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by COL Kenneth Boll, G-2, Third U.S. Army

The Coalition Joint Task Force-Kuwait (C/JTF-KU) C2 (intelligence) mission is to:

  • Provide tailored intelligence to the commander for use in planning across the full range of military operations.
  • Leverage national and theater intelligence to support ground operations.
  • Direct and guide subordinate intelligence organizations to prioritize ground-focused collection, analysis, and dissemination.
  • Maintain operational control of the 513th MI Bde.
  • Respond to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) intelligence taskings.

C/JTF-KU intelligence operations during Operation DESERT THUNDER consistently supported the commander with timely and accurate intelligence at the operational and tactical levels. The intelligence architecture for collection and dissemination provided the foundation for a robust, continuing capability for C/JTF-KU and, in a very short time, set a new standard for intelligence organizations in-theater.

Intelligence Support to U.S. Forces

With the help of national and theater agencies, a multi-disciplined intelligence center coordinated counterintelligence, signal intelligence, imagery intelligence, measurement and signature intelligence, and other intelligence disciplines within C/JTF-KU's Joint Intelligence Support Element (JISE). CENTCOM supported the JISE and the Combined Operations and Intelligence Center (COIC) with a Joint Command Augmentation Cell, providing joint multi-disciplined intelligence expertise in the operational level of war. This assisted in establishing the coalition C/J-2 section and facilitating the rapid transition to joint/combined/coalition intelligence operations. C/J-2 received staff augmentation in the following areas: plans, operations, foreign disclosure, collection management, and current intelligence. Altogether, the C/JTF-KU intelligence staff coordinated an impressive array of intelligence organizations (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Counterintelligence (CI)

CI was coordinated through the agency of the Task Force Counterintelligence Coordinating Authority (TFCICA), appointed by CENTCOM. The TFCICA, supported by the CENTCOM Joint Rear Area Coordination staff in-theater, quickly identified and organized more than 80 tactical counterintelligence personnel from three separate services within the C/JTF-KU joint operational area. Overall, the TFCICA provided CI support to force protection guidance and multi-disciplined counterintelligence protection throughout the intricate reception, staging, onward movement, and integration (RSOI) process for the 3rd Infantry Division (Mech). Weekly video teleconferences with terrorism experts from the national intelligence agencies and CENTCOM helped the TFCICA provide superb force protection threat visualization and accurate assessments for commanders at all levels of the C/JTF-KU.

The full-time CI liaison with the host nation that existed prior to Operation DESERT THUNDER paid great dividends during the operation. This liaison must be continued once force package elements redeploy.

Imagery Intelligence (IMINT)

The IMINT area showed the greatest growth and improvement in the coalition intelligence arena since DESERT STORM. Within days of alert, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) furnished a support package of personnel and equipment that revolutionized in-theater support for the planning process. Their support lent a new dimension to intelligence preparation of the battlefield for the joint and coalition operational planning group. The NIMA team, assisted by a detachment of the 100th Engineer Company, established a terrain center. Lashed together by the latest automated data processing equipment and robust dissemination "pipes," the IMINT capability for the C/JTF-KU matured into an unparalleled in-theater support structure for the maneuver commander.

Lesson: The consolidation of NIMA, the 100th Engineer Company, and the Battlefield Visualization Team into a single imagery and mapping cell with its own facility must be continued in future operations. This organization enhanced collection, processing, and analysis of imagery data and technology and significantly improved production and dissemination.

Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT)

C/JTF-KU was supported by a robust MASINT presence, with Mobile Ground Station Module teams from the 513th MI Force Projection Brigade providing Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) downlinks to the Deep Operations Coordination Centers at both the land component command headquarters (the tactical command post) and the COIC. In addition to the Mobile Ground Station Modules, a stand-alone joint STARS workstation was deployed and tested at C/JTF-KU headquarters with great success. JSTARS was a successful piece of an overall superb targeting effort (Figure 2) that was exercised by the C/JTF-KU during a one-week Deep Operations Center exercise and a coalition command post exercise.

The optimum intelligence and electronic warfare support package was planned based on mission analysis, strategic lift, host nation support, and existing intelligence infrastructure. Superb planning resulted in an intelligence communication/dissemination architecture for a robust intelligence production and targeting effort as the C/JTF-KU headquarters arrived; the intelligence database provided tremendous resolution for strike packages had they flown.

Figure 2

Intelligence support to the coalition partners

CENTCOM support in the technical area of foreign disclosure was a superb success story.


  • Early deployment of a functional area expert from the CENTCOM unified command staff eased the way for a frank and open intelligence exchange among all the coalition partners.
  • A trailblazing foreign disclosure standing operating procedures (SOP) manual has been established and incorporated into the C/JTF-KU command and control process; common sense and cooperation are standardized in the C/JTF-KU intelligence system.

Combined intelligence exchange about the Iraqi threat was perhaps the single greatest intelligence success story of DESERT THUNDER. The Kuwaiti defense staff was particularly supportive of C/JTF-KU intelligence requests for information. C/JTF-KU reciprocated by providing tactical intelligence information to all national components assisting in the defense of Kuwait. Overall, the personal relationships established among the intelligence staffs of the coalition partners will pay tremendous dividends in the face of future Iraqi provocation.

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