Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield
IPB is a systematic, continuous process of analyzing the threat and environment in a specific geographic area. It is designed to support staff estimates and military decision making. Applying the IPB process helps the commander selectively apply and maximize his combat power at critical points in time and space on the battlefield by–
Determining the threat’s likely COA.
Describing the environment your unit is operating within and the effects of the environment on your unit.
IPB is a continuous process which consists of four steps which you perform each time you conduct IPB:
Define the battlefield environment.
Describe the battlefield’s effects.
Evaluate the threat.
Determine threat COAs.
The IPB process is continuous. You conduct IPB prior to and during the command’s initial planning for an operation, but you also continue to perform IPB during the conduct of the operation. Each function in the process is performed continuously to ensure that–
The products of IPB remain complete and valid.
You provide support to the commander and direction to the intelligence system throughout the current mission and into preparation for the next.