by Captain Vincent H. Torres
Imagine being the collection manager (CM) in a light infantry division thrust into the role of an Army Forces (ARFOR) CM for a multinational joint exercise involving 30,000 troops. The assets available for tasking include division, theater, and national collectors.
The first thing to understand is what a CMs job entails. The collection management officer (CMO) tasks intelligence assets to collect against a particular location for a specific period of time to support the commanders priority intelligence requirements (PIR).
The CM is responsible for the development and synchronization of the ARFOR collection plan. He ensures that the collection plan focuses on the commanders PIR and determines the gaps in intelligence and knowledge concerning the threat. He requests information from appropriate collection agencies to fill those gaps. The CMO works in the Analysis and Control Element (ACE) for the G2.
Differences Between a Division CMO and an ARFOR CMO
The major difference between working as a division CMO and an ARFOR CMO is the type and amount of collection assets the CMO can plan and employ (see Figure 1). The range of collectors and amount of redundancy drastically differ from a division to an ARFOR.
The planning considerations at ARFOR level link to the targeting cell. Collection assets at the theater and national level required a 48 to 72 hour leadtime. In addition to the planning considerations, priority of effort played an important role in determining coverage for scarce assets. Dynamic retasking of the U-2 was possible through the downlink to the Enhanced Tactical Radar Correlator (ETRAC) and was extremely effective in supporting the ARFOR commander. Furthermore, the ARFOR was part of a Joint Task Force (JTF) comprised of forces from the Marines (MARFOR), Air Force (AFFOR), Navy (NAVFOR), and United Kingdom (UK) Forces. Communication among differing component computer systems, military lexicons, and standing operating procedures (SOPs) provided new challenges.
The Guardrail Common Sensor (GRCS) and the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were extremely valuable to the collection planner. The GRCS cued the UAV to cover a particular named area of inter- est (NAI) or target. The range and versatility of these systems gave the ARFOR the eyes it needed to deliver its punch.
The use of Joint Deployable Intelligence Support System (JDISS), Community Online Intelligence Systems For End Users And Managers (COLISEUM) software, and Secure Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET) by the JTF allowed for faster information flow and quicker response time. The use of COLISEUM in tracking requests for information (RFIs) was a tremendous asset. JDISS E-mail was an integral part of dissemination and analyst dialogue. Posting intelligence summaries (INTSUMs) and other products on the SIPRNET homepage allowed for easier transfer of voluminous intelligence to a greater audience.
Video teleconferences (VTCs) played a vital role in our communication with other members of the JTF. To get a clearer picture of the battlefield and exchange information, all sections used the VTC. Sections held VTCs at least once daily and more often depending on the situation. The primary focus of the CMOs VTC was to verify collection requirements for upcoming missions and to provide tasking input for theater and national collection assets.
The Airborne Reconnaissance Low (ARL) was dedicated to collection in the JTF rear area and primarily used to locate Special Operational Forces (SOF) units and terrorist activity. Additionally, the task-organization of intelligence assets included placing various collectors under the control of the ARFOR rear command post since they were responsible for the JTF rear area.
Path to Success
Flexibility. The most important facet of the collection plan is flexibility. The CMO builds flexibility into the intelligence synchronization matrix (ISM), attempting to balance the collection methodology against the anticipated or likely enemy course of action. This dynamic process shifts the emphasis from the deep, close, and rear areas of the battlefield. The ISM must include a mix of collection assets with redundancy of coverage.
Mission Management. The intense speed of battle, the equipment, and intelligence report com- munication requirements mandate proper procedures to record and display the results. A useful technique involved colored sticky notes. A sticky note was placed on the map indicated when an NAI was active and the color identified what asset was covering it. For example, a blue note may have indicated a UAV was covering the NAI.
Identification of the Best Indicators. The purpose of an indicator is to give advance notice of an event. Indicators that are concise, defined, and quantifiable serve this purpose. All the collectors and analysts must know the indicators; the daily collection-emphasis message disseminates them.
Staffing. An ARFOR collection management and dissemination (CM&D) section must receive augmentation to provide 24-hour support for current and future operations. During Unified Endeavor, the CM&D section required six additional personnel to operate the JDISS terminal, meet the nonstandard dissemination requirements such as posting information to the homepage, and to manage the additional ARFOR collection assets.
Linkage to Targeting. The CMO is an essential person on the targeting team. The identification of targets and battle damage assessment (BDA) are essential elements of a collection plan. The CMO is involved directly in the decision, detection, deliverance, and assess- ment elements of targeting.
Knowledge of Intelligence Systems and Asset Capabilities. The CMO must know the collection assets capabilities in all weather and terrain conditions. The quality of the reports, as well as the quantity, relates directly to the correct emplacement of the sys- tems. The CMOs experience and knowledge of the system determines success.
System Connectivity and Information Management. All systems have to speak the same language on the correct networks. Developing an intelligence architecture in conjunction with the JTF, the other components, and also the G6, with primary and alternate paths is necessary for success. Additionally, there must be a detailed information management plan to ensure the proper routing of messages and reports.
As an ARFOR collection manager, you must have the level of knowledge and expertise of a corps collection manager. This knowledge base includes an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of corps, theater, and national systems. It is also important to think deep to support the targeting process 72 hours ahead. This is also important for ensuring the inclusion of aerial collection assets on the order and their availability to collect at the desired time. Finally, it is important to understand the joint systems such as JDISS and software applications such as COLISEUM that you will be required to use, and how you will integrate your Army systems (all-source analysis system) into disseminating that information.
Captain Vince H. Torres graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and an ROTC commission as an MI officer detailed to the infantry. His jobs range from Rifle Platoon leader, Antitank Platoon Leader, to Antitank Company Executive Officer at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He has served as a 10th Mountain Division Collection Manger and currently is the Battalion S2 at 2-14th Infantry. His E-mail address is email@example.com.