AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Battalion Sts in fires and effects, operations support, and force sustainment units are often junior officers, ranging from second lieutenants to pre-career course captains who have little to no collection management experience. These junior officers are deploying and have the desire and necessity to effectively answer information requirements (IRs) using systems but have limited training. Although, collection management at the brigade level and higher is a job dedicated to one officer with additional training, battalion Sts are expected to understand and leverage the available resources to support their battalions' mission. This guide is meant to provide junior officers serving as battalion intelligence officers with a baseline knowledge on what assets and resources are available; how to task, request and exploit those assets in a cohesive manner to solve intelligence problems, and effectively translate that into support to targeting.
The basis for all information here is doctrine. But, while doctrine provides a strong framework for all military functions and operations, there is much to be learned from the Soldier's experience. The focus (and most of the experience shared) will be on the counterinsurgency fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the basics can be applied across a variety of missions. This guide will start with an emphasis on doctrine, both the collection management and targeting cycles, and will conclude with the application of those processes to intelligence synchronization and the solving of the intelligence problem.
In order to effectively target anything (a person, weapon system, or building) you must answer the existing intelligence gaps. In order to answer those intelligence gaps you must employ collection assets or receive information from assets already employed. Note: The term collection assets will be used as an all encompassing term, not limited to intelligence assets. The current operating environment in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom has brought us back to the concept of Every Soldier is a Sensor (ES2). This process is collection management. Doctrinally, collection management is "the set of procedures that orchestrate ISOS (intelligence system of systems) organizations and systems to focus the intelligence effort in support of warfighting and operations other than war". (1) As a battalion S2 your job is to leverage the collection assets you have available (and those that are not apparently available to you) in order to support the mission.
To best employ and exploit all collection assets someone within your battalion S2 section must act as collection manager. Arguably, the lack of organic intelligence assets makes the job of your collection manager more difficult and requires a high level of threat knowledge in order to creatively answer the intelligence gaps. Within a typical collection management section in a division Analysis and Control Element, doctrine specifies three separate functions: the Requirements Manager, the Mission Manager and the Asset Manager. Each of the functions is separate, but not mutually exclusive. They must operate with full knowledge of what the other function is planning. This is easily accomplished at the battalion level, as you will most likely have one person handle all three functions. If your section is manned with an assistant S2 or mid-grade noncommissioned officer I would recommend making him or her your collection manager. If not, then you will need to act as the collection manager (this is more likely the case in non-maneuver units). If you, as the battalion S2, are also serving as the collection manager, it is imperative that you work closely with the S3 section to have it actually task and manage the assets on the battlefield. Although you will not have three people carrying out the three functions, you must understand the purpose of each function in order to effectively manage collection.
The Requirements Manager role starts during Step 4 of the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) process with the creation of the initial collection plan. The requirements manager has three questions to answer:
1. What to collect (priority and specific information requirements (PIRs/SIRS))?
2. Where to collect (named areas of interest (NAIs))?
3. When to collect?
The PIR and SIR are primarily driven from intelligence gaps that the battalion staff has identified during mission analysis. These requirements are pieces of information that the staff (and commander) need to know in order to develop a complete and cohesive plan. PIR and SIR are both linked to places and time. The places are NAIs which are the locations that an event is expected to occur which will answer a PIR or SIR. The time is a start, earliest time information of value (ETIOV) or earliest event information of value (EEIOV) and an end, latest time information of value (LTIOV) or latest event information of value (LEIOV)) time or event during which the event is expected to occur. Both NAIs and ETIOV/LTIOVs are necessary for an effective collection plan, because even with ES2 there is a finite amount of collection assets with finite capabilities. Though the requirements are derived from intelligence gaps, they must support one of three priorities: determine an enemy course of action (ECOA), support the maneuver plan, or identify high payoff targets (HPTs). Support of these three priorities is critical due to the finite amount of collection assets. Most requirements during the initial planning process are from the battalion staff and higher headquarters, but as the planning process matures expect collection requests from subordinate units that you must integrate into the collection plan.
The second function of the collection manager is to manage the actual collection missions. That is, given the what, when, and where from the first step of the collection plan, assign and task or request the asset to collect. Assigning assets requires that an assessment be made of their suitability and availability. There are a few fundamentals that must be understood in order to effectively task and request assets.
First, you must have complete understanding of the capabilities of all available assets (organic, subordinate, higher, and national) and how to exploit those capabilities. When considering the availability of echelon above corps assets, consider how you can benefit from an asset without requesting it. For example, the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) often flies set routes that are preplanned far in advance. If you are interested in an area within that coverage, consider requesting a product from that scheduled collection route.
Second, you must have an understanding of the maneuver plan and how that will impact availability of ES2. Third, the maintenance status of subordinate and organic assets is critical to know. For assets in your brigade MI Company (MICO) and other division and theater assets that you request on a regular basis it would behoove you to have an understanding of their maintenance schedule, as well as other constraints (many of these assets are contractor run and therefore constraints which limit the number of available hours, for example, are often in place). Fourth, understand how certain assets work well together. This will allow you to determine which assets can be used in a cueing relationship and which would be better utilized as part of a mix or redundancy package.
In order to task assets, a specific task must be created for them as part of the collection plan. These are specific orders or requests (SORB). This allows the asset that you are tasking or requesting to understand exactly what you are expecting to receive from the collection. During the tasking process you must be cognizant of what you can task and request. For example, you may not be able to request specific assets within the MICO, but only be able to request the MICO itself. When tasking ES2, you may only have the authority to task a …