Fort Bragg, N.C. -- Evolving threats and global instability require the Army to support multiple operational mission objectives protecting United States interests simultaneously from varied locations.
The Army's intelligence community supports those missions. We provide commanders with the Common Intelligence Picture (CIP) which includes critical information about the enemy situation to enable them to make operational decisions. We use the Distributed Common Ground System -- Army (DCGS-A) to support the intelligence tasks.
The central core of the 82nd DCGS-A implementation plan is the Theater Intelligence Brigades (TIB) Anchor Point concept. As far as we are concerned, TIB Anchor Points and DCGS-A implementation are intrinsically linked. The TIBs conduct national, theater and tactical intelligence operations in every intelligence discipline providing timely intelligence to forward stationed and deployed commanders throughout the world.
The Anchor Point concept describes the method for leveraging Brigade, other U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), and Intelligence Community (IC) capabilities to enable operational reach for contingencies, crisis, or exercises. The concept also explains how the TIBs act as our Anchor Point for connectivity, intelligence fusion, and integration of commander intelligence requirements for forces operating in support of assigned theaters.
The TIB Anchor Point concept provides data flows, tool sets and access for specific analytical goals to support DCGS-A implementation. Each TIB maintains a theater-specific database which aggregates the DCGS-A populated data. The TIBs support the regionally-aligned Army by operational theater.
Success of the Intelligence Warfighting Function rests predominantly on our ability to have a shared visualization of the Threat Common Operating Picture at all levels. This picture helps us have a better understanding of enemy threats.
As a real-world contingency application this is the only current bridging strategy that allows tactical units to simultaneously conduct mission planning with live data while packing, transporting, and setting up the intelligence architecture in theater. We recently began training this bridging strategy during Judicious Response exercise with Africa Command (AFRICOM). We will also include DCGS-A capabilities during any future deployment operations.
The web tools that INSCOM TIBs provide are central to the success of the Division's Intelligence Warfighting Function. For multiple Joint Operational Access Exercises (JOAX) we have used the GEO Fusion Viewer, provided by INSCOM, as our light weight solution to enable the CIP before we obtain access to information through the 82nd Airborne Division Tactical Command Post (DTAC).
Additionally in a follow on Warfighter exercise, the GEO Fusion Viewer in replication with the 82D DCGS-A Tactical Entity Database (TED) was used by 80 additional Soldiers outside of the DTAC G2 to include adjacent DTAC staff elements for real time enemy situational updates.
At one point, the 82nd Commanding General preferred his daily intelligence updates be presented by the GEO Fusion Viewer because of its ease of use and graphic appeal.
The web tools that INSCOM employs are critical to our success. The web tools are fed by the DCGS-A enterprise and allow users to have situational understanding and data mining capability from any SIPRNet (SIPR) computer.
For every major 82nd Airborne Division exercise in 2014 and 2015, INSCOM was able to "web-enable" the battlefield, linking heavy processing capability with lightweight user interaction. Analysts operating solely on the Joint Network Node (JNN) tactical communication backbone were able to exploit low bandwidth access points for situation and analytical requirements.
During the April 2014 Warfighter Exercise, 66th Military Intelligence Brigade (MIB) located in Stuttgart, Germany also produced an update to all DCGS-A Intelligence Fusion Servers (IFS) on the battlefield which gave analysts a wide variety of tool sets and data to utilize. By the December training event, INSCOM had over 320+ different access points (users) for the web-based capability.
It is important to highlight how this works in an operational sense. During 82nd Airborne's December Warfigher Exercise, using existing DCGS-A infrastructure at the Ground Intelligence Support Activity (GISA) at Fort Bragg, INSCOM replicated the DCGS Fixed Site to provide tailored, sanctuary, expeditionary support to forward combat elements while providing intelligence cohesion for theater and regional synergy.
During that exercise, the TIB conducted national and theater Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination (ISR PED) involving a total of 70,007 messages. To further demonstrate global functionality, eight intelligence sites were a part of our DCGS-A TED replication structure during the exercise. All provided services replicated support to multiple theaters of operation.
The TIB Anchor Point Construct also yields benefits in terms of the consolidation of data and resources. As battlefield dynamics evolve, information is never 'bottle necked' at any one point so analysts and operators at all levels have access to common visualization tools and data repositories in real time. The dissemination of reporting and products is consolidated and standardized at the TIB and replicated forward in real-time.
In an era marked by uncertainly, complexity, and hybrid threats, the 82nd Airborne Division exercises and preparations for deployment clearly demonstrate the important synergy between TIB anchor points and DCGS-A capability. DCGS-A is the incredibly powerful center of gravity for Army's Intelligence Warfighting Function.