CTC Notes

Editor's Note: With this issue of MIPB, we inaugurate a new department: CTC Notes. Each issue will contain articles by authors from one or more of the CTC's; the National Training Center (NTC), the Joint Readiness Center (JRTC), the Battle Command Training Program, and the Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC). This issue contains observations from both JRTC and NTC.

Before JRTC Effective S2 SOPs

by Lieutenant Colonel Michael T. Flynn

Over the past year at the Joint Readiness Training Center, our intelligence observer/controller (O/C) teams have seen continued improvement by brigade and battalion S2 sections. After observing numerous S2s during the last year, our O/Cs identified that success lies in developing and applying sound standard operating procedures (SOPs), based on doctrine and tested tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP). Experience shows that effective S2 SOPs cover six areas:
The following thoughts on these six areas are based on the doctrinal products that S2s can complete at the home station, as part of the homework phase of IPB (see Figure 1). Terrain analysis products, order of battle laydowns and OPFOR doctrinal templates should be completed well before deploying to Fort Polk, Louisiana.
Successful S2s prepare these in advance. They are thoroughly familiar with them before beginning the orders process at the Intermediate Staging Base (ISB), or at the home station for those units conducting an airborne insertion. R&S remains a weak point throughout the force. Failures can usually be traced to two root causes: units do not follow their SOPs for R&S and commanders do not demand that R&S missions be planned as carefully as other combat missions. Those commanders who have planned and executed R&S missions with the same level of detail as they did any other combat operation have achieved great success at the JRTC. However, in a majority of cases, R&S operations are given short consideration in the planning process, and the results have been obvious and disappointing.
S2s at JRTC are not successfully participating in staff integration and synchronization of battlefield operating systems (BOSs). Successful S2s have aggressively tapped into the system of systems which a battalion or brigade task force (TF) brings to the fight. However, the majority of S2s overlook expertise available in their own tactical operating centers (TOCs). The best available source on threat BOS capabilities is usually the staff BOS representative. S2 section operations should be driven by SOPs and staff battle drills. The goal when assessing your section operations is to measure the ability of your section to conduct its essential tasks smoothly, without requiring so much key leader input and supervision that those leaders become distracted from the planning process.
Asset integration and utilization is a tough job, made all the more difficult by not understanding the capabilities of collection assets or how they are best employed. For the MI collection systems, S2s should talk to their supporting MI companies and battalions about the systems they bring to the field. To be successful, an S2 must also understand the capabilities of key collection assets which do not come from the MI side of the house. First, any maneuver S2 who does not understand how scouts function, and how difficult it is to get eyes on a target while avoiding detection, owes it to their Task Force to spend time in the field with the Scout Platoon. S2s must also learn the ranges, capabilities and employment of all potential collection assets within the TF.
Intelligence support to targeting provides the focus the staff needs to bring all fires, lethal and non-lethal, to bear against the commander's high pay off targets (HPTs). Some key considerations the S2 must keep in mind as he prepares for and participates in targeting meetings are as follows:
Successful brigade and battalion S2s at JRTC have all understood the central role that intelligence plays in their unit's success. Their ability to visualize the enemy and project enemy courses of action have been clearly presented. The bottom line is, strong S2s are willing to make tough calls and are able to synchronize their efforts with the rest of the staff to support the commander's plan.
Lieutenant Colonel Flynn is the Senior Observer/Controller for Intelligence at JRTC. He has a master's degree in Military Arts and Science from the School of Advanced Military Studies and a master's degree in Business Administration from Golden Gate University. He also holds a bachelor's degree in Management Science from the University of Rhode Island. Readers can contact him via E-mail [email protected] and call (318) 531-0199 and DSN 863-0199.

Advice for Maneuver S2s from NTC

by Captain David H. Stapleton and Major Thomas M. Smith

The primary goal of combat intelligence is to piece together battlefield information to determine enemy intentions. The direct support (DS) artillery S2 and the target acquisition targeting technician (131A) operating at the brigade fire support element can provide critical information in this endeavor. At the National Training Center, they are not currently tasked commensurate with their capabilities.
Maneuver brigade S2s at the National Training Center (NTC) frequently fail to take advantage of the field artillery battalion as an intelligence collection agency. Soldiers of the artillery battalion can provide key pieces of combat information based on their unique artillery expertise and their access to information available from the AN/TPQ-36 and AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder radars. The Q36 and Q37 provide real-time intelligence on enemy indirect fire systems locations out to 24 and 50 kilometers respectively. This article will present several key intelligence indicators that first become available at the DS artillery tactical operations center.
The OPFOR at NTC frequently employs air-mobile insertions during offensive operations. In many cases, the maneuver brigade lists priority intelligence requirements (PIR) as "Where and when will the dismounted infantry land?" Krasnovian doctrine is similar to U.S. doctrine in that artillery targets are planned to cover primary landing zones (LZs). Given that the maneuver brigade S2 has templated potential LZs, as well as windows of opportunity for the insertion to occur, he can then assign these templated LZs (named areas of interest or NAIs) to the artillery battalion to observe for incoming enemy artillery fire. The artillery S2 can prepare his radar deployment order to ensure that the appropriate radar (Q36 or Q37) is cueing to detect preparatory fires on the landing zone.
Another common PIR at NTC is "When and where will the enemy fire persistent chemicals or the Family of Scatterable Mines (FASCAM)?" Again, the artillery battalion S2 with the attached Firefinder radar can answer this requirement. Special munitions such as FASCAM or persistent chemicals must be delivered with a large volume of indirect fire. Both the Q36 and Q37 will provide volumes of fire analysis, for example, a large number of acquisitions emanating from one location. The artillery battalion S2 can then determine, based on the friendly situation, why the enemy would employ a high volume of fire in a certain location. The Brigade S2 can facilitate this mission by tasking NAIs corresponding to templated special munitions targets, at the appropriate time, to the artillery S2.
The OPFOR Commander positions his artillery battalions within doctrinal distances of his forward line of own troops (FLOT). If we know the locations of either the enemy artillery battalions or the FLOT, we can couple this information with quick terrain analysis and deduce, with great accuracy, the location of the other variable. Again, the Firefinder radar can provide the location of enemy firing units. In almost every battle at the National Training Center, the artillery battalion S2 correctly identifies regimental and divisional artillery groups' locations. Unfortunately, in most cases, this information serves only to assist in planning for counterbattery targeting and is not passed to the brigade. Brigade S2s would benefit by tasking the artillery battalion for this information.
In Krasnovian operations, both defensive and offensive artillery fires are delivered in distinct, discernible phases. An understanding of which phase of fire the Krasnovians are firing may allow us to determine what action the enemy will take next. The DS artillery S2, based on analysis of all radar acquisitions, can determine the enemy phase of fire. Thus, he can determine likely enemy intentions. A clear example is Phase III Krasnovian fires in the offense: fires in support of the attack. These fires are focused primarily at the intended point of penetration. Phase III fires begin when the OPFOR begins the direct fire battle. The artillery S2, presumably aware that Phase III fires have been initiated, may be able to quickly discern the enemy's intended point of penetration.

Over-focusing Intelligence Collectors

S2s are constantly being told to "focus" their collection assets. In an attempt to do so, we have begun to over-focus assets by assigning more and more NAIs that are too small. The trend has been "under-employing" our collectors to their fullest extent (specifically their ability to think). For example, in Figure 1, the S2 has closely examined the terrain in the brigade sector and over-focused the collectors by employing a "measle sheet" NAI overlay. In the open and unvegetated terrain depicted, one observer can see nearly all (if not all) NAIs in the larger enclosed area.
If the S2 really needs to know the enemy's route as he moves through the area between the large hill masses to the north and south, then that is what we need to tell our collectors to tell us and assign an NAI encompassing the larger box. Some collectors may still require additional focus, and may indeed look at only one of the smaller NAIs, but at least consider a collector's ability to think and accomplish your intended result given its location on the battlefield. Our bottom line is to consider using larger NAIs when appropriate.
Captain Dave Stapleton is the DS Artillery Battalion S2 Trainer at NTC. He has a bachelor of science degree in Biology from Pennsylvania State and holds a master of science degree in Strategic Intelligence from the National Military Intelligence College. Readers can reach him at (619) 380-5524 or DSN 470-5524.
Major Smith is NTC Brigade S2 Trainer. He has a bachelor of science degree in Geology from the University of Oregon. You can reach him at (619) 380-4443/4673, DSN 470-4443/4673, and via E-mail at [email protected]