The dynamics of tactical missions are of a specific nature. Determined and shrewd exploitation and control of their inherent real-time, safety-critical operational dynamics are vital for success in a wartime or disaster scenario. This paper describes research and development of theories, methods and tools for modeling, analysis and accident prevention in precarious time-critical air traffic control, process control, emergency response and military operations. We performed case studies, field studies, and experiments using a combined systems theory, Cognitive Systems Engineering and psychophysiology framework. We carried out Joint Tactical Cognitive Systems identification, modeling, and synthesis, and investigated inherent command, control, and intelligence activities. We found significant relations between workload. time pressure, cognitive complexity, and physiological stress responses.