Intelligence coming from the ground up
May 20, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE MAREZ, MOSUL, Iraq - The U.S. Army has begun out fitting units with a new intelligence gathering and distributing system as they prepare for deployment.
The 3rd Heavy Bde., 1st Cav. Div. is spearheading the charge in this new direction of intelligence.
The goal of this new program is to reduce uncertainty of focal points in hot areas and to aid commanders with their decision making based on intelligence. This program is completely flip-flopped from its predecessor in that intelligence is now moving from the troops on the ground up through their commanders. In turn, missions are directed more to the areas where intelligence gathered will be more beneficial.
"This should help the next unit that comes in get an idea of how things are on the ground before they ever even go out [on missions]," said Spc. Andrew Nuxoll, who works in the E. Co. Intelligence Support Team under 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Regt.
The newly added company sections serve as a filter and analysis center for their companies. They take raw data and information from the field and turn it into intelligence which is then passed up the chain of command to their commander.
"This is a company-based intelligence operation that starts at the platoon level and from there goes up to the company level and so on," said Sgt. Erik Peterson, who works in D. Co. Intelligence Support Team, 1st Bn., 67th Armor Regt. "It's helped us get information quicker and in turn get it out quicker."
Each company has set an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance plan in motion, which emphasizes networking throughout their area of operations and establishing multiple contacts in that area.
"This program gives troops solid talking points and the ability to connect better with the people in their areas of operation about insurgent activities," said 1st Lt. Aaron Runne, who is over the program at B. Co. Intelligence Support Team in 1st Bn., 67th Armor Regt.
These operations also work toward finding patterns and trends both by enemy and friendly forces. Patterns, as they are discovered, are then analyzed. If a pattern is friendly such as common travel patterns, it is changed. If the pattern is hostile such as improvised explosive device placements, the section works to discover who is behind the placements.
Though the program is still in its infancy, the Soldiers of 3rd Bde. have found it to be a useful tool and are utilizing it to distribute key intelligence.