ACT Operations--With U.S. and Allies.
Organization of the ACTs
The 101st Ml Battalion, 1st Infantry Division (1ID), used ACTs to support maneuver battalions in the MNB-E sector of Kosovo during the KFOR-1A and -1B rotations. During the KFOR-1A, all four ACTs from B Company, the direct support MI company, we were based at Camp Monteith. One ACT remained on Camp Monteith and provided support to Task Force (TF) 1-26 Infantry and TF 1-77 Armor (AR) from 1ID's 2d Brigade Combat Team (BCT). The other three ACTs deployed to remote sites and provided support to allied units: the Greek 501st Mechanized (Mech) Battalion, Polish 18th Air Assault Battalion, and Russian 13th Tactical Group (TG). For the KFOR-1B rotation, beginning in December 1999, the 101st MI Battalion reorganized into general support (GS) areas of responsibility. C Company replaced the Russian ACT and the Monteith ACT, which were now providing support to TF 2-2 IN and TF 1-63 AR from 3d BCT. D Company replaced the Greek and Polish ACTs.
Each ACT consisted of one MI Lieutenant, one Intelligence Analyst or Counterintelligence Agent (96B or 97B, respectively) noncommissioned officer in charge, and one or two 96B enlisted soldiers. The Russian ACT had one Voice Intercept Operator (98G) Russian linguist added to provide translation between the ACT and Russian unit. Each ACT used maps, overlays, the TF Falcon human intelligence database (known as Krypton), and mobile subscriber equipment to accomplish its mission. They also used a computer with connectivity to TF Falcon's Analysis and Control Element (ACE) through the Secure Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET). Each remote ACT was collocated with a communications support team from the 121st Signal Battalion and a Liaison and Coordination Element (LCE) from the 10th Special Forces Group.
Before deploying to Kosovo, all soldiers received the standard individual readiness training to prepare them for the country's environment. They received instruction in mine awareness, how to conduct vehicle and personnel searches, how to talk to the media, and how to react to direct and indirect fire. Following this training, they participated in a Mission Rehearsal Exercise where the ACTs trained in 96B skills and Kosovo-related situational awareness. However, these training events did not prepare the ACTs for operating with their allied units, and it did not realistically represent the work they would do while deployed. They gained most of this knowledge through on-the-job-training during the deployment. The situation was unique for all involved because this was the first time we worked in this capacity with units from Russia, Poland, and Greece, and we had no standing operating procedure (SOP) for integrating an ACT into allied units. Unfortunately, each allied unit used its ACT in a slightly different m anner. Therefore, without one standard baseline SOP, each ACT trained only to meet the needs of the particular allied nation it supported.
The majority of the training the ACTs received was through rotations at the Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) in Hohenfels, Germany. They deployed to CMTC with their habitual brigade S2, and provided support during high-intensity conflict scenarios against opposing forces. The ACTs, like every other unit that deployed to Kosovo, completely refocused their training for peace support operations. Fortunately, ACT personnel quickly adjusted their training focus and deployed ready to perform their missions.
Each ACT was a conduit for intelligence from TF Falcon to its subordinate battalions (U.S. and allied), and this was their most vital role. This role was more critical for the allied ACTs because the allied S2s were not familiar with their U.S. higher headquarters. By using the SIPRNET connection, each ACT ensured that its supported unit had the latest intelligence products from the TF Falcon ACE.
The ACT Supporting the Polish Battalion frequently provided assistance to the Polish 52 and staff during mission analysis for reconnaissance and surveillance missions. They also assisted in preparing intelligence annexes, conducting terrain analysis, and developing enemy courses of action.
The Russian government did not approve employing an ACT with the 13th Tactical Group until September 1999. Initially, the ACT translated daily Russian reports and created the 13th TG Intelligence Summaries (INTSUMs). Eventually, they provided daily INTSUMs for the 13th TG Commander and served as the primary pipeline for requests for information and imagery from the ACE to the 10th Group LCE. They also provided information to any U.S. units conducting missions in the area including field HUMINT, military police (MP), psychological operations(PSYOP), civil affairs (CA), and engineers. The Russian ACT quickly became the U.S. intelligence hub for their sector of Kosovo.
The ACT with the Greek Battalion provided the 501st Mech Battalion with the ability to obtain products such as imagery and the local personalities and organizations databases. They also assisted in intelligence preparation of the battlefield and mission analysis for operations in the Urosevac sector of Kosovo. A crucial element for success was integrating the Greek S2 into TF Falcon's staff operations. We introduced him to several individuals in the ACE so that he felt comfortable asking questions and obtaining information during his visits to Camp Bondsteel. The ACT also ensured there was a sharing of information between the Greek battalion and U.S. units operating in the area, to include the field HUMINT team (FHTs).
The Monteith ACT provided first-line analysis for the two U.S. TF S2s at Camp Monteith. They gathered all information collected by the units operating in their areas of operations (AOs) and provided intelligence products to the TF S2s. They cross-referenced raw data with patrol reports and S2 INTSUMS to produce an accurate intelligence picture on a daily basis. The Monteith ACT did not face the operational challenge of working with an allied unit, but it did face the challenge of working with multiple S2s and ensuring that the intelligence products they generated met the unit commander's needs.
Doctrinally, an ACT has a habitual relationship with the maneuver brigade S2, and provides support to that S2 when the brigade deploys. However, the ACTs in Kosovo constantly supported S2s with whom they had never worked before. Three of the four ACTs supported S2s from other countries and had to deal with language and operational differences on a daily basis. Often, patrol reports or INTSUMS from allied units took hours to translate and send to higher echelons. This affected the ACT's ability to correlate the incident with a similar event and to predict follow on events before they happened. The ACT supporting the Russians learned that operating with the 13th TG was different from working with a NATO country. They operated in a command-driven environment, with no real staff or staff process at all. The Russian Commander did not see the need for the levels of planning that are common in U.S. operations, so the ACT had to constantly communicate to ensure relationships and operations between TF Falcon and the 13th TG ran efficiently.
Maintaining communication connectivity from remote sites was one of the greatest challenges for all the ACTs. SIPRNET was the primary carrier for almost all products provided to units and the ACE. The ACT locations were anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours from Camp Bondsteel, making it too long a delay to courier products. Each ACT depended on a small detachment from the 121st Signal Battalion to maintain their SIPRNET link. Initially, the signal soldiers were not familiar with the equipment with which they deployed, and it took several weeks for the link to become a dependable means of communication.
The ACT's small size also presented a challenge for the soldiers. For example, when the ACT supporting the Greeks deployed forward to Mitrovica in support of 3-504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, the 501st Mech Battalion was without their ACT for the duration of the operation. The next time the Greek ACT deployed to Mitrovica, they left one soldier behind to provide intelligence support for the Greek Battalion. Since each ACT consisted of three to four soldiers, they had to prioritize their work and provide the most critical information in a timely manner.
Kosovo's harsh conditions also presented many problems during the initial months of the deployment. The ACTs operated in tents where the heat and dust made it necessary to continuously clean computers and printers to keep them operational. Zip disks were the only disks capable of with-standing the Kosovar dust, and 3.5-inch disks had a life expectancy of less than three days.
There were several lessons learned during our pre-deployment training. ACTs serving with allied units need training on the supported nation's customs, military structures, and language. They also need to know the mission of the CAs, MPs, FHTs, and Special Forces Liaison Teams and their capabilities. We should incorporate the aspects of working in a peace support environment- such as working with interpreters, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and local nationals- into future training. Since the ACTs served as the supported unit's intelligence links to TF Falcon, it was vital the ACT shared information with all of these organizations to maintain current knowledge of their AOs. The ACTs provided efficient, timely, and accurate intelligence to their commands by knowing who knew what information and how best to obtain it.
Finally, we cannot overemphasize how important it was to have regular, face-to-face meetings between the collectors and the analysts. It was crucial that the ACT effectively convey requirements to the collectors on the ground and ensure that all reports received for analysis were accurate and timely. Although this was more difficult with allied units, it was no less important.
The most important lesson we learned was that the ACT was the critical link between each supported unit and TF Falcon in Kosovo's multinational environment. As the Kosovo mission continues, the ACTs' procedures and capabilities will become more refined to meet the needs of the units they support.
Captain Kirk Loving is currently entering the Russian Foreign Area Officer program in Garmisch, Germany. Loving enlisted in the Army in 1988 as a Russian linguist-interrogator. He attended basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California; and advanced individual training (AIT) at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and served with the 4th Psychological Operations Group. He was Commissioned through Officer Candidate School; he attended Field Artillery Officer Basic Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He has served in numerous positions with the 17th Field Artillery Brigade at Fort Sill. After attending the Military Intelligence Officer Transition and Officer Advanced Courses at Fort Huachuca, he was the Battalion S2 in to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry, and subsequently was the S3 training officer and All-Source Intel Chief at the 101st Ml Batallion. CPT Loving holds a Russian studies degree from George Washington University.
Captain Jason McCoy's current assignment is as Platoon Leader, D Company, 101st Ml Battalion. He served as an ACT Chief with the Greeks in Multinational Brigade- East, Kosovo, Task Force Falcon, from December 1999 to June 2000. 1LT McCoy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Economics from the Virginia Military Institute.
Captain David Payne is currently the Assistant S2, Brigade Combat Team, 1st infantry Division. He served as the 13th Tactical Group (Russian) ACT Leader from December 1999 to June 2000. His previous assignments include Executive Officer, Headquarters and Operations Company (HHOC), 101st Ml Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, and ACT Leader, A Company, 101st Ml Battalion. ILT Payne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Salisbury State University.
Captain Jeff Thumher is currently the assistant S2 for Bettalion, Infantry in Vilseck, Germany. The assistant Operations Officer in Headquarters, 101st Ml Battalion, lID, and previously served as the assistant 52 for Battalion, Infantry, in Vilseck, Germany. ILT Thurnher has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Virginia.
First Lieutenant Melanie Shippitka is currently the C Company Operations Platoon Leader, 101st Ml Battalion, lID in Wuerzburg, Germany. She has also served as the Camp Monteith ACT Chief supporting 1-63 Armor Battalion and 2-2 Infantry Battalion from December 1999 to June 2000 in Operation JOINT GUARDIAN (KFOR-1B). This was her first assignment after the Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course. 1LT Shippitka holds a Bachelor of Exercise Science degree and is a distinguished military graduate of John Carrol University.
* Teach allied army customs, military operations, and language.
* Train peace support operations-specific tasks: working with interpreters, NGOs, and focal organizations.
* Use all resources available: MP, CA, FHTs, Signal Operations Command and Control Element, International Organizations, NGOs.
* Maintain active communication between the collector and analyst.
* Use ACT to serve in linking the supported unit with its higher headquarters; this is a vital role.
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|Title Annotation:||analysis and control teams|
|Author:||Loving, Kirk A.; McCoy, Jason B.; Payne, David P.; Thurnher, Jeffrey; Shippitka, Melanie|
|Publication:||Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2001|
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|Next Article:||ACT In Action-In Mitrovica.|