Intelligence Mission Essential Task Lists – Forward Observer

Intelligence Mission Essential Task Lists

Good afternoon and welcome to the lecture on the Mission Essential Task List (METL) for Intelligence. This is a good starting point for our training because this lecture serves as an overview of what you can expect in this training area.

There are three important considerations before we get started. They are:

  1. Everything is mission-dependent. Your METL in an urban operating environment might differ from a rural one. This is one reason why understanding the threats and the mission is so important. Identify your most likely threats and missions, and then you can design your task list to fit the mission.
  2. Be realistic. We would love to include all the tasks on our METL and work towards proficiency in all of them, but not only is that not realistic, it’s probably also overkill. The reason to have a METL is to ensure that we identify our mission requirements and become the best trained we can in those five or 10 skills. If we start adding skills to the METL that we’re unlikely to need in our mission, then we’re wasting valuable training time on tasks we’re unlikely to perform. So think through your mission, identify what tasks are essential, and then train to the standard on those first.
  3. And lastly, test your skills. There’s a reason why Army units go to the field; they run field training exercises, perform their tasks in simulated environments and under simulated conditions, and they put their skills to the test. In each training module, I’ll suggest some activities you can complete in order to test your skills.

The first set of mission essential tasks we’re going to cover is for the Analysis track. I’ll cover all the possible tasks and sub-tasks for this track, and you’ll need to pick and choose the five or 10 sub-tasks that you want gain proficiency in first. The Intelligence METL for Analysis includes:

Intelligence Mission Essential Task List (Analysis)

  1. Generate Intelligence Requirements
    1. Identify intelligence gaps
    2. Create a numbered Intelligence Requirements system
    3. Identify mission-critical Priority Intelligence Requirements
    4. Identify Source Directed Requirements
    5. Create an ISR plan
  2. Prepare an Area Study of the Operating Environment
    1. Define the battlefield environment
    2. Analyze the physical terrain
    3. Analyze the human terrain
    4. Analyze the critical infrastructure
    5. Analyze the politics/governance
    6. Analyze the military/law enforcement/security forces
    7. Analyze the economic/financial landscape
  3. Prepare Maps and Overlays
    1. Build a map board
    2. Select appropriate base maps
    3. Prepare overlays
  4. Battle Track the Threat Environment
    1. Define and Understand Map Symbology
    2. Conduct Terrain Analysis
  5. Conduct Threat Analysis
    1. Evaluate the Threat
    2. Identify Order of Battle
    3. Create a Table of Organization & Equipment (TO&E)
    4. Identify the Center of Gravity
    5. Develop Potential Courses of Action
  6. Provide Intelligence Support to Targeting
    1. TBA
  7. Provide Intelligence Support to Information Operations
    1. TBA
  8. Provide Source Feedback
    1. Evaluate source reporting
    2. Assign Grading to Sources
    3. Assign Grading to Reporting

 

Intelligence Mission Essential Task List (Collection)

  1. Understand and Respond to Collection Requirements
  2. Conduct Informal/Low Level Human Intelligence Collection
  3. Conduct Basic Signals Intelligence Collection
  4. Conduct Open Source Intelligence Collection
  5. Conduct Imagery Intelligence Collection
  6. Write Intelligence Information Reports

Intelligence Mission Essential Task List (ACE Chief/Collection Manager)

  1. Organize and Run the ACE
    1. Understand the Mission & Mission Requrements
    2. Develop the ACE METL
    3. Ensure Proper Training for ACE Staff
    4. Ensure Proper Coverage of Tasks for the Mission
    5. Provide Quality Assurance of the Intelligence
    6. Disseminate Finished Intelligence
    7. Manage 24/7 Operations for the ACE
  2. Establish Intelligence Architecture
    1. Create Intelligence Database(s)
    2. Provide or Acquire Intelligence Collection Tools
  3. Perform Collection Management
    1. Review and Approve Intelligence Requirements
    2. Task Intelligence Requirements for Collection
    3. Manage the Intelligence Requirements List

Mike Shelby is a former Intelligence NCO and contractor. He's now the CEO of Forward Observer.

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