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The commando perspective: DISE operations in support of OIF II.


The mission of the Deployable Intelligence Support Element (DISE) is to support intelligence requirements of the brigade commander under the direction of the brigade S2. Although a DISE is defined as a tailored intelligence support package which is digitally connected in real time to a non-deploying intelligence support base; its primary function is to supplement the brigade S2, providing additional intelligence capability to the brigade commander. This function is created under the brigade combat team (BCT) modified table of organization and equipment (MTOE) as organic to the brigade S2 shop.

The 2 BCT, 10th (2/10th) Mountain Division DISE supported up to seventeen subordinate battalions including six Iraqi Army battalions and higher and adjacent unit staffs through Collection Management and Dissemination (CM&D), and All-Source Intelligence (ASI). We also coordinated with the Division G2 staff and the Analysis and Control Element (ACE) for intelligence collection and support from the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS), Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), and established relationships with other government agencies (OGAs) operating within our battlespace.

The DISE, composed of 30 soldiers from the Military Intelligence (MI) company, is organized into four production cells--Imagery Intelligence (IMINT), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), CM&D, and ASI. The DISE was co-located with the Brigade S2X, the Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Operational Management Team (OMT) and the Transcription and Analysis Cell. The main functions for these cells include the following--

* Target development.

* Collection management and UAV operations.

* HUMINT team management.

* Threat group analysis.

* Geographical analysis.

* All-Source Analysis System-Light (ASAS-L) database management.

Requirements. Daily intelligence products created for the brigade commander include daily Intelligence Summaries (INTSUMs), targeting and emerging intelligence updates, as well as patrol report Priority Intelligence Requirement (PIR) tracking. The DISE battle rhythm mirrored the Brigade headquarters and staff, with deadlines aligning with Brigade Update briefs (BUBs), Mission Analysis briefs, Contingency Operations briefs, Orders briefs, rehearsals and backbriefs.

Analysis. Mission Analysis and Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) are major DISE responsibilities. Threat composition and disposition are key factors in IPB, presenting the most current and all-encompassing enemy picture to the commander. The DISE maintains an accurate enemy picture by fusing MI company collection, battalion S2 assessments and division G2 analysis. DISE personnel must know the tactical enemy as well as the strategic threat.

Communication. The DISE receives all intelligence product requirements via the brigade S2. The brigade S2 and DISE officer-in-charge (OIC) must effectively communicate and receive command intent to be successful. As tactical intelligence is extremely perishable, products at the brigade level tend to demand immediate action, not methodical analysis. Understanding and relaying command intent at the onset of production is imperative.

The brigade Targeting Officer also places requirements on the DISE, including initial report analysis and link diagram development. The Targeting Officer tracks and provides analysis on the locations, modus operandi, and activities of targeted individuals to the DISE in order to facilitate the identification of anti-Iraqi Forces (AIF) battle and support zones. The DISE OIC, brigade S2, and Targeting Officer must synchronize coordination in order to most effectively resource and prioritize competing requirements.

Revising the DISE Organizational Structure

The DISE was originally structured using the ACE's doctrinal template. The DISE consisted of five operationally independent multi-discipline intelligence cells. With limited manpower, this organizational structure restricted our capabilities and hindered our ability to efficiently monitor the future threat picture. See Figure 1.


Streamlining operations was a necessary step in effectively meeting the brigade commander's needs. First, we identified the operational and support sections and reallocated assets from less active sections. The S2X and ASI were always busy. We augmented both S2X and ASI with additional manpower and equipment. We then synchronized the efforts of both sections in order to facilitate the targeting cell. See Figure 2.


The Common Ground Station (CGS) was very effective in addressing the counter Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) mission. It was used to determine active Point of Origin (POO) sites in rural areas or optimal air defense artillery sites. The shift into the urban terrain of the western Baghdad battlespace reduced the CGS's role. It proved beneficial to cross-train our Common Ground Sensor Operators (MOS 96H) to Intelligence Analysts (96B). The remainder of 96Hs augmented the S2X section to process administrative paperwork for detainees.

Our SIGINT section was designed to merge the SIGINT efforts of three Prophet platoons, but with only one section, it essentially duplicated the single Prophet Control functions. We consolidated our SIGINT and TROJAN SPIRIT II (TS II) technical personnel into the Collection Management Section to allow seamless rotation during Environmental Leave and daily operations. As part of the Collection Management Section, the IMINT section's primary duties shifted from solely producing and analyzing imagery still images to also monitoring UAV feeds.

In retrospect, the DISE OIC position should be filled by a seasoned captain or the MI company commander. See Figure 3. This would link the senior company-level intelligence officer with the brigade S2. The seasoned captain provides a more experienced perspective in properly employing intelligence assets on the battlefield to effectively answer the brigade commander's intelligence gaps. The best option is to use the MI company commander. His role is then defined as the individual who is solely responsible for adjusting MI company assets to support the brigade commander's PIRs. In the DISE, his ability to maintain control and direction of collected intelligence extracted from the battlefield will surely benefit the Intelligence Battlefield Operating System (IBOS), now known as the Intelligence Warfighting Function (IWF). Also, a senior OIC will facilitate smoother command and control lines between the brigade and company echelons. Furthermore, it will limit the possibility of asset misuse from improper or limited employment in various environments.


We determined that 22 soldiers would serve in the DISE platoon, as well as at least four in the OMT. By the time we redeployed, 30 soldiers and four civilians worked in the compound, including the Weapons Intelligence Team (WIT) from Fort Meade, the S2X, one TS II general support contractor, one ASAS-L support contractor, and two to three Category 2 level linguists with clearances. Additionally, for approximately one month, the Prophet Control System and its four soldiers operated in the compound.

Civilian technical support maximized our combat manpower. In-house technical support allows analysts to concentrate on mission, as opposed to being mired in trouble-shooting technical problems. The DISE depends on continuous connectivity with ground forces and higher intelligence elements, thus completing the connection between tactical and strategic intelligence. Maintenance of key IWF systems, like TS II and ASAS-L, is essential. These two systems required the most support to maintain connectivity and proper database synchronization. It is also recommended to have an in-house generator and systems specialists to quickly fix technical problems. The contractors contributed a large part to our success in this environment; our systems were rarely down except for required maintenance.

Integration into the BCT Headquarters

Proper integration into the BCT headquarters is a requirement for DISE success. Prior to deployment, the DISE OIC and the brigade S2 need to establish a good relationship and generate a plan to allow a seamless integration process. The brigade S2 and DISE OIC must construct a solid plan addressing the limitations of DISE assets, proper resourcing to fill identified gaps in manning or mission essential equipment, and identification of roles. What will the DISE provide to the fight? How will they help define the intelligence picture? Discussion points will also include DISE layout within the BCT Tactical Operations Center (TOC), asset relevance and usability, operational control of the DISE, allocation of MI company intelligence assets throughout the IWF, production requirements (i.e., daily update briefs, INTSUM production, etc), contractor support, and T-SCIF clearance and compartmented level of access. This is essential if the DISE is to fully achieve its mission.

The DISE's exclusion from brigade TOC configuration plans, movement plans, facilities and support plans caused problems. The MI Company took the financial brunt of the responsibility for required resources. The DISE accounted for the majority of the company's monetary expenditures, quickly exhausting a limited fund meant to support the entire company. For the duration of the mission, the DISE facility was a tent with a wooden floor built by DISE personnel, while the adjacent brigade TOC moved into a building with concrete sidewalks. Patios and porches were added as time passed. During the Pre-Deployment Site Survey or advanced echelon movement, ensure the following questions are addressed: How will the DISE be integrated into the brigade TOC configuration? Will there be a hardened facility or simply an empty lot? If the BCT TOC is a hard-built facility, will an extension be built to house the DISE?

Technical Issues

Perhaps the biggest obstacle our unit overcame was the two-week transformation from a General Support to a Direct Support MI company, while simultaneously preparing to deploy in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II and conducting a command post exercise. Having little initial guidance on DISE equipment requirements, we decided to secure a basic supply load for six months, based in large part on brigade S2 requirements and fully aware that supply channels in theater were notoriously slow, even with dedicated contractors.

We deployed with three 10,000 BTU stand-alone air conditioners. During initial operations in Kuwait these units were unable to cool even one Standardized Integrated Command Post System (SICPS) tent below 130 degrees during daylight hours. Consequently, we had to move two ASAS-L machines into a small corner in the brigade S2. At the end of the deployment, we operated two 60,000 BTU units and three 10,000 BTU stand-alones in the DISE, which kept the temperatures in the mid-80s. Our entry control point and MI Systems Maintainer/Integrator (MOS 33W) workspace SICPS each required a single 24,000 BTU wall unit.

Electricity was our most persistent logistical challenge. In Kuwait, all electricity was 220v and we deployed exclusively with 110v plugs and outlets. Our generators produced 110v power, partially solving this issue. However, with only one generator in Kuwait, it could not satisfy our automation and air conditioning requirements. 220v to 110v power converters were not available until four months later in Iraq. Uninterrupted power supplies (UPS) were vital to our operations as well, due to regular power outages and interruptions. These UPS, used with surge protectors, provided excellent protection against spikes and surges common to generators.

We owned three 110v 10 kilowatt generators, which we used to power our TS II, CGS system, and DISE tent. An additional generator would have allowed us to rotate generators for maintenance without affecting DISE operations. However, a regular maintenance pattern allowed the DISE to plan for scheduled outages, and we suffered no major losses of generators throughout the deployment.

We deployed with six ASAS-L systems, two laptops, two color printers, one black & white printer, one projector, one plotter, two desktops, three 300 gigabyte external hard drives and one complete Single Source Enclave (SSE). The ASAS-L systems supplied the ASI with five computers per shift. We dedicated one laptop for the DISE OIC and Fusion OIC, with the other allotted to CM&D. A single Nonclassifed Internet Protocol Router network (NIPRNET) line provided access to open source reporting. The projector proved very useful as we briefed the brigade commander on a daily basis. Fortunately, we did not lose any bulbs as we had no spares for back-up.

External hard drives proved to be possibly our most important network asset. We built our internal shared drive entirely off one hard drive's contents. We placed our whole year's intelligence products on the hard drive, and backed it up by creating a platoon website on the INSCOM homepage. We stored FalconView [TM] imagery on another hard drive.

The IMINT section used the plotter and desktops. One major problem encountered regarding IMINT was the expiration of the RemoteView [TM] software license we used to access higher headquarters' historical imagery databases. We received an initial software packet for the system, which offered a one-month trial period. We drew this software due to time constraints before our deployment. Unfortunately, by the time we began operating our TS II system, the software license expired and it took three months to acquire the update again.

One problem we never effectively solved was loss of our high-side email accounts. While this loss was not disastrous, it created occasional inconveniences when higher units produced Joint Worldwide Intelligence Community System (JWICS) traffic for us. To rectify this problem, we recommend one noncommissioned officer (NCO), preferably a SGT or CPL, be thoroughly briefed on JWICS procedures, email accounts, etc. In the rush to deploy, this aspect of DISE operations was neglected.

ASI Operations and Products

The responsibilities of the ASI consist primarily of mission analysis, IPB, targeting, and threat group analysis through the use of multiple intelligence disciplines. Creating IPB on a daily basis to assess geopolitical, environmental, and threat influences on friendly forces, identification of non-doctrinal threat groups and AIF targets in the brigade's area of responsibility (AOR) was crucial to multinational force (MNF) success in strike operations. Much like federal, state and local law enforcement agencies determine criminal networks; the ASI applied the same techniques in attempting to identify insurgent leaders, members and locations for counterinsurgency operations.

ASI Intelligence Analysts used the following tools to research the structure, capabilities, and disposition of AIF cells operating in the AOR: Analyst's Notebook link diagrams, ASAS-L Entity Editor, GISA Pathfinder, Multimedia Message Handler (M3), INTELINK and FalconView. Research of infrastructure, names and locations was done using ASAS-L; Pathfinder and M3 were used for further development of HUMINT reporting in a link diagram format. See Figure 4.


The link diagram is a graphic depiction of research derived from these databases and is the foundation for threat group formulation. It is a 96B's crew-served weapon for identifying the enemy order of battle (OB) in a country influenced by insurgent and terrorist networks. The ASI section merged the various sources and intelligence disciplines into link diagrams. Although the Counterintelligence Agents (MOS 97B) and HUMINT Collectors (MOS 97E) of the OMT are also able to support the creation of these link diagrams, the number of HUMINT personnel and resources available at brigade level does not make this feasible. The focus for HUMINT Collectors will be the management of Tactical HUMINT Teams (THT) and HUMINT collection efforts. Note: THT is now referred to as HUMINT Collection Team (HCT). Additionally, allowing the ASI 96Bs to create link diagrams is necessary for the analyst to become familiar with both the multitude of intelligence reporting and threat cells operating in the brigade AOR. We highly recommend that ASI 96Bs, coupled with the brigade Targeting Officer, be responsible for creating the link diagrams in order to accurately depict the entire spectrum of information throughout the targeting process.

In addition to link diagrams, another tool for analyzing the enemy OB is an AIF OB diagram, commonly used by Special Operations Forces and comparable to a doctrinal enemy line and block chart. This diagram, obtained through analysis of link diagrams, time event matrices, AIF situation templates and All Source Pattern Analysis Plot Sheets, is an excellent tool for the graphic depiction of enemy cell associations, battle damage assessment, composition and structure, and capabilities per unit area of operations. An example of how one may graphically depict cells is by using circles to represent command and control (C2) nodes, triangles for specialized cells such as kidnapping and assassinations, and squares for basic combat cells. Crossing out a particular cell capability indicates a neutralized or disrupted AIF cell. Associations between cells are displayed by solid lines for verified intelligence and by dotted lines for unconfirmed information. By comparing attack trends and AIF support zones portrayed on the AIF cell template, analysts will also better understand tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of a given threat organization. This analysis will further enhance predictive analysis on individual AIF cells and generate additional data for Time Event Matrices.

The diagram (see Figure 5) depicting an AIF cell template provides ground commanders with an articulate description of groups operating in their AOR. Commanders can use it to reference cell strength, attrition, and operating locations for future targeting purposes aimed at decreasing assessed threats in a specific sector. Adding analyst comments pertaining to recent cell activity and trends is optimal for situational understanding at all echelons throughout the intelligence community.


In support of identifying AIF networks and continuous updates to IPB products, ASI created an INTSUM and DISE update brief every 24 hours. Our INTSUM focused on tactical through strategic intelligence necessary to assist the brigade commander's decisionmaking process. While we included actionable and emerging intelligence into the individual battalion's section of the INTSUM; developing AIF TTPs, indicators and warning, and significant political events influencing the entire Brigade's battlespace were included as well. We oriented the daily DISE Update brief to answer actionable PIn for the Targeting Officer, as well as implementing a daily AIF OB update section, which allowed division and subordinate battalions to maintain awareness of changes in cell structure, capability, strengths, attrition, and TTPs. The ASI inputs intelligence that is not yet actionable as emerging intelligence for the brigade staff's situational awareness.

The Latest Time Information of Value is important to the INTSUM and DISE Update brief, as both products will determine how many and which subject matter experts (SMEs) you employ per twelve hour shift. At the shift change briefs, it is essential that the 96Bs communicate their assessments with each other in order to avoid repeated production and allow for cohesion and added depth in the INTSUM and Update briefs. The 2/10th Mountain DISE used one junior analyst per shift for the INTSUM, and one ASI NCO and a junior analyst during the night-shift for a morning DISE Update brief. Meanwhile, AIF OB, TTPs, and geopolitical SMEs assisted on individual products on an as-needed basis. In doing so, additional analysts were free to answer intelligence gaps for IPB, requests for information and AIF name queries in support of daily products.


Flexibility is essential, as the DISE will assume many roles. Establishing a clear delineation of duties between the DISE and brigade S2 will avoid redundancy or inconsistent analysis. Also, having a fluid organizational structure will accommodate the competing demands placed on the DISE. For example, as operational pace increased, many S2 responsibilities such as IPB, current situation threat analysis, and battle tracking shifted to the DISE. A steady, predictable mission helps focus the analyst and allows them to become competent in the areas of their responsibility.

An effective personnel rotation plan minimizes the effects of loss of manpower during key production surges. Prioritizing tasks establishes the necessary focus on the most time-sensitive projects. Establishing a shift change optimal to mission and personnel alleviates unnecessary setbacks. Cross-training and rotation ensures each shift can handle the load while keeping analysts flexible in their tasks throughout the deployment. These, coupled with strong leadership, allowed the DISE to be very successful in its mission.

Finally, a strong working relationship between the DISE, brigade Targeting Officer, and brigade S2 is essential. As DISE OIC, one must understand the MI company's capabilities in order to effectively assist the two parties in their mission. Truly understanding their mission by attending targeting meetings and brigade S2/S3 mission planning sessions will assure that DISE products are tailored to meet specific requirements and prioritized properly with the routine unit functions. This aids both the Targeting Officer and brigade S2 in finalizing their end products to answer the brigade commander's information gaps. In short, the three are interconnected as each depends on the other to be successful--a team effort.

Captain Shayla D. Potter is currently assigned as the Battalion S2, 2nd BCT, 10th Mountain Division. Her previous duties include Company XO, Intelligence and Surveillance Platoon Leader, and 2nd BCT, 10th Mountain DISE OIC. She has deployed in support of both OEF II and OIF II. Captain Potter will attend the MI Captains Career Course at Fort Huachuca upon her return from Iraq. Captain Potter attended Purdue University, where she earned a BS degree in Information Systems Technology. A distinguished ROTC graduate, she received her commission in August 2001. Captain Potter can be contacted via email at shayla.potter@us.

First Lieutenant Molly Hurd currently serves as the 2nd BCT, 10th Mountain Division DISE OIC. She graduated from MI Officer Basic Course at Fort Huachuca in January 2004. 1LT Hurd received her commission from the U.S. Military Academy in May 2003. Past assignments include Battalion Intelligence Officer for the 2nd BCT, 10th Mountain Division Forward Support Battalion, She can be contacted via email at

Chief Warrant Two William E Deruelle was an augmentee from the 311th MI Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) and served as the Fusion OIC for the 2nd BCT, 10th Mountain Division DISE. He deployed to the Iraqi Theater of Operations following graduation from the Warrant Officer Candidate School at Fort Rucker, Alabama and WOBC at Fort Huachuca and has since redeployed. His previous assignments include service at U.S. Southern Command as a senior I&W Analyst. CW2 Deruelle is working towards a BS in Psychology. He can be contacted via email at William.Deruelle@us.

Master Sergeant Paul David Adkins' assignments include D Company, 2-18 Infantry Battalion, Fort Benning, Alabama; I -32 Infantry Battalion, 2d Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York; 1-63 ATS Regiment, Camp Coiner, Republic of Korea; as well as the Presidio of Monterey, Afghanistan (CJ2 Operations) and Iraq (2/10 Mountain Division DISE). He has earned a Bachelor's Degree from Mercer University, Macon, Georgia and a Master's Degree from Washington University. St. Louis, Missouri.
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Author:Potter, Shayla D.; Hurd, Molly; Deruelle, William E.; Adkins, Paul David
Publication:Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin
Article Type:Website overview
Date:Jan 1, 2006
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