S2 Training at Home
by Major Richard A. Jodoin, Jr.
A common question asked by many brigade and battalion S2s is "How
can I prepare for a Combat Training Center (CTC) rotation when
training dollars are cut?" The answer is "There is a lot you can
do!" However, since time is just as precious as money, the S2
training must be a structured program that possesses the full
support of the commander and division G2.
So how should an S2 training plan be structured? A building block
method, starting with U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort
Huachuca (USAIC&FH) officer training, is best. As illustrated in
Figure 1, the commander and the division G2 play essential roles in
the S2 training plan. Their support roles in S2 training can be
anything from being a principal instructor to allocating training
resources. The end result of the building block method is enhanced
intelligence support to the tactical warfighter.
The training must, regardless of how a unit structures its home
station training, emphasize the following areas:
Take each of the four areas and see how the building block method
can better train S2s at your home station. Again, this proposed
training plan is just that, and any unit's training plan must fit
that unit's training posture.
- Intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) process.
- Reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S) planning and execution.
- Integration into the battle staff.
- Analysis and interpretation of the enemy.
Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield
The best place to start developing an S2 training program after the
military intelligence (MI) officer basic and advanced courses (OBC,
OAC) should be at the division G2 level. The G2 is both the
division commander's senior intelligence officer and trainer. As
the senior intelligence trainer, he should conduct IPB classes for
subordinate brigade and battalion S2s. By personally teaching S2s
how to use IPB and its effectiveness, the G2 ensures that
subordinate S2s follow the IPB process. These classes should expand
upon schoolhouse instruction and gear the S2 to the division's area
of operations. The G2 could incorporate this training into the
monthly G2 and S2 conferences that most division G2s conduct.
The next step is for the S2 to conduct internal S2 staff training.
This will allow the S2 to organize his section and drill his
personnel on the IPB process before they are integrated into the
rest of the battle staff. The commander can support the S2's
internal training by providing the training time and guidance on
how IPB should support his decisionmaking process.
Reconnaissance and Surveillance
The same process for training S2s in the IPB process holds true for
R&S planning and execution. Since the G2 is responsible for the
division's R&S plan, he should take the lead in training
subordinate S2s on the R&S process. The G2's classes should include
discussions on what R&S assets are available, their capabilities,
and best method of employment. During these sessions, the G2 must
also emphasize when the R&S plans are due at the different levels.
Following the G2's training, the next step is for the S2 to conduct
internal training. The S2 must train his battlefield intelligence
coordination center (BICC) officer in R&S planning. As his point of
contact for R&S, the S2 must prepare the BICC to
Since R&S is a key to battlefield intelligence, R&S training should
also include the unit S3 and supporting reconnaissance assets. This
allows the unit to train as it fights. The commander's role in R&S
training is to provide training resources and guidance on his
vision of R&S planning and execution.
- Develop R&S plans.
- Brief the commander and supporting R&S assets.
- Ensure the R&S plan gets to the next higher echelon.
This training experience can assist in the development and
execution of realistic R&S lane training. Lane training allows the
unit to exercise the entire R&S process at the home station. The
unit can focus the lane training on what the scouts can do such as
route and obstacle reconnaissance. The supporting slice elements
can practice crew-level skills. The end result exercises the R&S
system and gets the different elements working together at the home
Figure 2 provides an example of the effects of poor R&S training
and execution. The lack of an integrated division R&S plan in the
Figure 2 scenario would result in no division early warning in the
2d Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment sector, the area of the
enemy's main effort. There is no doubt the battalion's S2 developed
an effective R&S plan. However, as part of the division's overall
plan, the battalion and brigade S2s must send it to the higher
echelon. In this case, the division G2 had no known coverage in the
south at his level.
Battle Staff Integration
If the S2 conducts the IPB and R&S training as discussed, he is
prepared to assist the commander in planning, wargaming and
decisionmaking. The commander and S3 may tend to disregard the S2
because of his relative lack of experience compared to others in
the battle staff. An effective battle staff must have the S2 as a
vital player, just like the S3 and the fire support officer. The S2
must be the commander's expert on the enemy. The other staff
members feed into these three key battle staff members (S2, S3, and
fire support officer). If the battle staff follows the steps of the
decisionmaking process as they are outlined in the Command and
General Staff College's Student Text 101-5, Command Staff Decision
Processes, January 1994, then all staff elements will be
Analysis and Interpretation
My final comments concern the S2's analysis and interpretation of
the enemy. If the S2 expects to fully integrate into the battle
staff, he and his staff must know the enemy's tactics, equipment,
capabilities, and limitations. Just as the G2 must train
subordinate S2s, each S2 is responsible for conducting classes that
teach subordinates how to analyze and interpret information. These
classes could take place during section training or during
sergeants' time. Unlike some other types of training, the S2 relies
upon the G2's support and his initiative for this intelligence
training area. The commanders and S3 cannot help you study the
enemy. That is your responsibility.
If you are going to a CTC, the U. S. Army Training and Doctrine
Command (TRADOC) has made your intelligence train-up task easier.
The interim TRADOC 350-series pamphlets, the projected manuals
depicted in Figure 3, and publications such as the National
Training Center's Red Thrust Star discuss the opposing force
(OPFOR) at the CTCs.
Your preparation for a CTC rotation must start at your home
station. You should use a building block method of training to
develop intelligence skills that will support the commander and
your unit. If mastered, these are skills that will carry you
through a CTC rotation and, more importantly, lead you to success
Major Jodoin is attending the Command and General Staff College.
His most recently served as the S2, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
at Fort Irwin, California. Major Jodoin received a bachelors degree
from Norwich University and a masters degree from California Coast