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Brigade Combat Team (BCT) intelligence operations.

At the direction of the Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA), the Army is transforming. The changes provide significantly more robust intelligence collection and analysis capabilities at the brigade level. This article will discuss these changes as projected in early November 2004.

The CSA's guidance was to create a modular, brigade-based army that--

[] Is more responsive to regional combatant commanders.

[] Better employs joint capabilities.

[] Facilitates force packaging and rapid deployment.

[] Fights as a self-contained unit capable of full-spectrum operations.

Modular Brigades

For the Intelligence Battlefield Operating System (BOS), this means that many of the military intelligence (MI) collection assets that formerly supported maneuver brigades in either a direct support role or attached during operations are now organic. There will also be an increase in intelligence synchronization and analysis personnel within the brigade.

There will be four types of modular brigades:

[] Heavy Brigade Combat Teams (HBCTs).

[] Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs).

[] Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCTs).

[] Future Combat System Brigade Combat Teams (FCSBCTs).

This article does not address the SBCTs as their structure and doctrine are set; it does not discuss the FCSBCT as its development is ongoing. From an MI perspective, the primary difference in the intelligence capabilities of the HBCT and IBCT is that the IBCTs are projected to have an organic Remotely Monitored Battlefield Sensor System (REMBASS) capability within the MI company.

Brigade and Battalion S2s

The brigade S2 section will increase to 17 personnel, including the brigade S2 (an O4), 3 O3s, and a 5-person S2X section. During operations, the analysis and integration (A&I) platoon from the MI company will collocate and work with the brigade S2. This enhanced brigade S2 section supports intelligence synchronization and analysis capabilities in the brigade. The S2X section gives the brigade the ability to orchestrate organic and attached human intelligence (HUMINT) and counterintelligence (CI) activities as well as to interface with non-Army HUMINT assets within the BCT area of operations (AO).

The combined arms battalions and reconnaissance squadron S2 sections are projected to have ten personnel (nine would be MI). This will increase their processing capability to create actionable intelligence from multiple sensors, provide resources for planning to ensure a proactive vice reactive capability, and enhance the sections' abilities to conduct current operations and future planning for a sustained period.

The fires battalion S2 section is projected to consist of eight personnel (four will be MI). This section will provide an organic, 24/7, situational awareness capability, integrate collection requirements to ensure coverage of targeted areas of interest, and conduct targeting analysis and battle damage assessment.

The S2 portion of the brigade support battalion S2/S3 section is projected to consist of six personnel (four will be MI). This increases its capacity to provide continuous situational awareness support.

The brigade troops battalion is a new organization designed for the HBCTs and IBCTs. It consists of the otherwise separate units within the brigade such as the MI company and the signal company. The S2 section will have five personnel (three would be MI) who will provide a continuous organic situational awareness capability and will be able to surge for analytical support of Level I force protection and tailored missions.

MI Company

Although assigned to the brigade troops battalion (BTB), the assets of the MI Company will be task-organized across the brigade during operations.

The MI Company commander--

[] Responds to the tasking of the brigade commander as directed by the brigade S2 and S3.

[] Organizes for combat based on the mission, scheme of support, task organization, and specified and implied task contained in the brigade's operation orders (OPORDs).

[] Uses the brigade's order to plan, prepare, execute, and assess the MI Company's operations.

[] Advises the brigade S2/S3 on the use of the Ground Collection platoon assets and any MI assets attached to the MI Company.

During the brigade's planning, the MI Company commander assists the brigade S2 with the development of the intelligence estimate and all intelligence products and deliverables needed to support the brigade orders process. These include but are not limited to the mission analysis briefing, base OPORD input, and Annex B. The commander also advises the brigade S3 on the employment of the HUMINT section and what echelons above brigade (EAB) intelligence collection platforms or agencies are available in the brigade areas of responsibility (AOR) that can be incorporated into brigade planning. As soon as the brigade commander approves the plan, the MI Company commander completes his planning, produces the company OPORD, and prepares to support the brigade's ISR plan. In addition to the task organization considerations in FM 5-0, the MI Company commander attempts to--

[] Provide seamless analytical support to the brigade S2.

[] Employ SIGINT assets as directed in the brigade's AOR.

[] Assist with the synchronization of intelligence and electronic warfare (IEW) assets in the brigade's AOR.

[] Employ HUMINT assets as directed in the brigade order.

[] Retain the flexibility to reallocate and reposition company assets in response to changes in the brigade's mission, concept of operations, scheme of support, and threat.

[] Establish logistics and security relationships with the brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) to sustain and protect the MI Company personnel and equipment.

The MI company will consist of the following:

[] Headquarters Section. The headquarters section will include a ten-person IEW maintenance section giving the brigade an organic IEW maintenance support capability.

[] Analysis and Integration Platoon. The A&I platoon will support with the brigade S2 section during operations. The platoon will assist the brigade S2 with--

[] Intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) support.

* Database management.

* Request for information (RFI) tracking.

* Target development and other planning support.

* ISR synchronization within the BCT.

* Situation development.

* Threat disposition development.

* Combat assessment support.

* Imagary analysis.

* Requirements management.

Additionally, the A&I platoon will provide asset management support by translating the commander's requirements into technical parameters. This platoon has two additional assets: a Common Ground Station (CGS) that will provide the brigade with access to the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) data feeds, and a TROJAN Special Purpose Intelligence Remote Integrated Terminal (TROJAN SPIRIT), which provides access to national databases.

[] TUAV Platoon. The TUAV platoon is projected to consist of 35 personnel with 7 TUAVs and 3 Ground Control Stations (GCSs). The GCS will be positioned on the battlefield based on mission requirements. The structure of this platoon allows for continuous tactical UAV imagery coverage with two UAVs flying at any one time (weather permitting) and one spare.

[] Ground Collection Platoon. The ground collection platoon consists of two sections: Prophet and HUMINT. The Prophet section comprises a Prophet control section and two three-person Prophet teams. This will allow for continuous signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection, but the teams will require external security support. The HUMINT section consists of a four-person operational management team (OMT) and three four-person HUMINT collection teams (HCTs). This section provides the brigade with an organic HUMINT collection and management capability. The OMT will coordinate the HCTs' collection and reporting. The HCTs will deploy across the BCT AO as the mission requires, as directed by the brigade, and in conjunction with guidance by the S2X. In the IBCT, the ground collection platoon will consist of a four-person measurement and signatures intelligence (MASINT) section and the REMBASS systems.

[] Staff Weather Officer (SWO) Section. During operations, the U.S. Air Force will provide a SWO section. This SWO section will work within the brigade S2 section.

Final Comments

The additional collection and analytical assets in the HBCT and IBCT greatly increase the brigade's intelligence collection and analysis capabilities. However, they will also necessitate a considerably greater ISR synchronization effort across the brigade. Due to current limitations in equipment and trained personnel, brigades will receive their full authorizations incrementally throughout the transformation.

Michael Brake is a writer at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca Doctrine Division. He is currently writing ST 2-19.4, Brigade Combat Team Intelligence Operations. Readers may contact him via E-mail at and by telephone at (520) 533-9972 or DSN 821-9972.
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Author:Brake, Michael A.
Publication:Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin
Date:Oct 1, 2004
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