Our people specialize in integrating intelligence with operations, or more precisely, the art of "operationalizing intelligence," which is what distinguishes naval intelligence from other providers. We provide the Navy with a deep understanding of the threat from adversaries we are likely to encounter and our core mission is to ensure this understanding is fully integrated into naval operations and planning. It is a full-time endeavor, both afloat and ashore, with high stakes and a broad array of demanding customers. The relentless pace is aggravated by the requirement for shore-based analysts—whose tasks may be counterterrorism or weapons of mass destruction proliferation issues—to deploy to fill augmentation accounts for distant combatant commanders. When their detailers send them back to sea after such "shore duty," many opt to leave the service. Enough is enough, they say. We're working on that.
Admiral Vern Clark, recently retired Chief of Naval Operations, characterized intelligence generation as a new mission area. Certainly with the growing use of precision weapons since Desert Storm, recognition of the value of precise intelligence has increased. In the wake of 9/11 and recent combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, there is a growing understanding that actionable intelligence, the kind that allows us to predict precisely the enemy's next move and to direct offensive action, is essential.
At the heart of the Navy's transformation plan is the FORCEnet concept, designed to integrate all combat and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities throughout the battlespace. There is a perception that FORCEnet replaces intelligence, but nothing could be further from the truth. Today, as we build our future naval force into one enabled by network-centric capabilities, our Navy demands unprecedented levels of precise, predictive intelligence. This will require persistent intelligence-collection capabilities and highly trained people who can provide sustained intelligence analysis. The traditional, sequential intelligence cycle has given way to a dynamic environment where assignment, collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination are performed simultaneously to keep pace with combat operations.
The Enduring Role of Intelligence in Naval Warfare
Nearly half (46%) of active-duty intelligence personnel are afloat. Naval intelligence officers and enlisted intelligence specialists serve predominantly on board aircraft carriers and big-deck amphibious ships (LHAs and LHDs), manning the carrier intelligence and joint intelligence centers. Approximately 100 personnel serve with each carrier strike group and about 55 with each expeditionary strike group. Naval intelligence personnel are assigned directly to most carrier-based aviation squadrons and they are at sea within amphibious squadrons, destroyer squadrons, air wings, strike groups, and numbered-fleet staffs. They also are assigned to our shore-based operational P-3 and EP-3 squadrons worldwide. Finally, they are assigned to each of our SEAL teams.
Afloat, they provide direct support to multiple warfare commanders, supporting strike group decision makers with indications and warnings and adding significantly to the battlespace awareness of tactical commanders. They man positions in tactical flag command centers, supplementary plots, and expeditionary plots, for example, and make warning calls on tactical networks. Much of their value derives from forward presence in areas of current and potential crisis. This is as true today as at any time during the Cold War, and this operational intelligence function afloat remains an integral part of strike group operations.
Naval intelligence has long been heavily invested in naval aviation, most notably in targeting, a function that combines intelligence and operations planning. More broadly, intelligence personnel are embedded in all aspects of strike warfare: mission planning, pre-strike analysis and execution, post-strike analysis, and battle damage and combat assessment. They perform many of the same functions on board the amphibious assault ships of the expeditionary strike groups, including detailed situation development to assess and predict adversary actions ashore for embarked Marine Corps units. All of these functions afloat demand significant information-management skills—including an in-depth knowledge of collection sensors, processing systems, databases, decision aids, and supporting information networks—to deliver intelligence on time and in the right format.
Nearly a third (29%) of active duty intelligence personnel are assigned to joint billets. Officers and enlisted intelligence specialists serve predominantly in theater joint intelligence centers around the globe. Many are assigned directly to combatant commander's staffs, while others serve within combat support agencies such as the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
Naval intelligence officers either currently command or recently commanded the intelligence centers for Central, Pacific, European, Joint Forces, and Transportation Commands. They also occupy senior intelligence positions in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Naval officers currently hold the J-2 positions at the Pacific, Joint Forces, Transportation, and Northern Commands. Our most senior naval intelligence officer on active duty, Vice Admiral Lowell Jacoby, is Director, Defense Intelligence Agency. The remaining 25% of naval intelligence active duty personnel are assigned to shore-based Navy billets, including about 5% in pipeline training or instructor assignments. Naturally, nearly all of the civilian intelligence professionals are assigned to shore-based billets, the majority funded by the national intelligence community. Naval intelligence officers and enlisted intelligence specialists also serve ashore within fleet headquarters staffs at Norfolk, Virginia; Naples, Italy; Bahrain, and Pearl Harbor, as well as major staffs in Washington, D.C., including the Office of Naval Intelligence. Shore-based professionals form the core of our nation's intelligence capability. They satisfy not only Navy requirements, but also those of the broader defense and intelligence communities. They directly impact the defense acquisition process by providing analysis of both current and future threats, ensuring that our next-generation capabilities are able to counter and defeat those of potential adversaries. They provide in-depth understanding of foreign naval warfare and threat capabilities to advance effective operations. They possess extensive knowledge of the merchant shipping industry and are our nation's experts in the civil maritime arena; in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard, they monitor and track maritime activity in support of our homeland security efforts.
The Growing Demand for Naval Intelligence
Since 9/11, national strategic priorities have shifted considerably, requiring the Navy to support small-scale contingency operations, such as peacekeeping and stability operations, in addition to traditional warfighting requirements. The service is also diversifying its capabilities to mitigate risk against the irregular, catastrophic, and disruptive challenges that are part of the war on terror. The CNO recognizes that we must reduce the time necessary to move significant joint combat power anywhere around the globe, continue to develop precision weapons to maximize our capabilities, maintain continuous surveillances above and throughout the battlespace, and develop to the fullest measure of joint interdependency. Naval intelligence is integral to each of these areas.
The Director of Naval Intelligence is the FORCEnet co-lead with OPNAV N6/7 (warfare requirements and programs). We are making significant advances in the systems and networks that enable interoperability and increase our ability to share information. FORCEnet is the objective architecture and network infrastructure that will support intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations in an operational environment characterized by distributed forces and network-centric operations and warfare. It will provide the technical means by which naval intelligence is managed as vital content that supports planning and combat. It is the vehicle that will enable transformation from today's intelligence capabilities to realization of the integrated ISR capability associated with the future warfighting requirements.
A Low-Density Intelligence Force
We are reevaluating U.S. military roles and missions along with their intelligence support, but current heavy demands on the naval intelligence community will continue to increase. During my tenure as Director of Naval Intelligence, I worked closely with senior operators to determine the right level and type of investment—how best to get them the intelligence support that they need. We are a low-density intelligence force that is now more involved in naval and joint operations than at any time in recent history—and in ways never envisioned until recently. My assessment is that naval intelligence is undermanned; my posture statement to the Chief of Naval Operations in March emphasized this and recommended an increased naval intelligence end-strength.
We will continue to provide and strengthen collection and analysis targeted on traditional threats, and, we will expand the capacity to provide precise, predictive intelligence in several critical areas:
- Special warfare: To increase tailored intelligence support to the naval special warfare community, we created the Trident special warfare analysis initiative at the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). It will consist of nearly 200 personnel, both intelligence and operators, and will serve as special warfare's primary point of entry into naval intelligence and the national intelligence community for long-term threat analysis. It will be equipped to provide deployable tactical intelligence support teams with collection, imagery analysis, site exploitation, counterintelligence, and language skills to complement existing intelligence support.
- Human intelligence (HumInt): We began a major effort to expand our own capabilities to focus specifically on overcoming maritime-related intelligence gaps and providing tactically-oriented teams in support of naval and joint operations. We are increasing our human intelligence billets by more than 100% and are full partners in the Defense Intelligence Agency's expanding efforts to increase linguist capabilities, particularly in underrepresented languages. We are reviewing and re-aligning attaché manning and the naval intelligence contribution to the foreign area officer (FAO) program to more effectively develop, sustain, and apply regional and cultural expertise in support of naval operations.
- Global maritime domain awareness: Our national policy demands the capability to track and identify every vessel of interest operating on or below our world's waterways. We have begun work with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the intelligence community to develop a single Global Maritime Intelligence Integration Center to support global maritime surveillance, expanded maritime interception operations, the president's proliferation security initiative, maritime homeland protection, and other national missions in the maritime domain.
- Individual augmentation: The total individual augmentation requirement for naval intelligence personnel in 2004 was 280, while the 2005 requirements have already exceeded 314—equivalent to the intelligence manning of three carrier strike groups. While naval intelligence comprises only 1% of the Navy's total force, it has filled nearly 35% of all the Navy's individual augmentation requirements since 9/11. This elevated personnel tempo significantly exaggerates the already high-demand/low-density nature of our community.
Today, nearly 90 active-duty naval intelligence personnel are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan on rotational assignments. Moreover, about 150 mobilized members of the naval intelligence reserve are serving in the Central Command area of responsibility. Half of the naval intelligence reserve force has been mobilized since 9/11, averaging the equivalent of 357 man-years of support above their normal statutory reserve commitment.
We are also mobilizing 28 naval reservists to take over the detainee interrogation mission in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Once we fully assume this high-profile mission, naval intelligence will have a full-time presence of at least 80 personnel at the detention facility. The Navy's entire POW interrogation capability resides in the reserves. These sailors and officers are the cream of the crop, mature, highly educated, and well prepared to handle this demanding mission. We are partnering with the U.S. Army at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, to ensure these Navy interrogators have the training they need. As the full scope of the Navy's contribution to the global war on terror becomes apparent, the contribution of naval intelligence is significant and growing. The number of naval intelligence personnel on site supporting operations in the Caribbean, Far East, Middle East, and elsewhere far exceeds those deployed in the traditional force aboard ships.
Transforming Intelligence to Meet the Threat
Most of the diverse threats we face today will persist, in some form or another, for the foreseeable future. The stakes are now much higher and there is a heightened expectation of us all. We cannot adequately satisfy the wide range of requirements levied upon us equipped with only the organic capabilities we currently possess or plan to develop. We are therefore working with the complementary capabilities of the other members of the intelligence community, strengthening naval intelligence's role as an innovative, efficient, and effective provider and consumer of our nation's intelligence resources, while seeking to broaden cooperation with other U.S. non-intelligence military agencies. We must look outside the community and beyond our nation's borders to tap into the unique capabilities of our ever-expanding list of foreign partners.
Bridging to the Future
Several initiatives now under way stand out as we strive to ensure that we not only make the most effective and efficient use of our resources but that we are best aligned to support our customers.
We are developing a strategy that will ensure that we optimize our most important resource, our people. We are in the process of implementing a performance management system to ensure that we know exactly what we are doing, how we are doing it, and how well we are doing it. We have partnered with the Naval Postgraduate School to design a course for civilian and military naval intelligence personnel that offers an education in private sector best business practices, innovation, and transformation-skills and perspectives that are important for our leaders to possess. We recently began to design a naval intelligence innovation center with a small group dedicated to developing innovative approaches to naval intelligence challenges. We improved our communications plan to make sure that the message gets out.
I often wonder why our joint combatant commanders ask naval intelligence to supply so many senior intelligence leaders for their staff J-2s and joint intelligence center commanding officers. Why is naval intelligence asked to supply 30% of the Navy's total individual augmentation personnel in direct support of Iraq and Afghanistan operations out of a pool that represents but 1% of the total force? My only conclusion is that we have a great product that not only satisfies customers, but also far exceeds their expectations.
Two years after the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, our nation continues to fight a counterinsurgency in that country. At the same time, as the U.S. Navy has returned to a pre-combat operational tempo, the role of naval intelligence has grown so significantly that our people may soon reach a breaking point. The current pace of augmentation is not sustainable. I am convinced that we must reverse the high-demand, low-density nature of naval intelligence.
Despite this strain, Naval Intelligence continues to skillfully satisfy the many demands placed on us. I have spoken with the Navy warriors, those men and women in our carrier strike groups and expeditionary strike groups, on frequent occasion about the value they place on naval intelligence. And, no, I am not naïve enough to suggest that improvements are not needed from time to time. Of course they are. But the consistent message from our warriors is one of appreciation of the product. The warriors tell me that Naval Intelligence is on course.
Rear Admiral Porterfield, the 60th Director of Naval Intelligence, was relieved by Rear Admiral Robert Murrett on 1 April 2005. Admiral Porterfield, now retired, was the longest serving director in the Navy's history, occupying that position from August 2000 to April 2005.