Center Without Walls:
Training in the
by Lieutenant Colonel Dennis A. Lowrey
Several urgent requirements came together in the spring
of 1995 to produce an innovative program called "Center Without
Walls." The Center Without Walls is an on-going effort by the
United States Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca (USAIC&FH)
to radically redesign, develop, and provide innovative training
services to the first Information Age branch, military intelligence
(MI). This article explores the requirements, establishes the
program azimuth, and gives a progress report for those with only
traditional access to information.
Requirement: Training in an Age of Austerity
In the fall of 1994, Brigadier General Claudia J. Kennedy, then
Deputy Commanding General, USAIC&FH, began an intensive look at the
Intelligence Center organization, existing programs, and methods of
operation. The purpose of this self-examination was to ask
fundamental questions about how the Intelligence Center organized
to fight the training battle. The review determined that the
organization is sound but needs to focus on making every minute of
institutional training count.
This adjustment to the focus of intelligence training must
recognize that change is a constant. Doctrine, materiel, and
organizations will continue to evolve to meet the demands of the
future. The training process needs to recognize this element of
constant change and adapt to it.
Key trends in intelligence doctrine are clear. Under the leadership
of then Major General Paul E. Menoher and later Major General John
F. Stewart, Jr., the Intelligence Center revised doctrine to
reflect the needs of the force projection Army. FM 34-1,
Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Operations, 27 September 1994,
established commander driven intelligence, tactical tailoring,
split-based operations, intelligence synchronization, and broadcast
dissemination as our MI principles. This doctrinal shift, which
also incorporated the lessons learned from Operation DESERT STORM,
required a massive education effort not only for MI leaders but for
all Army leaders. In the fall of 1994, the new USAIC&FH commander,
Brigadier General Charles W. Thomas directed the Center to develop
doctrine for Force XXI and explore the requirements of information
An implication of the principle of tactical tailoring is that we
must effectively integrate operational and tactical information
networks in a joint and combined environment. Many MI officers who
have served at the division and below have never worked with
operational intelligence networks, or the Department of Defense
(DOD) Intelligence Information System (DODIIS) community. Joining
DODIIS and tactical networks together must become routine if we are
to fully tailor the intelligence architecture to meet the need of
commanders. Furthermore, MI officers will have to become familiar
with these networks and information integration challenges. All
Active and Reserve Component MI personnel must become proficient in
using the entire system of DOD intelligence.
The modernization of MI systems has proceeded at a rapid pace. New,
highly capable, sophisticated equipment such as the All-Source
Analysis System, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, and
unmanned aerial vehicle systems are entering the MI force
structure. Focused on getting systems to the force, the MI
leadership has made tough resource decisions to keep our
modernization on track. Modernization is, however, opening up a
training gap in the force. Our new equipment, while highly capable,
is more complex to operate and requires tight synchronization with
the commander's operational plan. Soldiers and leaders need more
training, information, and opportunities to practice with the new
In table of organization and equipment (TO&E) units, the tempo of
operations is increasing. Regular deployments are a fact of life.
There is less time to train and units have little time to invest in
their own training support programs. Tactical tailoring means that
units will go to war with equipment that is not part of their
normal peacetime organization. The field clearly needs more help in
coping with doctrine and materiel change.
To maintain its fighting edge, the Army is shrinking table of
distribution and allowance Army positions and trimming
institutional courses. The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
(TRADOC) directed subordinate centers to cut functional courses to
sustain core soldier and leader training programs without
increasing course lengths. Therefore, the USAIC&FH could not use
the increased training time to make up for the sophistication of
our new equipment. Training support and peripheral programs
decreased to protect the instructor force. An innovative approach
The Intelligence Center needed to identify core competencies in MI,
train to standard but maintain the capability of constantly
evolving the implementation of our core competencies.
Simultaneously, we had to provide more training support to the
field so they could conduct sustainment training while maintaining
the tempo of operations. Brigadier General Kennedy codified this
new approach into a vision statement that the review team briefed
to General Thomas. General Thomas approved the vision and directed
us to execute it.
Figure 1 depicts the new MI training architecture. There are three
elements to this architecture, but we will focus on the first
goal push support to the Total Force. This is the essence of the
Center Without Walls.
Training for Intel XXI
The Center Without Walls is the outreach portion of our new
training vision. The idea is to break down traditional and slow
communication barriers between the USAIC&FH and the field force.
The Intelligence Center is not a separate factory of training
packages and manuals. It is a partner in the total MI team
providing on-going support to all operational units.
The Intelligence Center writers and instructors need to understand
our new equipment and doctrine. With this information, they can
develop the initial tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) to
get the new systems to the force. Based on lessons from field
experience, writers and instructors can then refine TTP. The Center
will not wait for the perfect solution nor expect that there be
We need to make the Intelligence Center capable of rapidly
reinforcing every MI unit's training program. We can do this by--
Simultaneously, we need to be ready to absorb the lessons of
operational experience. The initial TTP is just that. Individual
TO&E units quickly develop experience that the Intelligence Center
must capture and incorporate into combat developments, doctrine,
and training. We have to make it easy for units to communicate with
- Making initial briefings available.
- Putting simple and plain courses in first, the fancy
things in later.
- Writing lesson plans so noncommissioned officers (NCOs)
can use them in unit and institutional training.
- Breaking down the barrier between institutional and
- Spanning the gap between Reserve and Active Component
- Building training for the Total Force.
The initial strategy we adopted was to leverage INTERNET,
specifically the World Wide Web, to communicate with the force. We
focused first on the Web because it was visual, easy to use, and
widely accessible. INTERNET would enable users to reach the reserve
force structure. Additionally, the software on the Web is the same
as the software used on the Intelligence Link (INTELINK) and
INTELINK-S which are essentially classified closed-domain versions
of the Web.
The Center Without Walls is about using modern communications
means. We use these means to create a more cohesive total MI team.
The total MI team quickly adapts to new technological capabilities
while maintaining a warfighting edge. (See Figure 2.)
A Tiger Team from the Center's 111th MI Brigade developed the
prototype for the Center Without Walls. The brigade formed the team
to build the physical, software, and information architecture to
support the vision. Colonel Norman Williamson, commander, 111th MI
Brigade, charged the members of the Tiger Team to rapidly develop
a prototype of an initial Web capability, create software, develop
the security measures, and prepare the USAIC&FH to take over
portions of this project. The team was not going to build a new,
large organization but embed new techniques in the existing
instructor, combat development, and garrison forces while
developing a small residual support capability.
Efforts to Date
The Tiger Team was not a collection of computer experts. It
consisted of representatives from the MI NCO Academy, the garrison
staff, the Deputy Assistant Commandant's office, the Reserve Forces
office, and the battalions of the 111th MI Brigade. The officer
leadership was provided by Lieutenant Colonel John R. Brooks and
the NCO leader was Master Sergeant Stacy Smith. The team came
together in a room provided with computers, connections to
INTERNET, and a variety of software tools for developing materials
for the Web. They were encouraged to explore the Web and then teach
themselves to use the tools. The team quickly came together and
posted material on the Web in a matter of two weeks. The team also
developed a training package for units in the field.
Establishing the Web Site
A Web site requires physical and software architecture.
Establishing a site is a complicated task. It requires
Initially, the Tiger Team chose to use a SUN SPARC 10 for the
prototype version of the Web site. The Fort Huachuca Directorate of
Information Management provided the connectivity to the MILNET. The
server ran Mosaic server software from the National Center for
SuperComputing Applications. Mosaic server software was free but it
required considerable UNIX operating system and programming
expertise to keep running. We learned that we did not have
sufficient programming expertise to keep up with changes to the
Mosaic software and that a commercial solution was necessary. The
solution to pursue was tied to our assessment of the security
- Connection to the DOD Military Network (MILNET) or INTERNET.
- Means for local users to dial in (a terminal server).
- Physical means to connect a server, server hardware, and
The INTERNET and the Web are available worldwide. Once the
Intelligence Center server was on-line (even before it was
announced) a commercial firm in Europe had touched our site.
Security clearly was a first consideration. A Web site is
essentially electronic publishing. Working with the visual
information activity of the Directorate of Operations, Training,
and Doctrine, the Tiger Team developed an initial plan which
incorporated the latest developments in the commercial sector.
The brigade Tiger Team determined that the Web site at the Center
should electronically publish and make readily available to any
user of the Web, command information cleared for general release.
Other unclassified support and instructional materials would be
made available to authorized users behind appropriate operational
security screens. The team was very cautious about what information
they provided through the Web.
The overlying architecture consists of the following categories of
The last four categories are protected by software security
procedures. No classified information is placed on any server
connected to the INTERNET.
- Command information cleared for general release.
- Instructional information for field use (e.g., lesson
- Operational information for field use (e.g., field manuals).
- Administrative information for field use.
- Instructional information for local use (e.g., schedules).
The security solution the team selected was Netscape commercial
security server software running on a Microsoft Windows server. The
user software would be Netscape using Trumpet as the dial-up
connection. The USAIC&FH purchased Netscape security server
software and five hundred client software licenses. The Netscape
security server works with remote server access encryption. (The
software is marketed as banking level security with sufficiently
robust security to handle credit card transactions over the
INTERNET.) The team also decided to build a file transfer protocol
archive for the information in the restricted information domain
which users can only reach through the Netscape security screen.
The field will have the appropriate access information when we
train them to use the client software. (See Figure 3.)
"Turning On" Huachuca
The Intelligence Center activated its Web site on 15 February 1995.
There are more than sixty pages reflecting most of the activities
at Fort Huachuca. Welcome letters and materials for the NCO
Academy, officer courses, and many of the enlisted courses are on
the Web. There is equipment information, garrison information, and
a page for the MI Corps Association. New arrivals at Fort Huachuca
now have a wealth of information available to them. The secure
server should be operable by September 1995 and lesson plans, field
manuals, and instructional briefings will become available to the
The USAIC&FH will activate its Web site in the following phases:
In the future, the Intelligence Center will explore in-depth
simulations, network architectures, security issues of the
information age, and management of information. We strongly
recommend you get on-line in INTERNET. If you do not have the
capability either in your unit or at home, acquire it. You should
set yourself the task of establishing your link into the Web and
then explore the information available. The Intelligence Center
needs your feedback do not wait for a data call or a tasking. Share
your experience with us. Send us your standing operating
procedures, after-action reports, and your observations. This is
your chance to become a user of the Center Without Walls.
- Phase I (February-May 1995): In the first phase, we
established a Web presence with command information, used readily
available software, developed expertise with Web technology,
designed the information architecture, established oversight,
upgraded the terminal server, and aroused the field's interest.
- Phase II (May 95 - September 1995): During this period we
hardened the Web site with new hardware and software as required;
implemented local procedures for electronic publishing on the Web
site; established restricted information domain for unclassified
instructional, operational and administrative information; and
experimented with student use of the Web site for instructional
support. We provided client software and training to the field for
use of the restricted information domain.
- Phase III (September 1995 and beyond): The Center will
sustain security, electronic publishing, and oversight procedures.
USAIC&FH will also use the Web site for supporting instruction both
locally and in the field.
Lieutenant Colonel Dennis A. Lowrey assumed command of
the 326th MI Battalion, 111th MI Brigade, at Fort Huachuca, Arizona
in June 1995. He is the overall architect for the infrastructure
supporting the Center Without Walls. Readers can reach him at DSN
821-5456, commercial (520) 533-5456, or E-mail