Enhancing Army Intelligence in Support of Warfighters

By Alexander, Keith B. | Army, October 2005 | Go to article overview

Enhancing Army Intelligence in Support of Warfighters


Alexander, Keith B., Army


Our nation is at war. This war does not resemble the world wars of the last century, but it threatens Americans, our global interests and our homeland. Waging this war requires constant engagement throughout the world, and it threatens to last not for years, but for generations. It is a war fought in a dynamic security environment, primarily characterized by irregular, asymmetric warfare in complex terrain. In every war, and particularly in this war, information is the critical enabler for decision makers, commanders and soldiers.

Army Intelligence is decisively engaged in the global war on terrorism, contributing to Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF) with almost 3,000 deployed Military Intelligence soldiers and thousands more engaged worldwide. Army Intelligence continues to adapt and improve by applying the lessons learned by these soldiers, both deployed and at home. New intelligence capabilities that soldiers have taken to the fight in recent years include human intelligence (HUMINT) collection teams, aerostats (intelligence collection dirigibles), unmanned aerial vehicles, unattended ground sensors and personal digital assistants (PDAs). Each capability contributes both to our overall situational understanding and to the protection of soldiers.

Over this past year we have focused on improvements in three major areas: providing much higher quality intelligence down to the maneuver battalion level through the development of the joint intelligence operations center (JIOC) concept; using biometrics (unique individual signatures) to enroll, identify and track persons of interest through the deployment of a biometrics collection and dissemination capability known as the biometrics automated toolset; and increasing our soldiers' knowledge of the cultural aspects of the people they encounter while deployed. Although much work remains to be done in each of these areas, they have significantly contributed to the OIF/OEF mission and the continued transformation of Army Intelligence.

As part of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence initiative to remodel defense intelligence (transforming intelligence at the Department of Defense level), the Army, U.S. Joint Forces Command and Central Command are developing, training and deploying the technologies and processes needed to conduct intelligence operations through the JIOC concept. We are taking the many disparate sensors and databases across the battlespace, uniquely identifying them and putting them into a single repository in order to allow commanders, analysts and soldiers easy access to the data for decision-making purposes. This will greatly increase the quality and timeliness of actionable intelligence available to commanders and soldiers who are planning and executing combat operations.

The JIOC concept incorporates the functions of the current joint intelligence centers with the capability to direct and execute intelligence collection operations by all service components in support of the combatant commander (COCOM). To execute the JIOC concept, Army Intelligence must accomplish four tasks: build the network, connecting the soldier to LandWarNet; connect the sensors to the network; provide the tools to evaluate the data and the reporting; and establish tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) for intelligence personnel to deliver actionable intelligence that will enable operators to accomplish the mission. Significant to the JIOC is the initial collocation of collectors and analysts, as well as the direct response of analysts to COCOM requirements in theater.

By providing the technology to assist in the agile collection and cross-cueing of theater and national sensors tailored to their mission, location and intelligence requirements, soldiers at all levels, via a PDA, will have access to actionable intelligence. Soldiers and HUMINT collection teams will report relevant information that will be accessible at all operational levels and interface with emerging technologies and capabilities.

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