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Always out front.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and after some significant thought since my return to Fort Huachuca, a number of lessons learned themes became apparent to me. One of these themes is that with intelligence operations there is no "time out." We, as intelligence professionals, are always engaged. We are either postured for success because of hard training, thorough planning, meticulous preparation and aggressive execution, or we are postured for failure. We are no longer at a crawl, walk, run pace. In our current operational environment we must maintain intelligence readiness to support operations on no notice. Our Army is running; we must stay ahead!

This statement underscores the importance of our profession. Intelligence drives or fails to drive operations (to include decision making, operational execution, and targeting). If intelligence fails to drive operations we fail but, more significantly, soldiers' lives are at risk.

There are four specific aspects of this theme that I believe are important:

[] Change our units and organizations, throughout the Army and Department of Defense (DOD), so that they are able to fight off-the-ramp within 96 hours.

[] Get more modular.

[] Significantly change our garrison and training activities so that we truly train as we fight.

[] Help the Army develop mature, assured communications and battle command-on-the-move capabilities.

96 Hours

We cannot afford to wait for the future force tactical units (units of action) that are deployable anywhere in the world in 96 hours. The transition to this paradigm must occur now. The ripple effect of this change touches many different aspects of intelligence to include doctrine, training, force structure, organizational missions, intelligence reach, and building analytical collaboration. However, these are all manageable issues that we must tackle now. This change is non-negotiable, and we must start the process now.


We need to relook many of our tables of organization and equipment (TOEs) and tables of distribution and allowances (TDAs) in light of the requirements to support deployable forces with modular intelligence teams within 96 hours, to provide intelligence support "24/7," and based on the complexities of the operational environment, New and improved intelligence systems are great, but technology means nothing without highly trained soldiers and civilians. In the near future we will scrub all of our TOEs and TDAs hard and make sure we have the right soldiers in the right positions in rapidly deployable modules. This must be available at all echelons.

Train As We Fight

MI must critically reevaluate itself "[by] changing our mindsets from depending on an 'intelligence buildup' to performing intelligence readiness checks on a daily basis. This change will allow us to meet the requirements for strategic responsiveness through our preparation in garrison. Intelligence operations must become the norm in all intelligence units."--COL Charles Atkins

At the operational and strategic levels our intelligence teams usually staff their intelligence "go to war" systems every day. In these organizations we live by the ethos of "every soldier, every team, every day." However, that is not the case especially at the lower tactical levels. At this echelon we still build teams as we deploy and, in some cases, as we cross the lines of departure. In order to fight off-the-ramp in 96 hours, we must break this model. The Army model for intelligence at all echelons while in garrison needs to mirror how, in my experience, our sister service, the Navy, operates every day. The Navy covers down on their "go to war" intelligence systems on board ship every day, whether they are in port or at sea. They train and fight with the same tools in the same configurations. We need to grow the number of headquarters that have already adopted this model and also continue to improve the realism of our intelligence training events and simulations.

Assured Communications and Battle Command-On-The-Move

We have already taken some early steps with this task by recommending a new Army strategy for expanded space-based communications as a result of lessons learned from OIF. A solid battle command-on-the-move capability is a part of the recommendation. OIF proved that if we are to conduct dominant maneuver through the depth of the battlefield as we did, assured communications are essential. We can no longer be satisfied with "Intel refueling stops." We must realize in our lifetime effective and user-friendly battle command-on-the-move. Again, this change is nonnegotiable.

Together, we the collective body of the Army Intelligence Community and the larger DOD Intelligence Community must attack these issues head-on and find the right solutions. With the continuing global war on terrorism, intelligence is critical, and with intelligence operations there are no time outs. Now, we all need to move out sharply, play our part in shaping our future, and make sure we stand up and say

Major General James A. Marks

Commander, U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca
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Article Details
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Author:Marks, James A.
Publication:Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2003
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Next Article:CSM forum.

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