III MEF News Search

Intelligence mission synchronized across Asia-Pacific region

10 Oct 2013 | 1st Lt. Jeremy Croft

CAMP HANSEN, Japan - The U.S. Army and Marine Corps have been working together over the past fifteen months to improve intelligence collaboration efforts focused in Japan and the Republic of Korea.

Using the Distributed Common Ground System – Army, the III Marine Expeditionary Force has been participating in an ongoing joint field-user evaluation where it has been utilizing capabilities found in DCGS-A to support its mission. III MEF recently evaluated these capabilities during Exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian, a bilateral exercise between the U.S. and the ROK.

The Marine Corps and the Army have different core intelligence requirements but share some common focus areas. The Marines have been using DCGS-A to identify elements to adapt into their own intelligence capabilities. This collaboration between services has increased the communication and clarified the common understanding of what interoperability enables between the two services’ organizations. 

“Using DCGS-A has increased our collaboration with the Army,” said Marine Col. Sean McBride, the assistant chief of staff, G-2, intelligence, III MEF. “Implementing DCGS-A into our intelligence tool kit during exercises like UFG helps us learn how we can use DCGS-A capabilities not only during combat scenarios but also for natural disasters and humanitarian missions that are a primary focus here for us in Okinawa.”

DCGS-A is the Army’s intelligence system, an enterprise that supports worldwide missions and is built on the intelligence community’s backbone standards, allowing for continued growth and sharing of intelligence capabilities with sister services and other federal agencies. 

The system collates data gathered for the purposes of analytical processing, shares significant amounts of information pulled into a common environment, and allows for enhancements to situational awareness while improving the commander’s decision-making regarding the use of force. 

The DCGS Enterprise enables commanders to access key information, track specific requirements, and make timely decisions through access to more than 600 data sources. This information can be used in a wide range of situations, from engaging with enemy combatants to assisting displaced personnel in a disaster situation.

“Increased communication is one of the most important benefits of this field-user environment,” said Marine Lt. Col. David Yost, the chief technology officer with the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, Quantico, Va. “We’ve been working at every level, from our intelligence analyst lance corporals using DCGS-A, to our general officers working on intelligence strategies.” 

Exercise UFG gave units the ability to implement DCGS-A in an operational environment to improve real-time intelligence. 
Units in Japan and the ROK were able to share intelligence across multiple networks to provide the most current, accurate and relevant intelligence battlefield picture.

Continued collaboration on innovative ideas, along with the sharing of cutting-edge intelligence technology, is the backbone of the ongoing joint field-user evaluation between the U.S. Army and Marines.

“The Marines received multifunction work stations and intelligence fusion servers, a DCGS-A mentor and a field support engineer for the entire year,” said Army Maj. Shermoan Daiyaan, assistant product manager for DCGS-A. “We trained III MEF Marines, providing them with user training and maintainer training,” 
Once the new system operators were trained and plugged in, the Marines of III MEF were able to reach more than 7 million data entries utilizing DCGS-A. 

“3rd Intelligence Battalion’s evaluation of the DCGS-A multifunctional work station and intelligence fusion server architecture gets us much closer to looking at the same intelligence data as our U.S. Army counterparts in Korea,” said Marine Capt. Matthew Kralovec, the executive officer with Production and Analysis Company, 3rd Intel Bn. “The initial results of the evaluation indicate that our use of DCGS-A may break down several barriers to intelligence interoperability between Marines in Okinawa and Army units in Korea.” 

The benefit of the evaluation has the potential to reach beyond the two services currently involved, according to Yost.

“The lessons learned in the evaluation could translate to numerous efficiencies in multiple programs,” said Yost. “While initial exercises focus Marine Corps and Army intelligence functions, this lays the foundation for future collaboration across naval maritime operations and fixed sites associated with the U.S. Air Force.”

Read more: