Information Environment Advanced Analysis

JMark Services, Inc., has developed and currently teaches and administers an Information Environment Advanced Analysis (IEAA) course program sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSD(I)).  This is the only advanced analysis course available for intelligence analysts interacting with planners and operators from across all military services within the Information Environment (IE).  It is open to all ranks of civilian and military members but specifically targets personnel in the officer, warrant officer, mid-grade/senior NCO, and GG/GS11-14 grades.

This Joint-Staff certified and Joint credit-awarding course focuses on the ways in which the proliferation of information and information systems creates a distinct operating environment – the IE.  Course mentors help students understand how to engage in careful and coordinated analysis, planning, and operations within the IE to help the DoD and its partners achieve end-states and objectives across the spectrum of conflict.  The course content is designed to give students varied approaches and insights that will help them and their commanders to seize and hold the initiative within complex problem and mission sets and, to the extent possible, achieve objectives short of armed conflict.

Our rigorous, two-week IEAA courses equip analysts, planners, and operators with concepts, techniques, and constructs enabling them to analyze a complex problem situation, anticipate how to achieve an end-state favorable to U.S. interests, and devise a recommendation that will help a commander determine how to seize and sustain the initiative in the IE to achieve a stated end-state and supporting objectives.  Students develop will- and capabilities-based activities and effects within the IE to achieve their objectives and end-state in support of strategic priorities.  The course also gives students detailed approaches and tools for assessing progress toward achieving effects, objectives, and end-states.  These include measures of effectiveness, measures of performance, and effectiveness indicators.  This focus on assessment, and specifically on MOEs, MOPs, and MOEIs, is useful throughout the range of conflict, from information-driven to kinetic problem sets.

Seasoned mentors cover key course concepts, approaches, and tools within the context of real-world problem sets and practical exercises, resulting in a rich learning experience that students can carry back to their duty stations. As a result, course graduates from operations, plans, and intelligence organizations are better able to characterize, forecast, target, wargame, and assess the IE in support of a commander’s decision-making process and the achievement of national security objectives.

In addition to members of the joint U.S. military community, law-enforcement and Intelligence Community professionals have graduated from the IEAA course and have successfully applied course concepts and techniques in such areas as special operations, counter-terrorism, and gang and narcotics enforcement.

These courses feature highly interactive instruction in plenary and small-group settings, a challenging and realistic practical exercise, rigorous study and reading programs, and teaching/mentoring teams comprised entirely of senior leaders and educators. All IEAA courses include the following expertise, resources, and deliverables:

  • Senior IEAA educators/mentors and course administrators who conduct, teach, administer, and evaluate the course for up to 30 students during a two-week period. Our senior educators/mentors are retired Colonels with senior command and staff experience in intelligence billets as well as significant planning and operations experience.
  • Curricula, syllabi, lesson plans, extensive reading requirements, training and learning objectives, student workbooks and module packets, and an evaluation process that includes student performance assessment and continuous review of course progress, both during and after the course. (Note: course materials are available in hard copy or digital form.)
  • Detailed, relevant practical exercises, based on real-world problems addressed in the National Security Strategy and National Military Strategy.  These include detailed baselines, decision-maker profiles, and daily scenario injects (each covering a one-month period) that facilitate and ensure student application and comprehension of advanced IE-related analytic techniques, methods, and concepts taught throughout the course.
  • A 2.5-hour oral comprehensive examination administered to all students in the course.
  • An 8-hour block to build an IE Recommendation Briefing for senior evaluators playing the role of a theater commander, political advisor, and other key leaders.  The 40-minute briefing showcases students’ learning and new skills and is followed by a rigorous question-and-answer session with the senior evaluators.
  • Completion and assessment of detailed end-of-course critiques by all students at the conclusion of every course.  This continuous course critique and assessment process focuses on lessons learned, portions of the course to be sustained, and opportunities for improving specific aspects of the course.  Mentors and staff meet semi-annually for a Hot Wash in which key findings from the critique process are incorporated into the course, facilitating an iterative improvement that allows mentors to keep the course at the forefront of developing IE-related approaches, concepts, and practices.

Testimonials

If you have general questions about course content, or if you are interested in sponsoring an IEAA course at your location/facility, contact Rob Ehlers

Course Mentors/Instructors

Larry Bruns is the senior project manager at JMark Services Inc. for advanced analysis courses delivered to OSD, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps students, including the Information Environment Advanced Analysis Course.  He is a principal instructor and the author of all practical exercises for those courses. Mr. Bruns has also managed a variety of critical ISR training, concepts, and systems projects for the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, including analytical support and concept design for the Distributed Common Ground System–Army.  He led a team providing ISR modeling, future Army modular force experimentation, and subject matter expertise to the Army Battle Command Battle Laboratory.

Mr. Bruns also completed a 26-year career as an Army intelligence officer, retiring at the rank of colonel in 1998.  He served in variety of command and staff positions, from company to the national level.   Those positions included command of a battalion in DESERT STORM; brigade command at Fort Lewis, Washington; Assistant Chief of Staff, G2, I Corps; and Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence, U.S. Army Forces Command.  Mr. Bruns holds a bachelor’s degree from West Texas A&M, and a Master of Military Art and Science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

Dr. Robert Ehlers, senior mentor, is a retired Air Force colonel with 24 years of service as an intelligence officer.  He completed 12 active-duty assignments including tours from the unit to the theater-command level and special-duty assignments teaching history at the Air Force Academy and the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies.  Rob commanded at the flight, squadron, and group levels.  His educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in international studies and history from Ohio State; a master’s degree in history from the University of Florida, Gainesville; and a Ph.D. from Ohio State in military, European, and African history.  From 2010 to 2016, Rob served as the Director of the new Center for Security Studies and Professor of Security Studies at Angelo State University, leading the development of seven new online degree programs.  These online programs, which included bachelor’s and master’s degrees in security studies, intelligence studies, homeland security, and criminal justice, have won national awards and are widely recognized among service-related personnel as useful and effective degrees.  Rob joined JMark Services Inc., in January 2014 as a mentor for the Information Environment Advanced Analysis (IEAA) course. Rob is the author of Targeting the Third Reich: Air Intelligence and the Allied Bombing Campaigns, which won the Air Force Historical Society’s Best Airpower Book award for 2010.  His second book, The Mediterranean Air War: Airpower and Allied Victory in World War II, won the U.S. Military History Group’s award for the best book published in 2015-2016 on any topic relating to American military history from 1918-1945.

David Johnson completed a distinguished military career as an Air Force intelligence officer in 2010, retiring at the rank of colonel.  He is currently the senior Director of ISR Development with PatchPlus Consulting.  In his final active duty assignment, he served as Chief, Distributed Common Ground System Weapon System Office, AF ISR Agency, where he led program management and oversight of the AN/GSQ-272 Sentinel (AF DCGS) weapon system.  He also served as Chief, ISR Force Development, Training, and Weapons and Tactics, AF ISR Agency; Chief, ISR Division 607th Air and Space Operations Center, 7th Air Force; Chief, NATO Intelligence Systems Service Branch, SHAPE; and Commander of Pacific Air Forces Air Intelligence Squadron and 26th Air and Space Intelligence Squadron, Hickam AFB.

He was Instructor, Flight Commander, Assistant Operations Officer, and Operations Officer of the Intelligence Division, USAF Weapons School.  Mr. Johnson holds a Bachelors and Masters degree from Louisiana Technical University.

Mike Phillips is JMark’s President and Chief Executive Officer. In that role, he implements JMark’s strategic vision and goals, drives corporate growth and success, heads a dynamic leadership team, and ensures JMark’s continued expansion in national and global markets. He was formerly the Executive Director, Analysis Mission Programs, Department of the Air Force, where he was responsible for implementing standards and policy for intelligence analysis across the USAF and for the development of advanced intelligence analysis education and training programs. In that role, he served as primary agent for professionalization, outreach, and rapid improvement of Air Force intelligence analysis.

His 28-year military career included assignments as principal military advisor to the United Nations special representative in Kosovo; commander of the 381st Intelligence Squadron; Director of Intelligence (A2), 13th Air Force, PACAF; commander of the Air Force Intelligence Analysis Agency, and commander of the DIA Special Collections Operations Group. He retired at the rank of colonel in September 2009.  Mr. Phillips holds master’s degrees in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College and in international relations from Troy State University; he has served as a National Defense Fellow at Georgetown University.

Dr. Tom Drohan is Director of the International Center for Security and Leadership at JMark. His 38-year career in the U.S. Air Force blended operations and education. His operational experience includes HC- 130 pilot at Kadena AB (Japan), C-130 airlift squadron director of operations at Pope AFB (North Carolina), provisional airlift squadron commander at Ramstein AB (Germany) and Prince Sultan AB (Saudi Arabia), and T-41 instructor pilot (USAF Academy). As an educator he served as Permanent Professor of Military & Strategic Studies and Vice Commandant at the USAF Academy, Division Chief for Anti-terrorism & Force Protection and for Air & Missile Defense in South Korea, Advisor at the National Military Academy of Afghanistan, Visiting Scholar at The Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, and Council on Foreign Relations Fellow in Japan.  A USAF Academy graduate, he holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Hawaii, and a master’s degree and doctorate in politics from Princeton University. Following his military retirement in the rank of brigadier general, Dr. Drohan was Dean of the National Defense College in the United Arab Emirates. He is the author of A New Strategy for Complex Warfare and American-Japanese Security Agreements, various articles on contemporary security strategy and ongoing blog posts at securityandleadership.com.

Jeff Schnakenberg retired after 32 years of service, rising from an Army private to an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel.  In the Army he served as a tank crewman, an infantryman, and a Psychological Operations NCO on jump status at Fort Bragg.  After going through Air Force Officer Training School, he served 21 years as an intelligence officer. Jeff provided combat intel support to A-10s and F-16CJs in Afghanistan and Iraq, leveraging his Army experience to improve air power in support of ground operations. As a Lieutenant he participated in Operation ANACONDA in 2002, and his subsequent lessons-learned were so comprehensive and relevant they were incorporated into the A-10’s tactics and technique volume and inspired a similar attachment in every single aircraft volume.  Further deployments allowed him to hone his warfighting skills working with joint, coalition, and special operations forces. Renowned as one of Air Force intel’s “Big Thinkers”, in later assignments Jeff was by-name-requested to serve on the USAFCENT, Air Combat Command, Air Force, and USAFE-AFAFRICA headquarters staffs, spearheading training, doctrinal, and human capital innovation, and to be commander of the Air Force’s only expeditionary Air Base Defense support squadron.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and the U.S. Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS).

A scholar as well as a warrior, Jeff holds three Master’s degrees: a MA in History from Temple University, an MS in Strategic Intelligence from National Intelligence University, and an MPhil in Military Strategy from SAASS. He is currently working on his PhD in History with intelligence in the British Royal Flying Corps during WWI being his research topic.  Among Jeff’s special interests are comparative military doctrine and institutional development, wargaming, and the use of history in military professional development.  He also conducts formal military staff rides in America as well as Europe.

Dr. Erin Roper is an experimental social/political psychologist.  She previously served as the Senior Intelligence Officer for DIA’s Human Factors Analysis Division, and was the standard bearer for Human Factors analysis and methodologies in the U.S. Defense Enterprise.  During her seven years of government service, she lead multiple international working groups on techniques for applying social science methods to intelligence problem sets, and lead a research team which is an internationally recognized expert in developing and applying intelligence-relevant social network analytical approaches.  She built and delivered a Division-wide, four-week, graduate-level curriculum to train her analytic workforce, a first in the intelligence community.  She has research and teaching interests in advanced and novel analytic methods, leadership decision making, information operations, and antecedents to political violence.  In 2012, she accepted an academic appointment as a member of the psychology faculty at Northwest Arkansas Community College.

Course Schedule

> 21 September  – 2 October, 2020: Quantico, VA (by invitation only)
> 19-30 October, 2020: Quantico, VA
> 7-18 December, 2020: Colorado Springs
> 4-15 January, 2021: Quantico, VA
> 25 January – 5 February, 2021: Ottawa, Canada
> 5-9 February, 2021: Ottawa, Canada (Senior Leader Information Environment Course)
> 15-26 March, 2021: Canberra, Australia
> 26-30 March, 2021: Canberra, Australia (Senior Leader Information Environment Course)
> 10-21 May, 2021: Ottawa, Canada

How to Apply

Fill out our online application to apply to attend an IEAA course.

Contact Us

For more information on the IEAA course, the primary contact is:

Judy Nelson
Course Manager
JMark Services, Inc.
judy.nelson@jmarkservices.com