Intelligence in the Division: A Winner for the Next Millennium by Major General William S. Wallace and LTC William J. Tait, Jr.
I know more about the enemy than I do about us!
--Commander, 4ID(M), during the DAWE in November 1997
Commanders in the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) (4ID(M))--the Army's Experimental Force (EXFOR)--enjoyed an unprecedented awareness of the enemy situation during the Division Advanced Warfighting Experiment (DAWE) held at Fort Hood, Texas, from 5 through 13 November 1997. This advancement bodes well for the Army--now and in the future--and resulted from a combination of factors:
- Collectors and processors based on 21st Century technology.
- A new and effective organizational design for intelligence support to the heavy division.
- Updated intelligence tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) based on sound current doctrine.
- Motivated, well-trained intelligence personnel.
This article addresses some initial insights related to each of those subjects. It is important to stress the emerging nature of these DAWE impressions, because the lessons learned are still being captured and their implications are under study. Although insights continue to emerge and are the most important benefit of the experiment, the tactical results are clear. If you were to advertise them on a very large bumper sticker, it might say: "The EXFOR Division killed more than twice the enemy, in half the time, over three times the battlespace, with 25 percent fewer combat platforms using information age technology." The pride evident in that declaration of victory is but a glimmer of the energy and triumph that characterized the DAWE. It was an exciting event from every perspective, but no battlefield functional area (BFA) was more dynamic or successful than intelligence. There is no way to convey all of the major intelligence accomplishments in this article, so we will focus on the factors mentioned earlier. First, it is appropriate to look at what the DAWE was and how intelligence fit into the experiment.
DAWE and the Intelligence BFA
The DAWE was the next step after the Task Force XXI (TF XXI) AWE, conducted in March 1997 at the National Training Center (NTC). Whereas the TF XXI AWE focused on a Brigade Combat Team (BCT) maneuvering live forces and employing actual sensors and other systems, the DAWE was a simulation-based, command-post (CP) event focused on division operations in the year 2003. This put the onus on the Battle Command Battle Lab Huachuca to develop a robust simulation driver for intelligence. The result was FIRESTORM (the Federation of Intelligence, Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Targeting, and Operational Research Models), which, after developmental challenges during our early ramp-up exercises, performed outstandingly well during the final ramp-up and the actual DAWE.
One way to think of the DAWE is as a super, 21st Century Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) Warfighter Exercise. In that regard, the nine-day experiment was the longest Warfighter Exercise in BCTP history. BCTP senior observers and observer/controllers (O/Cs) played fundamental roles in the exercise but were joined by a multitude of subject matter experts including an intelligence team led by Major General Charles Thomas, Chief of the MI Corps and Commander, U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca (USAIC&FH).
The concept of a division conducting multiple, simultaneous combat operations over such an extended battlespace has major implications for intelligence
The scenario for the exercise placed the division in a mid-intensity type of conflict on the notional continent of "Lantica." This island continent had terrain and weather patterned after that in Europe. The 4ID(M) was the III Corps' initial entry force in a combined forces campaign against the Bisdon Axis. The division covered the deployment of III Corps into the area of operations, then fought a series of rapid, violent engagements to defeat the enemy. The division's battlespace was 240 by 540 kilometers during much of the operation--typically the area assigned to a corps. The concept of a division conducting multiple, simultaneous combat operations over such an extended battlespace has major implications for intelligence.
Such an environment requires autonomous intelligence support to the maneuver brigades while collaboratively orchestrating the entire division collection and analytical effort. For an in-depth look at the background of intelligence in the AWEs, see the article by the previous Division G2 and 104th MI Battalion Commander in the April-June 1996 issue of the Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin.
Intelligence Systems--All Winners
The situational awareness of the enemy that we enjoyed throughout the experiment convinced us that all of the intelligence systems involved in the exercise are winners. We briefed that to key decisionmakers and advocated increasing the number of intelligence systems, which are considered Priority 1. Currently, only the All-Source Analysis System (ASAS) is so designated.
The division used a robust suite of 21st Century collectors during the DAWE that transcended the Intelligence BFA and gave us information dominance. Of the more than 70 systems involved in the experiment, more than one-fourth had intelligence applications
The intelligence-specific collectors were the:
- Joint tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with the short-range (Hunter) and close-range (Outrider) aircraft.
- Intelligence Electronic Warfare Common Sensor (IEWCS)--Advanced QUICKFIX (AQF) and Ground-Based Common Sensor (GBCS).
- Common Ground Station (CGS) to receive Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) data and AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder counterfire radar acquisitions.
- Counterintelligence (CI) teams.
- Interrogation teams.
Other important divisional sensors included the Apache Longbow and Comanche helicopters, the future scout combat systems, Sentinel air defense artillery radars, AN/TPQ-36/37 Firefinder radars, Raptor minefields and Fox NBC (nuclear, biological, and chemical) reconnaissance vehicles. Traditional human reconnaissance, conducted by the division's air and ground scouts, also proved invaluable (gizmos are wonderful but cannot do it all). Corps and higher-echelon assets supporting the division included the third IEWCS system--Guardrail Common Sensor (GRCS), Joint STARS, additional shortrange (Hunter) UAVs, Predator UAVs, long-range surveillance (LRS) teams, special operations forces (SOF) teams, and a full complement of overhead theater and national signals intelligence (SIGINT) and imagery intelligence (IMINT) assets.
Although all collectors were critical to Force XXI operations, two sensors emerged as unparalleled combat multipliers--Joint STARS and the UAVs. The generic value of these key systems has been recognized for some time and has been discussed previously in this publication, including in an article by the then 1st Cavalry Division Commander and G2 in the October-December 1997 edition of MIPB. What the DAWE showed was the potential of Joint STARS and UAVs with improved, 21st Century capabilities, particularly when their benefits are extended down to maneuver brigade level and lower echelons.
During the DAWE, Joint STARS collected 24 hours a day and provided significant coverage of our battlespace. As a result, the CGS displays of Joint STARS moving target indicators (MTIs) at the Division main CP (D-MAIN), the division tactical command post (TAC1), and each maneuver brigade were usually the centers of attention. In fact, the division command group and brigade commanders frequently monitored and conducted the fight using the CGS displays. Joint STARS and other sensors cued the UAVs to perform specific situation development, targeting, and battle damage assessment (BDA) missions. The division had one baseline of Hunter tactical UAVs, which allowed us to keep a platform in the air 20 hours a day. During part of the experiment, III Corps provided a second Hunter UAV baseline to reinforce us as the main effort. Each maneuver brigade had a baseline of Outrider UAVs, which provided 16 hours of coverage daily.
One initial insight from the DAWE is that there was an over-reliance on Joint STARS and the UAVs. This was particularly true early in the exercise but decreased somewhat after adverse weather grounded the UAVs (proving the importance of other sensors), the BCTP World Class Opposing Force (WCOPFOR) adjusted its TTP in an attempt to "fool" Joint STARS, and when the enemy was static while defending. Consequently, we learned that there are three pitfalls related to Joint STARS and UAVs that commanders should avoid:
- Relying on only two systems when many more are available.
- Basing decisions solely on their own analysis without considering analysis performed by supporting intelligence personnel.
- Dynamically retasking their UAVs on a continual basis.
The system used to process the information derived from so many collectors was ASAS. The primary ASAS system used was the ASAS Remote Workstation Version 3 (ASAS-RWSv3). Additionally, ASAS Block I ("Mother ASAS") was used at the Analysis and Control Element (ACE) in the D-MAIN. ASAS-RWSv3 proved to be a viable tool for intelligence analysts at all levels. It effectively facilitated the creation and maintenance of the "Red" portion of the relevant common picture. It also holds great promise as a tool for managing intelligence operations and displaying the enemy situation and other information for commanders and staffs. Enhanced intelligence preparation of the battlefield, collection management tools, and automated BDA, are ways in which the power of the ASAS-RWSv3 can be unleashed. Perhaps the most important capability planned or ASAS-RWSv3--as with other Army Tactical Command and Control Systems (ATCCS)--is as an on-board collaborative tool featuring videoteleconferencing (VTC), a digital "white board," audio, and chat functions. Interoperability among the ATCCS systems continues to improve, and ASAS is leading the way as the oldest sibling in the ATCCS family.
Organizing Intelligence Support for the 21st Century
The organizational design for intelligence support to the division was another critical factor in the success of DAWE. This manifested itself in many ways, three of which will be discussed here--direct support (DS) MI companies for maneuver brigades, merging the G2/S2 and MI battalion cells into intelligence teams at every CP, and tactically tailoring intelligence personnel to perform unique functions such as BDA and collection management. The 104th MI Battalion is organized with a headquarters and headquarters service company, three DS MI companies, and a general support (GS) company (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Force XXI Heavy Interim Design.
Employment of the DS MI companies with maneuver brigades is not a new concept, but deploying them with the brigades' organic Analysis and Control Teams (ACTs), CGSs, and UAVs is revolutionary. These outfits give the BCT commanders the ability to see deep with their own assets and the analytical power to accurately assess the voluminous information collected by those means. The most important reason that the digitized division is able to successfully prosecute the multiple, simultaneous operations mentioned earlier is the advent of the highly capable DS MI companies deployed with the BCTs across the division's extensive battlespace. This allows division-level collectors and analysts to focus on current shaping operations and future plans.
The EXFOR Division's austere personnel resources and demand for synergy, both horizontal and vertical, caused the G2 and S2 sections and supporting MI battalion personnel in the division and brigade CPs to merge into highly efficient intelligence teams. At the D-MAIN, the G2 section and the ACE were one; at the TAC1, the G2 cell joined with the Intelligence Support Team from the ACE (then called the ACE Forward) and the MI Battalion Operations Center (BOC); and at each brigade CP, the S2 section and ACT merged. The effectiveness generated by "taking down the walls" cannot be overstated.
The importance of tactical tailoring as an intelligence principle was proven during the DAWE. Perhaps the best illustration of this was the formation of an out-of-hide BDA cell at the ACE. Created to perform BDA in an analog fashion in the absence of digital enablers, this cell generated the most timely and accurate BDA ever achieved during a BCTP Warfighter Exercise, according to the senior observers and O/Cs. This was essential because many priority intelligence requirements (PIR) were based on the BDA and drove critical decisions. Presumably, this ad hoc BDA team will be unnecessary once the function is automated. Tactically tailoring both the collection management and systems management efforts achieved similar successes.
Intelligence Doctrine and Force XXI TTP
It was our belief coming out of the DAWE that the Army's intelligence doctrine, and indeed most Army doctrine in general, was proven sound by the experiment. However, the revolutionary 21st Century intelligence TTP that emerged from the DAWE--best illustrated by the "Virtual ACE" concept--have major implications for applying that doctrine.
Our conclusion that intelligence doctrine is sound was confirmed during a post-DAWE conference hosted by the USAIC&FH at Fort Huachuca 13 through 15 January 1998. Besides essential intelligence personnel from the 4ID(M), participants at this "FM 34-11/ DAWE" mini-conference included subject matter experts from both the Intelligence Center and the BCTP, and key intelligence leaders. Led by then Colonel Nicholas Grant, who was the III Corps G2, the conference highlighted the importance of two concepts developed by the EXFOR for the DAWE--the Virtual ACE and intelligence orchestration.
The Virtual ACE is a powerful method of conducting collaborative intelligence analysis across the division. It was so successful in the DAWE that it entered the lexicon of the Army Chief of Staff, was a key topic in the Training and Doctrine Command's DAWE Initial Insights Report, and is under discussion as the basis for a "Virtual Staff" concept in future exercises. The Virtual ACE optimizes collection and analytical resources, ensuring the most timely and accurate relevant common picture (RCP) of the enemy at each CP. The basic premise is that all of the analysts in the division are part of the ACE despite their assigned locations. It is a highly collaborative process, with both the analysts and leaders using VTCs, digital white boards, audio links, chat functions, and more traditional communications means to refine their analysis.
Synchronization implies a coordinated plan...orchestration recognizes dynamic and innovative adjustments that allow commanders to anticipate and seize opportunities
The intelligence team at each level uses ASAS-RWSv3 to develop the enemy RCP for its battlespace, which is then accepted by its higher headquarters. These RCPs are in the form of dynamically distributed overlays (DDOs) "shared" among ASAS workstations over the Mobile Subscriber Equipment (MSE) network and other communications "pipes." This dynamic exchange of highly focused intelligence results in optimal analytical support to commanders at every echelon.
"Orchestration" is an appropriate name for the way we managed intelligence operations during the DAWE. The concept of orchestration goes beyond the existing intelligence principle of synchronization (FM 34-11) and is in line with the final draft of the new FM 100-5D0, Operations. Intelligence orchestration aptly describes the art and science of focusing scarce collection and analytical resources at the right times and places to maximize intelligence support to commanders.
While synchronization implies developing a coordinated plan that is reflected on a matrix and executed by the numbers, orchestration recognizes that dynamic and innovative adjustments to the plan will allow commanders to anticipate and seize opportunities. One example of orchestration was intelligence handover. Traditionally and by doctrine, we establish an intelligence handover line to delineate responsibility for collection between echelons. In the DAWE, intelligence handover was oriented with one or more of four factors--unit, terrain, time, or capability, not on a line.
Trained and Ready Intelligence Personnel Made the Difference
One of the great success stories of the DAWE was the division intelligence team that came together and made the experiment work. When the DAWE process began in June 1997, the Division G2 and 104th MI Battalion Commander were both newly assigned and there was a critical shortage of intelligence personnel throughout the division. To exacerbate the problem, new systems and software versions meant that nearly all soldiers were untrained. By the final ramp-up exercise in September, an effective, well-trained team consisting of permanently assigned soldiers and nearly 40 augmentees was ready. They excelled in both the final ramp-up and the DAWE itself.
The augmentees who joined the division for the experiment were critically important. The vast majority of the enlisted augmentees--more than 30--came from Fort Huachuca and comprised a mix of AIT students and instructors. Most of them were employed as intelligence analysts, operating ASAS workstations. Others, primarily officers, came from units at Fort Hood and elsewhere; they served in key positions such as G2 operations officers. The validity of the experiment depended on these augmentees because they filled out the organizational design and operated many of the systems upon which the experiment was based.
The training program that prepared the division intelligence team for the DAWE epitomized the cooperation that exists between the division and USAIC&FH.-2 Several systems required training, including the CGS, UAV, and ASAS-RWSv3. By far the most challenging training was that required for ASAS-RWSv3. Nearly 150 individuals trained to operate and supervise the 49 ASAS-RWSv3 workstations used by the Division in the DAWE. The course was six weeks long and sessions were conducted at both Fort Hood and Fort Huachuca.
The intelligence professionals who made the DAWE so successful were not just the "players" assigned to or augmenting the 4ID(M) and other III Corps units. They also included representatives of many other organizations ranging from the Battle Command Battle Lab-Huachuca folks who stayed at Fort Hood for five months to contractors from many companies.
The DAWE is already having an impact on intelligence systems, organizational design, doctrine, and training. Based on the lessons learned from the DAWE, the ASAS-RWS is undergoing update, and there is recognition that the number and range of UAVs supporting the division requires careful consideration. By the time this article is published, the heavy division will be redesigned and a decision on its organization will have been made. The 4ID(M) will begin transitioning to that design immediately, another step in becoming the Army's first digitized division by fiscal year 2000. It appears now that the MI battalion design will remain similar to its organization during the DAWE, with perhaps an additional ACT to support the Aviation Brigade as a fourth maneuver brigade and/or the divisional cavalry squadron.
In terms of doctrine, the final draft of FM 100-5 was shaped by two things. They are the DAWE process and USAIC&FH plans to incorporate the Virtual ACE, intelligence orchestration, and intelligence handover concepts discussed here in the next version of FM 34-1.
In the division, we now have a quarterly "Digital AIT" course. It teaches our newly assigned personnel how to operate the ASAS-RWSv3 plus periodic sustainment training to keep operators current on the system.
The momentum that the division intelligence team developed during the DAWE will build in the months ahead. The 4ID(M) will continue to move toward becoming the Army's first digitized division and to conduct future exercises and experimentation.
The role of intelligence in the DAWE was clearly unsurpassed in importance by any other BFA. The innovative advancements made by a team of great intelligence professionals before the DAWE, and the lessons learned from their outstanding performance during the experiment, will serve our Army well as it enters the next millennium.
1. FM 34-1 is titled Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Operations.
Major General Scott Wallace assumed command of the 4ID(M) in June 1997. His previous assignments include Commander of the National Training Center (NTC) and Fort Irwin; Commander, Operations Group, NTC; Commander, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment; and Commander, 3d Squadron, 2d Armored Cavalry. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and earned his master of science degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. Readers can contact the author at E-mail [email protected] army.mil.
Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Tait is currently the G2, 4ID(M). His previous assignments include: Intelligence Analyst in the Commander in Chief's Initiatives Group, Korea; III Corps ACE Chief; III Corps G2 Planner; MI Battalion Executive Officer and S3; and commander of two MI companies. He graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor's degree in Communication and holds a master's degree in Education from Boston University. Readers can reach him at (254) 287-9218, DSN 737-9218, or E-mail [email protected]