ASAS Master Analyst Program

Sly Fox Den ASI 1F Notes

Using Commercial Applications to Improve Analytical Skills

by Frank Adams

The All-Source Analysis System (ASAS) Master Analyst Program (AMAP) introduced a new approach to refine order of battle (OB) and tactics training. One of the hardest things to do in the field is to sustain or improve the various analytical skills required by complex situations. With the operating tempo (OPTEMPO) so high and personnel strength a challenge, finding opportunities for this type of training are harder to find. The ASAS Master Analyst Course (AMAC) is continually looking for innovative ways to easily provide the “1F” graduates with the means and methods they can take back to their units for training.

Prior to the last two AMACs, the primary method used to help refine and improve soldiers’ analytical skills was the “Sly Fox” crew exercise. With Class 98-003, AMAC explored another method—the integrated use of commercial conflict-simulation games to support our core training objectives. A tactical scenario using the 1991 battle of Khafji as a base allowed the students to “crawl” through the process of learning and using the three analytical techniques taught in the course:

The students’ initial reaction to the commercial conflict simulation was to focus on how they could destroy the enemy, without performing an adequate Intelligence Preparation at the Battlefield (IPB) or OB analysis. The students inconsistently evaluated the overall situation and performed little battle damage assessment—the key was to track the OB factors with an emphasis on composition and disposition. The situation realistically mimics the narrow focus of an All-Source Analysis System (ASAS) workstation during operations. The development of intelligence and the needed tracking from the screen to posting to the situation map, SITMAP was slow. This intense exercise did lead to an evident improvement in performance during the later and larger “Sly Fox” crew exercise.

In addition to the commercial conflict-simulation exercise, Class 99-001 received practical analytical exercises that we added during each workstation block. These exercises showed how the specific workstation supports the analyst in the overall analytical effort. In addition, we used an extra scenario for the commercial exercise that prepared them for the difficult “Sly Fox” exercise. This simulation related to actual events that take place during the exercise. It showed the students what could happen if they did not identify the capabilities and tactics of the opposing force promptly and provide the information to the combat force. Important to the series of training events was developing a good understanding of both enemy and friendly tactics and capabilities. The additional scenario did improve the students’ ability to detect key indicators for unit identification and mission determination more quickly than previous classes had.

This success demonstrates the advantages the use of commercial conflict games can bring in unit training. They can refresh, sustain, and improve analytical skills at all levels—enlisted, warrant officer, and officer.

Mr. Adams is an Education Specialist in the ASAS Master Analyst Branch, Directorate of Continuous Learning, U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca. Readers can contact him via E-mail at [email protected] or telephonically at (520) 533-4607 or DSN 821-4607.