Division Officer Training



Information Sheet Number: 2.1


It is essential that the junior officer aspiring to qualify as Combat Information Center Watch Officer (CICWO) be familiar with the missions and the principle control and assist functions performed by the ship's Combat Information Center (CIC). This lesson discusses the primary and secondary missions of CIC, the five information handling functions of CIC, and the duties and responsibilities of both officer and enlisted personnel assigned to CIC. Various weapons stations that work with CIC are also discussed.



(b) SORM (OPNAVINST 3120.32C)

(c) Surface Ship Operations (NAVEDTRA 10776)

(d) Watch Officer's Guide



1. The primary mission of CIC is to provide the organized collection, processing, display, competent evaluation, and rapid dissemination of pertinent tactical information and intelligence to command and control stations.

2. The secondary mission of CIC is to provide control and/or assistance in specified operations.

B. INFORMATION HANDLING FUNCTIONS OF CIC - There are five basic information handling functions of CIC.

1. Gathering (collection):

a. Collection of information from various sources, passive and active.

b. Information sources available to CIC:

(1) Radar

(2) IFF (Identification Friend or Foe)

(3) Sound Navigation and Ranging (Sonar)

(4) Electronic warfare intercept search

(5) Visual

(6) Radiotelephone

(7) Message traffic

(8) Intelligence reports

(9) Weather forecasts

(10) Operation plans and orders

(11) Doctrinal publications

(12) Logs

(13) Charts

(14) Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS) / Combat Direction System (CDS)

2. Processing:

a. Elimination of all non-essential data.

b. Consists of sorting, inspecting, appraising, and correlating collected information.

3. Display:

a. Visual presentation of all combat and operational data used to describe the current tactical and strategic situations.

b. Devices utilized to display information:

(1) Plots (Dead Reckoning Tracer (DRT) and maneuvering board paper)

(2) Status boards

(3) NTDS/CDS consoles

(4) Televisions

(5) Logs and records

(6) Large Screen Display (LSD) for Aegis or New Threat Upgrade (NTU) ships

(7) Automated Status Boards (ASTABS) for Aegis or NTU ships

(8) Digital Display Indicators (DDI)

4. Evaluation:

a. Considering and weighing all available information in order to arrive at a decision that may be passed on as a recommendation to command stations.

5. Dissemination:

a. Distribution of pertinent information to various shipboard stations and other units that may require it.

b. May be by audio, visual, or electronic means.

C. PERSONNEL AND THEIR FUNCTIONS IN CIC - Other than the CICWO, whose duties and responsibilities will be discussed later in this lesson, there are a number of important watchstanders in CIC. These watchstanders are described in the following paragraphs. Watches in CIC will vary somewhat according to ship type and condition of readiness.

1. Tactical Action Officer (TAO):

a. When assigned, the TAO is the Commanding Officer's representative concerning tactical employment of weapons systems and defense of the ship.

b. The TAO performs the primary evaluation in CIC and is responsible for the tactical employment and defense of the ship through the safe and effective operation of the ship's combat systems.

c. Officers qualified as TAO will always be designated in writing by the CO and will usually be given weapons release authority.

2. CIC Watch Supervisor (CICWS):

a. Usually the senior enlisted operations specialist on the watch team.

b. Primary duties:

(1) Assists CICWO in carrying out assigned duties and responsibilities.

(2) Responsible to CICWO for conduct and performance of CIC watch team.

(3) Assigns watch personnel according to capabilities and rotates the watch as necessary to maximize training and minimize boredom and fatigue.

(4) Normally maintains the CIC watch log.

(5) Breaks tactical signals received and informs CICWO of interpretations and requirements for further dissemination to OOD.

(6) Assists maneuvering board operator in obtaining solutions.

(7) Ensures electronic equipment in use is properly tuned for maximum performance and reports deficiencies to CICWO.

(8) Performs watch-to-watch inventory of accountable pubs.

(9) Ensures the formation diagram is current and accurate.

3. Electronic Warfare Supervisor (EWS):

a. An enlisted watchstander who is responsible for management of organic ES (Electronic Support) generated data.

b. Primary duties:

(1) Assists the Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO) in carrying out assigned duties.

(2) Supervises the EW Console Operator in operating organic Electronic Support (ES) equipment, reporting EW contacts, and operating ship ES equipment via the appropriate data link.

(3) Correlates and triangulates passive angle tracks and integrates off ship sensor data.

(4) Responsible for monitoring own ship's emission status for breach of Emission Control (EMCON).

(5) Ensures immediate dissemination to the TAO/USW (Undersea Warfare) evaluator of any threat emitters detected and initiates countermeasures as directed by higher authority.

4. Surface Search Radar Operator (SRO):

a. Primary duties:

(1) Detects, tracks, and reports all surface contacts.

(2) The SRO designates contacts using proper designation procedures. Designations are confirmed and approved by the CICWO/CICWS before dissemination (eg. Skunk A, Skunk B, etc. or force NTDS/CDS track numbers will be used to designate surface contacts).

(3) Reports changes in radar performance to the CICWS.

(4) Conducts searches as specified by CICWO/CICWS.

(5) Reports low flying aircraft to weapon stations concerned.

(a) Surface search radar is effective in detection and tracking of low flying aircraft.

(6) Determines and reports contact's closest point of approach (CPA) and changes in relative movement.

(7) Reports when a risk of collision exists between any contact and when any surface contact is dangerously close with decreasing range to the ship.

(8) Assigned during all underway watch conditions.

5. Detection/Tracking Supervisor (TRK SUP):

a. Primary duties:

(1) Supervises all Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS)/Combat Direction System (CDS) watchstanders to include the Surface Detector Tracker (SDT), the Air Detector Tracker (ADT), the Identification Operator (ID OP), and the Special Weapons Tracker (when one is assigned).

(2) Performs all Link 11 operations and reports directly to the Ship's Weapons Coordinator (SWC)/Weapons Control Officer (WCO).

(3) Responsible for the current state of the NTDS/CDS equipment including:

(a) Contact information accuracy.

(b) Updating information on contacts as necessary.

(c) Ensuring contact data is placed into NTDS/CDS.

6. Navigation plotter:

a. Maintains the CIC navigation plot at all times (when the ship is underway or at anchor).

b. Primary duties:

(1) Maintains plot of ship's position from electronic or radar fixes if within range of land.

(2) Compares fixes with the bridge periodically.

7. Surface Watch Officer:

a. Assigned on large ships that have an area designated for surface tracking called a surface module.

b. Primary duties:

(1) Supervises the operation of surface search radars, DRT or NC-2 plotting tables, and other equipment used to support the ship's mission.

8. Air Control Officer:

a. Assigned on large aviation ships that have an area or module designated for monitoring status of flight operations.

b. Primary duties:

(1) Supervises the operation and activities of the air control module to support flight operations.

9. Surface/Subsurface Surveillance Coordinator (SSSC):

a. Generally assigned on ships with cruise missile capability or may be part of an embarked staff.

b. Primary duties:

(1) Controls the employment of SUW and USW assets and weapons.

(2) Coordinates the identification of surface contacts within the battle group's area of surveillance.

(3) Responsible to the Surface Warfare Commander.

10. Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO):

a. Although the EWO is not a watchstander assigned in CIC, this billet is important to the CIC watch structure.

b. Primary duties:

(1) Responsible for the organization, operation, and coordination of the ship's EW systems.

(2) Maintains a current electronic order of battle (EOB):

(a) The EOB is a listing of the characteristics of potential electronic intercepts, both friendly and hostile, that may be encountered in a particular geographic area or a particular operation.

(3) Establishes an effective emission control plan within the unit, including use of evasion and deception techniques.

11. Weapons Liaison Officer (WLO):

a. Assigned on non-NTDS/CDS ship's.

b. Primary duties:

(1) Effects the transfer of targets from search radars to fire control radars.

(2) Designates targets to appropriate batteries.

12. Ship's Weapons Coordinator (SWC)/Weapons Control Officer (WCO):

a. An NTDS/CDS watchstander--will be called a WCO on an FFG-7 class ship and a SWC on larger ships.

b. TAO's liaison to the ship's weapons systems.


c. Primary duties:

(1) Through NTDS/CDS command functions, will pass engagement orders, quick reaction sectors, and all firing orders to various gun or missile teams verbally or electronically.

13. Gunnery Liaison Officer (GLO):

a. Generally assigned on a large ship having naval surface fire support (NSFS) as one of its missions.

b. Primary duties:

(1) Supervises the gun team.

(2) Acts as liaison between SWC and gun team.



1. Electronic Warfare Officer--as previously discussed, EWO may be a collateral duty or may be separately assigned:

a. Will have the overall responsibility for the ship's EW suite or module.

(1) Responsible for the organization, operation, and coordination of the ship's EW systems, including the training and qualification of EW watchstanders.

(2) Maintains a current electronic order of battle (EOB).

(3) Establishes an effective emission control plan within the unit, including use of evasion and deception techniques.

(4) Maintains an effective passive intercept organization.

2. EW Supervisor:

a. Supports the EWO in all EW module efforts such as collection and evaluation of information and ensures EW personnel are performing in accordance with proper procedures as described in paragraph C-3 above.


3. EW Console Operator:

a. Works under the EWS to collect and process data that is received by the EW sensors as described in paragraph C-3 above.

(1) Will generally be operating the AN/SLQ-32 EW receiver and process the electronic intercepts or rackets that are received for further dissemination to other watchstanders.

4. EW Status Board Keeper/Sound-Powered Phone Talker:

a. Generally will be junior EW or even OS, if needed, to maintain EW status board and pass EW information to other CIC watchstanders over the sound-powered telephone.


1. Dead Reckoning Tracer (DRT): plotting device utilized in CIC to provide a graphic representation of surface and subsurface operations.

a. Primary uses in surface plot:

(1) Provide a trace of own ship's course and speed over time.

(2) Develops a true plot of other contacts to include their true courses and speeds.

(3) Used to plot the position of a man overboard.

2. Radar repeaters: Display the surface radar picture which generally includes all surface contacts within range and also low flying aircraft.

a. Primary uses in surface plot:

(1) Provide bearing and range information on contacts for plotting.

(2) Provide relative motion display as contacts are plotted on the scopehead.

(3) Provide ability to display any radar onboard:

(a) Normally will display the surface radar picture but other radars, such as air search, may be displayed.






1. Cartesian Coordinate Grid Method (X-Y Grid):

a. Adopted for use with NTDS/CDS.

b. Contact tracked in relation to a known reference point, the grid origin called the Data

Link Reference Point (DLRP):

(1) DLRP is a geographic point promulgated to all units in the group.

(2) All contacts are reported with reference to the DLRP so that all units in the group have the same "big picture".

c. Grid composed of equally spaced lines east-west along X axis and north-south along Y axis.

d. X and Y axes divide grid into four quadrants which are then designated by color:

(1) Red: northwest quadrant.

(2) White: northeast quadrant.

(3) Blue: southeast quadrant.

(4) Green: southwest quadrant.

e. The grid origin is numbered 000 000. Positions are reported in three parts:

(1) Color of quadrant.

(2) Nautical miles along X axis.

(3) Nautical miles along Y axis.

Figure 2.1-1 Cartesian Coordinate Grid


f. Example: Red 030 100 indicates that the contact is in the northwest quadrant 30 miles west (along X axis) and 100 miles north (along Y axis).

g. Spacing of lines on grid will vary depending on the area covered. Normally will be 1000 miles per side from any axis.

2. Surface Contact Board:

a. Written summary of the surface situation and contacts.

(1) Details about the formation steaming:

(a) Base course and speed.

(b) Guide ship and formation.

(2) Contact information:

(a) Designation and classification.

(b) Current bearing and range.

(c) Course, speed, and closest point of approach (CPA).

Figure 2.1-2 Voice Call Sign Board

3. Voice Call Sign Board:

a. Provides ready reference for call signs of units expected to be involved with operations.

(1) Units listed alphabetically by name or by call sign.

b. Also will include the command and collective call signs for the group or task organization.

4. Communications Status Board:

a. Ready reference for radiotelephone (R/T) circuits, indicates the following:

(1) Circuit designation.

(2) Frequency.

(3) Use of circuit.

(4) Guard (shipboard controlling station).

(5) Remote channelization (location of handset circuit is "patched").

5. Electronic Warfare Status Board:

a. Located in the EW suite or module of CIC:

(1) Displays information on electronic intercepts (rackets), including identified electronic parameters.

(2) Indicates which units of the group have the responsibility to detect electronic emissions or EW activity.

(3) Provides a reference of probable enemy and friendly electronic signals.

6. Equipment Status Board:

a. Lists operable CIC equipment and its performance data.

(1) Indicates equipment which is out of commission (OOC) and the estimated time of repair (ETR).

7. Digital Display Indicator (DDI):

a. Located above an NTDS console.

(1) Displays text information about specific NTDS tracks and system operating information (ie. course, speed, CPA, time to intercept).


1. CIC Watch Log:

a. A complete and accurate chronological account of both routine and unusual events

during a CIC watch.

b. Signed by the CICWO at end of every watch to certify the validity of all entries.

2. Radar Contact Logs:

a. Record time, bearing, range of initial detection and fade of all surface contacts.

3. R/T Logs:

a. At a minimum, complete logs must be maintained on the fleet tactical circuit and also the reporting circuits.

(1) Usually the ship will record all circuit activity on tape machines.

b. Other circuits will also have handwritten logs kept.

4. Radar Performance Log:

a. One log will be kept for each radar system and will contain:

(1) Radar performance data.

(2) Maintenance and casualty data.

5. Radar Navigation Log:

a. Used whenever radar is used for navigation.

b. Bearings and ranges to landmarks are recorded here.

6. Publication Custody Log:

a. Provides a positive watch-to-watch inventory of accountable material in CIC.

(1) Material used for standing watches or the conduct of exercises will be taken out of storage containers where it is normally kept.

b. It is maintained by the CICWS. An inventory will be conducted at the end of each watch.


1. As previously discussed, a navigation plot will be maintained in CIC when the ship is underway or at anchor.

2. Uses of navigation plot include:

a. Provides back up to bridge navigation plot.

b. Provides CIC with accurate knowledge of position for all evolutions, including the following:

(1) Shore bombardment.

(2) Over-the-horizon targeting.

(3) Contact reporting to higher command.

(4) Own ship position reports made to higher commands.



1. Emission control (EMCON):

a. Maintains own ship electromagnetic radiation in accordance with the group EMCON plan.

(1) Controls designated equipment and emissions from it.

(2) Assigns EW control to monitor own ship radiations and ensure compliance.

2. Electronic Attack (EA) control:

a. Use of mechanical jamming such as chaff or electronic jamming will be directed by command and control stations/personnel (such as the CO or TAO) and then executed by EW control.

(1) Will be done to prevent enemy units from accurately targeting ship or to prevent incoming guided weapons to lock onto ship.

3. Cruise Missile Launch:

a. The employment of HARPOON and TOMAHAWK missiles require careful and knowledgeable planning.

(1) CIC must work with large volumes of targeting tactical data to ensure successful utilization of these weapons. Details of such operations will be discussed in units 7 and 8 of this course.

4. Surface Combat Air Patrol (SUCAP) Control:

a. Aircraft designated to be used in the anti-surface role require guidance and control from the surface units of the group to make a successful strike on enemy surface targets.


1. JA: Captain's battle circuit.

(a) Used for communications from command to vital stations and to pass recommendations from vital stations to command.

2. JC: Weapons control circuit.

(a) Used on non-NTDS/CDS ships to pass information and orders between the weapons control stations, CIC, and bridge.

3. JL: Lookout circuit.

(a) Used to pass information between lookouts, bridge, and CIC on visual sighting.

4. JX: Radio and signals circuit.

(a) Used to pass visual and radio tactical signals between bridge, signal bridge, CIC, and radio.

5. 1JV: Maneuvering and docking circuit.

(a) Used to pass engine orders, linehandling orders, and steering control information between bridge, CIC, engineering control, after steering, forecastle, amidships, and fantail.

6. 21JS: Surface search radar.

(a) Used to pass information between surface search radar operators and status board keepers.


1. Supervises the operation of CIC during the watch period. CIC Watch Officers are:

a. Shipboard line officers assigned to underway watch officer duty.

b. May be senior petty officers who are qualified.

c. Officers assigned must be qualified and designated in writing by the ship's C.O.

2. Primary duties and responsibilities:

a. Ensures, through the CICWS, that enlisted watchstanders are performing their assigned tasks as follows:

(1) Radar operators detect and report contacts within capabilities of installed equipment.

(2) Plotters, status board keepers, and recorders maintain accurate and current information plots to obtain timely required solutions.

b. Ensures through the EW supervisor that reports of electronic intercepts (ES reports) are made to the appropriate stations for further action.

c. Disseminates evaluated information to ship control stations to include:

(1) Recommendations to OOD for maneuvers to maintain station, execute tactical signals properly, and navigate safely.

(a) Information passed to bridge for maneuvering signals:

(1) How the signal breaks.

(2) The recommended course and speed to the new station.

(3) The bearing and range to the guide when on new station.

(4) Time to station and turn and surge bearings.

(5) Periodic updates (course/speed recommendations) from monitoring progress to station.

d. Ensures required radio and sound-powered phone circuits are manned and proper operational procedures employed and followed.

e. Ensures that all appropriate logs are kept and properly maintained.

(1) Must sign CIC watch log at end of watch.

f. Ensures air intercept controllers are adhering to established procedures, are relieved on a regular basis, and have adequate equipment support to carry out their duties.

g. Ensures that on-the-job training is conducted during the watch by appropriately qualified personnel.

h. Ensures that sensors and weapons systems for Air Warfare (AW) are appropriately set and programmed for the expected threat.

i. Ensures that the Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS)/Combat Direction System (CDS) program is current and is providing accurate and timely information to the battle group.

j. Ensures that radar navigation is conducted if ship is within radar landmarks and that this information is periodically compared to the other navigational methods available.

k. Keeps the OOD informed of radar operation, poor radar performance and electronic equipment casualties.

3. The CICWO and key personnel:

a. OOD:

(1) CICWO reports to OOD for conduct of radar, air and surface search, and sonar search and tracking.

(2) Supplies tactical information and recommendations for the safe navigation and maneuvering of ship.

b. Operations Officer--CICWO will provide the Operations Officer with:

(1) Warfare information including strike reports, battle damage sustained by friendly forces, and Search and Rescue (SAR) incidents.

(2) Directions from higher authority and reports from friendly forces received on CIC controlled tactical circuits.

c. CIC Officer:

(1) CICWO is a representative of the CIC Officer and will be provided with the duties and guidelines for conduct of the watch by the CIC Officer.

(2) CICWO reports to the OOD.

d. Tactical Action Officer:

(1) When this watch is set, the CICWO reports to the TAO concerning tactical employment and defense.

(a) CICWO will assist the TAO as necessary to keep CIC operating smoothly.

e. CIC Watch Supervisor:

(1) Will report directly to CICWO on all matters of the watch.

f. Commanding Officer:

(1) The CICWO will be in charge of CIC during peacetime steaming. In wartime steaming and general quarters, the TAO will be in charge of CIC and carry out the actions directed by the Commanding Officer.

(2) The CIC officer is responsible for ensuring that CIC will always be ready to support the ship and the Commanding Officer for any mission or assignment.