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Enhancing DCGS-A NET/DTT through the integration of IEWTPT.


The Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A) provides critical contributions to support the commander's understanding of the area of operations (AO). Intelligence Soldiers using the DCGS-A system acquire information on the threat, weather, and terrain to facilitate visualization of the environment's unique attributes enhancing tactical maneuver, maximizing combat effectiveness, and improving the unit's ability to operate in unpredictable and changing surroundings throughout the operational spectrum.

As with any complicated system, units must understand how to leverage that asset, To facilitate mastering DCGS-A, the New Equipment Training/Doctrine and Tactics Training (NET/DTT) provides both formal and informal military intelligence (MI) and DCGS-A training on a continual basis, The New System Training Integration Directorate (NSTID) as a part of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence at Fort Huachuca, Arizona is responsible for all training development for DCGS-A, NET/DTT trains Soldiers how to leverage DCGS-A's capabilities by usingthe Intelligence Electronic Warfare Tactical Proficiency Trainer (IEWTPT).

The IEWTPT is a non-system virtual training environment used to deliver scenario-based intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB)-driven situational training exercises (STX) within a decisive action training environment (DATE), Employing this training device to provide a realistic simulation of operations helps Soldiers go beyond the "buttonology" of DCGS-A and demonstrates the applicability of the system for all intelligence support functions.

DCGS-A Functions

DCGS-A contains an arsenal of tools to accomplish its core functions of search, map, report, and analyze. Additionally, DCGS-A can be used to perform the following:

* Task and control select Army sensor systems.

* Automate intelligence synchronization, specifically intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) planning.

* Reconnaissance and surveillance integration and assessment processing.

* Fuse and exploit data and information.

* Support knowledge generation.

* Provide ground station capabilities.

* Provide automated support to intelligence product generation.

* Disseminate information and intelligence about the threat, weather, and terrain at all echelons.

* Support situational understanding as well as targeting and effects.

* Support the defense of civil authorities.

Commanders' desired mission outcomes are based on a clear understanding of the situation within their AO answering such questions as:

* What is/are the enemy's capabilities and likely courses of action?

* What are the characteristics of the environment?

* How much time is available?

DCGS-A as a Command Tool

DCGS-A mitigates risk by providing commanders improved situational awareness and access to real-time data. The DCGS-A Network/Enterprise retrieves, sends, and exploits information to increasethe commander's overall situational awareness, and to create specific intelligence products using raw data from various databases. Some intelligence products include:

* Annex B (Intelligence).

* Battle update brief.

* Intelligence summary (INTSUM)/graphical INTSUM.

* Target package.

* Intelligence estimate/running estimate.

* Human Intelligence reports.

* Signals Intelligence reports.

DCGS-A Facilitates Planning and Sharing

DCGS-A provides the operating force a fully compatible ISR-processing system to enable collaborative planning and the sharing of threat, weather, and geospatial information with joint and multinational partners through all phases of training and deployment. DCGS-A supports mission planning coordination and the synchronization of activities to enhance the development, communication, rehearsal, and execution of mission orders. It also facilitates the rapid planning, execution, and synchronization of all warfighting functions resulting in the current and future force's ability to operate within the enemy's decision cycle.

IEWTPT Provides Support

IEWTPT supports Ml team, crew collective, and individual task training using live, virtual, and constructive capabilities as the program of record training device for home station Ml training. It is intended to be a cost-effective means to virtually train by providing relevant critical tasks which place trainees in a realistic scenario using operational concepts and software toolsets.

The primary mechanism for the IEWTPT's scenario is the technical control cell which provides the power for several simulations by creating a virtual data environment for training multiple intelligence disciplines. The target signature array includes embedded Ml system program managers or networked training capabilities to simulate unique MI system software for payload or sensor-specific training. The program is supported by three to four (site specific) technical support specialists who work directly with MI command staffs and trainers to support MI-focused training event creation and execution.

Begin a Training Event

A training event starts with a new materiel information brief via telephone conference between NSTID, the unit, and the program manager approximately 120 days before the training event. Mission Training Complex (MTC) and local IEWTPT personnel conduct their own briefings for those to receive training. This is followed by a key leader engagement between NSTID Soldiers, unit personnel, and MTC representatives.

Training Process/Timeline

NSTID personnel brief unit leadership on DCGS-A capabilities and the advantages of the new NET/DTT/IEWTPT simulation training event. Instructors facilitate intensive IPB-based training for students within 10 days of the DATE on DGCS-A capabilities as well as creating products associated with the four steps of IPB. This is followed by a 3-day STX simulated by IEWTPT to provide realistic, timely, and dynamic message drops, along with friendly/enemy positional information on the battlefield giving the unit a realistic and relevant training event.

Training Results

Unit leaders should, at a minimum, attend their Soldiers Mission Analysis Brief at the end of the STX (Day 13) to observe how Soldiers have improved their proficiency on using the DCGS-A equipment. This allows leaders to gain a good understanding of Soldiers' enhanced IPB and briefing skills, as well as learning how DCGS-A data is passed to the command post of the future. All training and exercise materials are left with the unit, the supporting IEWTPT team, and the MTC staff to allow other units to request the same training. After each event NSTID leads an after action review with both the unit receiving the training and MTC personnel to continuously improve training. Work is in progress on DCGS-A v3.2.x training to use the IEWTPT to support longer and more complex training events.

NSTID recently provided this training and scenario-based exercise to two separate organizations and the feedback has been favorable:

The 201st Expeditionary MI Brigade Executive Officer received his Soldiers' Mission Analysis Brief after Day Two of the STX, and was impressed how his Soldiers not only used DCGS-A in an IPB DATE scenario to create and brief products, but also how they pushed the red common operating picture to CPOF.

The 8th Military Information Support Group (Airborne) S2 was impressed with how his Soldiers were able to use DCGS-A to build their products and brief their analysis. Unit leadership identified how the training exercise was made more realistic using IEWTPT They also commented on how their sustainment DCGS-A training will also improve due to the addition of IEWTPT They understood that now their units could request the same training exercise further into their training cycle, keeping their analysts proficient.

For training questions contact the New Systems Training and Integration Division at (520) 538-0706.

by Captain Jared S. Doucet

CPT Doucet is a NSTID Instructor/Course Writer. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
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Author:Doucet, Jared S.
Publication:Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin
Date:Oct 1, 2016
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