Intelligence Functions For Joint Operations

"No combat commander has ever had as full and complete a view of his adversary as did our field commander. Intelligence spport to Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM was a success story."
General Colin Powell, USA,
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1991

1. Introduction

This chapter defines intelligence functions that are performed to meet the requirements of JFCs. These functions are described using the components of the intelligence cycle discussed in Chapter II, "The Nature of Intelligence." The term "subordinate joint force" is used to describe any joint force at echelons below the combatant commander. Subordinate unified commands and joint task forces are the two types of subordinate joint forces.

2. Joint Intelligence Functions

a. Planning and Direction. See Figure VI-1.

b. Collection. See Figure VI-2.

c. Processing. See Figure VI-3 .

d. Production. Intelligence production consists of indications and warning, current intelligence, general military intelligence, target intelligence, and scientific and technical intelligence. (Figure VI-4.)

"No operational skill can compensate for those severe consequences which can occur out of neglect or the shortcomings of an intelligence service."

Marshal of the Soviet Union Mikhail N. Tukhachevskiy,
quoted in "Voyenno istorichiski zhurnal," 2/1983

  • Current Intelligence. Current intelligence provides updated support for ongoing operations across the range of military operations. It involves the integration of current, all-source intelligence and information into concise, objective reporting on the current situation in a particular area. It usually contains predictive judgments on how the situation will develop and what the implications are for planning and executing military operations.

    Figure VI-4. Production

  • Joint Staff J-2/DIA. DOD focal point for fused, national, all-source current intelligence analysis, production, and reporting and coordinating national- and Service-level intelligence resources. Responds to RFI from CINCs; coordinates for DOD national- and Service-level intelligence resources for timely analytical support to the NCA, CINCs, and JICs. May provide backup and augmentation to subordinate joint forces.

  • Geographic Combatant Command J-2. Provides authoritative theater estimates, advises CINC and CINC staff, tailors basic data bases, and disseminates products and materials to forces assigned and the NCA and supporting commanders as required. Fuses national and theater intelligence into a single picture and provides analytical support to subordinate joint force and components.

  • Subordinate Joint Force J-2. Provides mission specific intelligence, assesses adequacy of current intelligence, provides prioritized RFI to JIC. Provides fused joint intelligence assessments.

  • Subordinate Joint Force Components. Current intelligence consumers, monitor and report as appropriate, provide RFI to subordinate joint force J-2/JISE. Maintain tactical intelligence assessment; provide direct support to forces assigned; and report unique, real time data.

  • Military Services. Current intelligence consumers.

  • General Military Intelligence (GMI). GMI is intelligence concerning the (1) military capabilities of foreign countries and organizations or (2) topics affecting potential US or allied military operations, relating to armed force capabilities, including order of battle and associated installations, organization, training, tactics, doctrine, strategy, and other factors bearing on military strength and effectiveness; area and terrain intelligence, including urban areas, coasts, and landing beaches; meteorological, oceanographic, and geological intelligence; transportation in all modes; military material production and support industries; military and civilian command, control, and communications systems; military-political-sociological-religious intelligence; demographics; location, identification, and description of installations of military interest; government control; energy-related installations; escape and evasion; and threats and forecasts.

  • Joint Staff J-2/DIA. Principal focus is to project and report adversary capabilities, trends, and intentions on the basis of all-source analysis; provides timely intelligence community-wide analytic estimates as the situation warrants.

  • Geographic Combatant Command J-2. Provides authoritative theater assessments based on all-source analysis to national level, CINC, and subordinate joint force; develops and maintains data bases within region to support planning, operations, and targeting.

  • Subordinate Joint Force J-2. Using products from JISE, maintains knowledge of enemy leadership, command and control, order of battle, force readiness, mission, sustainability, and technical sophistication and of area and terrain intelligence.

    Reconnaissance on the Upper Seine River in 1944

    Reconnaissance is one form of intelligence gathering that, in theory, can be performed, without violence or, conversely when a commander has to send an armed body to secure reliable information, with considerable violence. An illuminating example of reconnaissance that reflects a number of its facets was the combat between the U.S. Third and German First Armies southeast of the upper Seine River in mid-August 1944.

    Strategically, by tis point in time, Allied forces had complete command of the air, the active assistance of the French Resistance, and a wealth of intelligence sources on the enemy, including Ultra intercepts of top-secret German military radio messages. By contrast, German reconnaissance and intelligence measures were necessarily passive as a result of insufficient combat units and reconnaissance assets. For example, the German First Army's reconnaissance company consisted of twelve obsolete and road-bound French armored cars. German staff officers fluent in French systematically used the French national telephone lines, asking the locals if they had been liberated yet and where the Americans were. Since the First Army was equipped and organized for a static coastal defense, it depended largely on the French telephone system for its own command and control.

    Oberbefehlshaber West (OB West), the German headquarters in France, realizing the nature of the crisis and struggling to cope with what was essentially a hopeless situation in the area of the Seine directed the German First Army to construct a defensive front between Alencon and the Loire River to prevent any further U.S. advance toward the upper Seine River. OB West warned that the Americans could be expected to force a crossing of the lower Seine west of Paris in an attempt to complete the destruction of Army Group B, the last of the German force of any consequence in the area. The commander of the First Army, General Kurt von der Chevallerie, a 52 year-old former branch chief of the German General Staff faced a formidable challenge: the defense of some sixty miles of flat terrain without any major formations.

    In spite of the odds General von der Chevallerie managed to piece together a security screen in front of the Seine. The First Army's assault battalion held Dourdon, a Luftwaffe flak detachment defended Etampes, and a reinforced company of the 1010th Security Regiment held Malesherbes. In front of Paris, the remnants of the 352d Infantry Division held Limours. East of Malesherbes, the Loing River bisected the First Army front between Montereau and Melun. Von der Chevallerie named General Edgar Arndt commander of this Loing sector. Arndt commanded only weak security forces to defend a very wide front. He therefore placed his entire force in Montargis behind the river.

    Patton was not particularly concerned with this front but, rather, with the remnants of German Army Group B, struggling to escape across the lower Seine. On 19 August, his XV Corps seized the first bridgehead across the Seine at Mantes. Over the following days, the US forces unsuccessfully attempted to drive forces down the west bank of the Seine. The XIX Tactical Air Command, attached to Patton's Third Army, conducted reconnaissance along the Loire river and between Paris and Orleans. The Third Army's indigenous cavalry groups and squadrons (mechanized) scoured the front, identifying von der Chevallerie's delaying position. The day before, on 18 August, the U.S. 43d Cavalry Squadron had penetrated the German security screen and from the wooded banks gazed down on the winding Seine.

    This aggressive reconnaissance was in the finest traditions of the cavalry and air corps, but it was in this instance also grand theater. Generals Bradley and Patton knew from intercepted German radio messages not only the weakness of the German First Army but the impotence of the German forces south of the Loire River. Armed with such knowledge, it was doubly important to use aggressive reconnaissance to protect the Ultra secret.

    During the fighting for the Seine, reconnaissance took its more traditional form, with units and commanders moving forward to determine the strength and location of the enemy. On the morning of 23 August 1944, Major General Walton H. Walker, XX Corps commander, made a personal reconnaissance to observe the 7th Armored Division's attempt to cross the Seine at Melun. That same day, the XX Corps' other division, the 5th Infantry, pushed through the Foret de Fontainebleau on a two-regiment front, ably guided around the mine fields by members of the French Resistance. As the 11th Infantry emerged from the forest, the soldiers saw that the Seine bridge was still standing. As an American patrol approached it, however, the Germans blew up the bridge, sprinkling the patrol with debris. The lead battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Kelly B. Lemmon Jr., remained undeterred and reconnoitered the river bank. He found five small boats and began to establish a bridgehead on the far side.

    Patton's army had little difficulty crossing the Seine and breaking the German First Army's line. Instead of the scheduled two corps headquarters and five infantry divisions, von der Chevallerie received only the inexperienced 48th Infantry Division to defend a front of some fifty miles. The German infantry could not even observe much of the front, so German patrols had to reconnoiter the more inaccessible sectors. One such patrol discovered Lemmon's bridgehead near Fontainebleau.

    At first appearance, Patton's overwhelming superiority on the ground, in the air, and in intelligence-gathering assets would suggest that such a campaign would merit perhaps only academic interest. The disparity in strength, however, makes the military work performed by the commanders and staffs all the more intriguing--particularly regarding their differing approaches to reconnaissance. We have already observed how the need to protect the Ultra source made it doubly important for the U.S. Army to pretend that it was not reading the German's radio messages by aggressively reconnoitering with its cavalry and air corps units.

    Reconnaissance by the German First Army naturally differed in scope and purpose from that of the much more powerful U.S. Third Army. Von der Chevallerie lacked not only combat units but reconnaissance assets, air support, and the help of the local population. He consequently decided to disobey orders and erect a security screen with the few units that were available. Von der Chevallerie saw this gamble as the only way to gain time for reinforcements to reach the upper Seine. In German doctrine, security and reconnaissance were interdependent and, true to form, von der Chevallerie's security screen also provided ports from which his own meager reconnaissance forces could sally forth.

    The fighting along the upper Seine demonstrated the ambiguity inherent in reconnaissance. It can be performed by one man on foot or by highly organized special organizations. While it is normally conducted to secure information on the enemy's location and strength, it can also be used to mask information identified by other sources. In the instance of the U.S. Third Army's and German First Army's combat on the upper Seine in mid-August 1944, Patton, von der Chevallerie, and their respective staffs demonstrated the broad applications possible in effective reconnaissance.

    Source: Lewis, Samuel J., Reconnaissance: Fighting on the Upper Seine River, August 1944, published in Combined Arms Battle Since 1939, Roger J. Spiller, ed., Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas: US Army Command and General Staff College Press, 1992, 213-219.

  • Scientific and Technical Intelligence. Scientific and technical (S&T) intelligence is intelligence on foreign developments in basic and applied sciences and technologies with warfare potential. It includes S&T characteristics, capabilities, vulnerabilities, and limitations of all weapon systems, subsystems, and associated material; research and development related thereto; and the production methods employed for their manufacture. S&T intelligence also addresses overall weapon systems and equipment effectiveness and the foreign material program.

    e. Dissemination. See Figure VI-6 .

    Figure VI-6. Dissemination

  • Military Services. Provide information to NMJIC and ensure nondeployed forces are provided necessary information for readiness and training.

    3. Infrastructure Support

    There are a number of infrastructure and supporting functions that require the direct involvement or participation of the J-2 and intelligence staff to plan and conduct joint operations (Figure VI-7 ).

    a. Mapping, Charting, and Geodesy. Maps and charts, digitized MC&G products, and precise geodetic coordinates are critical to mission planning and the execution of combat operations. Care must be exercised so that products requested and provided have an accuracy commensurate with the function or weapons system being supported, and that all references are on a common datum (World Geodetic System 84 is the DOD standard). Maps and charts also provide a medium for graphic correlation, summary, and presentation of intelligence and assessment of the relative positions and situations of friendly and enemy forces. Joint activities should understand that the DMA can provide specialized or tailored MC&G products during crisis situations but must be tasked to do so during the earliest stages of determining and planning operations. The J-2 works closely with the J-3 to determine MC&G requirements and priorities. DMA may have a liaison officer assigned to the joint command to assist the staff in obtaining required DMA support.

    b. Communications. The joint intelligence architecture relies on early identification of communications channels to carry critical intelligence data to the JFC. Use of military and commercial communications capabilities may be required depending on the joint force mission, operations area, and competing CINC requirements.

    Figure VI-7. Infrastructure Support

    Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), shown here with its mobile launch system, is an emerging unique collection system designed to provide commanders with near real-time tactical intelligence.

    c. Automated Intelligence Data Bases and Information Systems. Data bases and automated information systems should be used to enhance rather than replace human ingenuity in analyzing and producing intelligence. Intelligence data bases are used by analysts to assess a situation and reach conclusions, often in support of dynamic, near real time events. Data bases consist of information on orders of battle, characteristics of equipment, installations and facilities, and military geography. To be useful, automated systems need to provide data that are current, tailored, or adaptable to the missions, accessible, interconnected, and interoperable. These data bases should be accessible by a joint intelligence workstation.

    d. Training and Exercises. Support to training and exercises involves those command elements that serve to train incoming personnel in unique mission, area, ADP, procedural, command functions and organization, security, and intelligence oversight compliance. These elements plan and implement exercises to test and demonstrate command mission readiness, interoperability, and capability. e. Management, Plans, Special Security Office, and Administration. Includes the intelligence support structure that facilitates and enables the command to accomplish the intelligence mission. Financial and personnel support, ADP, physical and personnel security matters, intelligence and CI oversight compliance, Inspector General issues, releasability and disclosure, and Freedom of Information Act are functions of administrative support.

    07-16-1996; 13:48:18