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ASAS Master Analysts' support to IO--Information Engineering. (Sly Fox).

What does the All-Source Analysis System (ASAS) Master Analyst (additional skill identifier [ASI] 1F) bring to intelligence support to information operations (IO)? This will be the first of three articles discussing what the "Sly Fox" brings to the fight. The follow-on articles will address "Communications" and "Analysis."

Information Engineering Concept

The ASAS Master Analyst (ASI 1F) should be an essential player within the analysis and control element (ACE) during intelligence support to IO. The 1F brings extensive training in information engineering, communications, and analysis. Mastery of all three of these areas is paramount to successful orchestration of intelligence operations within the ACE. The balance of this article will deal with the Master Analysts and the value-added they bring in the area of information engineering.

The Information Engineering concept teaches the 1F to backward-plan to provide timely, accurate, and predictive intelligence products to the commander. The 1F is well schooled in developing the Communications Architecture (systems, capacity, protocols), Information Architecture (intelligence reports, data elements, and databases), and Information Shaping (products, detail, and fusion parameters).

Communications Architecture

The first step in information engineering is the Communications Architecture developing a plan for the systems with which the ACE will need to interface. These include sensors and collectors, internal and external communications, and various networks and workstations. After identifying the various systems involved, the ASAS Master Analyst will need to evaluate the capacity of the communications infrastructure to decide the types and sizes of products, incoming and outgoing, that it can support. Finally, there must be intimate familiarity with the various protocols used by the systems to ensure successful interoperability. The Master Analyst must be aware of the capabilities and limitations that any communications architecture presents.

Information Architecture

The second step is Information Architecture, which comprises intelligence reports, data elements, and databases. Here the 1F will plan where the information and data will come from and into which databases it will parse. The Master Analyst must know what intelligence reports the system will be receive, how they will come, and the data elements that each will contain. Critical to getting the data elements into the appropriate databases for analysis, the 1F must understand how ASAS handles each type. For example, the Master Analyst must know the structural differences between U.S. Message Text Format (USMTF) and United States Signals Intelligence Directive (USSID) tactical report (TACREP) formats, in order to properly adjust and normalize systems for the receipt of each.

Information Shaping

Information Shaping is the last step in information engineering. Information shaping will take into consideration the product required, its context and detail and, as required, adjust the fusion algorithms (All-Source Enclave [ASE] related). The commander's preference, mission requirements, and the ability of the communications architecture to support dissemination will drive the types of products produced. Often briefings, text, and graphic reports will be necessary. How much detail is critical at a given time and the echelon defines the product; this in turn is driven by the commander, collateral recipients, and the level of detail that the workstations and communications can support. Finally, the Master Analyst will have to decide how to adjust (if required) the fusion algorithms (level of aggregation and node maintenance) on the ASE that will best support maintaining the picture for the product.

Final Thought

The ultimate goal of ASAS information engineering is to enable the Master Analyst to combine data elements to create information to produce intelligence for the commander in a relevant, timely manner.

Matt Nunn is the Course Manager and an Instructor for the ASAS Master Analyst Branch. His career has included 13 years as a Signals Intelligence Analyst at multiple echelons and 5 years instructing ASAS Master Analyst Course and ASAS Instructor Certification Course. He also has 10 years' experience using and instructing about various ASAS systems. Readers may contact Mr. Nunn via E-mail at and telephonically at (520) 538-1184 or DSN 8791184.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:All-Source Analysis System
Author:Nunn, Matthew J.
Publication:Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2003
Previous Article:Proponent notes.
Next Article:Reorganization of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center. (111th Training Notes).

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