WASHINGTON, D.C. — The days of units organizing their operations around a 24-hour cycle, with a short list of targets and procedures, and walking through each at a comfortable pace are over.

“Right now, the way we organize ourselves is in a 24-hour battle rhythm, and that has to change,” said Maj. Gen. Charles Costanza, special assistant to the commanding general of Army Forces Command.

“[Large-Scale Combat Operations] are not going to let you do that,” he said.

The two-star explained this during an Oct. 11 panel on intelligence modernization here at the annual Association of the U.S. Army Meeting and Exposition.

The former commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, who conducted four Division Warfighter exercises while leading the unit has seen a lot of how the Army will fight in 2030. His team ran through an entire exercise in which his force simulated such a battle with all the tools and formations the Army expects to have in its arsenal in the next decade.

The rapid pace of battle and enemy movement in those scenarios meant that a division intelligence officer could come into the command center, which radically changed the day’s plan and targeting list.

Or, because of more advanced systems, in a single day, a unit might run through a 72-hour “kill contract,” a list of targets to destroy.

In that instance, the commander’s job would be to direct his intelligence team to find more targets in the battlespace, Costanza said.

Those scenarios are a driving force behind why the Army has revised how it gathers operational intelligence as it moves to keep pace with the modern battlefield.

Part of that plan is for the intel side to take the initiative on gathering information, what the Army refers to as “fighting for intelligence,” officials said.

“Bottom line, in today’s and tomorrow’s battlefield we’re not only under constant observation but our ISR will be contested in all domains and all three dimensions, which will make it extremely important for how we go about doing intelligence collection and information operations,” said Brig. Gen. Richard Appelhans, commandant of the Army’s Intelligence Center of Excellence.

Sometimes that’ll mean a quick and dirty brief, with rapidly acquired intelligence that must be expediently vetted through a host of networks and databases.

“I don’t have time for you to put together a nice PowerPoint slide to come bring me and show me that, hey, the enemy’s situation has changed and now we have a new challenge or risk or potentially we have an opportunity we need to exploit,” Costanza said.

Commanders paired with their intelligence experts must be “able to change operations” on the fly and not be so deliberative, he said.

To make that a reality, Costanza advised that intelligence officers need to understand the targeting process almost as well as the targeting teams do.

Helping those sped-up efforts along is a list of technology that the Army is pursuing or fielding that officials hope will help gather, verify and disseminate information more accurately and quickly than they’re able to now.

That includes Terrestrial Layer Systems for both the brigade combat team and for echelons above brigade, the Multi-Domain Sensing System, the Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node, the High Altitude Platform Deep Sensing Annex, High Efficiency Radio Frequency Monitoring and Exploitation System and Aerial Geo-Intelligence System, Lt. Gen. Laura Potter, deputy chief of staff for Army G-2, shared in a presentation slide.

Those systems gather much of what’s happening out there. But to decipher that information, the intel field will lean on artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics and cloud-based systems, she said.

The effects that equipment had highlighted another key need — a better, quicker way to conduct battle damage assessments. Inaccurate or lagging reports caused “tremendous problems,” Costanza said.

The unit was moving more quickly than their assessments could manage, meaning after an initial barrage, units were going after targets that were no longer there or looking in the wrong places, he said.

Many of these changes and improvements reside with the man or woman in charge and how well they communicate with their intelligence team.

“Intel drives operations which means commanders own intel,” Costanza said.

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.

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