S2 Training at Home

by Major Richard A. Jodoin, Jr.

A common question asked by many brigade and battalion S2s is "How can I prepare for a Combat Training Center (CTC) rotation when training dollars are cut?" The answer is "There is a lot you can do!" However, since time is just as precious as money, the S2 training must be a structured program that possesses the full support of the commander and division G2.

Building Blocks

So how should an S2 training plan be structured? A building block method, starting with U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca (USAIC&FH) officer training, is best. As illustrated in Figure 1, the commander and the division G2 play essential roles in the S2 training plan. Their support roles in S2 training can be anything from being a principal instructor to allocating training resources. The end result of the building block method is enhanced intelligence support to the tactical warfighter.
The training must, regardless of how a unit structures its home station training, emphasize the following areas:
Take each of the four areas and see how the building block method can better train S2s at your home station. Again, this proposed training plan is just that, and any unit's training plan must fit that unit's training posture.

Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield

The best place to start developing an S2 training program after the military intelligence (MI) officer basic and advanced courses (OBC, OAC) should be at the division G2 level. The G2 is both the division commander's senior intelligence officer and trainer. As the senior intelligence trainer, he should conduct IPB classes for subordinate brigade and battalion S2s. By personally teaching S2s how to use IPB and its effectiveness, the G2 ensures that subordinate S2s follow the IPB process. These classes should expand upon schoolhouse instruction and gear the S2 to the division's area of operations. The G2 could incorporate this training into the monthly G2 and S2 conferences that most division G2s conduct.
The next step is for the S2 to conduct internal S2 staff training. This will allow the S2 to organize his section and drill his personnel on the IPB process before they are integrated into the rest of the battle staff. The commander can support the S2's internal training by providing the training time and guidance on how IPB should support his decisionmaking process.

Reconnaissance and Surveillance

The same process for training S2s in the IPB process holds true for R&S planning and execution. Since the G2 is responsible for the division's R&S plan, he should take the lead in training subordinate S2s on the R&S process. The G2's classes should include discussions on what R&S assets are available, their capabilities, and best method of employment. During these sessions, the G2 must also emphasize when the R&S plans are due at the different levels.
Following the G2's training, the next step is for the S2 to conduct internal training. The S2 must train his battlefield intelligence coordination center (BICC) officer in R&S planning. As his point of contact for R&S, the S2 must prepare the BICC to
Since R&S is a key to battlefield intelligence, R&S training should also include the unit S3 and supporting reconnaissance assets. This allows the unit to train as it fights. The commander's role in R&S training is to provide training resources and guidance on his vision of R&S planning and execution.
This training experience can assist in the development and execution of realistic R&S lane training. Lane training allows the unit to exercise the entire R&S process at the home station. The unit can focus the lane training on what the scouts can do such as route and obstacle reconnaissance. The supporting slice elements can practice crew-level skills. The end result exercises the R&S system and gets the different elements working together at the home station.
Figure 2 provides an example of the effects of poor R&S training and execution. The lack of an integrated division R&S plan in the Figure 2 scenario would result in no division early warning in the 2d Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment sector, the area of the enemy's main effort. There is no doubt the battalion's S2 developed an effective R&S plan. However, as part of the division's overall plan, the battalion and brigade S2s must send it to the higher echelon. In this case, the division G2 had no known coverage in the south at his level.

Battle Staff Integration

If the S2 conducts the IPB and R&S training as discussed, he is prepared to assist the commander in planning, wargaming and decisionmaking. The commander and S3 may tend to disregard the S2 because of his relative lack of experience compared to others in the battle staff. An effective battle staff must have the S2 as a vital player, just like the S3 and the fire support officer. The S2 must be the commander's expert on the enemy. The other staff members feed into these three key battle staff members (S2, S3, and fire support officer). If the battle staff follows the steps of the decisionmaking process as they are outlined in the Command and General Staff College's Student Text 101-5, Command Staff Decision Processes, January 1994, then all staff elements will be successful.

Analysis and Interpretation

My final comments concern the S2's analysis and interpretation of the enemy. If the S2 expects to fully integrate into the battle staff, he and his staff must know the enemy's tactics, equipment, capabilities, and limitations. Just as the G2 must train subordinate S2s, each S2 is responsible for conducting classes that teach subordinates how to analyze and interpret information. These classes could take place during section training or during sergeants' time. Unlike some other types of training, the S2 relies upon the G2's support and his initiative for this intelligence training area. The commanders and S3 cannot help you study the enemy. That is your responsibility.
If you are going to a CTC, the U. S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) has made your intelligence train-up task easier. The interim TRADOC 350-series pamphlets, the projected manuals depicted in Figure 3, and publications such as the National Training Center's Red Thrust Star discuss the opposing force (OPFOR) at the CTCs.
Your preparation for a CTC rotation must start at your home station. You should use a building block method of training to develop intelligence skills that will support the commander and your unit. If mastered, these are skills that will carry you through a CTC rotation and, more importantly, lead you to success in battle.
Major Jodoin is attending the Command and General Staff College. His most recently served as the S2, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Irwin, California. Major Jodoin received a bachelors degree from Norwich University and a masters degree from California Coast University.