The Future of Army Reserve Military Intelligence
By Cpt. Glenn Draughon
The mission statement of the Military Intelligence Readiness Command can be summed up in two words: Intelligence Operations.
This mission is the driving force behind the MIRC 2025 vision to provide intelligence support to meet theater requirements by producing relevant and trained Army Reserve MI formations and soldiers to Combatant Commands. The intent of MIRC 2025 is to align MIRC formations, through Regionally Aligned Forces (RAF) and Theater Engagement, to best accomplish this mission. Key to the success of MIRC 2025 is the growth and accurate stationing of MIRC units. The Army Reserve is currently resourced and funded for 205,000 troops, but only 196,000 positions are filled. This shortage, combined with existing and future fiscal constraints, means the Reserves will likely lose even more authorized positions for soldiers. Additionally, the Active Component is suffering a significant reduction of troops with the Army as a whole shrinking from 45 Brigade Combat Teams to 33. The active forces will also conduct fewer Military Intelligence missions; however, many of the mission requirements will remain. Therefore, as the rest of the Army is shrinking, Army Reserve Military Intelligence will be asked to expand to fill the gap. The continued requirement for Military Intelligence capabilities and the drawdown of the Active Component force are the primary reasons why the MIRC will grow from nearly 6,000 authorized positions to approximately 7,500.
This growth in troops and mission requirements will fuel force structure changes as the MIRC expands. We are conducting more stationing actions during the next year than ever in the MIRC’s history. To be successful in our stationing we will align production units with Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities to maximize battle assembly and Annual Training utilization. The Theater Support Battalions can expect to keep similar mission sets and continue to support Theater Intelligence Brigades. However, the task organizations for their Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie Companies will change. The Battlefield Surveillance Brigades (BfSB) MI Battalions will undergo significant changes as alignment with Active and National Guard BfSB do not coincide with future mission sets. This is primarily due to the difficulty in coordinating multicomponent mission command and sustainment as well as accounting for Title 10 vs. Title 32 authorities.
Alignments with the BfSBs will end with the creation of Expeditionary – Military Intelligence Brigades or E-MIBs. The MIRC will gain two E-MIBs and potentially station them at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The E-MIBs will not go into effect until FY16, however, the 208th Regional Support Group will inactivate at the end of FY15. This creates a significant gap in mission command of the 208th RSG and its subordinate units which will temporarily migrate to the MIRC’s Training Support Command. The exception is the 378th MI Battalion, which will move to the 648th Regional Support Group until the activation of the E-MIBs in FY16. The MIRC will also activate the 505th Theater Intelligence Brigade (TIB) in San Antonio, Texas. This will be a multi-component headquarters with two subordinate BNs in direct support to U.S. Army North (ARNORTH) in September 2015. The National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) Military Intelligence Groups (MIG) will remain in their current structure and the Strategic Intelligence Groups (SIG) will support Combatant Commands through the new regional centers just created by the Defense Intelligence Agency. The Department of the Army also recently mandated creation of Army Contingency Force Package (ACFP) units within the Army Reserve. The 373rd Military Intelligence Battalion, with the 378th MI Battalion in support, is tasked as the first MIRC ACFP unit given notice to conduct full spectrum intelligence operations during a global contingency.
The MIRC is growing and, as such, there will be more career opportunities for Army Reserve Military Intelligence Soldiers than ever. MIRC 2025 will place the MIRC in a position to answer current and future intelligence requirements.