Frame1.jpgThe Intelligence Fusion Family

by Colonel Lawrence G. J. Arrol

The Army, like the rest of the Armed Forces, is at a strategic crossroads. The dangers we face today and, consequently, the missions we expect to perform are more diverse than they were in a bipolar world. The operational capabilities needed now are different from those in the past and those that the future will require. Nevertheless, the commander’s intelligence needs remain constant:

Relevant information and intelligence are still the cornerstones to accomplishing today’s diverse missions. They enable commanders to coordinate, integrate, and synchronize combat functions on the battlefield, thus gaining the advantage of position (maneuver) and massing of effects (firepower) as well as an information advantage over the adversary.

The emerging systems under the purview of the Project Manager (PM) Intelligence Fusion are essential to providing this common, relevant, intelligence picture of the battlespace to combat commanders at all echelons. These systems include the All-Source Analysis System (ASAS), the Joint Collection Management Tools (JCMT), the Counterintelligence/Human Intelligence (CI/HUMINT) Information Management System (CHIMS), and the Integrated Meteorological System (IMETS). This article will address the following topics:

Intelligence Fusion Systems

ASAS continues to be the Army’s “flagship” intelligence fusion system; it correlates and fuses all available intelligence data to provide the commander with the relevant intelligence needed to understand enemy deployments, capabilities, vulnerabilities, and potential courses of action (COAs). To remain relevant, an all-source capability must be flexible enough to adapt to changing user needs, threats, operational missions, and technologies. The planned upgrade of ASAS Block I systems to Block II, and ultimately to Block III (beginning in fiscal year 2001 (FY01)) reflects this philosophy. The goal of the Product Manager for ASAS Software (ASAS-SW), Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Fritz, is to continue the evolution of ASAS software as change dictates.

The Army first introduced the ASAS to the force in 1993 with eleven rugged unit sets fielded to high-priority corps and divisions. Because of the demand from the units without ASAS, the Chief of Staff of the Army approved a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) surrogate.  The surrogate runs standard ASAS software to provide an ASAS capability to units not previously scheduled to receive ASAS until after the year 2000. The Army designed the Block I ASAS for force-on-force operations on the plains of Europe. Today, however, the Army must perform a much larger variety of roles in diverse theaters and, consequently, ASAS must now support those additional missions. The Vietnam conflict was signals intelligence (SIGINT)- intensive and Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM were imagery intelligence (IMINT)-intensive; while Grenada, Panama, and Bosnia were, and are, human intelligence (HUMINT)-intensive. Today, ASAS supports a full spectrum of tactical scenarios from peace to war.

ASAS is the only Department of Defense (DOD) Acquisition Category 1 (ACAT 1) intelligence system. This means the product is subject to extensive scrutiny by the Congress and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. This oversight assures that the use of the appropriated funds is consistent with the desires of the Congress. The existing acquisition process for software development programs has difficulty matching the currency of products available in the commercial market. “Corporate America” has compressed their product development cycles. This is a reversal of the DOD’s historical role in systems development and has been the catalyst for acquisition reforms. Recent initiatives may cause treatment of software- intensive systems as capital investments, which can facilitate more frequent software deliveries to MI units. For example, the Intelligence Fusion Program Office has a six-month frequency-of-release target for new software capabilities with increased functionality. In addition, the PM ASAS-SW works closely with the ASAS user and test community to reduce the time and cost associated with the fielding of software products.

Joint Collection Management Tools (JCMT)

The JCMT is the DOD Intelligence Information System (DODIIS)-migration system for all-source collection management. JCMT is the standard software product that national, theater, and tactical organizations of all Services will use. The Army is the designated executive agent for its development while the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) establishes its requirements, funds, and priorities. JCMT provides tools for gathering, organizing, and tracking intelligence collection requirements for all intelligence disciplines across all the Services and DOD agencies.


The JCMT system recently completed a successful operational test. The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) J2 stated that JCMT contains 85 percent of the combat commander’s requirements for collection management and that CENTCOM (the operational evaluators for the system) did not want to go to war without it. The Product Manager JCMT, Lieutenant Colonel John Tidd, is now planning to add additional tools required by the scientific and technical community to address maneuver commanders’ emerging requirements.

 CHIMS and CHATS. The intelligence community can aspire no higher than to protect forces placed in harm’s way. The CHIMS—a direct outgrowth of the European Theater-developed Rapid Response Intelligence Program (TRRIP)—does just this. The Product Director, CI/HUMINT, Lieutenant Colonel Albert Garcia, is fielding the first increment of CHIMS, the CI/HUMINT Automated Tool Set (CHATS). CHATS is the first automated system introduced at a soldier level for tactical HUMINT teams. The CHATS’ first mission is that of force protection, while at the same time contributing to the all-source intelligence situation. Established in June 1996, this CI/HUMINT office is already fielding its first systems.


Integrated Meteorological System (IMETS)

The final system in the Intelligence Fusion Project Office is the IMETS. This system provides battlefield weather information and is the only DOD system that the Army developed and the U.S. Air Force operates. The system provides crucial data to tactical operations and can report micro-scale weather focused directly on the area of operations.

Standardized Products

As PM, Intelligence Fusion, I focus on providing a set of analytic and command and control (C2) tools to intelligence analysts in both joint and combined opera- tions. Additionally, I strive to have the intelligence fusion products not only recognized, but also used by all the Services and DOD agencies. Central to that effort is the assurance that the tools are relevant, applicable to the entire Army, and not only to the needs of a single unit. When units use standard Army products, they ensure interoperability wherever they deploy. Command-unique solutions, while immediately gratifying, are generally insupportable from a total Army logistics perspective because they tend to be short-lived. In the current climate of shrinking resources, when a unique system develops with value to the entire Army, we must incorporate it in a standard product baseline and the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) must assess it.

If a unit chooses to use a standard Army product in quantities greater than the Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E) systems authorization, they can often leverage the standard Army sustainment structure and be assured of compatibility and interoperability with other units throughout the Army. Additionally, when the Army selects intelligence fusion products, there is an assurance of architectural compatibility with any currently supported Army intelligence fusion system. Horizontal and vertical interoperability is imperative.

Year 2000 (Y2K) Problem

The first priority of DOD is the year 2000 (Y2K) computer problem. This Y2K problem affects a few fielded intelligence fusion products. In a sequence mandated by DOD, the Army will replace the affected ASAS systems: the Block I ASAS Communications Subsystem and the Single-Source Processor. We will likewise replace the affected Block I IMETS. The Y2K problem does not affect any other fusion products.

Future Focus

What is the future? The primary focus for the Project Office is to field the suite of intelligence fusion systems to the First Digitized Division (4th Infantry Division (Mechanized)) by FY00. As the Army moves into the future, we must ensure the rapid analysis and dissemination of relevant information to the force. Whether the mission is force-on-force or stability and sustainment operations, the role of intelligence fusion products does not fluctuate—giving the commander the superior information advantage of a nearly instantaneous and complete battlespace picture, while protecting the force. To maintain currency in a rapidly changing environment, we must continually upgrade and improve those systems that are in the force. Success in acquisition is evolution, not revolution. As such, the Army intelligence force will evolve into a more capable and joint-interoperable “system of systems.”

Colonel Arrol is currently the Project Manager Intelligence Fusion. His past assignments include: Commander, A Company, The U.S. Logistics Detachment 4, Sinop, Turkey; Cryptologic Staff Officer, Continental United States (CONUS) MI Group National Security Agency (NSA); Operations Officer, U.S. Army Field Station Berlin; Readiness Officer, Project Manager, Intelligence and Electronic Warfare (IEW); Executive Officer, Program Executive Office, IEW; Product Manager, TRAILBLAZER, TACJAM, and Ground-Based Common Sensor (GBCS); and Program Executive Office IEW Liaison Officer, G2, Third U.S. Army, Saudi Arabia. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Wayne State University and a Master of Engineering Administration degree from George Washington University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Program Managers Course, Defense Systems Management College, and the U.S. Army War College. Readers can contact the author via E-mail at [email protected] and telephonically at (703) 275-8110 and DSN 235-8110.