The "Horsemen" of the 501st MI Brigade place timely intelligence information into the warfighter’s hands...seamlessly, continuously and immediately

By the 501st MI Brigade

     Korea, Land of the Morning Calm, is a land divided. The South is busy, productive and enjoying democracy. The North is on the brink of starvation, isolated and armed to the teeth. As the military forces of the North stand-off against the United Nations Command forces in the South, a tentative and fragile state of armistice exists. Preparation, modernization, training, readiness and the conduct of continuous intelligence operations against an active threat stand as the principal deterrents to war. These deterrents keep the two nations from a renewal of the war which divided and devastated the Korean peninsula and people 50 years ago.
     Critical to vigilance and peaceful deterrence is timely and accurate intelligence. Keeping a watchful eye on the North are numerous intelligence professionals in an complex, fully operational Combined and Joint effort focused on indications and warning. The intelligence community in Korea maintains watch, while at the same time staying ready to transition to a state of crisis or war — a transition which could come with little or no advance warning. As critical as intelligence is to warfighting and providing decision makers with warning, communications remains its life blood.
     Supporting the theater intelligence architecture is an elaborate communications network which must survive a transition to hostilities. The TROJAN SPIRIT teams of the 501st MI Brigade provide stabilized, protected communications support to commanders. A vital link in the theater’s intelligence architecture, the soldiers from the Trojan "Horsemen" of Company B, 532nd MI Battalion (Operations) stand ready to assume the role of the movers of intelligence information. These highly trained and motivated soldiers keep the TROJAN SPIRIT prepared to deploy at a moment’s notice and are an integral part of the everyday operations which support the indications and warning mission.

The System of Choice
     As all good military intelligence professionals realize, communications and the systems used are keys to placing timely intelligence information into the hands of the warfighter. The TROJAN Special Purpose Integrated Remote Intelligence Terminal II, or TROJAN SPIRIT, is the system of choice. The TROJAN SPIRIT uses secure commercial and military satellite communications to provide a cornerstone of INSCOM’s national-to-tactical-level intelligence support.
     A TROJAN SPIRIT system consists of two heavy high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV) with shelters and a 2.4 meter diameter satellite communications antenna mounted on a tactical trailer. The first shelter, known as the Primary HMMWV Shelter, is the guts of the system. The second vehicle/shelter is the spare equipment and maintenance vehicle which allows a TROJAN SPIRIT team redundancy and survivability anywhere the system deploys.
     The TROJAN SPIRIT platoon consists of three systems organized to support U.S. Army, Joint and Republic of Korea warfighters. Each of the three systems are designed with the appropriate software configuration which allows a seamless flow of intelligence information. The systems access national and theater databases and multiple communications interfaces which support multiple linkages. Their tailored configuration supports the joint and combined theater. The system configurations in Korea allow the 501st MI Brigade to support the Joint Deployable Intelligence Support Systems (JDISS), All Source Analysis System-Warrior, Pacific Command Automated Site Server – Korea, JMICS and others. This flexibility allows the TROJAN SPIRIT to communicate with anyone and everyone who requires critical intelligence information.

The "Horsemen"
     In the 501st MI Brigade, when a intelligence soldier speaks of operations, information, processing, analysis and dissemination of an all-source product, the same soldier will end up pointing to the 532nd MI Battalion, known as the "The BLACK HORSE Battalion." Within the 532nd MI Battalion, Company B’s TROJAN SPIRIT makes timely dissemination possible. The unit currently operates three systems, each having a habitual support arrangement, which can be shifted to meet the commander-in-chief’s requirements. The soldiers are the life blood of the system and are commonly referred to as the "Horsemen." Signal intelligence analysts or "Horsemen" deploy, operate and maintain the system.
     The unique versatility signal intelligence analysts bring to the system’s operation is invaluable. The analysts possess the mental agility to ensure a consistent flow of information and an understanding of the type, purpose and importance of the information which flows through the system. These highly skilled soldiers operate the system’s technical aspects as well as the analyst workstations. Workstations are either inside the TROJAN SPIRIT or remotely configured in a command post to allow maximum operational benefits. The operators are positioned to conduct preliminary analysis and bring additional synergy to the final analytical products produced for the warfighter while ensuring the system operates without interruption.

The Mission
     To really appreciate the criticality of the TROJAN SPIRIT’s role in the Republic of Korea, it is important to understand the unique nature of this theater. The 501st MI Brigade is a forward deployed intelligence organization conducting continuous intelligence processing, analysis and dissemination under the conditions of armistice in the Republic of Korea. Each day, 501st soldiers work with Republic of Korea and Joint service counterparts at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. Soldiers are forward deployed information warriors who conduct a continuous live indications and warning mission. In addition, every soldier must train on the intelligence operations tasks associated with transition to war and basic soldier combat skills. Nowhere else in the world does the potential exist to transition from an armistice environment to a high intensity conflict overnight.
     So what does this mean for the TROJAN SPIRIT? While many intelligence systems within the United States operate during periodic exercises and field deployments or participate in high profile exercises such as National Training Center rotations, systems deployed in Korea must operate daily and be ready to transition to wartime/combat conditions immediately. If the threat chooses to end armistice conditions with an act of war, the time for training and preparations are not available. Consequently, operators must be ready to deploy 365 days a year without relief from the daily indication and warnings mission.

The Focus
     The daily and on-order missions can cover the entire Republic of Korea area as well as worldwide. The systems have the capability and are ready to deploy on the peninsula to support the warfighter. One of three systems supports daily "live intelligence missions" to the Ground Component Command Analysis and Control Element. The second system brings a unique capability to link directly to support the newest JWICS Mobile Integrated Communications System. The third system supports the theater’s Deployable Intelligence Support Element. This Element balances an indication and warning mission support with commander-in-chief directed deployments on numerous exercises such as ULCHI FOCUS LENS, FOAL EAGLE, INTELEX, I/III Corps exercises, CAMPGROUND and Reception, Staging and Onward Integration. This system and others are on-call everyday to plug-in anywhere in theater if critical communications links are needed to support U.S. Forces in Korea and others.
     During daily operations, our TROJAN SPIRIT sites allow U.S.-based units to tie into critical information/intelligence data bases from sanctuary at any time. The intent is to ensure U.S. forces receive rapid, secure and limitless sharing of voice, data, and video information at the touch of a switch. As for war preparations, exercises (both tactical and command post) are almost as routine as daily operations.
     TROJAN operators train as they will fight. The high operational tempo and continuous training maintains readiness. The need is very real. One of the best "workouts" for the TROJAN SPIRIT is support provided to the Deployable Intelligence Support Element. This element, in this theater, represents a robust, tactically tailored direct support team which gives the weight the battlefield with information. It works directly for the commanders-in-chief to support theater deep operations, providing critical near-real time intelligence feeds anywhere on the battlefield.

Branches and Sequels
     It is impossible to talk of the "routine" aspects of the TROJAN SPIRIT without mentioning the continuous pursuit, establishment and practice of branches and sequels to operational plans. The questions are always asked: Who, what, where and when will we be needed?
     In the past six months, the Horsemen fielded the newest system which will bring an aggregate data rate of 1.544 megabytes per second (or "T-1"). Technology continues to move forward and so do the soldiers. They have traveled the length of the peninsula providing redundant communications capabilities for the Ground Component Command Technical Control and Analysis Element. In conjunction with the Deployable Intelligence Support Element, they demonstrated their support capabilities for Republic of Korea Corps elements. They became the primary system operators for the JWICS Mobile Integrated Communications System. The mix of major training events and daily tasks and intelligence operations have proven a recipe for success.

Critical Parts
     The Trojan Spirit systems, and the soldiers who operate them are critical parts of the theater intelligence architecture in the Republic of Korea. Working in this challenging environment with a real-world mission every day adds an exciting edge to what is already one of the most interesting assignments. Indicative of many, if not all of the jobs in the 501st MI Brigade, a Horsemen in Korea learns more in one year than anywhere else in the U.S. Army.

     The 501st MI Brigade, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, is headquartered in Yong San, Korea.


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   Last Updated: May 29, 1997