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by Major General John D. Thomas, Jr.

Terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, military operations on urban terrain, sophisticated counter-espionage operations, and force protection— these are all missions and concerns that are appearing more frequently on units’ mission essential task lists. The evolving nature of the threat, together with the mission of today’s Army, requires us to focus on these transnational, asynchronous issues.

The MI Corps is well prepared to support maneuver warfare in the classical sense, but we still have much to learn about providing intelligence support to the varied types of current operations. Units involved in support and stability actions have performed exceptionally well but in many cases, the training and doctrine base has not kept up.

A crucial capability to deal with these operations is a well-developed tactical human intelligence (HUMINT) capability. Here at Fort Huachuca, the Intelligence Center has modified the 97B (Counterintelligence (CI) Agent) and 97E (Interrogator) career fields to improve tactical HUMINT capabilities while retaining the traditional abilities. The recent Mission Rehearsal Exercise by the 10th Mountain Division (Light) at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) saw the best tactical HUMINT and counterintelligence “play” ever at a Combat Training Center. The fielding of the CI/HUMINT Automated Tool Set (CHATS) gives us the first automation capability to support this mission. We need to increase the tactical HUMINT force structure and to publish doctrine that captures our experience.

Another area we must address is what sensors are necessary for these operations and how we use our capabilities. The Army recently fielded a Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system to the JRTC. Its employment there will allow us to explore the use of UAVs in the environment of Fort Polk, Louisiana, in support of dismounted operations and in the urban environment. The 29th Infantry Brigade, Hawaii Army National Guard, was the first unit to have UAVs fly in support of its JRTC rotation. Several upcoming experiments, sessions with industry, and Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations will help us to further define our future sensor and fusion requirements.

Finally, we must develop the simulations that will enable us to provide efficient and effective training. We are developing a tactical HUMINT module for the FIRESTORM (Federation of Intelligence, Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting, Operations and Research Models) simulation that will give us our first capability in this area.

The units conducting today’s intelligence mission are performing superbly. However, we must capture their lessons learned and make the required changes to update the DTLOMS (doctrine, training, leaders, organizations, materiel, and soldiers). We need your feedback from the field.

ALWAYS OUT FRONT!