Support to Military Operations

Fusing the ability to see and strike through interconnected systems, while at the same time reducing the vulnerability of operators, portends momentous changes in the nature of warfare.  On the other hand, the complex task of extracting the Taliban and al-Qa'ida forces from difficult terrain and cave hideouts illustrates how much farther we need to progress in our ability to fuse knowledge, decisions, and action into a seamless combat process.

General Richard B. Myers
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Forces Quarterly
Autumn/Winter 2001-02

The US Intelligence Community supported military operations in the areas of Indications and Warning, Force Protection, Force Modernization, Operational Planning and Execution, and Training and Readiness.  The IC alerted national and theater combatant commanders in a timely manner about threats to US and allied interests; provided senior defense decisionmakers with strategic warning; provided information on, and monitored the readiness and disposition of foreign military forces; assisted in force protection; and worked directly with individual military units, ships, and bases to provide mission-enhancing tactical intelligence capabilities.  IC officers have integrated directly with military forces, and greater attention is being paid to defensive communications security and operations security measures.


Indications and Warning

  • NIMA placed personnel at each of the service components of the theater combatant commands to improve timeliness and tailored products in satisfaction of geospatial intelligence requirements.  NIMA established the Spatial Analysis Branch after the 11 September attacks to focus analytic support on covert and clandestine military and paramilitary operations and counterterrorism analysis.

  • NSA developed and deployed a computer network defense intrusion detection system that significantly enhances protection of the Defense Information Infrastructure (DII).  The system consists of a network of sensors that are strategically placed within the DoD infrastructure, providing analysts the capability to identify anomalous cyber activities traversing the network.  The system complements local DoD intrusion detection systems by providing a layered cyber-defense system.

  • NSA managed and improved the capabilities of the Intelligence Community Incident Response Center and the process for dissemination of cyber threat information.  NSA also provided frequent, often time-urgent support to military operations, describing the threats to information systems and networks faced by such operations. 

  • CIA analysis of guerrilla and mujahidin operations and weaponry in Chechnya provided clear threat warnings to US and Coalition troops in Afghanistan.

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Force Protection

  • Based on the findings of an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration, DIA established and equipped a deployable Chemical and Biological Intelligence Support Team (CBIST) staffed by technically qualified, all-source analysts.  CBIST operations provided direct support to combatant commanders through overt collection of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) samples at suspected CBRN sites.  The combination of team capabilities in technical, clinical and on-site analysis, coupled to Washington-based analysts through real-time video and on-line coordination, resulted in early confirmation of al-Qa'ida's pursuit of a sophisticated biological warfare capability.  DIA analysts also worked directly with USCENTCOM warfighters to deal with potential radiological hazards of materials and objects encountered during operations in Afghanistan.

  • DIA formed the Joint Information Operations Threat Working Group with broad participation from the intelligence, acquisition, and test communities to develop a Capstone Information Operations Threat Assessment.  This capstone assessment provides validated threat details to meet Congressional direction to conduct regular information assurance testing of all DoD information technology.  It will result in an assessment of the most current threats to the entire DoD system and support efforts to conduct realistic information assurance testing to ensure the warfighter has survivable capabilities in combat.  DIA also hosted a series of briefings on information warfare threats to senior DoD policymakers to ensure their development and acquisition programs are mitigating future information warfare threats.

  • The Air Force provided CI analytical capability to its Network Operations Security Centers.  This initiative included capabilities aimed at identification and analysis of probes to critical networks, protecting networks where critical program information is resident, supporting the INFOCON process, detecting insider threats, conducting awareness briefings, and supporting information flow.  This continued capability is aimed at providing predictive analysis through collection of all-source intelligence to prevent attacks against Air Force information systems.  AFOSI gleaned viable raw intelligence through CI collection methods and promptly reported it to local customers and the IC.  In-garrison commanders relied heavily upon AFOSI's CI support as their basis for force protection and other CI decisions. 

  • CIA led an interagency effort to acquire information on minefield locations in Afghanistan.  The effort identified minefield locations and the information was reported directly to USCENTCOM, US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity.

  • NIMA provided extensive monitoring and targeting support, identifying and locating threat systems, to Operation NORTHERN WATCH and SOUTHERN WATCH, US military operations to patrol the northern and southern no-fly zones of Iraq.

  • NSA deployed to 39 locations worldwide and performed Communications Systems Security (COMSEC) and Force Protection monitoring of virtually every communications suite in the US military inventory in support of the Global War on Terrorism, Homeland Security (Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and NOBLE EAGLE), Operations NORTHERN WATCH and SOUTHERN WATCH, and Operations JOINT FORGE and JOINT GUARDIAN.  NSA reported on both classified and sensitive but unclassified information that was revealed.

  • NIMA analysts used a wide variety of high-resolution commercial imagery types to respond to US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) requirements for terrorist threat information at airfields worldwide.  In response to this request, NIMA produced and posted over 900 new and revised Force Protection Airfield Graphics on the Imagery Product Library Server.  These graphics were used at the USTRANSCOM Threat Working Group, in conjunction with HUMINT and other sources, to determine whether a mission was a "Go or No-Go."  These graphics were also used by other commands and agencies in support of non-combatant evacuation operations, humanitarian relief, and Presidential visits.

  • NIMA provided high-resolution commercial imagery of Force Protection Port Graphics for 13 US ports to USTRANSCOM.  These ports had high-volume shipments of munitions, tanks, and other weapons.  This product was a force protection vector overlay on imagery, which included major road and railroad networks, walls and fences, entry control points, and floodlights.

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Force Modernization

  • NIMA achieved full operating capability of the Target Management System Network in January 2002.  This system provided NIMA customers direct access to targeting support and navigation data from the NIMA precise point database.  The new capability was demonstrated as part of a NIMA-Navy technical exchange meeting on targeting accuracy.

  • The NIO for Conventional Military Issues led comprehensive studies on China and Iraq that included strategy and doctrine, campaign planning, weapons development, and military professionalization.  These studies play a major role in US forces strategy formulation and are an important input to new weapons development programs.

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Operational Campaign Planning and Execution

  • DHS forward-deployed to Afghanistan with USSOCOM elements.  DHS collectors obtained valuable targeting information and other actionable intelligence that directly supported US combat operations.  DHS consolidated its Detachment Afghanistan at Bagram Air Base and deployed collectors with combat forces throughout the country.  In addition, DHS formed new field exploitation teams that accompanied USSOCOM forces in the field.

  • NSA built upon the considerable efforts already made prior to FY2002 to more fully integrate the role of intelligence information with the missions of deployed military forces, senior military planners, and military intelligence analysts at every level.  This integration is best seen in the multifaceted support to Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, where NSA personnel have been integrated with the combatant commander staffs.  NSA officers identified and located terrorist threats to disrupt military operations; ensured field commanders and others had access to NSA operations and crisis action centers; developed a collection system that supports military forces abroad; and coordinated the development of supporting intelligence plans with USCENTCOM, US European Command, US Pacific command (USPACOM), and USSOCOM.

  • NIMA analysts teamed with US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) analysts to enhance the analytical capabilities in a special program dedicated to long-term trend analysis of mobile strategic rocket forces.  This joint team put in place the analytical skills to provide comprehensive, three-dimensional views of strategic mobile missile areas, and increase the command's ability to test missile vulnerabilities.

  • CIA established a platform to provide support to USPACOM Joint Task Force-510.  Using HUMINT reporting and a variety of technical operations, this platform proved instrumental in the June rescue of US hostages from the Abu Sayyaf Group in the Philippines.

  • The NIO for Conventional Military Issues served as a conduit between USCENTCOM military planners and IC analysts for regular intelligence assessments on developments in the Middle East.

  • CIA deployed 45 officers to support combatant commander staffs at USCENTCOM, US Space Command, USSTRATCOM, and USPACOM.

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Training and Readiness

  • Activated within days of 11 September, the Intelligence Community POW/MIA Analytic Cell leveraged national intelligence analysis and collection to support emerging POW/MIA intelligence requirements in Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Philippines, Iraq, Pakistan, and other regions around the world where US forces were or may be deployed.  The POW/MIA Cell, managed by DIA, published a comprehensive POW/MIA study for Afghanistan that was used extensively by deploying US forces.  The POW/MIA Cell produced nine more POW/MIA studies supporting the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, combatant commanders, and allied foreign partners.  Its efforts resulted in the location and eventual rescue of the Shelter Now International detainees.  The POW/MIA Cell also has been directly involved in determining the fate of Lieutenant Commander Michael Speicher, a US Navy pilot downed in Iraq during the Gulf War; supporting US forces deployed to the Philippines; and spearheading a comprehensive POW/MIA study on the probable treatment of Coalition prisoners captured by Iraq or al-Qa'ida.

  • As Executive Agent for OPSEC Training, the Director of NSA used the IOSS to provide "Train the Trainer" OPSEC skills to seven major DoD and federal components that train approximately 2,000 students annually.  The IOSS also presented 86 OPSEC courses to 2,885 students at the National Cryptologic School and at customer sites worldwide.

  • The Joint Military Intelligence Training Center supported the Global War on Terrorism by offering increased training opportunities on its home campus and providing more mobile training teams.  Increased emphasis was placed on counterterrorism, intelligence analysis, collection management, indications and warning, intelligence production, and intelligence mission systems applications. 

  • The DIA Joint Intelligence Virtual University provided cost-efficient training for the Intelligence Community and introduced new training opportunities with the inclusion of the NSA National Cryptologic School, the NIMA National Geospatial Intelligence College, and the USPACOM Joint Intelligence Training Activity-Pacific.  Web–based training saves money, time, and manpower with more than 200 courses offered on-line.  More than 6,000 students enrolled in FY2002.

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Posted: May 01, 2007 07:57 AM
Last Updated: Jan 03, 2012 12:54 PM