Center Without Walls:
Training in the

Information Age

by Lieutenant Colonel Dennis A. Lowrey

Several urgent requirements came together in the spring of 1995 to produce an innovative program called "Center Without Walls." The Center Without Walls is an on-going effort by the United States Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca (USAIC&FH) to radically redesign, develop, and provide innovative training services to the first Information Age branch, military intelligence (MI). This article explores the requirements, establishes the program azimuth, and gives a progress report for those with only traditional access to information.

Requirement: Training in an Age of Austerity

In the fall of 1994, Brigadier General Claudia J. Kennedy, then Deputy Commanding General, USAIC&FH, began an intensive look at the Intelligence Center organization, existing programs, and methods of operation. The purpose of this self-examination was to ask fundamental questions about how the Intelligence Center organized to fight the training battle. The review determined that the organization is sound but needs to focus on making every minute of institutional training count.
This adjustment to the focus of intelligence training must recognize that change is a constant. Doctrine, materiel, and organizations will continue to evolve to meet the demands of the future. The training process needs to recognize this element of constant change and adapt to it.

Doctrine

Key trends in intelligence doctrine are clear. Under the leadership of then Major General Paul E. Menoher and later Major General John F. Stewart, Jr., the Intelligence Center revised doctrine to reflect the needs of the force projection Army. FM 34-1, Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Operations, 27 September 1994, established commander driven intelligence, tactical tailoring, split-based operations, intelligence synchronization, and broadcast dissemination as our MI principles. This doctrinal shift, which also incorporated the lessons learned from Operation DESERT STORM, required a massive education effort not only for MI leaders but for all Army leaders. In the fall of 1994, the new USAIC&FH commander, Brigadier General Charles W. Thomas directed the Center to develop doctrine for Force XXI and explore the requirements of information warfare.
An implication of the principle of tactical tailoring is that we must effectively integrate operational and tactical information networks in a joint and combined environment. Many MI officers who have served at the division and below have never worked with operational intelligence networks, or the Department of Defense (DOD) Intelligence Information System (DODIIS) community. Joining DODIIS and tactical networks together must become routine if we are to fully tailor the intelligence architecture to meet the need of commanders. Furthermore, MI officers will have to become familiar with these networks and information integration challenges. All Active and Reserve Component MI personnel must become proficient in using the entire system of DOD intelligence.

Materiel

The modernization of MI systems has proceeded at a rapid pace. New, highly capable, sophisticated equipment such as the All-Source Analysis System, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, and unmanned aerial vehicle systems are entering the MI force structure. Focused on getting systems to the force, the MI leadership has made tough resource decisions to keep our modernization on track. Modernization is, however, opening up a training gap in the force. Our new equipment, while highly capable, is more complex to operate and requires tight synchronization with the commander's operational plan. Soldiers and leaders need more training, information, and opportunities to practice with the new systems.

Organizations

In table of organization and equipment (TO&E) units, the tempo of operations is increasing. Regular deployments are a fact of life. There is less time to train and units have little time to invest in their own training support programs. Tactical tailoring means that units will go to war with equipment that is not part of their normal peacetime organization. The field clearly needs more help in coping with doctrine and materiel change.
To maintain its fighting edge, the Army is shrinking table of distribution and allowance Army positions and trimming institutional courses. The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) directed subordinate centers to cut functional courses to sustain core soldier and leader training programs without increasing course lengths. Therefore, the USAIC&FH could not use the increased training time to make up for the sophistication of our new equipment. Training support and peripheral programs decreased to protect the instructor force. An innovative approach was essential.
The Intelligence Center needed to identify core competencies in MI, train to standard but maintain the capability of constantly evolving the implementation of our core competencies. Simultaneously, we had to provide more training support to the field so they could conduct sustainment training while maintaining the tempo of operations. Brigadier General Kennedy codified this new approach into a vision statement that the review team briefed to General Thomas. General Thomas approved the vision and directed us to execute it.

Azimuth:
Training for Intel XXI

Figure 1 depicts the new MI training architecture. There are three elements to this architecture, but we will focus on the first goal push support to the Total Force. This is the essence of the Center Without Walls.
The Center Without Walls is the outreach portion of our new training vision. The idea is to break down traditional and slow communication barriers between the USAIC&FH and the field force. The Intelligence Center is not a separate factory of training packages and manuals. It is a partner in the total MI team providing on-going support to all operational units.
The Intelligence Center writers and instructors need to understand our new equipment and doctrine. With this information, they can develop the initial tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) to get the new systems to the force. Based on lessons from field experience, writers and instructors can then refine TTP. The Center will not wait for the perfect solution nor expect that there be one.
We need to make the Intelligence Center capable of rapidly reinforcing every MI unit's training program. We can do this by--
Simultaneously, we need to be ready to absorb the lessons of operational experience. The initial TTP is just that. Individual TO&E units quickly develop experience that the Intelligence Center must capture and incorporate into combat developments, doctrine, and training. We have to make it easy for units to communicate with USAIC&FH.
The initial strategy we adopted was to leverage INTERNET, specifically the World Wide Web, to communicate with the force. We focused first on the Web because it was visual, easy to use, and widely accessible. INTERNET would enable users to reach the reserve force structure. Additionally, the software on the Web is the same as the software used on the Intelligence Link (INTELINK) and INTELINK-S which are essentially classified closed-domain versions of the Web.
The Center Without Walls is about using modern communications means. We use these means to create a more cohesive total MI team. The total MI team quickly adapts to new technological capabilities while maintaining a warfighting edge. (See Figure 2.)

Progress Report:
Efforts to Date

A Tiger Team from the Center's 111th MI Brigade developed the prototype for the Center Without Walls. The brigade formed the team to build the physical, software, and information architecture to support the vision. Colonel Norman Williamson, commander, 111th MI Brigade, charged the members of the Tiger Team to rapidly develop a prototype of an initial Web capability, create software, develop the security measures, and prepare the USAIC&FH to take over portions of this project. The team was not going to build a new, large organization but embed new techniques in the existing instructor, combat development, and garrison forces while developing a small residual support capability.
The Tiger Team was not a collection of computer experts. It consisted of representatives from the MI NCO Academy, the garrison staff, the Deputy Assistant Commandant's office, the Reserve Forces office, and the battalions of the 111th MI Brigade. The officer leadership was provided by Lieutenant Colonel John R. Brooks and the NCO leader was Master Sergeant Stacy Smith. The team came together in a room provided with computers, connections to INTERNET, and a variety of software tools for developing materials for the Web. They were encouraged to explore the Web and then teach themselves to use the tools. The team quickly came together and posted material on the Web in a matter of two weeks. The team also developed a training package for units in the field.

Establishing the Web Site

A Web site requires physical and software architecture. Establishing a site is a complicated task. It requires
Initially, the Tiger Team chose to use a SUN SPARC 10 for the prototype version of the Web site. The Fort Huachuca Directorate of Information Management provided the connectivity to the MILNET. The server ran Mosaic server software from the National Center for SuperComputing Applications. Mosaic server software was free but it required considerable UNIX operating system and programming expertise to keep running. We learned that we did not have sufficient programming expertise to keep up with changes to the Mosaic software and that a commercial solution was necessary. The solution to pursue was tied to our assessment of the security measures.

Information Security

The INTERNET and the Web are available worldwide. Once the Intelligence Center server was on-line (even before it was announced) a commercial firm in Europe had touched our site. Security clearly was a first consideration. A Web site is essentially electronic publishing. Working with the visual information activity of the Directorate of Operations, Training, and Doctrine, the Tiger Team developed an initial plan which incorporated the latest developments in the commercial sector.
The brigade Tiger Team determined that the Web site at the Center should electronically publish and make readily available to any user of the Web, command information cleared for general release. Other unclassified support and instructional materials would be made available to authorized users behind appropriate operational security screens. The team was very cautious about what information they provided through the Web.
The overlying architecture consists of the following categories of unclassified information:
The last four categories are protected by software security procedures. No classified information is placed on any server connected to the INTERNET.
The security solution the team selected was Netscape commercial security server software running on a Microsoft Windows server. The user software would be Netscape using Trumpet as the dial-up connection. The USAIC&FH purchased Netscape security server software and five hundred client software licenses. The Netscape security server works with remote server access encryption. (The software is marketed as banking level security with sufficiently robust security to handle credit card transactions over the INTERNET.) The team also decided to build a file transfer protocol archive for the information in the restricted information domain which users can only reach through the Netscape security screen. The field will have the appropriate access information when we train them to use the client software. (See Figure 3.)

"Turning On" Huachuca

The Intelligence Center activated its Web site on 15 February 1995. There are more than sixty pages reflecting most of the activities at Fort Huachuca. Welcome letters and materials for the NCO Academy, officer courses, and many of the enlisted courses are on the Web. There is equipment information, garrison information, and a page for the MI Corps Association. New arrivals at Fort Huachuca now have a wealth of information available to them. The secure server should be operable by September 1995 and lesson plans, field manuals, and instructional briefings will become available to the Total Force.
The USAIC&FH will activate its Web site in the following phases:
In the future, the Intelligence Center will explore in-depth simulations, network architectures, security issues of the information age, and management of information. We strongly recommend you get on-line in INTERNET. If you do not have the capability either in your unit or at home, acquire it. You should set yourself the task of establishing your link into the Web and then explore the information available. The Intelligence Center needs your feedback do not wait for a data call or a tasking. Share your experience with us. Send us your standing operating procedures, after-action reports, and your observations. This is your chance to become a user of the Center Without Walls.
Lieutenant Colonel Dennis A. Lowrey assumed command of the 326th MI Battalion, 111th MI Brigade, at Fort Huachuca, Arizona in June 1995. He is the overall architect for the infrastructure supporting the Center Without Walls. Readers can reach him at DSN 821-5456, commercial (520) 533-5456, or E-mail [email protected]