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Thread: New to S2, need FM 34-20 and collection management info

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    Default New to S2, need FM 34-20 and collection management info

    I have recently been tasked the collection manager for an IBCT and I am trying to find information on how other BCTs have set up their SOPs for collections... particularly on the information gathering phase and the different types of collection management products/processes that are used.

    Also, I have not been able to locate an elec. copy of an FM 34-20 online and I was wondering if anyone knew where I can access this online.

    Anything would be helpful. Thanks.

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    FMI 2-01 ISR Synch, dated 11 Nov 08 (AKO log-in required) replaced FM 34-2 Collection Management - FM 34-20 is the old CEWI Corps-level manual.

    Try MI Space on the BCKS forums (AKO log-in required). There's a Battalion/BCT S-2 topic area where you should find stuff related to what you're looking for - you should also get a decent response on RFIs posted there.

    You should also get good responses from RFIs on the INTELST list-serve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schmoe View Post
    I have recently been tasked the collection manager for an IBCT and I am trying to find information on how other BCTs have set up their SOPs for collections...
    For those of us not well-versed in intel stuff - what is a collection manager? If the job is what the title sounds like to me, then you might be able to answer an earlier question that I had (kind of a pet peeve of mine, when I was a consumer of intel).

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    Default Cm&d/isr

    Collection management/ISR synchronization is one of the more difficult jobs (behind BN S-2) that could be given to someone new to the S-2/MI community. The confluence of balancing an ever increasing number of ISR assets and ISR demands along with the nature of the S-3 tasking and S-2 ISR planning relationship add a special degree of difficulty to the position.

    I recommend you begin by resourcing two NCOs (one day and one night shift) and planning a training program for your section through Foundry and internally resourced training. Begin with some foundation courses like the National Systems Information Course at DIA to familiarize the section with assets and capabilities and attend the USAF DGS Pre-Deployment Training and Pre-deployment Predator Familiarization Training to learn the Air Force processes for the Predator and other assets (easily one of the more frustrating aspects of CM&D). Once you have the base, attend a course specific to ISR sync and learn the art of matching limited assets to a multitude of requirements and demands and the systems (PRISM, COLIESEUM etc) specific to the CM&D community. Exercise your processes in the MRX and then you'll be ready actually learn to do the job once deployed.

    More importantly, build a solid intellectual base in counter-insurgency, warfare in general, and your future AO in detail. The dynamic nature of the current fight and the general inapplicability of legacy collection management techniques necessitate that you develop procedures that are specific to your Brigade’s LOOs and the environment in which you are operating. Otherwise, non-creative use of assets you will control, typically designed for Cold-War style HIC, will leave you with sub-optimal results.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    and never forget that ISR planning is not done in an MI bubble--the plan should reflect use of ground forces as well as standard MI collection systems.


    Tom

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default May match your need?

    There are several threads here that should help and from a non-miltary observer this thread is probably the best: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...t=coldstreamer

    If that helps PM me and another item is available - not yet online.

    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
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    Don't forget this article and thread:

    http://smallwarsjournal.com/mag/2008...ement-in-t.php

    This is one of the better COIN Collection "Mindset" Articles around.

    Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Collection Management in the Brigade Combat Team during COIN
    Three Assumptions and Ten "A-Ha!" Moments on the Path to Battlefield Awareness
    by Lieutenant Colonel Scott A. Downey and Captain Zehra T. Guvendiren

    ISR Collection Management in the BCT during COIN (Full PDF Article)

    We found traditional CM and subsequent analytical methods inapplicable to our fight, but realized that we had to develop systems which met CM needs within counterinsurgency (COIN) to maintain our relevance to our lower and higher echelons…. Our most unconventional initiative was to have our PIR span the full spectrum of BCT Operations, essential when fighting in a COIN environment.
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
    Who is Cavguy?

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    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    For those of us not well-versed in intel stuff - what is a collection manager? If the job is what the title sounds like to me, then you might be able to answer an earlier question that I had (kind of a pet peeve of mine, when I was a consumer of intel).

    A necessary evil?


    A collection manager is the middle man (or woman) between whoever is creating the requirements, either users like military and civil leaders or analysts, and the folks collecting the information. Theoretically, if they're doing their job properly, they parse the incoming requirements, check to see if they've been answered already (a frequently missed step), request collection support from higher, and in coordination with the operations officer plan the use of internal collection assets. (I've hit the high points, didn't want to drag Schmedlap through the weeds.)

    The problem you discuss in your other query is primarily with the analysts and the dissemination folks. The information is collected and crammed into databases. At this point, contrary to the belief of many, no analysis has been done. Either the requestor's query has been answered or they resubmit the request, or submit a new and different request. What you are asking about is where the analytical products are and who can get them to you.

    Isn't there one analyst - at least at DIV level or higher - who focuses exclusively on one faction? If not, I don't understand why. If there is, then not nearly enough people know about his work because none of the MI officers whom I spoke to seemed to know.
    Not necessarily. Or there may be many seperate analysts in their quiet little stovepipes not talking to each other. What is getting better is that more analysts are hanging their stuff on SIPR and looking for feedback. And a S2 should have access to this, or be fighting for that access.

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    To add to Van's comment, a counter intuitive aspect of the intelligence business is that, in general, no collection or analysis is done unless there is a requirement to produce that intelligence. Collection and analysis resources are always constrained, so what gets collected and what gets analyzed is subject to those requirements and their relative priority. The requirements and their relative priority are set by various levels of the national security bureaucracy.

    Now, there are two basic kinds of requirements (and this is simplifying things a bit) - standing requirements and ad hoc requirements. Standing requirements are anything that needs to be regularly updated on a periodic basis, which can be anywhere from continuously to every few years depending on the topic and situation. Some examples are military capabilities, orders of battle, indications and warning, etc.

    Ad hoc requirements are one-time or limited duration deals. In a crisis, for example, you'll see a ton of high priority ad hoc requirements (and periodicity of standing requirements will be almost continuuous). When the crisis abates, those requirements tend to go away and return to "normal."

    To add to the complexity, there can be standing collection requirements, but no standing requirement to put that collected information into a comprehensive, all-source product. Things get even more complex when one factors in the organizational and technical differences between the various collection disciplines (IMINT, SIGINT, ect.) and the agencies that support them. Now add in the various levels of classification and special access programs and caveats that restrict information dissemination.

    That complex reality, combined with legacy stovepiping (still around, but somewhat better than it used to be) and completely inadequate tools for finding existing information on our networks, make intel an often frustrating business, particularly at the low end of the intel food chain. For those at the pointy end of the spear, who require information to do their mission, and who often don't have dedicated intel support that can translate their needs into requests, it's even more frustrating. On top of all that is the chain-of-command, which tends to severely frown on any attempts to get information from the source or bypass needless layers of "management."

    See what a confusing mess the intel world can be?

    Van mentioned that it's important to check to see if requirements have already been answered. That's true, but the sad reality is that in too many cases it's actually quicker and easier to simply task an asset to collect the information again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    To add to the complexity, there can be standing collection requirements, but no standing requirement to put that collected information into a comprehensive, all-source product.
    I guess that was the source of my frustration. I raised it with lots of people during my last deployment and, more importantly, post-deployment during some surprisingly detailed AARs. Unfortunately, the reaction seemed to be, "well, sorry, but that's how the broken system works" rather than, "good point, Mr. Operator, maybe we need to find at least a half-assed solution."

    Several deployments ago, when I was in Bosnia, our S-2 shop assigned one analyst (an E-4 or E-5) to each opstina (which generally coincided with AOR boundaries). In response to our repeated requests for intelligence on areas that we were going into that had little to no contact with US forces in several years, we finally convinced the S-2 shop to have the analysts continually update a product for each opstina that had all of the most up to date intel and analysis. It was, for lack of a better word, a Wiki on their AOR. By the end of the deployment, it was actually a product that they each seemed to take some pride in, rather than just a daily grind of processing intel reports and then forgetting about them. Most importantly, it was a great reference to hand off during RIP/TOA.

    I don't see how you do an effective RIP/TOA any other way. How else do you ensure that your replacement knows what is going on? There's only so much you can convey during your limited time together, between introductions with local leaders, property transfers, et cetera. In every RIP/TOA where I've been the incoming guy, I got a once-over-the-world and was then left to dig through intel reports, discard the redundant and outdated, and piece together the rest to put the picture together. Given how simple it is - and how useful of a mental exercise it is - to keep a continuously updated product for certain areas or groups, I don't understand why we don't do this. For example, let's say that your battalion operates in one geographic region and its primary adversaries are al-Qaeda in Iraq and Ansar al-Sunna. Wouldn't it make sense to maintain a continuously updated product that paints a thorough picture of the operations of those two organizations in your AOR? Our current practice is to simply assume that everyone has that information in their head because they attend the update briefs. Maybe that is a reasonable assumption. But, even if it is, your replacement is not attending the update briefs.

    The success of your deployment only matters if your successor can build upon it. It's tough for him to build upon it if he doesn't know what you did or how it affected the situation. If you're handing him a blank slate, you're not giving him much to build upon.

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    One of our greatest handicaps in this war to date is the failure of the intel community to recognize and embrace the fact that this type of warfare is far more about the populace and the environment than about threats; and that as they are the ones with the trained personnel and processes for analysis they have a duty to cover the entire spectrum.

    You hear the "Red-Blue-Green; and we just do red" argument a lot, and it just doesn't wash. It is no wonder our commanders are so focused on who do they need to go kill or capture, as that is what their staff briefs them on every morning.

    So my advice, is make sure you understand the big picture, and what the true measure of success is in your AOR. Then ensure that you are collecting and analyizing intelligence that addresses the full spectrum of the problem you are working to resolve.

    Even when looking at HVTs, you need to be able to clearly prioritize these guys based not upon their "rank" in an organization, but by how important they are to the effective overations of the network in your AOR; as tempered by the negative effect associated with engaging certain personnel. Some should be "targeted" for much softer forms of engagement than a JDAM in the night. Some just need the JDAM.

    Every civil event executed in your AOR should be designed, planned, and synched into a grand scheme of engagement based upon a holistic intelligence picture that is constantly striving to understand all of the many factors at play in a community where there are potentially a variety of insurgent organizations with varying agendas, as well as AQ related cells conducting UW to incite and enable the insurgency. Each must be understood both uniquely and as they fold into the whole. All of this is then woven into the overall fabric of legitimate activities, actors and organizations just trying to go about their daily lives. If you can do this, you wil be a rock star.

    Or you can just strum out endless "smoke on the water" quality rifs of "here are the bad guys in our AOR..." (This is what I usually see, and it is depressing in its myopic tunnel vision nature)
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Non-military viewpoint

    Following cavguy's reminder I have re-read his recommended thread, although KISS does seem to be overlooked at times.

    From a different viewpoint, civilian law enforcement & intelligence for CT, I have slowly learnt there are three key factors: Context (or situational awareness which is readily available and often partial), Detail (on suspects / targets / places etc which intelligence will seek to provide) and Insight (understanding, particularly about key targets and only slowly, rarely gained).

    There are many pointers here to locate advice, which is what makes SWJ special.

    davidbfpo

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    Col. Jones,

    You've hit upon a big issue, one that I don't have a ton of direct experience with as a zoomie. Several infantry types (mostly Army) I've spoken with, however, have a lot of complaints about intel, which boil down to essentially this (which I'm paraphrasing):

    "We know much more about our AO than intel does. They work at higher levels and spend their time making powerpoints based on information from even higher up the chain and theater and national assets, very little of which benefits us. They also don't understand our needs."

    That sense is a couple of years old now, so maybe things have changed, but it seems to me the best intel assets are the guys on the ground doing the hard work of COIN and the intel folks don't appreciate that. I don't know, but maybe intel should be pushed down to lower levels. I know that doing that would probably help provide small units better assistance from CFACC and other theater ISR assets as well.

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    Default Hmmm. Interesting...

    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    "We know much more about our AO than intel does. They work at higher levels and spend their time making powerpoints based on information from even higher up the chain and theater and national assets, very little of which benefits us. They also don't understand our needs."

    That sense is a couple of years old now, so maybe things have changed
    Probably not. Changed, that is. It is a complaint that's at least as old as I happen to be. It certainly was a complaint in the line infantry units in both Korea and Viet Nam. An allied complaint was -- and this is from what I'm told still true -- that the Intel Community puts far more reliance on its assets, no matter how far removed from reality (or real time), than it does on reports from the troop units.

    I won't even go into trying to move an Arc Light in Viet Nam based on a Recon Patrols observations over the previous 24 hours in the face of the ASA intercepts from two weeks earlier...

    It was also true that if the Bn/Sqn S2 happened to be an Officer from the branch of the unit, his interest in usable Intel was generally far more than that of the MI branched S2s who tended to look up the stovepipe to a far too great extent. There were a few exceptions both ways but that was generally true.

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    Default Sadly true

    that the Intel Community puts far more reliance on its assets, no matter how far removed from reality (or real time), than it does on reports from the troop units.
    I think that is the greatest failure of us intel folks in these wars. We don't seem to realize that the best collection asset we have are those guys on the ground, who've patrolled that valley day in and day out, know enemy TTP from hard experience, who the local powerbrokers are, etc. Don't tell those sensitive anthropologists who are opposed to their discipline's association with war, but the Human Terrain Teams are performing an intelligence function. The intelligence community could be and should be doing that, but we aren't, so it's outsourced. Very little of that kind of information can be discovered with our traditional intelligence assets and our traditional intelligence mindsets.

    So the intelligence community needs to look at HTT's and the boots-on-the-ground for what they are - probably the best collection assets we have. If intel personnel were pushed down to the lowest echelons so they could directly interface with those knowledgeable soldiers, they would, IMO, be much better positioned to do two things:

    1. Tap into, and report on, all that knowledge soldiers have of their AO into intelligence channels.

    2. Leverage that knowledge by facilitating better and more coordinated collection from traditional intelligence assets. The IC has a lot of analytical and specialist capability that could provide a lot better value-added information than is currently the case.

    We even see some of this operations-becomes-intelligence dynamic among the air forces in what's called Non-traditional ISR (NTISR). Increasingly, non-intelligence platforms are being used for intelligence purposes - specifically aircraft with EO/IR sensors. Much of the time they are performing what is really an intelligence/overwatch role instead of a straight combat role. They are not ISR assets, however, and are not doctrinally or functionally tied to intelligence, so the information they provide, while useful at the real-time tactical level, may never be further exploited by intelligence professionals. This is another area that needs more work.

    New UAS's like Reaper blur the line even more. Is Reaper an ISR asset? Is it an operational combat asset? The Air Force, I think, is still figuring that one out. In reality it's both, but because the C2 that controls and coordinate ISR and combat aircraft assets are different (in the AF and Navy at least), the question of who controls the asset becomes an important one.

    Maybe the separation and stovepiping of intelligence and operations is the root of the problem. The technological stovepiping is in the process of getting fixed in some cases, but the tough nut is the organizational aspect.

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    I think this is a two-way street that has been neglected for a long time and it now just a potholed eyesore that nobody even thinks about traveling down.

    Certainly, the most valuable intel assets are the Soldiers on the ground. But their intel is useless if they don't..
    1) pass it up to the 2 shop
    2) pass along stuff that is relevant
    3) pass along "just the facts" first, with their "analysis" second (if at all)

    Surprisingly, a relatively easy fix to this solution is to ensure that a rep from the 2 shop debriefs each patrol or - what works well for the SF folks - have a resident 18F honcho the intel effort at the lowest level. For the non-SF combat arms who aren't going to be assigned that kind of expertise below the Bn level, perhaps rotate 2 shop personnel down to the company level. It's manpower lost in the 2 shop but, in my opinion, would pay off in the long run. What good is having a shop full of intel minions if you're not getting anything of value from the companies for them to analyze?

    Likewise, many 2 shops (not all) tend to do a poor job of generating intelligence requirements for the line units to collect and a poor job of driving operations once they've amassed enough intel to do so. But they can't just dream up good ideas for the shooters to implement. If there is insufficient two-way communication between collection and analysis, then the 2 shop is going to be dreaming up bright ideas that the line units will look at and say, "this is out of the left field bleachers. Who's the guy at Bn who got visited by the bad idea fairy? Screw this." - and then close down PowerPoint and hit the delete button.

    I've seen 2 shops fail to drive operations. More often than not, it is due to...
    1) a lack of input from the lower echelon
    2) in thankfully rare occasions, a lack of solid guidance from the commander
    3) excessive demands from higher echelons to push products up, rather than down, leaving little time to be bothered with the pesky mission that the unit deployed to accomplish

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    Council Member ODB's Avatar
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    Default Sore subject

    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    We even see some of this operations-becomes-intelligence dynamic among the air forces in what's called Non-traditional ISR (NTISR). Increasingly, non-intelligence platforms are being used for intelligence purposes - specifically aircraft with EO/IR sensors. Much of the time they are performing what is really an intelligence/overwatch role instead of a straight combat role. They are not ISR assets, however, and are not doctrinally or functionally tied to intelligence, so the information they provide, while useful at the real-time tactical level, may never be further exploited by intelligence professionals. This is another area that needs more work.

    New UAS's like Reaper blur the line even more. Is Reaper an ISR asset? Is it an operational combat asset? The Air Force, I think, is still figuring that one out. In reality it's both, but because the C2 that controls and coordinate ISR and combat aircraft assets are different (in the AF and Navy at least), the question of who controls the asset becomes an important one.
    IMO these are one of the most misutilized assets today. I want to utilize them to watch things on the ground. Unfortunately these assets have turned into the ultimate reality TV show for those far removed from the ground truth. I do not want you Monday morning quarterbacking my operations, I want to be able to use these assets to help drive my operations. I do not want my operations observed for all to see. Nothing worse than going out to conduct a hit and finding out you are being observed. Make a radio call and higher confirms they put the asset on you! One word horse####!!! Getting these assets to do what it is they do best is impossible.
    ODB

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    Why did you not clear your corner?

    Because we are on a base and it is secure.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Unfortunately, the urge to micromanage

    Quote Originally Posted by ODB View Post
    ...I do not want you Monday morning quarterbacking my operations, I want to be able to use these assets to help drive my operations. I do not want my operations observed for all to see...Getting these assets to do what it is they do best is impossible.
    and the strong belief that "all my subordinates use poor judgment" (i.e. they don't do the things the way I would do them...) cause that eye in the sky to be misused in the ways you state.

    Those two syndromes, by the way are entirely different things -- but they do feed off each other in too many people who are old enough, experienced enough and who should be smart enough to not do those things.

    I'm not sure it's impossible to change that but it will be difficult as long as the fail safe mentality isn't eliminated...

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    There are two sides to that coin.

    I have seen two very different JSOTF commanders use UAV assets to observe the operations of a team on the ground. One was an over-caffeinated, nicotine-addicted, micromanaging machine. The other was so laid back that he was actually effective. The former actually used the UAV to inject himself into the operations, actually going so far as to make contact with the team and inform them, "you've got personnel on the rooftops to your east." The latter preferred for the JOC floor to be able to observe operations to have a better idea of how to leverage assets in support of the team. I think the former technique was insane, but that the latter made a lot of sense.

    I'm not sure how transparent the JSOTF staff's efforts are to the team, but there was a lot going on in the JOC while a team was doing their work on the ground, and it involved no communication with the team - just observation of their activity and talking to assets in the air. Just off the top of my head, I can recall one mission where an aircraft had no comms with the team, but I was able to watch what they were doing on the screen and, having read the details of the op beforehand, I was able to tell the crew what to do and for how long. Fifteen minutes later, the JTAC came on our net, informing us that he had no contact with the aircraft. I let him know what instructions I had passed to them. His reply was, "that sounds good. Keep that up until (time) or until we call (opsked)." There's a right way and a wrong way.

    Speaking from an earlier deployment and from the other end of the camera, I was actually happy to learn, after the fact, that a company-level operation that we did was observed by the Brigade Commander. On that deployment, my impression was that our BDE commander was out of touch and clueless regarding operations occurring more than a kilometer from his palace. Watching via UAV seemed like a good way for him to actually get a sense of what we were doing on a daily basis. It was not an adequate substitute for him coming out to see us with his own eyes, but I don't think that he considered doing that (and I really didn't feel like hosting him), so this seemed like a good happy medium.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I'm sure there are really more good stories about

    use of assets and lack of micromanagement than there are bad ones. I know that elimination of all bad things will never happen -- but I can hope for more and more good and less and less bad...

    I'm too old to also work for it -- you guys will have to do that.

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