Intelligence Operations in a Jungle Environment--Lessons Learned.As an intelligence trainer at the Jungle Operations Training Center (JOTC JOTC Jungle Operations Training Center
JOTC Junior Officer Training Course (US DoD) ), I had the opportunity to act as the observer/controller (O/C) for battalion S2s during their rotations through the Jungle Warfare Some of the information in this article may not be verified by . It should be checked for inaccuracies and modified to cite reliable sources.
Jungle warfare Course (JWC JWC Joint Warfare Center
JWC Joint Water Committee
JWC Joint Warfighting Center
JWC Jewish World Congress
JWC Junior Bassmaster World Championship
JWC Journal Watch Cardiology ). The jungle at Fort Sherman, Panama, provided a unique environment in which to train, one we can not replicate at any of our remaining combat training centers-such as the National Training Center (NTC NTC Notice
NTC National Training Center
NTC National Telecommunications Commission
NTC National Transport Commission (Australia)
NTC Negative Temperature Coefficient
NTC Naval Training Center ) or the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC JRTC Joint Readiness Training Center (Fort Polk, LA, USA) ). While much of our doctrine concerning intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB IPB Invision Power Board (forum)
IPB International Peace Bureau
IPB Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield
IPB International Personal Banking
IPB Illustrated Parts Breakdown
IPB Institute of Plant Breeding ) and collection management (CM) applies in the jungle environment, the S2 had to adapt to the special challenges the jungle presented. The last rotation at the JOTC occurred in March 1999. Although this training center is gone, I feel that we should not forget the lessons learned there. These lessons are just as important today as they were then. The following contains lessons that have learned and discussed in 0/C intelligence after-action reviews (AARs) following several JWCs at the JOTC.
The jungle at Fort Sherman presented an S2 with single- to double-layer canopy, cross-compartmented dense terrain, numerous sharp-sloped ridges, streams, and swampy mangrove mangrove, large tropical evergreen tree, genus Rhizophora, that grows on muddy tidal flats and along protected ocean shorelines. Mangroves are most abundant in tropical Asia, Africa, and the islands of the SW Pacific. lowlands. These characteristics degraded communications and mobility. The S2s had to consider all of these factors when developing their collection plans.
The vegetation in the jungle diminishes one's ability to see. Compounding this issue is a jungle canopy that prevents ambient light from penetrating. As a result, night observation devices are mostly ineffective under the canopy. Due to the dense vegetation, scouts and similar collection assets must learn to use their other senses-such as hearing. As the vegetation limits our ability to see, it also traps noises and forces us to become better listeners. The canopy is also difficult to penetrate from above, limiting effective aerial collection. Many rotational S2s requested imagery; however, the jungle canopy prohibits this except in locations such as landing zones (LZs) and drop zones (DZs). I found that sketches were more successful than photographs when working under the canopy.
This type of terrain has a tendency to isolate forces, making it difficult to move collection assets once they are in place. It also makes for slower foot movement, as doctrinal rates of movement do not apply here.
Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield
One of the critical ingredients to any successful operation is the S2's IPB. It is no different in the jungle; success or failure often hinges on the S2's ability to predict the enemy's location. Sound terrain analysis is crucial in assessing the location of the enemy and possible directions of movement. When considering the OCOKA OCOKA Observation, Cover and Concealment, Obstacles, Key Terrain, Avenues of Approach (battlefield terrain) (observation, concealment, obstacles, key terrain, and avenues of approach) factors, remember these crucial points:
* Observation is often limited to five to ten meters due to vegetation. Consequently, hilltops may not be key or decisive terrain because you cannot observe through the canopy.
* Trails, waterways, and LZs are often key terrain because they either aid in insertion or extraction or assist in mobility and navigation.
* Avenues of approach tend to canalize can·al·ize
tr.v. can·al·ized, can·al·iz·ing, can·al·iz·es
1. To furnish with or convert into a canal or canals.
2. To provide an outlet for; channel. the enemy due to the parallel ridges through which he must move.
As the staff wargames possible courses of action (COAs), the S2 should consider the effects of weather and terrain on both friendly and enemy forces. The COA (Certificate Of Authenticity) A document that accompanies software which states that it is an original package from the manufacturer. It generally includes a seal with a difficult-to-copy emblem such as a holographic image. selected should take advantage of the enemy's reaction to his environment. S2s who worked the IPB process and implemented it into their wargaming were usually accurate in predicting what the enemy would do. After the wargame, the S2 was able to create--
* An event template to ad in determining the enemy's actions and focusing the intelligence effort to confirm or deny possible COAs.
* A high-payoff target (HPT HPT Human Performance Technology
HPT Heartland Poker Tour
HPT Home Pregnancy Test
HPT High Pressure Turbine
HPT Host Print Transform
HPT High-Performance Team
HPT high-payoff target (US DoD) ) list.
* Command-approved priority intelligence requirements Those intelligence requirements for which a commander has an anticipated and stated priority in the task of planning and decision making. Also called PIRs. See also information requirements; intelligence; intelligence process; intelligence requirement. (PIR "Parent in room." See digispeak. ) and information requirements (IR).
* A collection plan designed to answer the commander's PIR.
One of the common mistakes made at the JOTC was a robust, unfocused un·fo·cused also un·fo·cussed
1. Not brought into focus: an unfocused lens.
2. collection plan covering the entire area of operations An operational area defined by the joint force commander for land and naval forces. Areas of operation do not typically encompass the entire operational area of the joint force commander, but should be large enough for component commanders to accomplish their missions and protect their . S2s need to focus their collection effort. Since it is impossible to cover all areas in the jungle with a battalion's limited collection assets. By placing collection assets in specified areas based on your event template, you do not need to cover the entire jungle, but you can focus on the essential areas. One other area of weakness for the S2s was their failure to develop deadlines for PIR. When developing PIR and IR, the S2 or collection manager must determine how the information influences the commander's decision point (DP). The S2 can relate the DP to a time or event. Intelligence synchronization matrices are an excellent tool to assist the S2 in tracking DPs. S2s at the JOTO often failed to consider this, resulting in old PIR that required updating.
Determine what resources can best satisfy the collection requirement. The JOTC provided a unique environment in which battalion S2s worked with unfamiliar information-gathering units and systems. As a result, they often did not fully exploit their capabilities. This situation is not unique to a jungle environment and could happen on any deployment with attached intelligence assets. Seek out and learn their capabilities and limitations as potential sources for gathering information. S2s at the JOTC had the following attached assets:
* Naval special boat units (SBUs).
* Army rotary-wing aviation.
* Low-level voice intercept (LLVI LLVI Low Level Voice Intercept (US Army) ) teams.
* Counterintelligence coun·ter·in·tel·li·gence
The branch of an intelligence service charged with keeping sensitive information from an enemy, deceiving that enemy, preventing subversion and sabotage, and collecting political and military information. (CI) agents.
* Human intelligence (HUMINT HUMINT Human Intelligence ) collection teams.
* Remotely Monitored Battlefield Sensor System (REMBASS REMBASS Remotely-Monitored Battlefield Sensor System ).
When tasking your resources, make sure the plan is feasible. S2s and collection managers often over-tasked scouts with ambitious collection plans due to their lack of understanding of the limitations imposed by the jungle. As mentioned before, the jungle environment restricts observation and mobility. One's auditory ability exceeds visual ability in the jungle. Do not run your scouts ragged by expecting them to move long distances and cover numerous named areas of interest (NAIs). Sensors such as REMBASS (seismic-acoustic, infrared) worked well and added great flexibility to the S2's collection plan. In addition to REMBASS, other signals collection assets such as AN/PRD-10 or PRD-12s worked well in the jungle. Some LLVI teams did not fare well at the JOTC but this was not due to the equipment. Poor line-of-sight (LOS) analysis often resulted in a poorly placed baseline that could not cover the area in which the S2 expected the enemy to be. I also noticed that LLVI teams were not testing their equipment before their insertion. This results in deviated azimuths on their lines-of-bearing (LOBs). Team chiefs should test their equipment frequently. I served with a unit that conducted military intelligence (Ml) gunnery at home station semiannually to verify and qualify its teams. Just as a tank crew must boresight its weapon system, you must perform predeployment operational tests on your Ml systems as well.
Processing and Reporting Information
S2s had a hard time evaluating and reporting information for several reasons. Often, they had a poor communications plan with no established redundancies. Using the command net as the primary operations and intelligence (O&I) net can cause serious delays in reporting. Successful units used the scout platoon net as the battalion O&I with the battalion S2 acting as the net control station.
The processing of information was often absent, and the S2s were not correlating their specific information requirements (SIR) to their PIR. An example of this, in one rotation, was a commander's PIR stating. "In what size element is the enemy traveling?" After two separate contacts with enemy elements of approximately 14 to 16 personnel, it did not register with the S2 that the enemy moved in sections. Already knowing that the enemy company they were up against was at 80-percent strength, he could have determined that the enemy was traveling in sections (reinforced squads) of 14 personnel. Instead of facing three platoons with three squads apiece, they were actually facing three platoons of only two sections each. They never made this correlation, and subsequently the PIR remained unanswered.
Keep your collection plan updated and current. As information comes in, process it and decide what PIR it can answer. Refine your requirements as needed as needed prn. See prn order. . You may have to make your SIR more specific to answer the PIR. Make sure you are recording this information by use of a collection management board and log.
Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R&S) Planning in the Jungle
A great collection plan without a supporting R&S plan is useless. The S2s' collection plans often lacked the necessary plan to implement it. You must have a plan to get your collectors into an advantageous location that will allow them to collect and stay alive. The S2 alone cannot create the R&S plan. There are several essential players in its development:
* Scout platoon leader and other collection team leaders such as LLVI, ground surveillance radar (GSR See Gigabit Switch Router. ), REMBASS.
* Fire support officer (FSO (Free Space Optics) Transmitting optical signals through the air using infrared lasers. Also known as "wireless optics," FSO provides point-to-point and point-to-multipoint transmission at very high speeds without requiring a government license for use of the spectrum. ) to coordinate restricted fire areas (RFAs), target areas of interest (TAIs), suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD SEAD Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses
SEAD Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (Salzburg, Austria)
SEAD Secure Efficient Ad-Hoc Distance Vector (routing protocol)
SEAD Seneca Army Depot ), and more.
* Signal officer to coordinate communications requirements. This is critical in the jungle where conditions often degrade communications. You must have good communications including a backup plan to transmit and receive information.
* Battalion S3 to give the approval for implementing the plan. This ensures the plan meets the commander's guidance, is compatible with all battalion maneuver elements, and reduces the risk of fratricide frat·ri·cide
1. The killing of one's brother or sister.
2. One who has killed one's brother or sister.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin .
Approximately 10 to 20 percent of all casualties at the JOTC resulted from fratricide.
Time-phase the emplacement of collection assets. As mentioned before, doctrinal rates of movement do not apply in the jungle. The average rate of movement for an infantry squad conducting a movement to contact is approximately 500 meters per hour; scout elements generally move even slower. Given this fact and your event template, you must predict how long it will take collection assets to move into position. Many times at the JOTC, S2s failed to do this. As a result, the enemy had already passed an NAI See Network Associates. because the S2 did not calculate the time needed to move into a given position, install a sensor string, establish a signals intelligence (SIGINT Noun 1. SIGINT - intelligence information gathered from communications intelligence or electronics intelligence or telemetry intelligence
signals intelligence ) baseline, and be ready to operate. This lesson is not unique to the jungle; you can apply it to any situation.
Remember these considerations when putting your R&S plan together:
* A unit's operational tempo (OPTEMPO OPTEMPO Operating/Operations Tempo ) is slow in the jungle. Patience is crucial in waiting for the enemy.
* Prioritize your NAIs; you cannot cover everything.
* Do not walk your scouts to exhaustion and task them to observe too many NAIs. This will have your scouts moving rapidly in terrain in which they are susceptible to ambush.
* Do not abandon your plan because you fail to get information at the beginning of the operation. More times than not, the S2's IPB is correct but the enemy is moving slower than anticipated.
* Do not always rely on LZs for insertion since the enemy usually observes them. As an alternative, consider rubber boats (RB-15s) and fast rope insertion extraction system (FRIES) as alternate means of insertion.
* Plan for backup communications, emergency exfiltration The removal of personnel or units from areas under enemy control by stealth, deception, surprise, or clandestine means. See also special operations; unconventional warfare. , casualty evacuation, and fire support.
* Global Positioning System Global Positioning System: see navigation satellite.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Precise satellite-based navigation and location system originally developed for U.S. military use. (GPS) units do not work well due to the jungle canopy's interference with satellite signals. You must rig an external antenna to make it work. Land navigation skills are essential.
* Rehearse your R&S plan with all critical players. Things never go as planned in the jungle. The more synchronized everyone is with the plan, the greater your chances are for success.
The jungle challenges the S2's ability to template the enemy through sound IPB, identify gaps in intelligence, develop a collection plan to answer those gaps, and develop an R&S plan to make it all happen. There is no school solution on how to tackle this problem. With very little in writing on how to wage war in a jungle environment, much is left to the ingenuity of the soldiers to find, fix, and destroy the enemy. The JOTC was the proponent for FM 90-5, Jungle Operations, and at the time of this writing, it was under revision at Fort Benning, Georgia. Readers can find more information on jungle operations in the center for Army Lessons Learned Handbook No. 95-5, Winning in the Jungle.
The author gratefully acknowledges assistance from Major Howard Simkin, whose insight was invaluable.
Major Darryl Ward is currently the Executive Officer (XO) of the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade, Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Major Ward was the MI Observer/Controller at the U.S. Army Jungle Operations Training Center. He observed and trained airborne and light infantry battalion S2s in the art of intelligence operations in a jungle environment. MAJ Ward's previous assignments include Light Infantry Platoon Leader, Company XO, Infantry Battalion S2, MI Battalion Assistant S3, Battalion Maintenance Officer, Collection and Jamming Company Commander, Brigade S2, and Battalion XO. He has a Bachelor of Science Noun 1. Bachelor of Science - a bachelor's degree in science
bachelor's degree, baccalaureate - an academic degree conferred on someone who has successfully completed undergraduate studies degree from the University of Arkansas The University of Arkansas strives to be known as a "nationally competitive, student-centered research university serving Arkansas and the world." The school recently completed its "Campaign for the 21st Century," in which the university raised more than $1 billion for the school, used in Education.