Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin

Brigade IEW in a Force Projection Army

by Captain Steven Guitron
Editor's Note: This article represents some of the initial work done on the revision of FM 34-80, Brigade and Battalion Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Operations.
The divisional maneuver brigade of the past could rely upon its organic assets to provide the type and amount of intelligence needed by the commander to successfully plan and execute operations. Since today's brigade could become a task force headquarters in the new force projection army, the brigade and its battalions must be prepared to employ their own assets and assume control of attached intelligence and electronic warfare (IEW) assets from higher echelons. The S2, as the commander's senior intelligence officer, must be educated and skilled in the employment of the entire spectrum of assets, to include division, corps, and sister Services' sensors. This knowledge must include assets that the brigade and division do not currently possess or assets in final development that are provided for a crisis.

Range of Military Operations

Maneuver brigades no longer face a single, well-defined conventional threat. Now, these brigades must focus on conducting contingency operations as part of a force projection operation. Whether airborne, air assault, armor, light infantry, or mechanized infantry, they must be capable of conducting operations across the range of military operations. Brigades and their battalions must be able to conduct missions in peacetime, conflict, and war against threats ranging in size from well-armed regional powers in Southwest Asia to paramilitary groups in famine-stricken Africa.
At the brigade, peacetime is typically that time when the brigade is involved in normal training activities and noncombat operations. Examples include a rotation to the National Training Center and firefighting in a national forest.
Confrontation and hostilities short of war to secure tactical objectives characterize conflict operations. In this situation the brigade must prepare for operations and rapid deployment. The S2 must focus intelligence to the commander's priority intelligence requirements for predeployment, deployment, operations, and redeployment. By using this sequence the S2 provides the commander with the type of intelligence he needs to successfully execute the assigned mission. The S2 and the direct support (DS) military intelligence (MI) company must be fully prepared to receive new IEW and communications systems. (See Figure 1.) This equipment could be an AN/TSQ-90 TROJAN Special Purpose Integrated Remote Intelligence Terminal (SPIRIT) or a Joint Deployable Intelligence Support System (JDISS) terminal. Teams equipped with these systems should be intertwined within the existing brigade intelligence structure and used to provide the support intended by their parent organization. Should the brigade become an Army Force component of a joint task force (JTF) or a JTF headquarters itself, then its IEW capabilities will expand rapidly. The S2 section could receive assets and personnel from division, corps, sister Services, and national agencies such as the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency.
The S2 must prepare the normal intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB), collection management, and all-source products for the impending deployment and conflict. He should make extensive use of higher echelons' (division, corps, theater, and national level) databases for the remaining intelligence requirements. Examples of conflict operations are peacekeeping, noncombatant evacuation operations, and support to insurgency.
War is the last environment. War involves the use of force in combat operations against an armed enemy. A general war is one in which major powers mobilize all national resources in a struggle for survival or dominance. At the brigade level, war requires battlefield intelligence which is accurate and timely. The brigade commander will use this intelligence to successfully fight and win the close battle and possibly the deep battle if the brigade acts as a force projection brigade. In support of operations, the S2 must effectively employ all intelligence capabilities within the area of operations. By using scouts, patrols, DS MI assets, and higher echelon intelligence support, the S2 can quickly provide a common view of the battlefield to each echelon within the brigade. This common view enables the combat commanders to make knowledgeable decisions based on the current tactical situation.
Operations during war place extreme stress on the intelligence structure and acquisition process. In light of this, the S2 must ensure that commander's critical intelligence requirements are met first and delay those that will not influence a decision until sufficient assets are available. This attention to detail in the collection management and synchronization process will ensure intelligence needed for decisions reaches the commander.

Force Projection Operations

Force projection operations typically include the ability to rapidly alert, mobilize, deploy, and operate anywhere in the world throughout the range of military operations. These operations extend from mobilization through deployment and operations to redeployment. Force projection usually begins with a rapid response to a crisis although it may involve a deliberate, slower build-up and deployment. During peacetime, the maneuver brigade includes deployment as part of its training. Brigades usually conduct force projection operations as part of the division or alone. IEW plays an important role in force projection operations by providing the timely and accurate intelligence needed by the brigade commander.
The brigade S2 and the analysis and control team (ACT) capitalize on the flexibility of the All-Source Analysis System (ASAS) remote workstation to support the brigade commander's force projection IEW requirements. The ACT officer in charge (OIC) configures the ACT components to provide seamless, uninterrupted intelligence support from predeployment through redeployment stages in any force projection operation. The ACT uses its ASAS workstations to update databases, develop intelligence products, disseminate intelligence, and control DS MI company operations throughout the operation. If equipped with ASAS, the subordinate battalion S2s use their workstations to provide the information needed at the brigade level. At the same time the battalion S2s can retrieve intelligence products from the brigade S2.
Army brigades and their subordinate battalions prepare to routinely execute six of the eight stages of force projection operations defined in FM 100-5, Operations. These six stages are-

Predeployment Activity

Brigade predeployment activities include planning, task organizing, and echeloning the brigade and subordinate battalions. It also includes preparing personnel and equipment for deployment. When alerted, the brigade may have to modify existing operations plans. These modifications may include readjusting task organizations, sequencing forces, and refining sustainment requirements.
During predeployment operations, the brigade S2 and battalion S2s conduct necessary actions in order to retrieve key intelligence data needed for deployment. The brigade S2 supports peacetime contingency planning with IPB products and database management for likely contingency areas. The contingency plan identifies the IEW requirements supporting the plan. The plan also establishes collection strategies and plans that will activate upon alert notification. For smooth transition to hostilities, the brigade S2 must coordinate collection and communications plans before the crisis occurs. After activation of the contingency plan, the brigade S2 surges the intelligence effort to support the decisionmaking process. The S2 must refine intelligence products and prepare the initial entry IEW support.
During predeployment, the ACT exchanges information and databases with the division analysis and control element (ACE) and, if authorized, with the corps ACE. It also exchanges information with other intelligence organizations at higher and lower echelons. The ACT establishes connectivity with the division ACE so it can access other Services, joint, national, and Reserve Component intelligence activities that collect against or possess information on the contingency area.


The proper arrival sequence of the brigade into an area of operations contributes to the stabilization of the situation and maintains a viable force protection capability. Success in force projection operations hinges on the capability of airlift and sealift assets to move forces to the area of operations quickly. The size and composition of forces requiring lift are based on mission, enemy, troops, terrain and weather, and time available (METT-T). The capabilities of host nation support and a forward presence of U.S. forces are also factors. Once the brigade arrives in theater, it moves to marshaling areas, staging areas, and then tactical assembly areas before executing operations.
If the brigade deploys as part of a division, then the division G2 would deploy a tactically tailored, initial entry team the deployable intelligence support element (DISE). If the brigade deploys alone, a divisional DISE would not deploy and the brigade would rely upon its ACT augmented with a TROJAN SPIRIT. The mission of the DISE is to provide the division commander with continuous, timely intelligence during the initial stages of a force projection operation.
In force projection operations, the commander tactically tailors IEW support for each contingency. The commander should attempt to retain unit integrity and standard relationships when developing force packages. However, the deployment of the entire DS MI company may not be feasible. Tailoring of the force allows the brigade commander, with advice from the brigade S2 and DS MI company commander, to build a force that can fulfill current and future needs of the mission. Some considerations when building the IEW force include-

Entry Operations

The brigade arrives in theater either as an entry force or a follow-on force. Entry forces can conduct either opposed or unopposed entry operations to secure the lodgment. Follow-on forces expand lodgments and build up combat power to sustain combat operations. During an opposed entry, the brigade conducts a forcible entry into an area that may contain hostile forces. In this situation, initial entry forces are primarily combat forces. During an unopposed entry, the brigade may serve as a deterrent, act as an advance party for a larger force, or participate in noncombat operations. The brigade may also conduct an unopposed entry under hostile conditions.
Force protection and situation development dominate collection activities in this stage. The division G2 and the brigade S2 attempt to identify all threats to arriving forces and assist the commander in developing force protection measures. During initial entry operations, echelons above corps organizations provide major intelligence support in a "push" mode to the division and brigade. This support includes departmental, joint, and scalable Army intelligence structures capable of deploying forward.
Collection and production capabilities are enhanced as IEW assets in the deployment area build up. As organic IEW assets flow into the theater, the brigade commander and S2 begin to rely on them for tactical intelligence although national and theater organizations remain a source of tactical intelligence.
Deploying intelligence assets of the brigade establish liaison with staffs and units already present in the area of operations. Liaison personnel and basic communications should be in place prior to the scheduled arrival of parent commands. The brigade S2 and the DS MI company commander should establish intelligence communications networks to support the brigade commander and subordinate battalion commanders.


Operations are the missions the brigade executes that contribute to overall mission accomplishment. The brigade may conduct both combat operations and other operations such as peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, and support to drug enforcement. The brigade commander shifts his focus from IEW support for deployment to support required for sustained operations. In the operation stage, IEW operations reach a crossover point in intelligence support where organic tactical intelligence becomes the commander's primary source of support, reducing the reliance on top-driven national and theater intelligence. The brigade commander uses both tactical and operational intelligence to decisively engage and defeat the enemy.
During operations, the brigade S2 supports the development of friendly plans that identify and attack enemy centers of gravity while avoiding enemy strength. The DS MI company commander continually evolves his concept for employing his personnel and equipment to reflect changes in the operation. The brigade S2's collection management and synchronization plans continue to support the brigade commander's decisionmaking and planning.
Intelligence synchronization is a shared effort shared by the brigade S2 and DS MI company commander. This coordinated effort in the collection, production, and dissemination of intelligence helps ensure linkage of IEW operations to the commander's requirements and responses in time to influence decisions. At the brigade level, synchronization of intelligence evolves from the intelligence line of the brigade's Battlefield Operating System (BOS) Synchronization Matrix. By actively participating in the wargaming process, the brigade S2 remains fully aware of the upcoming intelligence requirements. The intelligence staff applies this knowledge to develop the brigade reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S) plan. The ACT, based on the S2's guidance and R&S plan, develops the brigade's IEW collection plan and intelligence synchronization matrix (ISM). The brigade S2 uses these tools to further develop and track the PIR, specific information requirements, and specific orders and requests sequence.
The synchronization of the dissemination effort must be the responsibility of the ACT OIC. The OIC must ensure that each ACT analyst has a copy of the BOS synchronization matrix, the ISM, and the collection plan. By providing these working tools to the analysts, they can rapidly review outstanding PIR, update ASAS alarms, and provide intelligence by the latest time the information is of value. The ACT OIC, in conjunction with the S2, also determines which analysts have message release authority. By allowing senior analysts message release authority, the ACT OIC empowers them with the authority to execute timely dissemination of tailored intelligence products to the combat commanders.

War Termination and Post-Conflict Operations

War termination and post-conflict operations are activities taken to restore conditions in the areas of operation that are favorable to U.S. national policy. During this period, the brigade focuses on force protection and preparing for redeployment. Post-conflict operations also include restoring order and reestablishing host nation infrastructure. Planning and versatility are two vital components of successful post-conflict operations. The brigade commander and his staff begin planning post-conflict operations before cessation of combat operations. This planning includes-
Post-conflict activities include a variety of tasks from enemy prisoner of war control to civil affairs operations. The brigade also begins retraining its units on critical tasks and preparing for follow-on missions. The brigade S2 continues to support the commander's PIR. The nature of these requirements may shift from assessing threat forces to assessing political, economic, and other conditions that effect force protection and the desired end state.

Redeployment and Reconstitution

Redeployment is situation de-pendent and requires task organizing and echeloning similar to deployment. Some assets will depart early, such as advance parties, nonessential personnel, and equipment. During this phase, units continue to train on individual and mission essential tasks. The objective of reconstitution is to prepare for follow-on missions rapidly. These activities include rebuilding the unit's integrity and accounting for soldiers and equipment. The focus is on reconstitution of units to predeployment levels of readiness.
As the combat power and resources decrease in the area of operations, force protection becomes the focus of the brigade commander's PIR. This in turn drives the commander's selection of those MI assets that should remain deployed in support of the brigade. The ACT, a TROJAN SPIRIT team, and the DS MI company's counterintelligence and interrogation personnel, will normally be among the last to redeploy due to their ability to retrieve information and support force protection.


The Army has transitioned into an era in which smaller, more capable forces must quickly deploy and influence regional struggles within days. This new force projection army not only must support any mission with smaller combat ready units but also with smaller supporting forces. Supporting forces such as the DS MI company must be able to deploy on a moment's notice and conduct operations. Intelligence success or failure on today's battlefield depends upon how well the commander and S2 employs their IEW resources.
Captain Guitron is the primary author for the revision of FM 34-80. Prior to his assignment at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, he served in a variety of positions in the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, including assistant brigade S2, armor battalion assistant S2, and ground surveillance radar platoon leader. Readers can reach him at (520) 538-0979 or DSN 879-0979.