'Forward...From The Sea': Intelligence Support to Naval Expeditionary Forces   [open pdf - 87KB]

The focus of this paper is the restructuring of Naval and joint intelligence and whether it is meeting the challenges of providing timely, accurate, and relevant intelligence support to joint warfighters. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the imminent, massive, global threat ended. As a result, naval forces shifted from a Cold War, open ocean, blue water naval strategy designed to fight a force at sea against a high-volume, high speed Soviet threat, to a regional, littoral, expeditionary focus. This shift away from operations on the sea to the projection of power from the sea in order to shape events in the littorals poses distinct challenges to both Naval Forces and the intelligence community. The intelligence support structure needs to be adjusted to provide joint forces and sea-based intelligence personnel with more reliable and flexible access to near-real time intelligence. Conclusions: Intelligence support to the warfighter can be enhanced by expanding cross-training opportunities and interoperability, and by increasing the proficiency of ground analysts afloat. The integration of the Navy and Marine intelligence team is essential for successful operations in the littorals. Naval intelligence must continue to ensure that sensors and collection methods, afloat and ashore intelligence centers, and dissemination systems are highly capable and provide timely and accurate sensor- to-shooter connectivity. Naval intelligence is striving to provide the necessary intelligence support for training, exercise, acquisition, and modernization requirements as well as support real-world contingency operations.

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Federation of American Scientists (FAS) http://www.fas.org
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