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American Forces Press Service

Intel, Ops Fusion Aids Warfighters, Roughead Says

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2011 – The fusion of intelligence and operations is an important advance that has taken shape during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the chief of naval operations told the Defense Writers Group here today.

Navy Adm. Gary Roughead said the ability for intelligence to be in the hands of operators and decision-makers in almost real time has been extraordinary.

Advances during the wars have brought together the intelligence and command and control organizations at all levels, the admiral said. “I really do think that we have the potential … to change how we fuse intelligence and operations,” he added.

Roughead pointed to communications as an example of this melding, noting to the audience of defense journalists that their access to information and the ways they disseminate it have changed markedly. “We’re seeing the same thing,” he said. “How do you fold that into structures and processes is the next step.”

The fusion is more than simply putting intelligence people and operations specialists in the same room, Roughead said. The fusion allows intelligence professionals to see what types of information are most helpful to operations personnel, while operations personnel have a closer knowledge of what is possible and what questions to ask their intelligence brethren, he explained.

And it goes beyond combat information centers or brigade operations offices, the Navy’s top officer noted. Roughead said he merged his service’s intelligence and command and control career fields. He also created the 10th Fleet -– a global fleet that has cyberspace at its battleground cyberspace.

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