Distributed Common Ground System -- Army Provides the Foundation for Aerial Intelligence
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT GORDON, Ga. (Dec. 3, 2014) -- As can be seen from the evening news, the military's intelligence mission is more and more important every day. Global instability remains a constant focus for military intelligence.

Tasking, processing, exploiting and disseminating intelligence is not a simple job. Intelligence analysts go through a series of checks, re-checks and supervisor approvals before their product, composed through a complex data-gathering process, is authorized for release. The Army has multiple policies, career fields, data resources and programs that support the intelligence mission. The Distributed Common Ground System - Army, or DCGS-A, is the backbone of that Army intelligence mission.

One critical element of developing situational awareness and providing actionable intelligence information for the commander is the execution of aerial intelligence. It provides information from assets in the air that gather images and video to help intelligence analysts have a visual depiction of their area of responsibility. This information can help the Army determine routes, enemy situational changes, terrain obstacles, and target routes as well as many other things.

The 116th Military Intelligence Brigade (Aerial Intelligence) here, supports tailored, worldwide aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, referred to as ISR, to deployed task forces in all contingency areas of operation. The common tools and databases that the 116th MI Brigade utilizes are found within the DCGS-A baseline.

"The 116th MI Brigade conducts 24/7 tasking, collection, processing, exploitation, dissemination and feedback operations, or 'TC-PED-F,' for multiple aerial-ISR systems," said Col. Adam R. Hinsdale, 116th Military Intelligence Brigade commander.

"Our capabilities include full-spectrum geospatial intelligence and signals intelligence supporting deployed forces in overseas contingency operations. Most importantly, we are 100-percent powered by the Distributed Common Ground System-Army, on a converged infrastructure -- a first for our Army. In fact, DCGS-A in many cases controls the aerial platform sensor over 8,000 miles away."

The processing, exploitation, dissemination or processing, exploitation, dissemination process drives the intelligence mission. It is the way the Army pulls information together to analyze it and then provide intelligence to commanders so they can make command decisions.

DCGS-A has had an impact on the way that both the intelligence analyst and the intelligence user (the warfighter) obtain critical information. At Fort Gordon, DCGS-A is used daily to review sources, analyze information, conduct actual Geospatial Intelligence missions, and share that intelligence to support forward-deployed analysts and commanders from both the U.S. and coalition forces.

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