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STABILITY AND SUPPORT OPERATIONS (SASO) TRENDS

Mountain Eagle I, III, IV, and V


Organized by BOS, these trends represent the observations collected by CMTC O/Cs during the Mountain Eagle series of exercises. As appropriate and/or available, they provide doctrinal references, techniques, and procedures for the need training emphasis. The narratives are labeled IAW the Blueprint of the Battlefield system for reference and long-term trend development.

INTELLIGENCE BOS

(Trends are numbered sequentially for cross-reference. They are not in priority order.)

Positive Performance

TREND 1: S-2 intelligence support is normally provided to standard.

SUSTAIN:

1. Good division of labor.

2. Junior soldiers demonstrate impressive situational awareness, teamwork, and initiative.

3. Deployed with appropriate doctrinal references.

4. Good system for information management.

5. S-2 developed good tools for each phase of TDMP. Continues to work on improving the products.

RESULT: Commanders are able to more easily visualize the threat.

Techniques:

1. Maintain the division of labor and the effort to make products more useful to commanders.

2. Continue using an accurate journal and tabbed binders for orders, biographies, weapons storage sites, and order of battle information.

3. Consider the use of a preformatted Annex B and R&S plan that can be quickly completed when time is short.

4. Use a 1:25,000 map or cartoon to brief mission analysis and the order.

5. Develop a standard set of battle-tracking products and TOC charts for HIC and SASO. Prepare two sets: one full-size and one miniature or mobile for jump TOC/TAC operations.

6. Document products and procedures in a continuity book or internal SOP so that newcomers can quickly learn the standard.

(TA.5 Intelligence BOS)


TREND 2: Incident tracking was generally performed to standard.

SUSTAIN:

1. Incident tracking systems good; performed to standard.

2. Incidents well-documented based on information available.

Technique: Maintain incident overlay and situation map integration.

(TA.5.2 Collect Information)


Needs Emphasis

TREND 1: HUMINT assets are not utilized to their full potential.

PROBLEM: Task force S-2s do not have the time nor expertise to employ HUMINT assets which are routinely attached to the task force.

Technique: Control HUMINT assets and plan their activities at brigade level.

(TA.5.2 Collect Information)


TREND 2: Use of available assets.

PROBLEM: Use of soldiers as sources of information is not maximized.

Techniques:

1. Develop language phrase cards containing:

  • English and native language translations.

  • Phonetically spelled native phrases so that soldiers can pronounce them.

2. The front of the card should contain simple greetings and action words.

3. The back of the card should ask basic questions about the operating environment.

4. Ensure that all soldiers have a copy of the phrase card to enable them to obtain answers either by speaking basic phrases or showing the card to whomever they are trying to communicate with.

EXAMPLES:

FRONT: Greetings; Come forward; Stop/halt; Please; Wait; Put your weapon down.

BACK: Are there minefields in the area? Are there bridges in the area? Are there soldiers or military units in the area? Can you show me where these people/places are if it is not too dangerous? (If it is dangerous) Will you wait here until I can get someone who speaks your language to help me understand?

(TA.5.2 Collect Information)


TREND 3: Attached elements not fully integrated into the collection plan.

PROBLEM: Often the S-2 fails to fully integrate and synchronize attached elements into the battalion collection plan.

RESULTS:

1. Counterintelligence (CI), civil affairs (CA), ground surveillance radar (GSR), and psychological operations (PSYOPS) often tasked reactively or not at all.

2. Attached duplicate coverage of some named area of interest (NAI).

3. No coverage of other critical NAIs.

Techniques:

1. S-2 must become familiar with the capabilities and limitations of attached elements.

2. Conduct a synchronization meeting. Use the commander's requirements (PIRs/CCIRs) to task appropriate element to collect the information/intelligence.

3. Conduct periodic collection meetings focusing on refinement of the collection plan and PIR.

(TA.5.2 Collect Information)


TREND 4: S-2s frequently lack a system for tasking or receiving reports from the numerous collection assets available throughout the AOR.

PROBLEMS:

1. The BCT S-2 rarely passes focused intelligence requirements to "opportunity collectors" operating throughout the AOR.

2. Information that is collected on a routine basis is rarely forwarded back up the chain to the S-2.

3. S-2 is usually unaware of the activities/missions of these teams, and the teams are not aware of the intelligence requirements.

RESULTS:

1. S-2s frequently miss collection opportunities provided by numerous units in the BCT such as CI, CA, PSYOP, MPs, medical teams, chaplains, convoy drivers, etc., who have extended access to the AOR and the local populace.

2. Checkpoints, observation posts, and patrols are not fully exploited for their intelligence information value.

Techniques: The S-2 should develop systems to make information requirements available to all potential collectors.

1. Determine intelligence acquisition tasks for teams and units moving through the AOR in a daily meeting chaired by the XO. The final result of this meeting should be a synchronization matrix and FRAGO.

2. Developing "Smart Cards" with lists of standing intelligence requirements for CPs, OPs, patrols, convoys, etc. Update cards per changes in mission and AOR environment.

3. Establish SOPs for debriefing soldiers manning checkpoints and observation posts.

4. Task intelligence personnel to routinely visit CPs and OPs to:

  • Sensitize soldiers to the current situation.

  • Provide updated intelligence requirements.

  • Receive information and impressions.

NOTE: Routine reports from CPs and OPs (a standardized "fill in the blank" format is helpful) should be forwarded through the battalions to the BCT S-2.

5. Prebrief and debrief patrols before and after each mission. Forward patrol reports through the battalions to the BCT S-2.

6. Require intelligence briefings as part of the check-out/check-in procedures for personnel traveling within the AOR.

(TA.5.2 Collect Information)


TREND 5: R&S plans for stability and support operations are frequently inadequate.

PROBLEMS:

1. Assigned/attached assets rarely levied to accomplish the assigned task according to the collection matrix.

2. Disjointed, inconsistent collection and dissemination of information.

3. Stability and support operations expand intelligence responsibilities.

Techniques: In order to meet mission requirements, S-2s must take full advantage of the assets and technology available:

1. S-3, S-2, and XO establish a routine coordination meeting.

  • Outline missions for the close fight.

  • Outline missions for the deep battle.

  • Identify intelligence effort/assets to collect against those priorities.

2. Establish one assets manager to control and manage all organic and attached assets within the command.

3. Brief all missions daily at the commander's update to ensure integration of the intelligence assets are assigned against the daily S-3 TF missions.

(TA.5.2 Collect Information)


TREND 6: Reconnaissance & Security plans are not updated as the situation develops or changes.

PROBLEM: Units fail to update R&S plans to keep pace with the changing situation.

(TA.5.2 Collect Information)


TREND 7: Frequently S-2s do not fully understand how to maintain incident overlays and conduct pattern analysis. TF S-2s are frequently unable to promptly identify, collate, and analyze information to determine increasing threats in specific areas or to develop threat models.

PROBLEMS:

1. Failure to record incidents.

2. Inability to retrieve information from all sources.

3. Unprepared to coordinate with the staff to plan and prevent future incidents.

RESULTS:

1. Incomplete pattern analysis.

2. Inadequate COA development.

3. Lack of focused R&S plans.

4. Lack of appropriate countermeasures.

Techniques: Develop systems for maintaining and analyzing large volumes of information (pattern analysis):

1. Maintain an incident overlay for a 24-hour period with three overlays (72 hours' worth of events) on the map at a time. An overall incident overlay assists the S-2 in discerning immediate operational patterns.

2. Transfer the overall incident overlay data to long-term event overlays (e.g., one overlay for sniper attacks, one for road blocks, one for mortar attacks, etc.). The overlays assist the S-2 in discerning patterns for types of events.

3. Keep information for each event (debriefs of participants, etc.) in files for future reference.

4. Use a simple computer database program to quickly discern patterns. By entering information on a series of variables (fields), the S-2 can use the computer to determine correlations between events and within a type of event.

5. Keep backbrief format in TF SOPs. Update maps and keep in the automated tracking system after all movements in sector are completed.

6. Include database profiles on NGOs, PVOs, local authorities, towns, military factions, and any other person of significance.

(TA.5.3 Process Information)


TREND 8: Lack of incident tracking overlays frequently hampers pattern analysis.

PROBLEM: S-2s generally have no system for plotting incidents/tracking incidents as they occurred over time.

RESULT: The information is rarely collated and analyzed to determine increasing threats in specific areas or to develop threat models (pattern analysis).

Techniques: S-2s should develop systems for maintaining and analyzing large volumes of information (pattern analysis).

1. Develop a computer database program to more quickly discern patterns.

EXAMPLE 1: By entering information on a series of variables (fields), the S-2 can use the computer to determine correlation within a type of event. For instance, the variable fields for sniper attacks might include number of rounds, time of day, target, location, and type of accuracy of attack. The S-2 could use the database information to determine that 80 percent of sniper attacks against a specific ammunition storage site occurred between 1400 and 1600, and could therefore recommend a higher security and radar posture during those times.

2. Maintain separate incident overlays for each type of event the S-2 and the commander have determined important.

EXAMPLE 2: Transfer the overall incident overlay data onto long-term event overlays (i.e., one overlay for sniper attacks, one for road blocks, one for sniper attacks, etc.). Maintain the incident overlay for a 24-hour period with three overlays (72 hours' worth of events) on the map at a time. This overall incident overlay will assist the S-2 in discerning immediate operational patterns.

(TA.5.3 Process Information)


TREND 9: S-2s seldom leverage all intelligence assets and agencies necessary to conduct sufficient IPB and R&S planning for stability and support operations. Intelligence responsibilities are greatly expanded during stability operations.

PROBLEMS:

1. The IPB process must be completed for the conventional threat (separated belligerent forces) as well as the potential paramilitary/terrorist threat posed to each brigade mission.

2. S-2 must develop threat models, incident overlays, and event templates based on his own analysis of paramilitary/terrorist activity.

3. R&S plans must be constantly updated and refined--with assets tasked and monitored--based on the different missions and changing conditions in the AOR.

4. Traditional HIC intelligence assets (OPs, patrols, etc.) must be tasked to monitor the separated belligerent forces and movements within the ZOS.

5. Additional HUMINT assets--CI, CA, PSYOP, or any unit having contact with the local populace--must be focused to collect information on the attitude of the population and activity of potential threat groups.

6. Finally, the collected information must be filed, collated, and analyzed to discern patterns and develop threat models.

Techniques:

1. Conduct separate IPB:

  • Traditional IPB for the AOR concentrating on the threat posed by the separated belligerent factions (FM 34-130).

  • Expanded IPB for the populace/paramilitary/terrorist threat to the BCT and individual BCT missions (FM 34-130, FM 34-7).

2. Similarly, R&S plans must provide:

  • Direct surveillance of the separated belligerents and the avenues of approach into the ZOS as well.

  • Direct collection within the AOR to determine the attitude and allegiances of the population and activity of potential paramilitary groups.

3. Meet the expanded mission requirements of STABOPS by taking full advantage of the assets and technology available:

  • Task the DS FA battalion S-2 to conduct pattern analysis of artillery and mortar attacks; consider locating the DS FA battalion S-2 in the BCT TOC.

  • Task the CI operational control element (OCE) to outbrief and debrief soldiers who routinely travel through the area.

  • Create an all-source BCT analytical cell using S-2 analysts, soldiers from the MI company platoon operations center (POC), and personnel from the OCE.

  • Use Warlord and TERRABASE systems, if possible, for terrain and threat analysis.

  • Use subject matter experts in the IPB process for R&S planning (e.g., have a sniper determine the best locations for shots when establishing NAIs to check for snipers).

  • Realign the staff to better support intelligence operations. Specifically, establish an analysis cell to process the many intelligence reports which will flood the BCT.

(TA.5.4 Prepare Reports)


TREND 10: Reporting lower, higher, and lateral frequently lacks sufficient detail. Reporting at all levels requires more detail in stability and support operations.

PROBLEM: Critical information in the standard SALUTE format seldom provides sufficient detail on the situation.

RESULT: Untimely and inaccurate reporting.

Techniques:

1. Develop standard report formats to supplement the SALUTE report for a variety of incidents or possible contacts.

2. Establish SOPs for "flash" or critical events that must be reported ASAP.

(TA.5.4 Prepare Reports)


TREND 11: Incomplete IPB

PROBLEMS:

1. Commander did not fully analyze his AO.

2. Threat integration and area study were among the missing components.

Techniques:

1. Increase company-level analysis of AO.

2. Include a stability and support MCOO (demographics, population centers, weapons, equipment, etc.)

(TA.5.4 Prepare Reports)


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