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Successful integration of RAF: the intelligence warfighting function wins in a complex world.

The way USAREUR is going to win in our complex world is through the successful, deliberate integration of the RAF and nothing speaks louder to our Allies than integrated, shared intelligence.

--Lieutenant General Ben Hodges Commanding General, USAREUR


A paradigm shift has occurred in the strategic employment of ground forces within the Army with the advent of regionally aligned forces (RAF). At the strategic level, the Global Force Management process dedicates forces and outlines their employment by Combatant Commands (COCOM). Operational doctrine is adjusting to the new, more agile environment required for the effective employment of these RAF units. Taking a historical review at the Army Force Generation model for Iraq and Afghanistan deployments to the Global Force Management processes at Forces Command (FORSCOM), the implementation of the RAF concept can be studied from first discussions to fully realized doctrine and manning requirements of the supported COCOMs. Through a case study of the U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) Intelligence Warfighting Function (IWfF), integration strategies and utilization difficulties of the Army Service Component Command (ASCC) managing the aligned division and brigade forces will be highlighted and discussed.

RAF-The Origins

The Army is ever adapting to face the future fight. After the first Iraq War, Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA) General Peter Schoomaker led a transformation to modular brigade combat teams to create more independent brigades, less reliant on a specific higher headquarters. (1) In the latter years of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, senior leaders within the Department of Defense (DOD) began to discuss the need to redesign the general employment of ground combat forces in future engagements and began to introduce it into the Quadrennial Defense Reviews (QDR).

When the 2010 QDR was published, it emphasized the requirement to build regional partners' and allies' capacity in order to reduce reliance on large deployments of U.S. forces; thus leading to the requirement for assistance with Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) by the Geographic Combatant Commanders (GCC). (2) To address this DOD requirement, CSA, at the time, General George Casey approved the concept and implementation of the regionally aligned brigades (RAB). (3) The initial Department of the Army (DA) order to implement a regionally aligned concept came to fruition on February 12, 2011, in the Execute Order (EXORD) 039-12: Regionally Aligned Brigades signed by then CSA, General Raymond Odierno. This EXORD outlined the planning considerations for the implementation timeline for one combat brigade to perform the duties as a RAB for Africa Command (AFRICOM) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, expanding to three brigades in FY 2014, and finally to six brigades in FY 2015.

As the Dust Settles

Building upon the RAB concept as tested in AFRICOM, Army leaders continued to plan for its incorporation in other GCCs. (4) Within the European Command (EUCOM), one Brigade-1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division (1-1 CAV)-was assigned as a troop provider for FY 2014 as the NATO Response Force (NRF) and European Rotational Force (ERF). (5) While 1-1 CAV was not described or addressed as a RAF, RAB, or Service Retained Combatant Command Aligned (SRCA) unit, USAREUR began to view them as such, because they were deploying into theater for two 60-day training events and participating in a variety of exercises. (6) Essentially, 1-1 CAV was to function in a similar manner as the RAB for AFRICOM. DA further refined the RAF concept, by designating 1-1 CAV as "allocated" to EUCOM for the NRF and TSC missions and "aligned" 3rd and 4th Infantry Divisions (ID) as the next two SRCA division headquarters (see Figure 1). (7) Thus, EUCOM and derivatively USAREUR, now had a RAF Brigade and a RAF Division Headquarters allocated or aligned to their area of responsibility (AOR).


Early Integration

As the RAF concept was developing at the Army Staff level, the USAREUR G2 directed the USAREUR G2 Training and Exercise Branch (TREX) Chief to visit 1-1 CAV for preliminary integration briefings in May 2013. In January 2014, the TREX Chief also led a briefing team to Fort Stewart to provide initial integration with the 3ID Intelligence Staff which included contingency plan (CONPLAN) overviews; intelligence training available at the European Foundry Platform (EFP); prepositioned equipment sets; exercise schedules and overviews, and essential points of contact within the IWfF in Germany. Following this initial visit, the TREX Chief engaged the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) liaison officer to FORSCOM, regarding the progress and the integration process which led to the development of a phased approach to RAF integration (see Figure 2). (8)

"NATO Ready"

By early 2014, USAREUR G2 TREX formalized the three phase approach (Orientation-Mission Preparation-Deployment), thus ensuring the RAF units were "Globally Responsive, Regionally Engaged." (9) To support the three phases, the designers relied on tenets such as "No MI Soldier at Rest," "the Military Intelligence Brigade (Theater) (MIB(T)) is the Anchor Point," "No Cold Starts," and TSC plans from the DA G2, Commanding General, INSCOM, and EUCOM respectively. USAREUR identified additional requirements to support the GCC intent for RAF integration to include regional understanding, integration into the intelligence architecture, exercise in a coalition environment, and agile and responsive tasking.

Many of the requirements were designed to make regionally aligned units 'NATO Ready.' (10) NATO Ready is a USAREUR concept whereby a unit is capable of integrating, operating, and cooperating within NATO. (11) NATO Ready requires coalition architectures; foreign disclosure training; familiarity with NATO doctrine and terminology; participation in coalition exercises; ability to write in a NATO report syntax, and involvement in exchange programs. With the plan developed, communication and synchronization became the next consideration.

Engage Early and Often

The communication plan between USAREUR and RAF units needed to be robust and multifaceted. USAREUR emphasized face-to-face meetings, which although expensive, played a vital role and laid the framework for all other communication mediums. Secure video teleconferencing (SVTC) was critical to maintain synchronization of efforts. Beginning on March 13, 2014, USAREUR G2 hosted the first SVTC with 4ID, because they were the first SRCA aligned to EUCOM, and continued to conduct it monthly with the attendees (4ID, INSCOM G3, FORSCOM, 66th MIB(T), and the EFP). During that initial SVTC, it was agreed that USAREUR G2 would go to Fort Carson to provide the initial orientation briefings similar to what had been done for 1-1 CAV earlier that year. (12) For the RAF Integration visit to 4ID, the USAREUR G2 sent a team to discuss intelligence training, CONPLANs, and DCGS-A architecture. (13)

Most critical to the plan was the architecture, the foundation for 4ID to connect, understand, and collaborate in the EUCOM AOR. The first connection in this architecture was their DCGS-A Brain to the USAREUR MIB(T) DCGS-A Brain for synchronized common operating pictures and facilitating collaboration on fused intelligence. The connection was delayed until the second RAF integration visit in late September 2014 due to the discovery of firewalls and security issues that impacted integration across multiple networks. (14) This remains an area of concern for future RAF integrations, as network security protocols vary between military installations and national networks.

The second part of the architecture was the U.S. Battlefield Information Collection and Exploitation Systems (BICES) network. U.S. BICES is the collaborative space and national interface with the NATO intelligence architecture for U.S. forces. BICES overall enables the sharing and exchange of intelligence through interoperable national, NATO, and coalition systems while following the principles of open standards, commercial-off-the-shelf solutions, and common training standards in a non-competitive environment. (15) With this open environment and self-funding by each country, BICES allows nations to incorporate additional analytical tools for their own network but maintain a common standard across the greater network. Thus, BICES is the window through which the RAF interacts and is truly interoperable with the allies within the EUCOM AOR.

The final portion of the communication plan was telephonic. Every person involved in the coordination during both orientation and mission preparation phases knew they could pick up a phone and conduct direct liaison with their counterpart.

Several observations can be made from the aforementioned communications strategy. First is the critical role face-to-face meetings play. These meetings are by definition direct in the communication style and allow for a clear understanding of commander's intent. They allow for agreement on major objectives, articulation of challenges, establishment of project management systems, and goal setting. The use of SVTC, email, and telephones is most useful in between face-to-face meetings to maintain momentum on the project and work through details of particular challenges. Although meetings in person are expensive and time consuming, they are vital at the initial, middle, and final checkpoints to ensure understanding, commander's intent, and timeline adherence.

Meanwhile, as USAREUR G2 began the integration of the RAF, the USAREUR staff simultaneously conducted integration for the NRF/ERF, 1-1 CAV (see Figure 3). It was readily apparent that the same three-phase process should be used for its integration. Fortunately, the process had already begun with the RAF integration visit in May 2013 enabling USAREUR G2 TREX to move to the next level of communication, exchanging emails and ensuring that subject matter experts were connected and actively communicating on issues (e.g., FDO training, Foundry training, logistic support, administrative and travel requirements, current intelligence production, intelligence architecture and connectivity). (16) The first USAREUR G2 SVTC with 1-1 CAV S2 was conducted on April 1, 2014, and was also scheduled to occur monthly with many of the same participants as the SRCA SVTC. After just a few months of multiple SVTCs, USAREUR G2 TREX determined that the SRCA and the NRF/ERF units would benefit from hearing the problems and planning considerations of the others; therefore, the two were combined into one monthly SVTC. With active communication occurring and the Orientation Phase well underway, the next phase, Mission Preparation took center stage.


Training Equals Readiness-Foundry 2.0

The RAF integration visits to the brigades and divisions included an orientation to the AOR, CONPLAN briefings, architecture requirements, and intelligence requirements for the theater. This prompted the development of a recommended IWfF training plan by USAREUR G2 TREX for RAF units consisting of lists by intelligence discipline with recommended capabilities for the unit to be able to accomplish while deployed in support of EUCOM. (17) Each unit then conducted a self-assessment of its ability and developed a plan to conduct or attend Foundry training at home station or within CONUS or live environment training (LET) to reach those goals. (18) Any gaps or area-specific training would then be identified for training once the unit deployed to theater, as was the practice during the earlier decade's deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Unique features of the new Foundry 2.0 Program and theater specific training events provide significant improvements over the old IWfF Force Generation model utilized for OEF and OIF. Within Foundry 2.0, there are LETs, the Intelligence Readiness Operations Capability (IROC), home station 100-200 level skills development, and advanced 300-400 level courses as both resident and mobile training team opportunities. (19) For the RAF integration into USAREUR CONPLANS, the USAREUR G2 relied on the Foundry 2.0 Program to ensure the units were fully engaged prior to deployment, building regional competency, honing cognitive analysis, developing cultural awareness and savvy, and inculcating a "NATO Ready" mentality. (20) The more these skills are practiced, the better prepared the RAF was to accomplish their mission in theater.

A prime example of the training model execution would be 4ID receiving the USAREUR integration briefings and conducting self-assessments to determine its training plan prior to deployment. (21) 4ID knew that their all-source analysts needed to be able to use their assigned systems (e.g., DCGS-A, ACE Block II, CPOF, TROJAN), so that training was already programmed and available at the 100-200 level at the Foundry Platform at Fort Carson. (22) Step two included USAREUR recommended skills and courses (e.g., write for release, NATO Collection Coordination and Intelligence Requirements Management Courses, NATO Plans Course). (23) The third step involved LET and IROC, which takes the analyst to the graduate level for Foundry 2.0. (24) For the LET, small teams of analysts were sent TDY to the MIB(T) in Darmstadt, Germany where they could sit side-by-side with regional analysts to learn USAREUR methodology, targets, and analytical rigor. (25)

Upon completion of the LET, the analysts were then ready to establish an IROC function at Fort Carson feeding into and collaborating with the MIB(T) in order to maintain currency on the intelligence situations monitored by USAREUR, and sustain their regional familiarity and awareness. (26) In this manner, the 4ID analyst goes from a general analyst to a regionally attuned analyst who is contributing to the overall mission of the USAREUR IWfF, while the MIB(T) acts as the synchronizer, the anchor point, for all intelligence feeding into the USAREUR headquarters. Finally to enhance NATO interoperability, 4ID sent analysts to assist with an all-source workshop for NATO allies with USAREUR G2 instructors in Lithuanian for Latvian and Lithuanian Soldiers. (27)

For 3ID, this model was expanded to include LET opportunities at the Multinational Corps-North East (MNC-NE) located in Szczecin, Poland, thus allowing a greater understanding of NATO language, culture, and interoperability. (28) During the MNC-NE LET, a U.S. Army staff sergeant worked directly for an Estonian major and produced relevant and timely intelligence products for the MNC-NE commander while demonstrating the commitment of the U.S. to the Alliance and willingness to work together. Therefore, when Soldiers get to the point of working in either an IROC or a multinational headquarters, they are putting their training into operational work with strategic impact.

Developing Regional Expertise and Building Partner Capacity

4ID participated in a LET, instructing NATO allies on the fundamentals of intelligence analysis. This is just one example of USAREUR G2's effort to support LTG Legere's vision that an ASCC should "view your LET(s) as part of the collaborative regional effort." (29) To expand upon this "collaborative regional effort," USAREUR regularly tasks the aligned and allocated units to participate in TSC activities and considers this a necessary part of integrating the RAF into the theater. (30) Participants may attend a class being taught at a NATO facility or serve as an observer controller or participant in a multinational exercise. (31) The RAF Soldiers may find themselves teaching skills to other countries in military-to-military engagements, or working inside a NATO Corps headquarters, or serving in the NATO Intelligence Fusion Centre. (32) Through all of these engagements, U.S. Soldiers are exposed to NATO standards, doctrine, and terminology; cultural diversity and awareness; and the need to understand how and what we share with our allies (see Figure 4).


It's not all Roses

While this discussion has highlighted the successful integration of the IWfF portion of the RAF into USAREUR, it is not without its difficulties and challenges. Early in the planning process for the integration, the lack of current intelligence hardware sets in the European Activity Set became a considerable planning constraint. (33) Deploying units would have to bring any MI specific equipment with them which increases deployment costs and slows the movement to theater. While USAREUR is able to bring small groups of Soldiers TDY under Foundry, ASCCs have had to be patient for the administrative processes to be defined with FORSCOM for the movement and request for forces. (34) For the SRCA and RAF to be effective as a ready force for employment within a theater of operations, the force flow from request to arrival must be agile and dynamic and cannot be the same process used over the past several decades without inhibiting the ASCCs' and COCOMs' ability to win in a complex world and execute the core competency of "set the theater." (35)

The Foundry program is undergoing restructuring due to the shift from Overseas Contingency Operations funding to base funding at the same time the U.S. Army is defining the concepts of SRCA and RAF units. ASCCs will have to continue to refine the training under the Foundry umbrella to accommodate regional competency and cultural awareness opportunities in a synchronous and collaborative regional effort. (36) The coalition network of choice for the U.S. forces in Europe is U.S. BICES, which is available in CONUS; however, units must have an active NATO Registry account and be a certified NATO Control Point to maintain access to this network. (37) Unfortunately, over the years of OIF and OEF, many installations failed to maintain NATO certification and must reestablish them to secure access to NATO systems and information. (38) Due to USAREUR's vital role of enabling the Alliance, USAREUR will have to interpret and incorporate NATO language, architecture, interoperability, and culture into every aspect of training, operations, and employment of Theater Army forces with an emphasis on sharing information, data, and techniques among the Alliance.


So, as we face the challenge put forth in the U.S. Army Operating Concept: Win in a Complex World, we assume a smaller force largely based within CONUS with fiscal constraints. To meet this challenge, USAREUR G2 has articulated a plan for the IWfF of regionally aligned and globally responsive forces to be integrated into GCC AORs from the initial planning through the deployment of forces. This case study of the integration of RAF highlights methodologies for success and areas of concern for both the operational and strategic levels of the U.S. Army. The future is dynamic and the IWfF is prepared to win in a complex world.


(1.) Stuart E. Johnson et al., "A Review of the Army's Modular Force Structure," A RAND Technical Report, TR927-2, The RAND Corporation, 2012, 7. At http:// technical_reports/TR927-2.html. Accessed February 2, 2015.

(2.) DOD, Quadrennial Defense Review 2010, 7.

(3.) COL Kristian Matthew Marks, "Enabling Theater Security Cooperation through Regionally Aligned Forces," U.S. Army War College, 2013, 10. At RAF/Enabling%20Theater%20Security%20Cooperation%20Through%20 Regionally%20Aligned%20Forces.pdf. Accessed February 2, 2015.

(4.) Marks, 11.

(5.) USAREUR Public Affairs Office, European Rotational Force/NATO Response Force Fact Sheet, December 1, 2013. At organization/factsheets/FactSheet_RAF.pdf. Accessed February 2, 2015.

(6.) Ibid.

(7.) FORSCOM, Mission Alignment Order FY 14/15, Annex A, March 6, 2014.

(8.) Dennis Warriner, Branch Chief, USAREUR G2 TREX, interview by author, January 9, 2015.

(9.) USAREUR G2 TREX, RAF Orientation Brief to DA G2, May 19, 2014.

(10.) LTG Ben Hodges, "Freedom 6 Sends: NATO Ready," January 6, 2015. At Accessed February 5, 2015.

(11.) Ibid.

(12.) USAREUR G2 TREX, 4ID RAF Integration SVTC Notes, March 13, 2014. Published 24 March 2014.

(13.) LTC Mark A. Denton, 4ID RAF Orientation Trip Report 2-6 June 2014, published on June 9, 2014.

(14.) Ibid.

(15.) Glynn Hines, Director, BICES Agency NATO, "Building Capabilities for Multinational Interoperability in an Era of Austerity," March 13, 2014. Presentation given at Coalition Information Sharing Conference hosted by The Association for Enterprise Information. At Documents/Glynne%20Hines_final%20presentation(approved).pdf. Accessed March 26, 2015.

(16.) SGM Simon Smith, 1-1 CAV SAV SGM RAF Trip Report Notes, published May 16, 2014.

(17.) RAF Orientation Brief to DA G2.

(18.) 4ID G2 Training Meeting, November 20, 2014, 6-7.

(19.) DA Training General Officer Steering Committee November 2014, Foundry 2.0 Decision Paper Version 4, October 29, 2014, 9.

(20.) USAREUR G2, DA G2 World-Wide SVTC March 2014, March 4, 2014, 4.

(21.) 4ID G2 Training Meeting.

(22.) Ibid.

(23.) RAF Orientation Brief to DA G2.

(24.) Ibid.

(25.) DA G2 World-Wide SVTC.

(26.) Ibid.

(27.) USAREUR G2, Lithuanian Storyboard v1, PowerPoint Presentation, June 9, 2014.

(28.) USAREUR G2 TREX, "MNC-NE Storyboard," December 19, 2014.

(29.) LTG Mary Legere, DA DCS-G2, Email message forwarded to author, Subject: LTG Legere's Foundry Catalog Guidance to ASCC/ACOM G2s, January 28, 2014.

(30.) RAF Orientation Brief to DA G2, 7.

(31.) Ibid., 5.

(32.) Ibid., 17.

(33.) Marcus Lacy, Force Modernization Officer, USAREUR G2, interview by author, January 20, 2015.

(34.) AR 525-29 Army Force Generation, March 2011, 19.

(35.) TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1, The U.S. Army Operating Concept: Win in a Complex World, October 7, 2014, 21.

(36.) COL Todd Megill, DCS-G2, FORSCOM, Email message forwarded to author, Subject: Foundry 2.0 Transition, October 25, 2013.

(37.) RAF Orientation Brief to DA G2.

(38.) Rachel Mosier-Cox, NATO Control Point Officer, USAREUR G2, interview by author, January 20, 2015.

CW4 Schwerzler served as the Senior GEOINT Advisor, Training and Exercise Branch, USAREUR. Other assignments include the Army GEOINT Battalion, 3d Infantry Division, 101st Airborne Division, and V Corps. He holds an MS in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University. He is currently the GEOINT Training Advisor at USAICoE, Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

by Chief Warrant Officer Four Martin A. Schwerzler
Figure 2.


Phase 1   Orientation

          * Establish intelligence architecture
          * Conduct operational preparation of the environment
          * Conduct CONPLAN orientation and review
          * Conduct current situational updates

Phase 2   Mission Preparation

          * Synchronize battle rhythm events
          * Develop mission ready training/LET
          * Engage with partner nation security forces
          * Prepare their IWIF to operate within a NATO or
            coalition force
          * Establish intelligence production
          * Integrate into TSC and KLE

Phase 3   Deployment

          * Integrate into NATO exercise supper
          * 60 Days deployment In theater
          * Highly trained and culturally savvy
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Author:Schwerzler, Martin A.
Publication:Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Oct 1, 2015
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Next Article:Military intelligence implementation of the Army Total Force Policy at corps and division levels.

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