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Thread: Company Level Intelligence Led Operations

  1. #81
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    Maybe I'm not getting it or maybe we are just using different language to say the same thing. Your post above seems to me to be sort of what I was saying about the company needing the ability to maintain situational awareness and understanding of what is happening within its defined AO. I'm not sure of the need to pass this on to higher, except as a form of institutional record keeping--Why do we need to have companies sending along PERINTREP, Daily INTSUM, etc to Bn?

    You are overstating the use of the intel cell; it is not an "S2 section" in the company. As for passing on the information to higher, that is the source of most intel and it is not mere record keeping. No one is advocating a series of intel reports like you suggest. What does go up is an AO assessment/sitrep and it is not necessarily daily. If the BNs do not get the intel from below, they have very poor SU of their AO. The same holds true for the BDEs.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Got the word that Company-level Stability Ops, VOL 7, COIN is going up today (maybe tomorrow) at CALL. It contains 2 SWJ contributions: the first is an extract of the long piece we did on Kicullen's 28 articles Captains Kranc and Holzbach contributing; the second was CPT (nopw MAJ) Gwinn's Organizing for COIN at the Company and Platoon, first published on SWJ blog.

    Best

    Tom

    It seems CALL is only available for US Military, not for civilians nor Soldiers from abroad. Is there a way to access these pages anyway?

    George
    Royal Netherlands Army

  3. #83
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    It seems CALL is only available for US Military, not for civilians nor Soldiers from abroad. Is there a way to access these pages anyway?

    George
    Royal Netherlands Army
    Through your military attache in the US. Takes some effort and time but it happens.

    Tom

  4. #84
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    The initial draft of TC 2-19.603 Company Intelligence Support Team, dated 13 Mar 09, is now available for review.

    AKO log-in and BCKS registration required

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    Howdy all,

    New to this board, but the subject of company level intel is one of my focus areas.

    I think everyone is pretty much saying the same thing- like was earlier stated. I agree with Tom's last post though in that the purpose of a COIST (Company Intel Support Team) is NOT to replicate the BN/BDE S-2 reports or methods of operation. Neither should the COIST be involved with MSO (military source ops). The basic principle is just to be able to provide an accurate tactical view of the battlespace.

    Without a COIST, the lowest level you have analysts is the BN where (as I am sure we all know) folks tend to be removed from the real tactical details of the COIN fight.

    The COIST should not waste time trying to produce 'intelligence products', but should focus on organizing and passing data to the BN S-2 shop. This data is just info on personalities, patrol debriefs, tactics, and the operating environment in general. Through passing this data, the BN S-2 will have a better picture and should be able to coordinate HUMINT, work targeting ops, and provide a more accurate picture to the BDE S-2 shop.

    In addition to all the printed resources on the subject of COIST already mentioned here, I would reccomend contacting the Asymetric Warfare Group prior to your deployment. Lets just say they will be able to square you away based upon timely and relevant experience in theater.

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    My battalion is (probably) going to return to Afgh this autumn.

    From the last time, the big 'take away' was not to rely on any form of external specialist augmentation. Simply not enough experts to go around - and they're problably expert in the wrong thing for your needs at company level.

    Given the likely nature of our tasks - company 'ink spot' efforts within an BG AO, and limited scope for meaty BG level manoeuvre, we've elected to convert our Recce Platoon into ISTAR Sections for the Company Groups. Each recce sect will have tac-intel, tac-questioning and other skill sets trained into it, above and beyond their surveillance and recon training.

    ISTAR Sects will work shifts, with about half beasting the int picture, collating and sifting the rifle pl patrol reports and various other feeds. The other half will be out on the ground with the rifle multiples or on pre/post op sensor type tasks. They'll alternate between roles with staggered handovers, so that the guys doing the link analysis, putting the target packs together and the patrol briefs and debriefs will also be going out on the ground, chatting people up and keeping all patrol activity 'int-led' and collection focussed.

    So far so good in terms of training and prep. The guys have also grasped the nettle big-style, realising the nature of the effort there. Not, repeat, NOT HUMINT of any form, merely good old fashioned, focussed Int Led Ops.

    Will let you know how it progresses. But following Kilcullens '28 Principles', recommendation of putting your best soldier in the int jobs, its what we're doing - in a manner that keeps their other skills employed. If its successful, we'll look at keeping it a permanent capabilty.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Thumbs up That is a good idea...

    Far, far more productive than the too common American practice of making them a CP Guard or Cdrs escort.

    Nah, it's a GREAT idea!

  8. #88
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldstreamer View Post
    My battalion is (probably) going to return to Afgh this autumn.

    From the last time, the big 'take away' was not to rely on any form of external specialist augmentation. Simply not enough experts to go around - and they're problably expert in the wrong thing for your needs at company level.

    Given the likely nature of our tasks - company 'ink spot' efforts within an BG AO, and limited scope for meaty BG level manoeuvre, we've elected to convert our Recce Platoon into ISTAR Sections for the Company Groups. Each recce sect will have tac-intel, tac-questioning and other skill sets trained into it, above and beyond their surveillance and recon training.

    ISTAR Sects will work shifts, with about half beasting the int picture, collating and sifting the rifle pl patrol reports and various other feeds. The other half will be out on the ground with the rifle multiples or on pre/post op sensor type tasks. They'll alternate between roles with staggered handovers, so that the guys doing the link analysis, putting the target packs together and the patrol briefs and debriefs will also be going out on the ground, chatting people up and keeping all patrol activity 'int-led' and collection focussed.

    So far so good in terms of training and prep. The guys have also grasped the nettle big-style, realising the nature of the effort there. Not, repeat, NOT HUMINT of any form, merely good old fashioned, focussed Int Led Ops.

    Will let you know how it progresses. But following Kilcullens '28 Principles', recommendation of putting your best soldier in the int jobs, its what we're doing - in a manner that keeps their other skills employed. If its successful, we'll look at keeping it a permanent capabilty.
    If you haven't already I would read the newTACTICS for COIN Manual, link is below.

    http://usacac.army.mil/BLOG/blogs/co...published.aspx

  9. #89
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldstreamer View Post
    Given the likely nature of our tasks - company 'ink spot' efforts within an BG AO, and limited scope for meaty BG level manoeuvre, we've elected to convert our Recce Platoon into ISTAR Sections for the Company Groups. Each recce sect will have tac-intel, tac-questioning and other skill sets trained into it, above and beyond their surveillance and recon training.
    That is extremely interesting. I have to say, it is probably a good solution to the problem that was created by the British Army's way of doing things, but that's life.
    Brits being Brits, it will no doubt be a roaring success, and after several hard blinks, it may have considerable merit.

    In some ways it is back to the future. Back in 1918/19, the Bn Snipers and Observers worked directly for the IO, so as the tasking and reporting all worked smoothly.... but all that went away once Snipers became "special.."
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    We're ALL speshul!

    Thanks for the encouraging words. We'll see how it goes. Its always easy to get excited about a 'new' idea - we need to stay focussed on getting the product collected and turned around so our ops are targeted and relevant.

    Wilf - you're so right about WW1 first principles being right first time. We made an uber effort to keep the Int Cell/IO team tied in with the ISTAR and recon bit in prior training - and that was our start point. But also as you say, most of our ingenuity is forced from other areas being suboptimal...making a virtue of necessity...Like I say, I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

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    Default Company intelligence cell research in A'stan

    Gentlepersons (very PC),

    I shall be spending a good amount of time in Afghanistan over the next year, researching company-level intelligence cells. I'll be working for the military, so I'm out to find TTP best practices.

    If you know any people worth communicating with - and especially if you know any currently deployed units I should be interviewing/embedding with - please send me a pm.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-21-2009 at 03:06 PM.

  13. #93
    Council Member IntelTrooper's Avatar
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    What are your questions?
    "The status quo is not sustainable. All of DoD needs to be placed in a large bag and thoroughly shaken. Bureaucracy and micromanagement kill."
    -- Ken White


    "With a plan this complex, nothing can go wrong." -- Schmedlap

    "We are unlikely to usefully replicate the insights those unencumbered by a military staff college education might actually have." -- William F. Owen

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    My best advice is to talk to platoon leaders and then squad leaders. If an intelligence cell, whether division, brigade or battalion, or company, doesn't get out and patrol then it never really understands the AO it is trying to provide intelligence to. Too often intelligence shops preach bottom-fed intelligence but practice top down distribution.

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    Recently got back from six weeks of research in-theatre, including approx. half the time down south with a line inf. bn. Fascinating stuff. Michael C, you're quite right. I went out on a good number of patrols, and saw the disconnects.

    Much more in-country research to follow - mid-December to mid-January and April through August.

    In the meantime, I'm looking at the history of int cells. I think I've found most of the related articles, but there are certainly still large holes in the story. Any contacts would be appreciated.

    I'd also love a chance to send anyone who's had int cell experiences a list of questions (the more responses, the better the overall data).

    Finally, if anyone is interested in discussing my more detailed impressions, please feel free to PM me.

  16. #96
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Look at CALL products on this subject: there are seven company-level handbooks and a tac intel newsletter I put together from the JRTC Ops Grp CALL Cell working with our Brit excange officer and materials from OPTAG. that was in 2003.

    Issues abound yes; consistency in application is one of the greatest

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Look at CALL products on this subject: there are seven company-level handbooks and a tac intel newsletter I put together from the JRTC Ops Grp CALL Cell working with our Brit excange officer and materials from OPTAG. that was in 2003.

    Issues abound yes; consistency in application is one of the greatest

    Tom
    Cheers!

  18. #98
    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Thumbs up CoiST Operations

    CALL is/was producing a CoiST Manual from all of them when I left. Having seen the NTC CoiST Manual, they are invaluable to the Company level Soldiers. Units should get them in the hands of the Units well in advance to deployment to the CTCs though.

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    Default CoIST training

    My task has trained most if not all of the Army units with a CoIST that are currently deployed. We have numerous examples of unit developed SOP as well as lessons learned from various deployments. One thing we try to capture from every unit is what tasks the Company teams are actually perfoming as well as what communication systems they use to share information with other Companies and the BN level. I would be interested in what practices you observed while you are there.

  20. #100
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    You need to get a hold of a point of contact with the Marine Corps' Center for Lessons Learned. There is a document in their possession (I cannot recall if it is part of a discussion forum thread) that details a CLIC product generated by a 23d Marines (right Regt?) battalion team that built something called C-Server from scratch.

    This html-based application was just one piece of the puzzle with establishing effective CLIC production. I think it was around 2005-2006 vintage, and never went mainstream, but the Reservists who built it really did get it.

    I don't have contacts beyond that, but you are welcome to embed with our battalion for a while, as we are about to start working the CLIC training program to build out our cells.

    Shoot me a PM with your questions, if you still need input. I've been around since the CLIC was a buzzword for the Corps in late 2003. Not sure if that's when your timeline begins...

    Part of our problems stem from the transmission path. Not being able to push information up, down, or laterally is a death blow to the effort.

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