News: S-2 is the Intelligence of the Arrowhead Brigade
Story by Staff Sgt. Joshua Brandenburg
FORWARD OPERATING BASE MASUM GHAR, Afghanistan – There are many offices within a brigade for a commander to receive information from. The Personnel Office reports on personnel statuses, while the Operations Office reports on the current and future operations of the brigade but the Intelligence Office may be one of a commander’s most important sources of information and advice.
The Intelligence Office, also known as S-2, is responsible for collecting and analyzing information from many different sources in order to give as clear a picture as possible about enemy locations, actions and movement so the commander can make decisive decisions on how to achieve his goals. It should respond to the needs of the commander, based on the objectives for any operation.
“We are responsible for knowing what’s going on in the AO (area of operations), as far as what the enemy is doing,” said Sgt. Betsy Nunez, a military analyst with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.
The intelligence process is comprised of four main areas: collection, analysis, packaging and dissemination. The Soldiers of the S-2 office handle each report seriously and in a timely manner. When dealing with intelligence reports from the field they quickly analyze the reports, which they call ‘on the spot intelligence,’ and distribute them up the chain of command and down to the Soldiers on the ground.
“It’s like ‘hey if we have troops over here, this is what we think is happening with the enemy,’ so that’s the on the spot intelligence we give” Nunez added. “We’re required to maintain situational awareness of what’s going on in the battlefield from an enemy’s perspective.”
So how does all this intelligence help the effectiveness of a military unit?
“It helps you to arrest the bad guys that are out there, cause we find out who they are, where they are and who they are associated with,” said Sgt. Christen Kim, a human intelligence collector, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. “So we remove negative players from the battle-space and remove IEDs (improvised explosive devices) from the battle-space.”
Kim went on to say that just last month they received a report of an IED emplaced near a road, so they got directions and a grid and sent the information out to the units in the area, whom were able to find the IED and safely detonate it.
The intelligence analysts of the Arrowhead Brigade are always reading up on the situations in the Zabul and Kandahar Provinces and are always ready to provide the vital intelligence that the commander needs.