Naval Intelligence Training:

Some Thoughts on the Future

by Captain Frank P. Notz, USN (Retired)

During the past decade we have created a modern, high-technology military with the ability to envision, establish and convert programs (force multipliers) into battlefield successes. One of the force multipliers we have worked hard to achieve is superior training. This commitment to training has been truly evident in our recent conflicts, including the winning of the Cold War. Old warriors know, however, that any future endeavors will demand the same results. The edge we have created in training is a continuing responsibility, something we must protect from being hollowed out. While it is possible for "pop-up" technological surprises to happen, "pop-up" training surprises are the result of a breakdown in the system. So the challenge in the future will be to keep providing our people high levels of competence and confidence (to excel) while simultaneously ensuring we are getting the highest return on our shrinking investment in training.
As the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps continue on the present drawdown road to meet the budgetary realities of the future, the onus on the training establishment will be to become more effective and efficient with fewer resources. Training organizations must continue to provide superior battle-winning training in a more complex, but less resource-rich, environment. While this will take some imagination and resource realignments, the exploding world of communications and information exchange methods will allow this transition to take place. Here in Dam Neck, Virginia, at the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center (NMITC), we are preparing for the information age.

Future Training Support

During the next several years, the training environment will change at NMITC. We will be taking advantage of several technological innovations in information management to transition toward modernized training methods. We will still offer initial skill-level training at the schoolhouse. Using the new information technology, NMITC will also provide specialized and advanced training at the intelligence work center or unit training center, afloat or ashore. Accordingly, we are laying the groundwork for NMITC to become an organization comprised of a schoolhouse that provides--
What should the NMITC of the future look like? One can envision an in-residence facility equipped to teach initial skills, advanced abilities, and specialized systems training, coupled with high technology facilities to transmit intelligence training to the consumers. More specifically, the facility will revolve around the following three concepts.

Basic Skills Training

NMITC will always be a basic skills training center that instills the methods of our tradecraft into the new Navy and Marine Corps officer and enlisted intelligence specialists of the future. Basic skills training will remain a Service requirement. This center will get them started in the intelligence business and ensure they absorb the Navy and Marine Corps intelligence "culture" support to the operating forces. The NMITC will always have a requirement to teach Navy and Marine Corps operations intelligence to ensure we are supporting the vision of "From the Sea" strategy and the maritime expeditionary environment.
The biggest changes for basic skills training will be--
Because of the unique demands of the maritime environment, we will continue to instruct our Service intelligence officers and enlisted personnel in basic skills to meet the basic requirements of the fleet and fleet marine forces.

Specialized System Training

The NMITC facility will also include several advanced technology systems labs. They will teach officers and "C" school students the use of specialized intelligence data-handling systems. This training will be system-specific to support the technological weapons of the future.
Editor's Note: "C" schools are similar to follow-on courses like the Electronic Warfare Operators Course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

Intermediate and Advanced Skills Training

The real revolution will come in how we conduct intermediate level and advanced skill training. This revolution will occur by employing the intelligence video tele-training (VTT) capabilities we hope to establish. The VTT facilities will develop and transmit intelligence courses to the fleets and joint arena via the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System or Defense Message System communications VTT systems. At NMITC, we are just entering the world of tele-training.
Editor's Note: "The Information Age and the Coming Training Revolution" by Brigadier General Charles W. Thomas in the July-September 1995 issue of the Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin discusses the Intelligence Center's "distance learning" and "school without walls" concepts.
Conceptually, this kind of interactive training lends itself well to the many non-technical training courses we presently offer. Eventually, we will be able to sit in a studio and instruct students on certain aspects of functional intelligence or instruct them on a system, whether it be the Navy Tactical Command System-Afloat, Tactical Aircraft Mission Planning System, the EMERALD counternarcotics database, or the Joint Deployable Intelligence Support System.
We are looking at supporting this effort with an interactive gaming and training facility. That will allow certain facilities here at NMITC and at other training commands or facilities, units or elements to hook-up to live training practical exercises. The age of interactive video will eventually allow us to interact with intelligence schoolhouses of the other Services. We could take advantage of their expertise in teaching their basic intelligence (joint to us) principles to our personnel. We will also have a supporting interactive library research system. We can use the system to train future intelligence professionals about all the data resources available to them, not just the classified ones.

Joint Operations Training

Another aspect of the future training environment will be the continuing incorporation of joint intelligence training into our training routine at the NMITC. Our people will have to be smart about the operational environment and requirements of the Navy and Marine Corps. They will also need to have a basic understanding of the warfare requirements of the other Services and how these come together in the joint environment. We must instruct our people in the concepts of how "jointness" comes into play and the systems the other Services are using to manage and manipulate data. Someday, these systems might have enough commonality to enable training on common hardware and software applications. Meanwhile, we are entering this joint field by establishing specific joint training courses for operational intelligence systems, and joint task force intelligence management. The current NMITC mid- career course is also moving toward the joint environment. We continue to call on the national and joint leadership to lecture at this course and are slowly expanding the participation of the other Services.

Reserve Unit Training

One can readily see the applications the above training will have on our intelligence forces. We envision being able to tele-train entire reserve units from a common studio at the NMITC. Besides saving training resources, this will allow us to keep the reserve intelligence force current on many operational and training issues. This is particularly important for joint items which the reserves are routinely taking on in support of the active Services.


Where will all this take us down the long road? We plan to eventually have a training system where the customer could tune in to training sessions taught in a schoolhouse and transmitted via a VTT signal. Intelligence center managers could assess their organizational strengths and weaknesses. Using that assessment, they could, for the first time, be able to develop a time-shared training plan to reinforce or correct any deficiencies. We could use some of this same technology to teach our in-residence basic courses.
In summary, these are exciting times in the training world. We need to integrate conventional training wisdom and practices, still the solid foundation for professionalism, with some of the new and exciting training techniques. At the NMITC, I think we have devised a pathway into the future that incorporates these advances while ensuring we remain committed to our basic training requirements for future Navy and Marine Corps intelligence professionals.
Prior to his retirement in August 1995, Captain Notz served three years as Commander, NMITC. He is a 1995 recipient of the National Military Intelligence Association Rufus L. Taylor Award for Naval Intelligence Professional Excellence. Captain Notz graduated from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. He has held numerous staff and command positions in intelligence elements ashore and afloat, including Deputy Director for Intelligence at U.S. European Command.