Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance (ISR) Operations for a Tactical Approach


Course Description: This course prepares students to apply IEAA concepts to enable intelligence and operational communities to characterize, forecast, target, wargame and assess the information environment in support of a commander’s decision-making process. Students are immersed in concepts, techniques and operational constructs and linked to the Joint Intelligence Preparation of the Operational Environment (JIPOE), Operational Design, and the Joint Planning Process (JPP).

Course Length: 120 hrs. 6hr/day

Location: Colorado Springs, CO or Worldwide

ISR Fundamentals – This lesson provides students with an understanding of the fundamentals and utilization of intelligence, the disciplines within the intelligence community and identify how each discipline would provide support in the operating environment.

ISR Support to the Kill-chain – Focusing on the fundamentals of how intelligence drives operations, this lesson expounds upon how a weapon system or specialty within intelligence can drive the kill chain. This lesson will also introduce the concepts behind Find, Fix, Track, Target, Engage (F2T2EA) as well as Find, Fix, Finish, Exploit, Analyze, Disseminate (F3EAD).

Planning, Collection, Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination Process (PCPAD) – This lesson will provide students with an understanding of the PCPAD process; Planning and Direction, Collection, Processing and exploitation, Analysis and Production, and Dissemination by developing intelligence requirements that can lead to operations.

Intelligence Preparation of the Operational Environment – The JIPOE process provides a disciplined methodology for applying a holistic view of the OE to the analysis of adversary capabilities and intentions. This process consists of four basic steps: define the operational environment, describe the impact of the operational environment, evaluate the adversary and other relevant actors, and determine adversary and other relevant actor courses of action (COAs).

ISR Platforms – Students will be provided a tailored introduction to ISR sensors and the platforms that support them. Students will learn to Identify and understand the collection resources for proper allocation to requirements within ISR operations. In this lesson, students will learn about the types of resources employed to satisfy information requirements through the global integrated ISR operations.

Introduction to Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) –  This lesson provides students with an understanding of the attributes of RPAs. Participates will be expected to Discuss and understand the attributes of RPAs, an RPA mission, RPA as a force multiplier and the CONOPS of RPAs .

Introduction to Airborne Collection Management – Whether ISR assets are in abundance or limited, collection requirements must be articulated effectively, and collection managers are expected to effectively and efficiently schedule assets to satisfy these requirements. In this lesson students will gain a baseline understanding of the principles behind collection management and how to effectively submit RFIs to satisfy their intelligence gaps. Students will be required to work as a team and develop an effective ISR plan.

ISR Synchronization and Planning – This lesson conveys the principles of ISR synchronization and planning. Students will gain knowledge on collection priorities and demonstrate their grasp of the information by developing an ISR Synchronization Matrix and ISR Plan.

Introduction to Airborne ISR-Multi-Service Coordination – In a dynamic environment with a multitude of assets and capabilities, operators should be prepared to utilize ISR assets accordingly and know how to coordinate air and ground operations. In addition to multiservice operations, operators should also be prepared to develop a CONOPS for interagency operations. At the conclusion of this lesson, students must demonstrate their understanding of ISR assets and will be evaluated on their ability to develop an acceptable concept of operations.

Imagery Types and Anomalies – This lesson focuses on various types of imagery and anomalies that can be observed. While this lesson will not teach imagery interpretation, operators will gain fundamental knowledge on the best type of imagery for a given time and mission.

Elements of Imagery Interpretation – This lesson presents the basic elements of imagery interpretation and will help students identify basic objects by applying those elements. This lesson is only required for students that have no knowledge of basic of elements of imagery interpretation.

Introduction to ISR Mission Planning – Provides students with a baseline knowledge of how the environment, the adversary, and capabilities play a role when assigning assets to collection efforts. This baseline will enable students completing the course with the foundational tools better communicate better with mission planners and alleviate breakdowns in communication with limited assets in a high ops-tempo environment.

Pre-Mission Briefings – This hands-on lesson brings the students together to develop a pre-mission briefing that is essential prior to a variety of mission types. Students will be given a baseline understanding of information required to assemble a pre-mission brief and will be evaluated as a team delivering a given problem set for which they are to deliver a pre-mission brief.

Crew Positions – This lesson is only required for students that have no knowledge or experience in identifying crew positions and responsibilities within the ISR structure. In this lesson, relevant crew positions and responsibilities will be identified and established to prepare students for the mock pre-mission brief and FMV exercise.

Basic Target Acquisition – Basic Target Acquisition will acquaint students with methods of communication used to relay search patterns and target area considerations when acquiring targets/mobile targets. This lesson should be used as a baseline to alleviate confusion and standardize communication in an ISR operation when acquiring targets.

Target Talk-Ons – This is a short lesson that walks students through the coalition standard of directing sensor operators or tactical observers onto a target or area of interest.

FMV Callouts – Callouts are a critical task of FMV observation. At a minimum, FMV analysts are expected to provide what is known as a “Slant,” in order to maintain accountability of persons in the AO as well as document pattern of life. Students will be provided instruction on how to successfully conduct “Callouts” and will be evaluated through instructor observation in an FMV exercise.

Target Logs – Target logs are essential to accurately documenting what is observed in the Area of Operations. In this lesson, students are provided a target log template and the contents that are to be observed and documented. Students will participate in an exercise to evaluate their attention to detail and ability to identify behavior of concern.

Open Source Media Exploitation – Students will conduct opens source research and learn to exploit information using everyday tools. Students will also demonstrate their ability to utilize basic techniques for media correlation.

Geospatial Collection Packages – Students will be given a problem set and expected to produce a Geospatial Collection Package on the given target location and area. This is a hands-on lesson and students will be evaluated on participation and presentation skills.

Intelligence Collection Management – Students are introduced to the fundamentals of Collections Management that includes differentiating between strategic and tactical collection, requirements and tasking processes, creating intelligence collection strategies, assignment of intelligence requirements to appropriate collection methods, and the RFI process.