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82nd Airborne Division Military Intelligence Training Strategy Lessons Learned.

Editor's Note: The Center for Army Lessons Learned website published a previous version of this article in May 2018, htps:// access card login required). It has been updated based on the latest iterations of the 82nd Airborne Division's Military Intelligence Training Strategy training and edited for public release.


Previously referred to as Military Intelligence (MI) Gunnery, MI training within U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) units is now known as the Military Intelligence Training Strategy (MITS). MITS is a tered training approach at multple echelons to build MI forces ready to operate on the battlefield. MITS formalizes individual, team, and collective training events for brigade combat teams (BCTs) to ready their intelligence warfighting function for a decisive action environment. Since early 2018, three BCTs from the 82nd Airborne Division volunteered to validate the program of instruction and provide feedback to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence (USAICoE) to improve the program before its FORSCOM implementation.

This article describes the planning, preparation, execution, and revision of the MITS training platorm from the perspectve of the 82nd Airborne Division G-2, which oversaw the execution of the pilot program at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The 82nd Airborne Division G-2 acknowledges that Fort Bragg's conditions for intelligence training are ideal and that many formations do not have the same access to resources that Fort Bragg offers. These fundamental best practices are provided below, irrespectve of access to resources, to improve intelligence training across the force.

In the first quarter of 2018, the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd and 3rd BCTs (2/82 BCT and 3/82 BCT) partnered with FORSCOM and USAICoE to conduct pilot exercises to validate new standards and methodologies to train and evaluate U.S. MI Soldiers. These pilots were the result of more than a year of planning to build a team of intelligence experts from Fort Bragg and Fort Huachuca, Arizona, in order to leverage their knowledge and expertse. Although the 82nd Airborne Division played only a small part in developing and testing MITS, this article describes our lessons learned from the pilot program, along with recommendations for future evolutions of this training construct.

The key lessons learned from the pilot program and subsequent training are--

* The MITS framework provides a solid foundation from which to train a BCT intelligence warfighting function.

* While MITS focuses primarily on training the MI company, BCT S-2s must be involved in the planning and execution.

* An intelligence systems communications exercise is critical to the success of the MITS exercise.

* Command involvement at the BCT level is necessary for the support and execution of MITS in the context of a BCT's training strategy.

A Need for New Training Methods for Military Intelligence

Over the past 17 years, the U.S. Army fought in operational environments dominated by insurgency and counterterrorism threats in Iraq and Afghanistan, and intelligence training adapted appropriately. The result of this adaptation was a depleted ability to collect and assess in a large-scale conventional military conflict.

Today the U.S. Army's antcipated threat environment contnues to evolve by focusing on a more challenging decisive action training environment that combines both asymmetric and peer conventional force threats. The current hostle and revanchist policies of Russia, China, and North Korea only further necessitate the need for improved training to prepare for confirontation against peer adversaries.

A potential future conflict against North Korea, Russia, or China will be characterized by a need for the U.S. Army to process and analyze intelligence faster than it did for counterinsurgency operations. Intelligence on these types of battlefields must be analyzed and disseminated at the lowest possible level despite degraded communications, and must be conveyed in a manner that allows commanders to make rapid decisions and appreciate risk.

Tomorrow's operational environment requires MI leaders to rethink and relearn how to conduct home-station training. A partcular challenge for intelligence Soldiers at the tactical level is that time to train is a precious commodity. Commanders ofen balance competing demands for their intelligence analysts, such as--

* The need to gain and sharpen technical skills in their area of expertse.

* The need to partcipate in and support collective training with their maneuver units.

* The need to continue intelligence support to exercises and real-world intelligence analysis even while in garrison.

Adding to these challenges was the complexity of subordinate brigades on different training and deployment timelines, ofen preparing for varied threat environments.

The result of these challenges led to an atmosphere in which subordinate brigade intelligence officers, "S-2s," often trained their intelligence formations and MI companies independent of the division headquarters. Brigades focused on deployments while the division focused primarily on their division headquarters mission requirements. This focus created an environment in which the division G-2 section inadequately managed intelligence training.

Cognizant of these demands, challenges, and changes to the scenarios used at the Nation's combat training centers (now referred to as decisive action training environment 3.0), the 82nd Airborne Division G-2 section began efforts in the summer of 2017 to formalize the role of the division G-2 as a facilitator--not a dictator--of appropriate training environments for all brigades within the division.

A Comprehensive Military Intelligence Readiness Strategy

The 82nd Airborne Division G-2 plans team led the development of a comprehensive MI readiness strategy, which served as a guiding document to clarify and operationalize emerging MITS requirements from USAICoE. This guidance was especially important to assist subordinate brigade S-2s in developing their teams and their MI company's training plans. More importantly, the MI readiness strategy helped to clarify the interface points between the division G-2 and the subordinate brigade S-2s, namely the division's role in resourcing and coordinating the Manning, Equipping, and Training United States Code Title 10 authorites for the subordinate brigades.

A comprehensive approach is essential because all aspects of manning, equipping, and training directly affect MI readiness. A unit cannot have effective training without the right people and leaders who are correctly task-organized and resourced with equipment that works.

Planning the Military Intelligence Training Strategy Pilot

Planning began in the fall of 2017 with the 82nd G-2 plans team integrating into weekly in-progress review and working groups with USAICoE and FORSCOM to design the MITS pilot program. The scope of the pilot focused on designing a training event for MITS Tier 3 (Crew) evaluation. The inital key planning constraints were--

* An MI company would conduct individual Soldier training and an individual certfication before a Tier 3 certfcation, in accordance with TC 2-19.404, Military Intelligence Training Strategy for the Brigade Combat Team Tier 4.

* As much as possible, an MI company commander should plan, resource, and execute a MITS Tier 3 event in accordance with TC 2-19.403, Military Intelligence Training Strategy for the Brigade Combat Team Tier 3.

* An MI company commander would use their installation's mission training complex and Foundry teams to provide the Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Tactical Profciency Trainer (IEWTPT) scenario simulation to drive training across MI systems.

* USAICoE would coordinate with the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command G-27 in order to develop several standardized scenarios tailored for the combat training center rotations, as well as familiarization specific to the geographic combatant command area of responsibility.

* The division G-2 would provide training oversight of the MITS event.

* The division G-2 would resource/task external evaluators for the MI company to provide objectve evaluation and feedback (this was necessary because the BCT S-2 section is not manned appropriately to provide outside evaluation for each intelligence crew in the MI company).

Additionally, the 82nd G-2 team sought partnership with other Fort Bragg intelligence units such as XVIII Airborne Corps, 525th MI Brigade, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, and other XVIII Airborne Corps separate brigades to integrate their own intelligence crews (especially all-source and signals intelligence) into the MI company Tier 3 field training exercise.

For 2/82 BCT's Tier 3 MI company field training exercise, this planning process lasted approximately 5 months. The majority of this time focused on designing the inital scenario for the Joint Readiness Training Center and building into IEWTPT. For 3/82 BCT's later Tier 3 MI company field training exercise, this planning timeline was shortened to 3 months because much of the work for the scenario was already complete.

Executing the Military Intelligence Training Strategy Tier 3 Field Training Exercise

The following is a summary of our lessons from executing a MITS Tier 3 field training exercise. According to TC 2-19.403, a Tier 3 field training exercise evaluates nine separate crews within the MI company: (1)

* All-Source: Fusion Crew.

* All-Source: Collection Management Crew.

* All-Source: Targeting Crew.

* Geospatal Intelligence Crew.

* Signals Intelligence: Prophet Crew.

* Signals Intelligence: Cryptological Support Team Crew.

* Human Intelligence: Human Intelligence Collection Team Crew.

* Human Intelligence: Operational Management Team Crew.

* Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Maintainer Crew.

These crews conduct their evaluation across six tables specified by TC 2-19.403 over 10 days within a disciplinespecific scenario for each crew (see Figure 1 below and Figure 2 on the next page). The evaluation has each crew as being discipline-specific (i.e., no collaboration) to allow the MI company commander and BCT S-2 to separately evaluate the performance of each crew. For example, if a geospatal intelligence crew fails to properly conduct terrain analysis through a modifed combined obstacle overlay, then it will not affect the performance of the all-source fusion crew training on intelligence preparation of the batlefield analysis during their own evaluation tables. Similarly, if the collection management crew inadequately designs an information collection plan, it will not negatvely affect the performance of the signals intelligence or human intelligence collection crews in the scenario.

While the discipline-specific nature of the Tier 3 field training exercise was one of the most debated issues in the pilot working groups, USAICoE determined that in order to support FORSCOM's Objectve-T readiness metrics, a Tier 3 event would move forward in this manner and subsequent Tier 2 and Tier 1 training would allow collaboration among the intelligence crews.

Due to training schedule constraints, 2/82 BCT's February 2018 event could only accommodate a 1-week communications exercise and a 5-day training exercise. Similarly, 3/82 BCT's training schedule had the same constraints; therefore, the 10-day model was adapted to conduct the six tables within 5 days.

For the training location, 2/82 BCT's field training exercise was meant to replicate an MI company that did not have access to field training areas or S-4/S-6 support from the parent batalion. As such, the majority of the exercise took place at the Fort Bragg mission training complex and Foundry sites. Separate classrooms were established for each crew with their own Intelligence Fusion Server stack fed by the IEWTPT scenario. Prophet training occurred in a live environment on Fort Bragg training areas, and the human intelligence teams used training interrogation booths at Fort Bragg's Foundry site.

For 3/82 BCT's field training exercise, the MI company sought to test whether the field training exercise event could be executed completely within a field environment. The concept of operations also called for a 5-day exercise (not including a communications exercise) rather than the 10-day model (see Figure 3 on the next page). In this case, the MI company established its brigade intelligence support element tent in a training area and pushed the IEWTPT scenario from the mission training complex to the MI company's TROJAN system. Unfortunately, because of architecture confguration issues, the analysts did not receive much of the IEWTPT scenario for several days while the 35T intelligence and electronic warfare paratroopers reconfgured their systems. These problems further highlighted the importance of a communications exercise, preferably one in the field where the training will occur.

In both cases, the 82nd G-2 provided or coordinated for external evaluators, based on the requirements outlined in TC 2-19.403, from each brigade (resourced from sister brigades, Corps G-2, 525th MI Brigade, and the division G-2 section) to provide objectve feedback. The 82nd G-2 also hosted a 2-day evaluator academy to certfy all the evaluators to the evaluation standards in accordance with TC 2-19.403, as well as familiarization with the scenario.

Key Pilot Lessons Learned

Six lessons learned from the pilot exercise are described below.

1. TC 2-19.403 provides an excellent framework to standardize the evaluation of intelligence crews. Overall, we assess that TC 2-19.403 provides the needed standardized and objectve framework to assess MI crew readiness across all the intelligence crews within an MI company. While exercise design should continue to be shaped to include the BCT S-2 and consider allowing crew interaction, overall the tables provided within TC 2-19.403 adequately capture the skills necessary for follow-on collective training events.

While both 2/82 and 3/82 BCTs faced several friction points in the execution of the evaluation tables, this was mostly atributed to gaps in the scenario simulation, base order, or architecture confguration problems that were unresolved during the communications exercise conducted the week before the field training exercise. Afer action report feedback from the field training exercise sent to USAICoE and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command G-27 is adapted to improve and refine any scenario simulation gaps and issues with base order products.

2. Despite a MITS Tier 3 field training exercise being an MI company-led and resourced event, the BCT S-2 should be involved from planning through execution.

A MITS Tier 3 field training exercise is a ready-made opportunity for a BCT S-2 to conceptualize training in context of the BCT commander's vision and intent for the intelligence warfighting function within specific mission requirements. It provides the BCT S-2 a platorm to task-organize the shop and MI company appropriately. To conduct training of an MI company on its own is a missed opportunity to further the brigade S-2's collectivecollective training objectves. These objectves can be achieved still within the evaluation framework of TC 2-19.403.
Figure 3. 3/82 BCT MITS Schedule

        Day 1                      Day 2
        Table 1                    Table 2

        MFWS Tools, System
All-    Integration, Establish     Perform IPB 1 & 2
Source  Communications
        Employ TGS, Establish      GEOINT Analysis, Support
GEOINT  Intelligence Architecture  to IPB 1 & 2
HUMINT  Intelligence Architecture
        Verification               Operational Planning
        Establish communications
SIGINT  infrastructure and set up  Site Selection and MAP
        Prophets                   Recon
        Establish Intelligence
IEW     Architecture

        Day 3 Day 4
        Table 3                     Table 4

                                    Maintain Intel COP,
All-    Perform IPB 3 & 4           MA Brief
                                    GEOINT Analysis &
        GEOINT Analysis,            Support to COP,
GEOINT  Support to IPB 3 & 4        Enemy Intent and
HUMINT  Interrogations, Screening,  Perform Intelligence
        MSO                         Reporting
SIGINT  Conduct Mounted             Conduct Dismounted
        Collection                  Collection
        Maintenance Shop Operations
IEW     Provide Intelligence Maintenance Support
        Day 5
        Table 6 (Cert.)

All-    Perform IPB 4

        GEOINT Analysis &
GEOINT  Support to Intel COP.
        Targeting PIR/SIR Answers
HUMINT  Manage HUMINT Collection
        and Reporting
        SIGINT Reporting and
SIGINT  support to CM ISO
        Maintenance Shop Operations
IEW     Provide Intelligence Maintenance Support

3. A successful communications exercise is essential for mission success in the field training exercise. The IEWTPT simulation and scenario helps drive training during the field training exercise. Receiving the scenario and data--whether over the MI company's TROJAN system, or the S-6's tactcal communications node backbone, or fiber at a mission training complex--can make or break the training event. The MI company's 353T needs to clearly map out the intelligence architecture plan, nested with how the BCT S-2 will fight, and ensure all partes understand how data is fowing. Reimaging workstations and Intelligence Fusion Servers can ofen take weeks of preparation even before a communications exercise.

In the future, intelligence data transport will only occur over the S-6's tactical communications node backbone using the modular communications node--advanced enclave TROJAN replacement. When this occurs, it will be especially important for the BCT S-2 to help facilitate the coordination and tasking of the BCT's signal company to partcipate in future MI company MITS field training exercises.

4. Balance the demand for cross-discipline interface with prescribed military occupational specialty-specific training in Tier 3 events. During Tier 3 training events, BCT and MI company leadership will encounter a botom-up demand for cross-discipline interface. This positve tendency serves to highlight the critical necessity for collaboration during intelligence planning and operations. However, it remains imperatve that leaders seek to balance this demand with the prescribed military occupational specialty-specific training that is a critical building block in Tier 3. The more leaders are directly involved, the more they will be able to leverage this positve dynamic to enhance training.

5. Brigade training calendars do not have enough white space for separate Tier 3 and Tier 2 events before a BCT field training exercise prior to a combat training center rotation. All three of the 82nd Airborne's infantry brigades had to be ready for a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation within 6 months of redeployment. Between individual training, collective events like batalion and brigade command post exercises, situational training exercise lanes, and other normal dutes, activites, and taskers a brigade encounters, it is difficult to justfy separate, independent Tier 3 and Tier 2 events for the intelligence warfighting function before a BCT field training exercise and combat training center rotation.

USAICoE is still developing the concept for what a Tier 2 event encompasses within TC 2-19.402. In our opinion, it should look like an event in which the BCT S-2 can fight and refine the BCT intelligence tactical standing operating procedure. This recommendation is in contrast with the current model of a "platorm" training event (i.e., signals intelligence--a combination of a cryptological support team and a Prophet team).

We also recommend that the MI company field training exercise be an opportunity in which a Tier 2 concept of fighting the brigade intelligence support element and BCT S-2 tactical standing operating procedure can be added to the end of the event with litle overhead costs. If the MI company is already formed as a brigade intelligence support element in the field, then a scenario can continue for several more days with the BCT S-2 leading the remainder of the field training exercise. This would reduce the amount of time required to redeploy the MI company into the field for a separate training event and would serve as a great preparation for the intelligence warfighting function before a BCT field training exercise. Figure 4 (on the next page) depicts a sample brigade training strategy under the 82nd Airborne's MI training doctrinal template.

6. Sanction MITS as reportable via brigade engineer battalion/BCT in the unit status reporting. Currently, no mechanism exists to measure readiness for a BCT intelligence warfighting function or division G-2 staf. Two key thoughts are worth considering to rectfy this gap. First, the capstione event (Tier 1 MITS training event) must validate training by contributing to a larger combined arms exercise. This will demonstrate to maneuver commanders how individual through collective progression supports the specific mission for which a partcular BCT is training. Second, MITS certfications must be rolled up as part of a "T" rating of the brigade engineer batalion/BCT. This is most easily captured via the metrics gathered in MITS Tiers 1 through 3.

82nd Airborne Division MITS Exercises Since the March 2018 Pilot Exercise

In June 2018, 1st BCT, 82nd Airborne (1/82 BCT), conducted a MITS Tier 3 field training exercise. In this iteration, 1/82 BCT applied lessons from previous Tier 3 events and adopted a variation of the 3/82 BCT model. Key takeaways are as follows:

* The BCT S-2 was involved from planning to execution to ensure the MI company's Tier 3 field training exercise's training objectves were synchronized with the BCT S-2's intelligence vision.

* The MI company deployed analysts and intelligence platorms to the field in order to form the brigade intelligence support element and simultaneously practice field craf in an austere environment.

* The brigade intelligence support element used the S-6's tactical communications node backbone to provide data transport as they would in a deployed scenario attached to a brigade tactical operations center.

* Crews certfed independently shared a common IEWTPT scenario fed by the Fort Bragg mission training complex and Foundry teams (Joint Readiness Training Center's decisive action training environment 3.0).

* The 82nd Airborne Division G-2 provided evaluators resourced from sister brigades and XVIII Airborne Corps to provide an external look into the performance of the brigade's intelligence crews.

Building on lessons from previous iterations, 1/82 BCT applied two new concepts to the Tier 3 event. First, 1/82 BCT synchronized its MITS Tier 3 field training exercise with a brigade staff command post exercise. The beneft of this action was that the S-2 section and MI company commander successfully conducted a communications exercise and had sufcient troubleshooting time on the backbone of a functioning brigade tactical operations center network. Whereas the pilot field training exercises had scenario and networking problems during their table evaluations, 1/82 BCT was able to start its evaluation on time with a functioning scenario to drive the field training exercise. This observation further emphasizes the importance of a well-resourced communications exercise using the actual architecture network of the field training exercise.

Second, the 1/82 BCT S-2 planned to conduct a "Tier 2 concept" MITS field training exercise immediately aftrer the completion of the Tier 3 field training exercise. Upon completion of the Tier 3 Table VI certfication, the brigade intelligence support element planned to conduct a series of distributed intelligence reachback operations from mulitple nodes in order to simulate how the BCT S-2 would phase in the brigade intelligence support element during an airborne operation. The "Tier 2" field training exercise would require the brigade intelligence support element to coordinate from several nodes and for the crews to cooperate under the umbrella of one overarching IEWTPT. In essence, this event sought to validate the BCT's intelligence tactical standing operating procedure batle rhythm, architecture, and reporting plans.

Unfortunately, because of training calendar conflicts, the planned Tier 2 MITS event was cut short and not revisited untl the BCT's culminating field training exercise in July 2018. In concept, however, this "Tier 2" exercise could have easily been incorporated as an addition to the MITS Tier 3 event, given enough space on the unit's training calendar.

Concluding Thoughts

The sample MITS construct and six lessons articulated above can serve as a road map toward planning and executing effective intelligence training. However, it is critical to reiterate that training is commanders' business, and the impact of a MITS-related tered progression is enhanced when there is direct commander involvement. To atain this, a division G-2 must effectively communicate their role as a training facilitator to commanders at all echelons, and a BCT S-2 must be intmately involved in planning and executing their MITS training to ensure it is within the context of the commander's intent and the mission at hand.


(1.) Department of the Army, Training Circular 2-19.403, Military Intelligence Training Strategy for the Brigade Combat Team Tier 3 (Washingtion, DC: U.S. Government Publishing Ofce, 30 May 2018), 1-3.

(2.) Ibid.

(3.) Ibid.

by Lieutenant Colonel Michael Adamski and Major William Denn

LTC (P) Mike Adamski is a National Security Fellow at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Previous assignments include G-2, 82nd Airborne Division, and S-2, 173rd Airborne Brigade, and he led the Counterterrorism/Special Operations Branch within the Joint Staff J-2. A graduate of Norwich University, he holds a master of arts degree from Georgetown University and a master of science degree from National Intelligence University.

MAJ William Denn is currently the Brigade Combat Team S-2 for the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. Previously he was the division G-2 planner for the 82nd Airborne Division where he designed the division's Military Intelligence Training Strategy and Military Intelligence Readiness Strategy. MAJ Denn is a 2006 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and holds master's degrees from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies. He is a recipient of the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award and the Command and General Staff College General George C. Marshall Award.

For Questions About MITS

TC 2-19.403 outlines the execution of a MITS Tier 3 field training exercise. The (raining circular is available on the Army Publishing Directorate website. access card login required) Specific questions and feedback about TC 2-19.403 and further developments of MITS should be directed to USAICoE, which is (he proponent for MITS certification.
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Author:Adamski, Michael; Denn, Major William
Publication:Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Jan 1, 2019
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