By Maj. Gen. Robert P. Ashley and Col. William L. EdwardsDecember 16, 2014
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. (Dec. 16, 2014) -- As the Army implements the new Army Operating Concept, the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence developed the tactical engagement team concept to bring Distributed Common Ground System-Army subject matter experts to the operational Soldier, in support of mission command.
The tactical engagement team, or TeT, concept was developed by the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, or USAICoE, and the Training and Doctrine Command Capability Manager - Sensor Processing, Distributed Common Ground System-Army, referred to as TCM-SP (DCGS-A). The TeT is a team of subject matter experts, known as SMEs, from across the military intelligence corps who plan, coordinate and execute training, to take leaders and Soldiers from understanding the functionality of DCGS-A, to how this military intelligence system supports mission command.
The Army Operating Concept, Win in a Complex World, requires intelligence warfighting function training to increasingly focus on employing the DCGS-A as a "weapons system" to support expeditionary operations with light and lethal formations capable of deploying quickly.
The emerging operational environment is increasingly dominated by the proliferation of technology and rapid information exchange. Now, more than ever, intelligence Soldiers are realizing attaining and maintaining proficiency in the use of key mission command systems is essential for success.
To that end, USAICoE and TCM-SP (DCGS-A) at Fort Huachuca engaged in a deliberate effort with U.S. Army Forces Command and Intelligence and Security Command, by establishing a TeT to enable intelligence Soldiers to fully employ the DCGS-A system within the context of executing core intelligence tasks.
TeT training begins by focusing the intelligence professional on the tactics, techniques and procedures, of employing and putting into action DCGS-A tools that specifically support the commander's decision-making cycle and processes. The entire concept is focused on supporting mission command.
The TeT engagement concept is designed around the following principles:
- Train intelligence leaders on how to employ the system.
- Train intelligence leaders and Soldiers how DCGS-A enables mission command.
- Show intelligence leaders how to get the brigade combat team intelligence team on the network 24/7.
- Show intelligence leaders and senior trainers a method of training the team to support the commander.
- Tailor tactical engagement training to the unit's needs, then organize, plan and execute based on unit objectives.
Though each TeT engagement is tailored to unit objectives, the basic principle centers around the unit and its ability to provide intelligence to the tactical commander, while employing DCGS-A as a weapons system.
After commanders assess their units' capabilities and determine where they need support, the TeT leadership assembles the subject matter experts from across the intelligence enterprise to teach, coach and mentor those areas identified by the unit.
The TeT initially focused on the 11 active divisions and their intelligence, operations and communications teams.
Lt. Col. Marc Spinuzzi, senior intelligence officer, 1st Infantry Division, hosted the first TeT this year with the entire 1st Infantry Division intelligence warfighting function.
"While there are plenty of training opportunities available for DCGS-A, we had found that most of them focused on a narrow set of tools," Spinuzzi said. "There were several great tools in DCGS-A that simply weren't being trained anywhere -- tools like the Threat Characteristics Workcenter and the [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] Synchronization Tool."
The TET helps fill the gap between institution and unit training responsibilities, by teaching intelligence professionals how to operationally tie-in DCSG-A to the Army Battle Command System network and use its tools to conduct intelligence preparation of the battlefield in support of the commander's military decision-making process, a foundational requirement of battle command.
Over a 60-day period, the DCGS-A TeT held a series of collaborative and interactive planning sessions with the 1st Infantry Division chain of command. TCM-SP and 1st Infantry Division staff linked each training event to 1st Infantry Division's training objectives and coordinated with numerous other organizations that provided SMEs for the team.
The assembled team of SMEs consisted of almost 30 personnel. The team had individuals from TCM-SP; Program Manager DCGS-A; USAICoE Non-commissioned Officer Academy; Training, Doctrine and Support; New System Training and Integration Directorate; and Department of the Army G2. Subject matter experts from all over the country came together with one clear objective -- build leader and Soldier confidence, understanding and competence of how to successfully employ DCGS-A.
Soldiers and leaders of multiple intelligence military occupational specialties were trained in a myriad of system tools. During the three-day event, training focused on intelligence production and Army Battle Command System interoperability.
"Senior intelligence leaders had a chance to pass on their lessons learned to junior Soldiers," Spinuzzi said. "Junior intelligence Soldiers provided candid bottom-up feedback. The majority of our after-action report comments were requests for more, which was a great sign."
Issues identified during the training were corrected on the spot. The TeT members were able to immediately adjust DCGS-A configurations allowing users to have access to all data sources around the world.
"We needed to get our Soldiers to talk to someone who could listen to their thoughts and opinions and help adjust the training and the interface," Spinuzzi added.
Overall, the TeT Team demonstrated that DCGS-A will satisfy commander's intelligence requirements, when it is understood by trained staff members, and is employed properly.
"TCM-SP brought in a world-class team of experts to address everything from DCGS-A best practices to brigade-level training strategies," Spinuzzi said. "The tactical engagement was a resounding success."
Capitalizing on the momentum, TCM-SP has begun the process of engaging other senior leaders across the Army in an effort to offer similar training. DCGS-A tactical engagements are a tailored, deliberate approach to the system, which will instill confidence in DCGS-A at the unit level.
DCGS-A, by design, is expeditionary and tailorable It takes large amounts of data and provides structure to enable an analyst to begin to understand the complexity of the operational environment.
The TeT puts the potential of the DCGS-A system in the hands of the warfighter to assist units in configuring, using and successfully employing it in support of mission command.