reshaping
Paint
LCSS
Reshaping
Painting
Corner Reflectors
Disrupting Camouflage sails
FOS
Pyrotechnics
Smudge pots
Balloons
Strobe lights
Tracer simulators
Smoke
Flares
Smoke
Chaff
Corner Reflectors
Decoying Decoy target (pneumatic or rigid structures)
Lights
Smoke
Decoy target
Flares
Air conditioning/heating
Smoke
Decoy target
Corner reflectors
Signal generators

Five general techniques of employing CCD explained:

Hiding:

Hiding is screening a target from an enemy's sensors. The target is undetected because a barrier hides it from a sensor's view. Every effort should be made to hide all operations; this includes using conditions of limited visibility for movement and terrain masking. Examples of hiding include:

  • Burying mines.
  • Placing vehicles beneath tree canopies.
  • Placing equipment in defilade positions.
  • Covering vehicles and equipment with nets.
  • Hiding roads and obstacles with linear screens.
  • Using battlefield obscurants, such as smoke.

Blending:

Blending is trying to alter a target's appearance so that it becomes a part of the background. Generally, it is arranging or applying camouflage material on, over, and/or around a target to reduce its contrast with the background. Characteristics to consider when blending include the terrain patterns in the vicinity and the target's size, shape, texture, color, EM signature, and background.

Disguising:

Disguising is applying materials on a target to mislead the enemy as to its true identity. Disguising changes a target's appearance so that it resembles something of lesser or greater significance. For example, a missile launcher might be disguised to resemble a cargo truck or a large building might be disguised to resemble two small buildings.

Disrupting:

Disrupting is altering or eliminating regular patterns and target characteristics. Disrupting techniques include pattern painting, deploying camouflage nets over selected portions of a target, and using shape disrupters (such as camouflage sails) to eliminate regular target patterns.

Decoying:

Decoying is deploying a false or simulated target(s) within a target's scene or in a position where the enemy might conclude that it has found the correct target(s). Decoys generally draw fire away from real targets. Depending on their fidelity and deployment, decoys will greatly enhance survivability.

 

Reference: Compiled from various portions of FM 20-3 Camouflage, Concealment and Decoys