MI Force Structure

by Lieutenant Colonel  Robert G. Gutjahr

Military intelligence is facing one of the greatest challenges in its history as it draws down its end strength and force structure, reinvests scarce resources in modernization and readiness, and con- currently improves its capabilities with a battery of cutting-edge systems. Like the rest of the Army, MI’s force structure experienced a tremendous transition over the past two years. The Quadrennial Defense Review, the MI Branch Functional Area Assessment (FAA), and the subsequent Military Intelligence Reduction Initiative (MIRI) have reduced the total MI force by 4,095 spaces. The MI Force, as of July 1998, stands at 26,428 Active Component (AC), 13,257 Reserve Component (RC), and 5,166 civilians. MI reductions and end strengths are commensurate with the rest of the Army. By fiscal year 2003 (FY03), the Army will draw down to an end strength of 480,000 AC, 530,000 RC (to include U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG) and the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR)), and 218,000 Department of the Army Civilians (DACs).

Restructuring  for the Future

The Army is at a crossroads in its force structure. It must be capable of conducting two major theaters of war (MTWs), continuing its global forward presence to support the national military strategy (NMS), and yet avoiding the inherent imbalance risks associated with continued downsizing. [Its strategy to attain these objectives is Total Army Analysis (TAA), an objective, doctrine-based process which establishes the total Army force structure to support the NMS as it is articulated in the Defense Planning Guidance.] Unlike previous TAAs, TAA 07 is the first to employ capabilities-based, threat-adaptive requirements (mission task-organ- ized forces or MTOFs) to clarify the Army’s force structure requirements and ultimately reduce authorized level of organization (ALO) shortfalls. As in the past, TAA will consider the Army’s requirements for a two-MTW scenario. However, the current iteration will also assess the force structure requirements necessary for executing smaller scale contingencies, to include peace- keeping operations and humani- tarian assistance, homeland defense, a strategic reserve, a base generating force, and a base engagement force. MI plays a primary or supporting role in all of these MTOFs, and will be an integral part of the total force.

The Intel XXI Study—commissioned by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (DCSINT) and approved by the Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA)—will complement our efforts in TAA. It will provide recommended solutions to the challenges facing the MI force structure and the way our branch does its business. Ultimately, this study, led by Brigadier General Wayne M. Hall, will provide the framework for the next Intelligence Branch FAA that will implement these recommendations and integrate them into force structure requirements identified in the TAA.

Despite its myriad mission requirements around the world, the total MI force structure will not grow in the near future. Like our sister branches, we are relying on systems technology, digitization, and the increasing presence of the RC called to active duty to make the difference. Army XXI and our MI units in the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas (the EXFOR), present the ultimate snapshot of our digitized future. With the exception of the tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (TUAV), all MI systems in this division have basis-of-issue plans and are on schedule for projected fielding. MI technology clearly demonstrates the adage that “if you build it, they will come.” In the immediate future, critical systems will provide the foundation for our echelons corps and below (ECB) force structure, systems such as the—


Multi-Component Structure

Paramount to the Army’s success in the future is the seamless integration of the reserve and active components. In FY99, the Army will activate two AC divisions that will include ARNG enhanced separate brigades. This is the centerpiece for the Army’s Multi-component Policy, which is creating units with authorized personnel from more than one Army component. [MI will play a major role in the multi-component structure designed to enhance AC-RC integration, improve readiness and resource posture, optimize the unique capabilities of each component, and improve documentation.] The 203d MI Battalion (Technical Intelligence), Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, will become MI’s first multi-component unit in FY01 when it combines with the 372d and 383d TECHINT Companies (USAR). Other intelligence organizations at both ECB and echelons above corps (EAC) will eventually convert to multi-com ponent status when the Army implements the MIRI and FAA initiatives.

Critical Challenges

Across the force, MI has some unique and critical challenges, and the Army Staff is exploring new options to redress long-standing problems. Language readiness is of paramount concern to the DCSINT and the Chief of Staff, and studies undertaken last year to evaluate Army language requirements, linguist distribution, and language training will reach fruition this summer. Depending on the DCSINT’s recommendations and the findings of the Intel XXI Study, MI force structure may change to reflect a more efficient use of this valuable resource. Already, USAR linguist battalions are deactivating and converting to companies for better modularity and deployability.

The U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command largely comprises table of distribution and allowances (TDA) units. INSCOM will convert many of these EAC organizations to table of organization and equipment (TOE) units in FY01, improving their viability and playing in future TAAs. Due to downsizing decisions in TAA 05, the corps tactical exploitation battalions (TEBs) and their missions are migrating from the AC to the RC. The deactivation of the 163d MI Battalion (TE), Fort Hood, Texas, and 14th MI Battalion (TE), Fort Lewis, Washington—in III and I Corps, respectively—will create tremendous demands on the National Guard TEBs, which will activate in FY99 and FY00. The Army’s growing requirements for counterintelligence (CI) and human intelligence (HUMINT) personnel will focus heightened scrutiny on the readiness of INSCOM EAC units and these TEBs.

With so many rapid changes to force structure, the Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA), is now working closely with the Army major commands (MACOMs) on the status of existing units and those that are activating or converting. The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (ODCSOPS) now scrubs the activations and conversions of units in every component in quarterly Force Validation Committee (FVC) meetings. This will ensure that these organizations begin life with readiness levels of C-3 or better. FVCs facilitate a dialogue between HQDA and the MACOM to transition the TAA force from program to execution. Monthly Readiness Reviews (MRRs), the HQDA-collated overview of battalion unit status reports (USRs), are also receiving greater emphasis and facilitating the dialogue between the DCSOPS and respective MACOMs to address both systemic and isolated readiness issues. Every MI unit that reports a C-4 rating or worse now undergoes a detailed review of its force structure and logistics issues. Commanders who report such ratings will no doubt receive follow-up telephone calls from their MACOM headquarters to resolve any issues.

Final Thoughts

As MI continues to evolve and change to support its requirements, force structure will follow suit. It has been a turbulent two years for all individuals working force structure issues in the MI community. We thank you for your enthusiasm, dedication, and professionalism in this very esoteric world where we build and modify units to make MI one of the most efficient and modern branches in the Army. Please call me if you have any questions or concerns. We must build and maintain the future force smartly and correctly.


1.AR 220-1 describes the readiness levels.

Lieutenant Colonel Gutjahr is the Organizational Integrator at Headquarters, Department of the Army, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations (DCSOPS)  DAMO FDI. Before his current position, he was Commander, 297th MI Battalion, and served as a Presidential Communications/Intelligence Officer for the White House Communications Agency from 1993-1995. LTC Gutjahr served as Operations Security Officer for the Office of Emergency Operations under the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (ASDC3I). While assigned to the 470th MI Brigade, Republic of Panama, he served as a Company Commander and later as Battalion Executive Officer. He served in many tactical positions from 1979 through 1990, primarily as the intelligence staff officer or a company commander. LTC Gutjahr graduated from the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. He earned a Master’s of Military Art and Science (MMAS) degree from the School of Military Arts and Sciences at the Command and General Staff College. Readers can contact him at (703) 697-3970, DSN 223-3970, or via E-mail at [email protected]