Concepts and Doctrine
by Major Michael D. Vance, USAR
MICAT Defining Training Standards and Qualification
The Military Intelligence Combat Assessment Tables (MICAT) define an emerging program that supports the Army's goal for maintaining a flexible, deployable, and lethal combined arms team. It will provide MI commanders the framework with which to develop a tactical training program, and evaluate and qualify their units. The MICAT program is an initiative of the Deputy Commanding General, Brigadier General John W. Smith, U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca, to standardize guidance on how MI should train to achieve collective proficiency on mission essential tasks, and to qualify as combat ready. These tables articulate how MI units at all echelons will train their soldiers on assigned systems, including the training for the functional entities that are crew-based (Analysis and Control Element (ACE) and Analysis and Control Team (ACT)). This training encompasses the relevant unit mission critical tasks and the individual occupational skills required for MI units to achieve training standards.
MI Qualification Tables
MICAT development is based on training and qualification tables that mirror the successful tank gunnery model from the U.S. Army Armor School. The methodology for MICAT is crawl, walk and run, and the main emphasis is on crew and section qualification.
MICAT will identify the critical individual and collective tasks required for MI information systems and operational elements, and define the conditions and standards for evaluation and qualification. The tables for individual qualification will focus on competency, and will include upper skill-level tasks for certification of supervisors and leaders. Section and crew tables look to the critical collective tasks performed to support intelligence operations. Tables will work with the Mission Essential Task List and unit tactical standard operating procedures to ensure applicability to their specific mission and battle focus. MICAT culminates with Table XII evaluation of the ACE or ACT, demonstrating the capability to synchronize section activities to support intelligence operations and the combat commander.
MICAT takes a step beyond the current Military Intelligence Collective Training Standard Document, Volumes I and II, ARTEP 34-113-11 and -12. MICAT will include tables for the majority of current and future intelligence systems and processors. Information derived from the Advanced Warfighter Exercises (AWEs) will drive the critical tasks selected for individual MOSs and collective tasks for the sections and crews. Once defined, the MICAT for sections like the Ground-Based Common Sensor and the UAVs will provide a training focus for supervisors and leaders. The tasks critical to the total intelligence effort can be planned, resourced, and trained to qualify individuals, sections, and teams as combat ready.
Two documents are in development that prescribe MICAT training strategies and qualification requirements for MI units. Department of Army Pamphlet 350-XX, Standards in Crew-Served Systems Training (Military Intelligence)
FM 34-XX,MICAT Individual/ Crew/Platoon Training Evaluation for Military Intelligence Crew-Served Systems, is the second document. It will describe MICAT and explain all the components, tables, and detailed evaluation procedures. Each MICAT developed for system teams or crews and functional entities will be published separately, with "leader books" provided for commanders.
MICAT standards will be the same for both Active Component (AC) and Reserve Component (RC) MI elements. Only the frequency of evaluations for RC elements is different. This ensures a commonality and standardization for MI training focus across both components, enhancing readiness and compatibility upon mobilization. MICAT qualification should be a mandatory post-mobilization training requirement for RC MI elements.
MICAT clearly identifies the requirements for intelligence training. With critical individual and collective tasks presented in qualification tables, a clearer picture of the requirements for intelligence readiness training is gained. Then it can be compared with similar qualification programs existing in combat arms branches. MICAT will focus on training planning and effective use of resources. The commander can directly state his requirements and his resource needs to maintain a proficient, integrated, and synchronized MI element.
- Provides requirements for MICAT qualification.
- Recommends training strategies and frequencies.
- Resources requirements to assist commanders in determining and planning MICAT training.
MICAT is still in early development, but is receiving high priority at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center. It is a concept that provides focus and framework for training and qualification standards necessary to support Army XXI. MICAT is not just another evaluation requirement for the commander. It is a tool to develop training and obtain resources, ensuring the technical and tactical competence of MI soldiers, sections, and teams. It sets the standard for qualifying AC and RC MI elements to ensure readiness and compatibility. It will enable an MI battalion to evaluate its combat readiness on an equal level with other combat arms elements in a division. MICAT is a simple, effective, and necessary component to training that is long overdue.
Major Vance is currently serving on active duty doing special work with the Directorate of Operations, Training and Doctrine, USAIC&FH. He is a reservist assigned as the Corps MI Support Element Chief, 319th MI Brigade at Fort Lewis, Washington. He has a bachelor of arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Western Washington University. Readers who wish to contact him may do so by E-mail at [email protected], (206) 968-7018, and DSN 782-7018.