Force Modernization—One Person Can Make a Difference!

by Colonel Jerry V. Proctor

This issue of Military Intelligence focuses on “Force Moderniza- tion of Military Intelligence” and readers should learn a great deal about ongoing development of our MI systems. Many of the articles were written by Pro- gram or Project Manager (PM) offices, reviewed by the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (DCSOPS), Force Integration Office, and by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) System Manager (TSM) offices or Director of Combat Developments offices—in short an impressive list of lofty sounding places. The flavor of these imposing-sounding offices might lead an average soldier to feel, “all this force modernization stuff is going on well above my head. I probably couldn’t influence this mess if I wanted to.” Also, soldiers may feel frustrated if they do have good ideas because they may have no idea where to make entry into this collage of “ivory towers.” Well, entry into and influence of the force modernization system is neither hard nor need it be unsuccessful.

Let me present an actual example. In using this example, I will refer to the All-Source Analysis System (ASAS) but influence over other systems is similarly easy. In December 1997, the Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence (CI/HUMINT) Program Development Office, PM ASAS got a rush order. They were directed to issue and field the new CI/HUMINT Automation Tool Set (CHATS) suitcase-sized reporting device to soldiers deploying to Operation DESERT THUNDER. The fielding was done as fast as possible, some would say it was a “drive-by fielding." The soldiers received training, but only as much as time constraints would allow.

The soldiers almost immediately deployed to the Middle East and, while having some success with the CHATS device, they realized several essential communications interface capabilities were missing. In this example, the CHATS did not have a PCIM card allowing the CHATS to interface directly with tactical net- works. The initial design of CHATS envisioned telephonic interface. Clearly, the CHATS had a deficiency in its tactical communications capabilities.

One of the deployed soldiers noted this deficiency and notified his company and battalion commanders, in addition to sending several E-mail messages suggesting a fix for the shortfall. Fortunately, one office that received this traffic was the TSM ASAS Office. A quick evaluation of the problem and confirmation with the unit leadership verified a definite requirement for change. The TSM Office and the ASAS CI/HUMINT PM office conferred and deter- mined what type of communica- tions card would remedy the situation. We sent word to the unit that, for the short term, they could get an upgrade of this capability and, more importantly, we will ensure that this new capability will be in all new systems.

This example of one person’s impact transpired from about January through March 1998. In early June, the ASAS PM Office briefed the TSM ASAS Office on system upgrades that would take place with fiscal year 1999 equipment buys. They include this PCIM card.

The short moral of this story is that one user noticed a system deficiency. He recognized it, told his chain of command, and sent E-mail messages to several offices including the TSM ASAS. It is all TSMs’ responsibility to represent and work to satisfy valid user requirements in the acquisition world. In this simple example, one soldier made a difference, just as you can. Take the time to notify your TSM Office, whether for ASAS, Common Ground Station (CGS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Aerial Common Sensor (ACS), or the Futures Directorate points of contact. One voice does make a difference: be that voice!

Colonel Jerry Proctor is the TSM ASAS and the Deputy TSM is Mr. Michael Strack. Readers can E-mail them at proctorj1 @huachuca-emh1.army.mil and strackm@ huachuca-emh1.army.mil. You can reach them telephonically at (520) 533-3504/7 or DSN 821-3504/7.