Force Projection Intelligence

A Year in Review

by Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth H. Boll, Jr., and Major Jeffrey S. Holachek
By just doing what they do every day, U.S. Army divisional military intelligence (MI) units "walk the walk." They exemplify many of the key doctrinal tenets of force projection intelligence and electronic warfare (IEW) operations by demonstrating:
From October 1994 through October 1995, the 124th MI Battalion served as the "electronic cavalry" of the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) during both contingency deployments to Haiti and Southwest Asia and "routine" deployments to the Army's combat training centers (CTCs) and other training venues. In addition, the Battalion accomplished ancillary tasks fielding the Army's All-Source Analysis System, (ASAS), the Commander's Tactical Terminal (CTT), the TROJAN SPIRIT II, the AN/TRQ-32A TEAMMATE system, and other intelligence systems. In their spare time, the Battalion staff orchestrated the smooth transition to a new MI battalion MTOE, "standing up" direct support (DS) companies tactically tailored in garrison to match the way they go to war in support of the maneuver brigades of the Victory Division. Throughout the year, the Battalion achieved success by adhering to the 24th ID (M)'s focus on immediate deployability, individual and unit proficiency, and tactical tailoring. In the course of doing business, the Battalion illustrated the basic principles of our MI doctrine thus, a review of some of the highlights in a year in the life of a divisional MI battalion shows, in microcosm, how the MI Corps supports the warfighting commander.

October-November 1994

The principle of intelligence synchronization is demonstrated as a new fiscal year gets underway. The new year finds an MI Battalion HUMINT team deployed to Haiti in support of a mechanized company team from the Division's 3d Battalion, 15th Infantry Brigade as part of Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY. As the 2d Brigade commander reviewed his mission of supplying a mechanized punch to the light forces of the 10th Mountain Division, one of the first slice units added to the force package was a counterintelligence team from the 124th MI Battalion a result of lessons learned from the Brigade's recent Somalia contingency. The Battalion's HUMINT assets, critical to force protection, deploy within 72 hours of notification. With MI Battalion HUMINT assets already heavily engaged in Haiti, the contingency mission developing in Southwest Asia in mid-October provides a challenge in tactical tailoring. As the Division Ready Brigade (DRB) deploys on Operation VIGILANT WARRIOR to deter Iraqi forces, the MI Battalion, on 48 hours notice, deploys elements of the MI Ready Company (see Figure 1, colored part) with the DRB. A ground surveillance radar (GSR) squad, counterintelligence (CI) team, IPW team, and IEW support element deploy with the 1st Brigade. Figure 1 The remainder of C Company, primarily SIGINT assets, remains on 6-hour "strip alert" until it is apparent the U.S. mission will change from combat to exercise posture. As part of 1st Brigade, MI Battalion soldiers in Kuwait gain valuable coalition training experience with the Kuwaiti Armed Forces. The Battalion as a whole validates its MI Ready Company force module deployment timelines as part of the Division's deployment standard operating procedures (SOP).

December 1994

From 7 to 9 December, the tactical scenario of the 124th MI Battalion's IEW Communication and Logistics Exercise (COMMEX/ LOGEX) 95-02 drives Mission Essential Task List (METL) training at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The tasks included deploy and assemble the force and
The commander's intent is to deploy selected assets, exercise critical datalinks in the battalion's communications structure, and establish the 124th MI Battalion's logistical nodes. Phase 3, Set 1a of the exercise playbook (see Figure 2) shows the communications plan. While most of the exercise is a success, the cumbersome net radio protocol (NRP) procedures, necessary to establish UHF datalinks over battlefield distances exceeding 100 kilometers, are judged inadequate for the demands of modern mechanized warfare over doctrinal distances. As a result of lessons learned, the Battalion staff plans future exercises and "work-arounds" for the aging TIGER data-relay systems. Since MI doctrine does not address how the TRQ-32 TEAMMATE team can realistically sustain their principal SIGINT collection role while also establishing and manning a TIGER data-relay kilometers away, the staff begins the search for alternative tactics. Figure 2

January 1995

On a cold January Mojave Desert night, the company commander of A Company (DS), takes stock of her force dispositions and is reasonably satisfied with the results. Having gauged the OPFOR commander's mind, she estimates the most likely enemy course of action: "The 60th Motorized Rifle Regiment (MRR) will conduct a meeting battle in advance guard formation. The Regiment's initial objective is the Hill 876 complex. The subsequent objective is East Gate. The Regiment will follow Division reconnaissance (251800 Jan) and Regimental Reconnaissance (261800 Jan). I estimate the 121st Motorized Rifle Division (MRD) will conduct an air assault with TF ANGEL at EENT 26 Jan to secure terrain vic NK 4208. TF DESTROYER will infiltrate at EENT 27 Jan to secure terrain vic Hill 780 (NK 4412). This will allow the Regiment to move freely to its objective."
Establishing a TRQ-32 TEAMMATE SIGINT baseline far forward, deploying GSRs consistent with the maneuver task force plans, and readying her TLQ-17AV3 TRAFFICJAM electronic attack assets, the A Company Commander proceeds to execute her operations based on the 2d Brigade Commander's plan. Throughout the National Training Center's (NTC) Rotation 95-04, the principle that "the commander drives intelligence" will be illustrated as the DS MI Company

February-March 1995

As A Company redeploys from NTC, the MI Battalion takes on an additional task driven by the principle of broadcast dissemination at long last, the ASAS is making its appearance at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Despite a training schedule planned for a deliberate fielding, the real world intrudes again as the Battalion Analysis and Control Element (ACE) divides its attention between ASAS training and the Division's rigorous Command Post Exercise (CPX) schedule in preparation for the upcoming Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) Warfighter exercise. Having foreseen the challenge, the Battalion Commander and the Division G2 provide an exciting solution for the fielding team instead of a final training week employing a set-piece, Cold War scenario as a culminating exercise, the ACE instead will load a desert scenario into the ASAS database and jump feet-first into the high adventure of an intensive division-level Warfighter preparatory CPX. Division CPX 95-03 marks the graduation of the ACE into the era of "pull intelligence" and updated broadcast dissemination. Together with the recently-fielded, low-rate initial production CTT, ASAS is completely integrated into intelligence operations. The BCTP Warfighter exercise is now 90 days away and the ACE is "ready now."

April-May 1995

With the fielding of the new TRQ-32A TEAMMATE system, the Battalion moves into a training phase focused on exercising NRP shortfalls identified in previous COMMEXs. For the first time, the Battalion's light SIGINT baseline systems, the TRQ-32As, are able to duplicate the heavy TRAILBLAZER baseline's connectivity with QUICKFIX, thus bringing all the SIGINT stations into the same DF net. IEW COMMEX/LOGEX 95-04 tests the new capabilities from 22 to 25 May, culminating in Set 3B (see Figure 3) from the Battalion's exercise playbook.
At the conclusion of COMMEX 95-04, the Battalion staff concludes that tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) are in place to integrate all the Division's SIGINT assets into a single DF baseline, and then connect that baseline to the Division ACE's Communication Control System (CCS) using the UHF digital datalinks. With the double TIGER relay working in the notoriously difficult forested terrain of Fort Stewart, the staff now is confident the Battalion can maintain connectivity over doctrinal distances of mechanized warfare. Figure 3

June-July 1995

With the Battalion executive officer and the company commanders "manning the boards" in the Fort Stewart Simulations Center, the BCTP Warfighter Exercise is a stimulating training environment for the MI Battalion. The MI Battalion sends a significant portion of the Battalion tactical operations center (TOC), including the S3, to colocate with the ACE at the division main command post (DMAIN CP). At the TOC, the S3 acts as the single-source asset manager of the Division's organic SIGINT and HUMINT units. Working closely with the Division Collection Manager in the ACE, the S3 overcomes shortcomings noted in lessons learned from the previous Warfighter exercise during this battle, there is no disconnect between the views of the Collection Manager and the Battalion on asset location and tasking.
Again, using experience gained from previous COMMEXs, the Battalion Commander deploys the Battalion Tactical CP (TAC) to a location near the Division's TAC. TERRABASE confirms that this location provides excellent radio line-of-sight with the Battalion EW assets deployed throughout the Brigade areas of operations as well as with the DMAIN. With a TIGER data relay at the BN TAC, the UHF datanet stays up even as the SIGINT assets leapfrog forward with the brigades more than 100 kilometers in a day. Despite some close calls, most of the Battalion's collection teams survive the hard-fought battles, as the Heavy OPFOR, with its BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, T-80 tanks, and modern artillery contest the Victory Division's advance. One TRAILBLAZER crew, blocked by a bypassed BMP vehicle, narrowly escapes destruction. However, our 1st Brigade Commander, when informed the TRAILBLAZER carries a box of fine cigars meant for him, saves the day by dispatching an Abrams main battle tank to dispose of the impudent BMP. TRAILBLAZER continues its march forward.
At the end of the intensive simulation, the Battalion staff has exercised its complete METL, having synchronized all actions with the rest of the battlefield operating systems. Even the newly-fielded ASAS equipment posts an admirable maintenance record, overcoming multiple breakdowns in the Software Test and Evaluation System (STEMS) simulation feed. As an encore to the Warfighter exercise, the Battalion fields its first TROJAN SPIRIT II system. They eagerly anticipate testing the newly-acquired, split-based operations capability needed for the upcoming deployment to Egypt for the Bright Star exercise.

August-September 1995

As the Battalion and the G2 finalize the configuration of the Deployable Intelligence Support Element (DISE) for Bright Star, the C Company Commander moves out of the "Dust Bowl" at NTC to pit his versatile DS Company, tactically-tailored in support of the Division's 3d (HAMMER) Brigade, against the redoubtable OPFOR. By the end of Rotation 95-11, the Company will note these triumphs for the Victory Division
Having supervised C Company's redeployment from the NTC, the Battalion staff turns its attention to executing Battalion COMMEX/LOGEX 95-05, conducted in support of the Division Artillery's Interdiction and Counterfire Exercise (ICE 95). The DIVARTY Commander's intent- "The 24th DIVARTY, with associated sensors, supporting fire support agencies, and maneuver assets, conducts an interdiction and counterfire exercise to exercise the Force Field Artillery Headquarters' METL, strengthen sensor-to-shooter links, and validate and refine developed SOPs, TTPs, and planning factors."
While the Battalion gains additional training proficiency with its organic sensors, the greatest training strides come as the ACE integrates data from the Guardrail Common Sensor (GRCS) and Mohawk side-looking airborne radar (SLAR) into their operations, establishing datalinks into ASAS. CTTs deploy with the ACE and with the DIVARTY Headquarters, downlinking GRCS data, while the 224th MI Battalion's Improved Ground Station Modules (IGSMs) deploy with the ACE and DIVARTY, exercising multiple target indicator reporting. Figure 4 shows the exercise reporting structure. Overall, it was an immensely satisfying exercise illustrating the potential of broadcast dissemination.

October 1995

Finally, in October 1995, the Battalion completes its reorganization into the new-series Mechanized Division MI Battalion MTOE, finishing a process started in September by activating the new A Company (DS) and reflagging Companies B, C, D, and the Headquarters and Operations Company. The doctrinal principles of split-based operations, tactical tailoring, and broadcast dissemination have resulted in a much more flexible and versatile unit (see Figure 1) now tailored in garrison to match the Battalion's structure when it deploys for war. Among the many advantages of the new battalion structure, each of the DS Companies is now equivalent to the MI Ready Company organization detailed in Fort Stewart's deployment plan, Fort Stewart Regulation 525-1. With reorganization completed, the 124th MI Battalion prepares its DISE for movement to Egypt, where the Division assumes the role of ARFOR Headquarters. Simultaneously, the Battalion deploys B Company (DS) to the National Training Center. By the end of the month, the Battalion stretches from Cairo, Egypt, to Barstow, California, exemplifying all the principles of force projection IEW operations driven by the requirements of thinking and intuitive combat commanders in support of the Victory Division wherever it joins in battle. Figure 4
A year in the life of an MI battalion assigned to a mechanized division whips past at a fast pace in addition to events listed above, many other exciting training and contingency events occurred in FY95. In many ways, 1995 was a watershed year as MI moved to the forefront of force projection operations. When examined in retrospect, everything the Battalion did during the year was dedicated to exercising the principles of IEW in the Force Projection Army of the 21st century providing one of the most exciting venues to learn these principles in the field, in the midst of America's greatest resource soldiers. Those same soldiers, having learned doctrinal principles the tough way, by practicing them in the field, will carry these lessons-learned throughout their careers.
Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth H. Boll is currently Commander, 124th MI Battalion, 24th Infantry ID (M). Among his previous assignment highlights are: S2, 9th Infantry Division and 6th Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat), and Chief, Counternarcotics Analysis Division, J2, U.S. Southern Command during Operation JUST CAUSE. Lieutenant Colonel Boll holds a bachelor of arts idegree n History from the University of Texas, El Paso, and a master of science in Strategic Intelligence from the Defense Intelligence College in Washington, D.C. Readers can reach him at (912) 767-8222, DSN 870-8222, and via E-mail [email protected]
Major Jeffrey S. Holachek currently serves as Chief, Analysis and Control Element, 124th MI Battalion, 24th ID (M). His previous assignments include service in the 103rd MI Battalion and as Commander, U.S. Army Special Security Detachment, Fort Meade, Maryland. Major Holachek is a graduate of Xavier University and holds advanced degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Colombia University. Readers can reach him at (912) 767-8500, DSN 870-8500, and via E-mail afzp-vmi-cmo-@STEWARTemh3. army.mil.