Commentary

April 11, 2014

Military Intelligence – this week in history April 11, 2014

Ground surveillance radar operators were an integral part of the CEWI Battalion’s intelligence support to the division.

522nd MI (CEWI) Battalion passes tactical intelligence test

April 7, 1977

Army Intelligence received an extreme makeover in the mid-1970s.

Following the end of the conflict in Vietnam, the Army Intelligence field was facing a difficult time of introspection and dwindling resources, compounded by harsh criticism from a review panel ordered by the chief of staff. This study, the Intelligence Organization and Stationing Study, or IOSS, recommended radical changes to the Army Intelligence structure, beginning with the dismantling of the Army Security Agency, or ASA.

At the strategic level, ASA’s headquarters and fixed field stations merged with theater support organizations into a new command, the Intelligence and Security Command, or INSCOM. At the tactical level, the Army had finally reached the conclusion that intelligence companies could be integrated as a permanent part of combat divisions, providing better peacetime training opportunities and concentrating radar and ground sensor assets in one location. But the need for multi-discipline intelligence support to the field plus the overriding requirement to do more with less drove this idea a step further.

In an attempt to provide ground commanders positive control of tactical intelligence and electronic warfare assets, a new type of unit emerged: the Combat Electronic Warfare Intelligence, or CEWI battalion.

The first of these was the 522nd MI (CEWI) Battalion, formed at Fort Hood, Texas, in 1976 and assigned to the 2d Armored Division. The battalion, initially only a test unit, was formed from the merger of elements of the 303rd Army Security Agency (ASA) Battalion, the 502nd Combat Intelligence Company (also a test unit) of the 2d Armored Division, and a signal security detachment. The 522nd consisted of a headquarters and operations company, an electronic warfare company and a ground surveillance company.

The concept seemed sound; the maneuver commander, in this case Maj. Gen. George Patton, Jr., would for the first time have the same control over his intelligence assets as he did over the rest of the forces assigned to him. But the concept had not been tested.

The Army tested its new CEWI battalion from January to April 1977, highlighted by a field exercise in March known as GALLANT CREW.

Lt. Col. William Harmon was the G2 of the 2d Armored Division at the time. A few years after the test, Harmon wrote an article for Military Intelligence magazine entitled “Some Personal Observations on the CEWI Concept,” (Military Intelligence, January – March 1983). He wrote: “The tactical intelligence provided by the 522nd CEWI Battalion and the Cavalry Squadron to the tactical decisionmakers of the 2d Armored Division during GALLANT CREW was the best ever received outside of combat. And, as the G2, I felt for the first time that I was in control of the collection effort.” CEWI had passed its test.

Lt. Col. William Harmon was the G2 of the 2nd Armored Division when the 522nd CEWI Battalion was activated in 1977. He retired from the Army as a major general in 1992 after 32 years of service, and was inducted into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame in 2009.

The 522nd CEWI test battalion emphasized intelligence training integrated with maneuver elements, placing MI into a truly combat support role.

By placing all of the ground-based intelligence assets and the Quick Fix directly under the division commander, intelligence was no longer fragmented around the division or controlled by a bureaucracy external to the command. As Harmon noted in an earlier article, “The most important aspect of the CEWI concept is it gives the division commander and his G2 the ability in combat to rapidly shift collection requirements to satisfy his intelligence needs for impending combat operations which has always been a formula for success on the battlefield,” (Military Intelligence, April – June 1978).

The G2 was not alone in his evaluation. Following on the heels of the 522nd CEWI Battalion’s success, the 313th Airborne CEWI Battalion was activated in June 1977 to support both the XVIII Airborne Corps and the 82nd Airborne Division. At the conclusion of this second CEWI battalion test, the commanding general announced during the exercise briefing, “No division can afford to be without a CEWI battalion.” CEWI was rapidly becoming more than a concept.

CEWI would continue to evolve over the next few years. Company-sized CEWI units formed to support separate brigades and armored cavalry regiments; MI Battalions, Aerial Exploitation replaced air reconnaissance support battalions; the MI Group became the intelligence structure in support of the Army’s Corps.

The first of these, the 504th MI Group, was formed in 1978 at Fort Hood in support of III Corps. In 1985, the 201st, 205th, 207th, 504th and 525th MI Groups, each supporting an operational Active Army Corps, were all upgraded to brigade status. From a historical perspective, however, the successful activation, testing, and acceptance of the Army’s first battalion-sized division support units showed just how far intelligence had evolved since World War I when the division intelligence staff consisted of four officers plus a handful of enlisted men and civilians serving as field clerks.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Red Ribbon Week held this week on Fort Huachuca

Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. Although the start end dates can vary slightly depending on the organization and source, Red Ribbon Week generally takes place the last full week in October, with the weekends before and following the last full week included as appropriate celebration dates....
 
 
Commissary-Gift-Cards-02

Giving ‘gift of groceries?’ Think commissary gift cards

No matter the occasion, commissary gift cards are always available to help family members, friends and organizations give the gift of groceries. The cards, which come in dominations of $25 and $50, can be purchased by anyone at...
 
 

Depression awareness showcased during month of October

Stand To! In observance of October as National Depression Awareness Month, the U.S. Army will join several organizations across America to inform the public about the signs and symptoms of depression. The public will learn the importance of seeking treatment and will be provided information about the availability of free online anonymous behavioral health screenings....
 

 

Robin Williams — could someone have helped?

I haven’t been able to talk about it until now, but I was really angry that Robin Williams committed suicide. I have been a fan of Williams since the Mork and Mindy days and always admired how much he had going for him. I knew he had problems, but somehow never considered that suicide could...
 
 

Presidential Proclamation — National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2014 NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH, 2014 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION

Domestic violence affects every American. It harms our communities, weakens the foundation of our Nation, and hurts those we love most. It is an affront to our basic decency and humanity, and it must end. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we acknowledge the progress made in reducing these shameful crimes, embrace the basic human...
 
 

National Disability Employment Awareness Month “Expect. Employ. Empower.”

October 2014 The Army’s observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month remains important to our communities as we recognize the countless contributions Americans with disabilities make to our Army on a daily basis. To this end, it is our responsibility to acknowledge and honor these individuals by continuing to implement effective policies and practices that...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin