Combat Camera Units Document Military Operations

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Each U.S. military service now has "combat camera" (COMCAM) units that provide a unique visual record of military operations, according to a new manual on COMCAM tactics and procedures (pdf).

The photographic and motion imagery produced by military photographers "enhances the commander's situational awareness and establishes a historical operations record."

If and when such imagery is eventually released, it has the potential to add a new dimension to public understanding of military operations and to supplement external oversight.

"COMCAM forces perform unique and highly specialized missions ... supporting the full range of military operations in all operational environments. COMCAM personnel maintain qualifications enabling them to operate with airborne forces, special operations forces, and military divers."

"In an increasingly media-driven world and global information environment, the ability to exploit VIDOC [visual information documentation] has enabled the warfighter to gain a battlespace advantage."

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