The EXFOR

Intelligence in Force XXI

by Lieutenant Colonel John R. Brooks and Lieutenant Colonel Steven L. Campbell

You cannot get to the future by walking backwards out of the past.
The Force XXI experiment is about realizing the future sooner. It is about learning and growing as an institution; it is about pushing the envelope. The Louisiana Maneuver Task Force World Wide Web Home page discusses the need for a Force XXI effort as follows:

A smaller version of the Cold War Army the victorious Army of the Cold War and Operation DESERT STORM will not answer America's expanding national security needs. A new, better Army is needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century. To maintain the Army's qualitative edge over potential adversaries, the Army is making fundamental changes in doctrine, organization, and training.

Journey to Force XXI

The Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Pamphlet 525-5, Force XXI Operations, contains the design principles of the experiment. This document captures the essence of the vision Generals Fredrick Franks and Gordon Sullivan expressed to the TRADOC and Army communities after Operation DESERT STORM:
This journey to Force XXI began after Operation DESERT STORM. The Army and the world were different, yet the Army had not significantly changed. We were more lethal but how much better were we? How much more lethal and survivable can we be? How far could we go?
Small experiments began at many places, such as Fort Knox, Kentucky, with the digital squad and then at Fort Hood, Texas, with a platoon-size experimental element. Meanwhile, military intelligence (MI) was examining itself with the MI Relook and Operation DESERT CAPTURE I. Other battlefield operating systems (BOS) were doing the same self-examination. At the National Training Center (NTC) in April 1994, many BOSs came together for the first time. NTC rotation 94-07 with Operations DESERT HAMMER VI and DESERT CAPTURE II was a landmark in large-scale and horizontal experimentation. In the spirit of the original Louisiana Maneuvers, the Army deployed soldiers in a realistic combat environment for detailed examination of concepts and systems. Many successes and failures and much debate on the results followed. Yet the overarching outcome was that the Army could experiment and train, that the potential of the technology was significant, and that horizontal integration was very important. A significant finding was that we must continue our experiments to propel us into the future.

The Birth of the EXFOR

The experiments will employ an Army testbed experimental force (EXFOR). In December 1994, the Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA) designated the 2nd Armored Division as the Army's EXFOR. In December 1995, the Division reflagged as the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) (4th ID (M)) and added a third brigade. It also began the process of transitioning to the EXFOR mission. Figure 1 depicts the EXFOR's near-term evolution (see the glossary on page 18 for the expansion of the acronyms used in this article). The 4th ID (M) has a very broad, complex mission:
Two large-scale experiments have been programmed to look at the division structure, Task Force (TF) XXI at NTC 97-05 and a Battle Command Training Program (BCTP)-like exercise in November 1997. The experiments now include approximately 76 prototype systems, 43 fieldings and 20 concepts, all designed to allow a glimpse of the future.
Experiment for the future and maintain readiness: these two missions often conflict in priority. Balance has become the watchword in the EXFOR.

Life in the EXFOR

The 4th ID (M) is not a pure laboratory. The last two bullets in the mission statement dictate this. We still do all the things required of other Army combat units. We still have scheduled company and team lanes, gunnery, NTC rotations (five during the next 18 months), BCTPs, and so forth. The readiness of the division is still a priority. We always examine potential experiments closely to determine if they conflict with the immediate and future warfighting ability of the unit. If it is important enough, the experiment will take place, as long as it does not seriously compromise the mission of the Division.
People are our most important resource. Therefore, we continually assess the impact of these experiments on the soldiers in the Division and encourage their professional development. Soldiers still attend schools and leadership positions still change. When all the gadgets leave, the soldiers will remain. Soldiers that participate in these exercises will be very valuable to the Army's future. We must ensure they remain competitive in their career fields.

The Path to Force XXI: Through the ECC

The 4th ID (M) is not alone in this process; the entire Army is supporting this effort (see Figure 2). TRADOC (Fort Huachuca) is working the tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP), the modified tables of organization and equipment, and the experimental designs. The Army Materiel Command (AMC) is supplying the material and systems. The U.S. Forces Command (FORSCOM) supplies the work force and the Army Digitization Office (ADO) supports the effort with automa-tion. Headquarters, Department of the Army (DA) provides the guidance while the Operational Test and Evaluation Command (OPTEC) furnishes evaluations and testing.
An organization known as the EXFOR Coordination Center (ECC) filters all this help. The ECC, totally integrated into the Division, deals with problems, enforces the good idea cut-off dates, and tracks deliverables to the Division. Our path to Force XXI is through the ECC!
The ECC has representatives from all the BOSs and major Army organizations involved in the process. The representative for MI is Captain Mike LaChance.

Enabling Task Force XXI

Task Force XXI is actually 1st Brigade, the Raider Brigade. The Army will add roughly twelve hundred computers to the brigade structure. Virtually every vehicle or dismounted soldier will have a computer connected to the tactical internet. The number of moving parts is mind-boggling. The Appliqu‚ software ties the BOSs together from the OH-58D to the M1 Abrams tank. In MI, the change is in both force structure and technology. The structural change includes the general support (GS) and direct support (DS) MI companies. The enabling technologies of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) Enhanced Ground Station Module (GSM), and All- Source Analysis System (ASAS) will be available down to battalion level. The most significant impacts will be the ability to get the bottom-up feeds from the Appliqu‚ and the ability to disseminate intelligence over the tactical internet, literally down to the individual tank. We do not currently understand all the implications surrounding this ability to move information at will. This capability will exist in the future; we must understand it as soon as possible. This is the essence of Force XXI.
TF XXI is using the TRADOC doctrine, training, leaders, organizations, materiel and soldiers (DTLOMS) model to examine all aspects of the AWE experiments. DTLOMS is a systematic approach to examining an issue. TF XXI is examining and recording in detail the impact on DTLOMS. Issues like the relationship of the analysis and control team (ACT) to the brigade S2, the size of the ACT and the brigade S2 organizations, the DS and GS company relationship, the type and length of training required, and the man-machine interface in ASAS are but a few of the many aspects we are questioning. There are many more questions than answers at this point.
We are exporting our lessons learned to the big Army in real time. We are sending our TTP for ASAS operations and for the Maneuver Control System/Phoenix (MCS/P) to the U.N. International Force (IFOR) in Bosnia. The contractors who are supporting Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR are actually training with the EXFOR. The next baselines are incorporating changes to the MCS\P beta version and ASAS.

Changes Leading to Division XXI

At the time of this writing, a Division XXI structure is close to completion. The interim design is between 15,000 and 16,000 soldiers. It has
Among the changes is a new element the DISCOM now has a computer maintenance section.
The command and control (C2) structure is also different. The results of the Leavenworth Prairie Warrior experiments provided the starting point for the redesign. The new design is not nearly as radical as the Leavenworth experience. As of late March 1996, the Division will have a main command post (CP), a tactical command post and a command group, but no rear CP. Additionally, following the MI battalion lead, multiple major support command's (MSC) headquarters have condensed in the various division headquarters. These include the ADA battalion and signal, MI, aviation, and engineer elements. This design will help eliminate duplication of effort and shorten decision cycles. Conducting multiple simulation-driven experiments will aid in examining and refining the C2 structure. We learn a little more every time we conduct an exercise.

Outriders Out Front

The 104th MI Battalion, the "Outriders," provides intelligence support to TF XXI (see Figure 3). The 104th has begun its transformation into the MI battalion of the 21st century. This transmutation began with the battalion's transitioning into the December 1995 "A-Series" Modified Table of Organization and Equipment (the MTOE) in early September. We completed this transition early to ensure that the structure was in place during the 2d Brigade's exercise evaluations and to work out the bugs before the January 1996 division warfighter exercise.
One of the first decisions made after implementing the new MTOE was to integrate the MI battalion tactical operations center into the division main command post (DMAIN) and form an intelligence operations center. The EXFOR decided to have an integrated intelligence operations center, combining G2 operations and the MI battalion operations element because it would result in better synchronized intelligence support. The functions of G2 operations and the MI battalion have not changed, just the location. This integration has allowed the battalion to better command and control the intelligence assets in the division. The G2 is responsible for planning and coordinating assets based on guidance from the commanding general, while the MI battalion commander fights the battalion. Location at DMAIN reduces the planning cycle, facilitates deconfliction, and reduces the response time. The MI battalion commander is also a key player in deep operations. During the execution of an operation, DIVARTY, aviation, and MI commanders are in the deep cell. This significantly enhances the precise execution required in deep operations. Locating in the DMAIN has paid big dividends in the synchronization of division-level intelligence support. As the division transitions to the Division XXI configuration, the location of the MI Battalion command function will be with the tactical command post. The bottom line less talk, quicker execution.
The Appliqu‚ will further enhance our situational awareness. We will now know as much about our own assets as we do about the enemy. There will no longer be a requirement to get radio updates on a system's location because you will already have the information. The GS and DS companies also raise many questions that we will address as we work with Fort Huachuca to develop the TTP. The role of the GS company has expanded considerably with the advanced capabilities of the Ground-Based Common Sensor-Heavy/Light (GBCS-H/L) and UAVs. How does the company commander command and control assets which are deployed on the front line, while simultaneously planning and conducting launch and recovery missions in support of UAVs? That is a question we must answer. We will also be working with the aviation brigade, as the GBCS-H/L and the Advanced QUICKFIX TTP develop.
One lesson learned is that the DS company's analysis and control team must be the single focal point for all intelligence operations in a brigade's area of operations (AO). Whether it is a GBCS-H/L or UAV, the ACT has responsibility for the coordination. The ACT's situational awareness of the brigade AO ensures that they defuse or troubleshoot prior to development of problems. The ACT also coordinates with the brigade for security and support of MI battalion assets. The ACT has become an integral part of brigade operations. With the Common Ground Station Prototype, the ASAS Remote Workstation (ASAS-RWS), the UAV Ground Control Station, and the connectivity with GS company assets, the ACT provides the brigades with a capability only now being realized. One point is already evident: brigade commanders want the ACT and its enhanced capabilities.
As stated earlier, the MI battalion is responsible for intelligence operations. To support the G2, the analysis and control element (ACE) has been designated a "de facto company." The ACE detachment then gets a DS mission in support of the G2. This reduces the confusion normally associated with the question of who controls the ACE. We treat the ACE the same as the other DS companies and the rating scheme is within the MI battalion. The mission is the same for all the DS companies: train as one organization (whether it is with a brigade or the G2) and provide effective intelligence support. The bottom line for MI the doctrine and concepts are about right. New systems can increase the capability for wide-area surveillance, both airborne and on the ground; increased targeting accuracy and target hand-off; the ability to see over the next hill; and probably most important, the ability to disseminate to a very low level.

No Magic, Physics Laws Still Apply

We are relearning one lesson. At least for the immediate future, one cannot command intelligence to happen. The fundamentals are still mandatory, and the planning process is important. As Albert Einstein said, You cannot make anything any simpler than it is! Intelligence is still hard work. The intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) process is still very time-consuming, and tedious work. Digitization is helping to keep the products up to date. We must wargame and develop the collection plan. Formalized intelligence and information requirements (such as the commander's critical information requirements, priority intelligence requirements, high-value and high-payoff targets, and information requirements) are still very much alive. The analyst is still the most important part of the process: much more important than the machine. This is yet another example of the machine serving the individual.
Other BOSs are learning from the intelligence BOS. We have had ASAS for a few years. We have learned how to train with it and that more information may mean more confusion if it is not properly focused. Based on our insights, a new type of wargame is emerging the information wargame. We must have a detailed examination of what needs to move when and where. This wargame produces an information synchronization matrix, an element critical to information operations. Conducting TTP is much harder than moving digits around. We are seeing a lot of early success, but it continues to be hard. You cross one phase line at a time.
By the way, you can have a dozen horizontally integrated computer systems working a problem, but if you require focus of a collector on a specific part of the battlefield, you must normally plan ahead. For instance, if the UAV is one side of the battlefield and you suddenly need it collecting on the other side, it flies at 100 knots an hour until it gets there. That is, if it has enough time on left on station. The laws of physics still apply, even to Force XXI.

Balancing Act

Life in the EXFOR is exciting and challenging. The most difficult challenge is maintaining balance. We deal every day with the competing readiness versus experimentation, the high operating tempo versus soldier quality-of-life, and the experimentation schedule versus soldier professional development. The most limited resource, of course, is time there is never enough. The EXFOR's most important resource is its people. One result of the experiment is already emerging; one that could have been predicted. The U.S. Army will continue to lead the way with today's high quality soldiers, now enabled with tomorrow's technology!
Lieutenant Colonel "Randy" Brooks is currently the EXFOR G2. During Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, he served as the Chief of National Systems, Third United States Army. He graduated from the Citadel in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in Political Science. LTC Brooks is also a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and is on the battalion command list. Readers can reach him at (817) 287-9218, DSN 737-9218, or E-mail [email protected] mil .

Lieutenant Colonel "Steve" Campbell is currently the commander of the 104th Military Intelligence Battalion, 4th Infantry Division (Mech). Previously, LTC Campbell served as the Regimental S2 of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment and deployed to Southwest Asia in support of DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. He holds a bachelor's degree in Marketing from Mississippi State Universisty and a Master of Accounting degree from Florida State University. Readers can reach LTC Campbell at (817) 288-3774, DSN 738-3774 and E-mail [email protected] .