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,
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
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:
- Intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB).
- Reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S) planning.
- Staff integration and synchronization.
- S2 section operations.
- Asset integration with emphasis on intelligence and
electronic warfare (IEW) assets.
- Intelligence support to the targeting process.
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.
- Identify high value targets (HVTs) before the meeting and
brief them as part of the S2 Intelligence update.
- Know what collection assets are available, and their
limitations and capabilities.
- Be prepared to recommend HPTs.
- Be prepared to brief your Event Template and recommend
which collection assets should be used to detects HPTs.
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.
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
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
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]