Cleared employees supporting their customers should seek to understand the mission and their support in mission success. In many cases, this focus is at the micro level and on the exact mission of the system they are designing, building, and fielding. They do well to understand the construct of the system and their individual and combined role in the success of the system. The best way to provide excellent support is to understand the systems mission and the functions that make that mission possible.

Likewise, cleared employees provide services that are not related to weapons systems, but directly supporting U.S. Army operations. As such, they should understand the mission and the functions that make that mission possible. Whether a weapons system or an operational concept, the mission should always the be key focus.

This article introduces a recent U.S. Army publication and some of the updates that support the army’s greater mission. This explanation should assist those cleared defense contractors to better understand their army customer and work with a better comprehension of their role as an army team member.

Army’s Unified Land Operations  Provides a Road map for the Warfighter’s Mission

This can be demonstrated in the role of providing intelligence support. The question is: How does this intelligence support make the army’s operational mission possible? Army Doctrine Publication ADP 3-0 Unified Land Operations provides an operational concept for and a description of the Army’s mission. It is also contains a description of the Six Warfighting Functions that should be engaged to accomplish the mission: mission command, movement and maneuver, fires, sustainment, protection, and intelligence.

ADPs exist to further unpack each of the warfighting functions. As such, ADP 2-0 is the doctrine publication dedicated to the Intelligence Warfighting Function. The ADP describes how to implement intelligence support in complex operational environments. It answers how the intelligence function exists and operates during U.S. Army operations that occur at all echelons and in many theaters around the world.

army updates intelligence warfighting publication to include “peer threats”

One of the challenges of intelligence is the complex nature of these army operations that are essentially large scale combat events. Difficulties exists in complexity, chaos, fear, violence, fatigue, and uncertainty – all of which contribute to the fog, friction, and stress that wears on intelligence functions, consumers, and resources. The intelligence warfighting function must be robust, resilient, and well-grounded in process.

For example, intelligence products are only as good as their sources. The stresses of large scale, multi-echelon operations work to reduce clarity, certainty, and consistency. The ADP 2-0 publication recognizes the concept of “peer” threats as “an adversary or enemy with capabilities and capacity to oppose U.S. forces across multiple domains worldwide or in a specific region where they enjoy a position of relative advantage.” It also addresses the environment of cyberspace – both adding to the breadth and depth of intelligence requirements.

intelligence should be an integral function of warfighting

Intelligence as a warfighting function should align well with fundamental operational doctrinal concepts. It should establish a fluid workflow that engages all levels of activity – from the army battalion to DoD. As such, intelligence should be fully integrated at each level to better support joint activities on a global scale. Further, each commander should have a keen understanding of the warfighting function and how to implement intelligence at each level.

The intelligence process is a commander’s tool used to enable and support decision making under the intelligence warfighting function. The intelligence process is doctrine that commanders and staff should understand and systematically employ to ensure success with intelligence planning, strategy, analysis, and assessments. The process should further engage the all-source (all intelligence sources) and single-source intelligence capabilities.

The intelligence warfighting function is one of six supporting the Army’s Unified Land Operations concept. The updated ADP 2-0 describes how intelligence should be woven into the Army’s complex mission at all echelons worldwide to allow success in extreme settings. In spite of mission complexity, fog of war, peer threats, and the many operational challenges, those supporting the U.S. Army’s mission through the intelligence warfighting function should engage robust methods grounded in the foundational intelligence process.

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Jeffrey W. Bennett, SAPPC, SFPC, ISOC, ISP is a podcaster, consultant and author of NISPOM, security, and risk management topics. Jeff's first book was a study guide for security certification. Soon after, Jeff began writing other security books and courses, and started his company Red Bike Publishing, LLC. You can find his books, ITAR, NISPOM, PodCast and more @