Intelligence: June 23, 2004


The U.S. Army has found that one of the problems with independent brigades is that they do not have intelligence specialists to provide the brigade commander with a constant stream of accurate updates on whats going on in the area they are in. While the division headquarters has several dozen such specialists to sort through megabytes of incoming photos, maps, enemy messages and other information on the opposition each day, the brigade has none. In theory, the division intelligence staff is supposed to provide support to the brigades. But in practice, the division intelligence wonks work at division headquarters, and know that they belong to the division commander, and rarely respond to specific requests from a brigade commander. The division commanders gets his intel info, makes his decision, and sends orders, and not much intel analysis, to the brigade commanders. To solve the problem, Brigade Intelligence Teams are being formed. Each team will have 10-20 personnel, as well as the computers and special communications needed to do their work. But because of a shortage of intel personnel, there will not be enough teams for every brigade. So the plan is to assign four of these teams to each theater, and there the teams will study the local situation. If American troops are needed there, up to four brigades will have an intelligence team waiting for them. This approach is going to be tested when the 3rd Infantry Division goes back to Iraq this Fall. The brigades will have these intelligence teams, and what happens next will be carefully studied and adjustments, if needed, made. 


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