Pillar ofIntelligence Training

The 111th MI Brigade

by Second Lieutenant Ethan T. Vessels

Editor's Note: This article was adapted from the 111th MI Brigade Commander's Brief.
As a pillar of professional development, institutional training is critical in the shaping of military intelligence (MI) professionals in the era of force projection and information operations. The 111th MI Brigade (Training), U. S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca (USAIC&FH) accepts this challenge every day. A leader in Army and joint intelligence training, the 111th MI Brigade is a vital member of the intelligence training community.


The 111th MI Brigade's mission is produce trained MI officers, warrant officers, noncommissioned officers, and soldiers for the total force. The brigade accomplishes this through:
In addition to its primary mission of MI training, the 111th MI Brigade stands ready to deploy subject matter experts and units equipped with low density systems such as the Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and TROJAN Special Purpose Integrated Remote Intelligence Terminal (SPIRIT) to contingency operations throughout the world.


The brigade consists of five MI battalions and two detachments. Four battalions and one detachment are at Fort Huachuca. One detachment is at Melbourne, Florida. The fifth battalion is at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, with one of its companies in Pensacola, Florida.
Brigade Headquarters. The Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment's mission is command and control, administrative, and logistics support for the 111th MI Brigade. It consists of all the brigade staff and the Advanced Training Division (ATD). The ATD provides automation support, prototype training, infrastructure planning, and simulations for the entire Intelligence Center.
304th MI Battalion. The 304th MI Battalion provides intelligence and electronic warfare (IEW) training, testing, maintenance, and equipment support to the Intelligence Center. In addition to its training mission at Fort Huachuca, the battalion's UAV and TROJAN SPIRIT systems frequently support exercises, demonstrations, and contingency missions worldwide.
The 304th MI Battalion operates Libby Army Air Field where its instructors train all special electronic mission aircraft (SEMA) crews in QUICKFIX and GUARDRAIL IEW operations. Instructor pilots also train student pilots in the unique flight and survivability characteristics of SEMA aircraft.
The battalion also operates the Department of Defense UAV Test Center. At the UAV Test Center, the 304th MI Battalion trains soldiers and marines in UAV operations and maintenance. Equipped with the Pioneer and Hunter UAVs, the battalion provides significant support to UAV doctrine development and system testing.
305th MI Battalion. The 305th MI Battalion recently moved here from Fort Devens, Massachusetts. Its mission is to provide electronic warfare and signals intelligence (SIGINT) training to soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and officers. The battalion's IET and AIT includes operator and maintenance courses on tactical and strategic IEW systems. A joint training environment, the battalion relies upon its Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force instructors provide morse code and electronic intelligence training.
309th MI Battalion. The 309th MI Battalion provides IET and AIT in all-source intelligence, counterintelligence (CI), human intelligence, and imagery intelligence (IMINT) operations and analysis. Specifically, the battalion produces the Army's all-source intelligence analysts, CI agents and analysts, ground surveillance system operators, imagery analysts, interrogators, and Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) Ground Station Module (GSM) operators.
The 326th MI Battalion. The 326th MI Battalion is the officer training battalion. The battalion trains MI lieutenants through colonels in basic and advanced MI skills. Additionally, the battalion trains warrant officers and international officers. Their primary goal is to train officers to provide timely intelligence to their commanders.
344th MI Battalion. The 344th MI Battalion provides IET and AIT at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. One company is at the Naval Technical Training Center at Corry Station in Pensacola, Florida. The battalion's mission is to support the Air Force and Navy IMINT and SIGINT training mission. In addition, it provides Army SIGINT analysis, intercept, and maintenance training. The battalion is also responsible for advanced IMINT and Army firefighting training at Goodfellow and photographic technical training at Pensacola.
Joint STARS Detachment.The Development, Training, and Test Detachment for the Joint STARS is in Melbourne, Florida. It is the developmental center for all testing, evaluation, and demonstration of the prototype Joint STARS. The unit also assists in developing training programs, tactics, and techniques for the employment of the Joint STARS. The detachment has a contingency mission to deploy Army aircrews and Joint STARS GSM operators in support of worldwide operations.

Future Training

Just as Fort Huachuca was a home to traditional cavalry in the 19th century, the 111th MI Brigade sees itself as the home of the electronic cavalry in the 21st century. Fort Huachuca is becoming a national ground intelligence training center. The center will be responsible for all aspects of ground intelligence regardless of Service. The brigade's focus will not change, but broaden. It will continue to teach tactical MI skills focused on providing timely intelligence to the commander.
The MI Corps will move into the information age and develop the high-technology soldier required in the 21st century. This will happen in several areas. The first is interactive training. Comparable to a flight simulator, this type of training will allow the soldier to use the same cognitive thought process in the training environment as will be used in combat.
Interactive training relates to automation training. Before MI soldiers can use the information age tools, they must have automation training. These tools are automation systems and software that speed our ability to process and correlate vast amounts of information into quality intelligence. These advanced systems fit into a larger architecture which requires our soldiers to have technological skills. These skills allow greater access to the theater and national intelligence structure.
The ATD's simulation center is another piece that drives our training. The simulation center has the capability to integrate simulations over a network and train a large group with interactive scenarios. Additionally, the extensive communications structure available gives the center the capability to place the simulations at another location thereby providing distance learning.


As the Army vaults into the information age, the MI Corps will lead in the development, implementation, and integration of technology into the 21st century. Our armed forces demand dynamic and skilled MI soldiers who can master the forthcoming technology. The 111th MI Brigade creates those soldiers.
Second Lieutenant Ethan T. Vessels is currently attending the MI Officer Basic Course at USAIC&FH. He is a 1995 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.