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. 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.
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:
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
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
- The vision of an expanded battlespace and an organization that
can physically disperse on the battlefield yet mass its combat
- An organization capable of force protection throughout an
operation by seeing the enemy and seeing itself.
- An organization with the ability to shape and control the
tempo of the battle
- A force enabled with tomorrow's technology.
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
Experiment for the future and maintain readiness: these two
missions often conflict in priority. Balance has become the
watchword in the EXFOR.
- Prepare for and conduct large-scale experimentation to enable
increased survivability, lethality, tempo, and sustainability;
develop tailorable organizations with enhanced deployability, and
joint and combined links increasing the versatility of Force XXI.
- Maintain combat readiness.
- On order, deploy and conduct operational missions.
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
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
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
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
- Two mechanized brigades with a headquarters and headquarters
company (HHC), a brigade reconnaissance company, two mechanized
battalions, and an armor battalion.
- One armor brigade with an HHC, two armor battalions, a
mechanized battalion and a brigade reconnaissance company.
- A division artillery (DIVARTY) brigade with a headquarters and
headquarters battery, three DS battalions, a GS Multiple-Launch
Rocket System, and a target acquisition battery.
- An aviation brigade with an HHC, one attack battalion, and one
- An engineer group consisting of two engineer battalions.
- A division support command (DISCOM) with an HHC or
Materiel Management Center (MMC), one division support battalion,
and three forward support battalions.
- A cavalry squadron, an MI battalion, a signal battalion, and an
air defense artillery (ADA) battalion.
- The division HHC, a military police company, and the band will
continue to exist.
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
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
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
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
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] .