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Center for Army Lesson Learned Banner CALL Newsletter 03-18
Information Operations(IO)

Chapter 7

IO Operational Rhythm (Overview)

IO Battle Rhythm. The IO section developed an internal battle rhythm that tied into the MND(N)’s battle rhythm. The battle rhythm was used in place of a calendar to orchestrate the members’ weekly meetings and activities (see Figure 6). 

Monday 

Tuesday 

Wednesday 

Thursday 

Friday 

Saturday 

0800 ACE Update
(Chief) 

0800 ACE Update
(Chief) 

0800 ACE Update
(Chief) 

0800 ACE Update
(Chief) 

0800 ACE Update
(Chief) 

0745 ACE Update
(Chief) 

0830 IO Huddle
(Deputy & Chief) 

 

0830 IO Int Huddle
(Deputy & Chief) 

 

0830 IO Int Huddle
(Deputy & Chief) 

 
 

Verify VTC & BUB for SFOR VTC (TGT officer) 

 

 

1000 ATWG (Special Projects) 

 
   

1000 Update to CofS on IOWG (Chief) 

   

1000 Talking Points Review Board (Planner) 

     

1100 SFOR VTC  (TGT officer) 

   

1100-1200 G3 planners update (Planner) 

   

Update IO synch matrix (Deputy) 

   

1300 SFOR Bilat Schedule (Planner) 

1330 IOWG (Deputy) 

   

Update TSMs and Assess Matrix
(TGT Officer) 

1300 Review IO Synch Matrix (Deputy) 

1300 Update MND(N) Bilat Schedule
(TGT Officer) 

         

1300 CofS Update
(Chief) 

Update IO Synch Matrix (Deputy) 

       

1400 Bilat Schedules to CofS (Chief) 

Update Div Synch Matrix (Deputy) 

 

1500 Tgt Mtg Reheaersal (TGT Officer & IO Intel) 

   

1500 Synch Brief Review Mtg (Deputy) 

 

1500 CofS Synch Brief (Chief) 

1630 Tgt Mtg 

(TGT Officer) 

1500 CG Synch Brief (Chief) 

1630 IMPIN on Tgt Changes (Planner) 

1745 BUB
(Chief & Deputy) 

 

1745 BUB
(Chief & Deputy) 

 

1745 BUB
(Chief & Deputy) 

1700 BUB (Chief) 

     

1900 BUB Slide Review
(Chief & Deputy) 

 

1800 CofS Update Slide to SGS
(Chief) 

1900 IOWG Brief Review
(Deputy & Chief) 

1900 Review Input for CofS Synch Brief (Deputy) 

1900 Tgt Mtg Review
(TGT Officer) 

1900 Review Input for CG Synch Brief
(Deputy) 

 

1900 Post New TSM on Web
(TGT Officer) 

 

Additional 

Check Mail (Special Projects) 

Dispatch Vehicle (TGT Officer) 

Coord Activities for Div TV Show (Special Projects) 

     

Figure 6.  SFOR 11 IO Battle Rhythm 

Targeting Meeting. The targeting meeting was held once a week. It was facilitated by the targeting officer and chaired by the DCG (see Figure 7 for agenda). The purpose of the targeting meeting was to review and assess IO effectiveness within campaigns, adjust IO campaigns based on assessments, ensure efforts were synchronized within IO campaigns, and ensure the targeting objectives and assessment criteria met the DCG’s intent. This was accomplished by discussing the campaigns in-depth. Topics discussed included targeting objectives (one target at a time), determining which objectives were met and which were not, and whether further effort was required against that target. All IO staff and maneuver agents provided input, as the delivery and assessment requirements were spread broadly among the available IO assets. 

Agenda 

  • Last week's guidance 
  • Review IOWG Calendar (2 months out) 
  • Targeting meeting focus (1) 
  • Targeting meeting focus (2) 
  • Targeting meeting focus (3) 
  • Targeting post execution assessments 
  • Targeting focus area product status 
  • Summary of changes 
  • Conclusion/Guidance
     

Figure 7. IO Targeting Meeting Agenda 

Once all specified targets were thoroughly assessed, the IO staff decided if any new targets were necessary in the campaign. If so, it was determined at that time what objectives to achieve, targeting assets, MOEs, and so on. Again, the staff conducted the same detailed analysis for each campaign, ensuring all aspects were covered. The DCG frequently interjected his guidance for fine-tuning ongoing campaigns. This guidance helped to ensure IO shaping operations integrated seamlessly with upcoming maneuver operations. 

Results of Targeting. The targeting meeting often resulted in the identification of new targets or the deletion of targets, an updated assessment matrix (Figure 8), and guidance from the DCG on current and future operations. Any changes to IO campaigns in the form of targeting guidance, changes, additions, or assessment criteria resulted in the production of a revised target IMPIN for the affected IO campaign(s). The IO planner was responsible for incorporating any changes or additions into an updated problem set IMPIN and submitting that IMPIN to G3 FOP for release. 


Targeting Assessment Process. The targeting assessment process occurs immediately after a target is engaged. The following procedures are performed using the target assessment matrix (Figure 8). 

  1. First column - Identify and label the target. 
  2. Second column - Designate the legend objective assessment metric color that applies to the target. 
  3. Third column - Depict which asset to use towards the target to achieve the desired objective. 
  4. Fourth column - Decide when the target should be engaged. This will come from the initial TSM and may be adjusted as necessary. 
  5. Fifth column - Explain in detail (bilats and meeting results) the current assessment of how the target relates to the desired objective. Put the objective, its sub-objectives, and the assessment in this column. 
  6. Sixth column - Adjust the targeting recommendation required to achieve the objective (i.e., reschedule bilat, target a different individual). 

IO target Asses matrix (2)

Figure 8. IO Target Assessment Matrix 

IMPIN Development. The IO planner began developing the problem set IMPIN during the mission analysis and continued to refine it after the TSM brief to the DCG. After getting approval from the IO Chief/IO Deputy, it was forwarded to G3 FOP for publishing. The IMPIN was published as an enclosure with the initial TSM that the targeting officer developed. When the IO planner supported a G3 Plans operation, the same targeting process was used to support the division’s plan. 

IMPIN Production. IO IMPINs were developed and published once the problem set MDMP was completed by IO plans.  IMPIN development began with the problem set mission analysis and was refined as the targeting meeting preparation was conducted (see Figure 9). 

Problem set planning timeline

Figure 9.  Problem Set Planning Timeline 

Review IO Synchronization Matrix. The IO synchronization matrix was the key to the IO synergism effort (see Figure 10). The MND(N) IO elements and the maneuver units provided their daily activities for the synchronization effort matrix. This matrix was updated twice  weekly — once after the IOWG, then again after the CG’s synchronization meeting on Friday — to ensure continuity between G3 FOP and IO. Furthermore, this matrix was key in maintaining IO campaign synergism between the staff and maneuver units. The matrix had a color-coded legend at the bottom that matched the IO problem set calendar. 

IO Synchronization matrix

Figure 10.  IO Synchronization Matrix 

Develop IO Tasks for the Week. Both the chief and the deputy developed the following week’s IO tasks for the supporting staff on Saturday after reviewing the current TSMs and the synchronization matrix. Staff elements supported the tasks according to their subject areas; i.e., PSYOP began producing products to support a problem set, G5 coordinated with UNHCR for a problem set concern, and PAO prepared problem set smart cards with specific messages. These tasks were issued and coordinated at the IO staff huddle. 

IO Staff Huddle. The IO team developed its synergy through three different types of meetings each week. These meetings consisted of a weekly huddle on Monday morning that only the IO staff attended. The IO Deputy facilitated the meeting and the IO Chief chaired it (see Figure 11 for agenda). The deputy conducted roll call, discussed any current intelligence concerns between the IO G2 representative and the group, and explained the week’s IO focus. He then had staff members brief what they were doing for the week. The deputy cross-walked coordination measures with the appropriate staff section and provided the current turn-in IOWG slide status, which is the next meeting between all IO members on Tuesday (staff and maneuver units). After the IO staff huddle, the IO internal staff (IO Chief, IO Deputy, IO targeting officer, IO plans, IO intel, and IO special projects officer) held a separate meeting. 


IO Huddle Agenda
  • Roll call
  • Intel concerns
  • Week's focus areas
  • Elements' day's events
  • Coordination measures
  • IOWG slide status
  • Alibis
  • Internal IO team huddle

Figure 11. IO Staff Huddle Agenda 

Information Operations Working Group (IOWG). The IO Deputy facilitated the IOWG meeting, which met on Tuesdays, and the DCG chaired it. Attendees were: PSYOP, G5, CIMIC, PAO, PMO, JMA, ENG, SJA, primary IO representatives from each U.S. infantry battalion, S5 from the aviation battalion, and primary IO representatives from each multinational battalion/battle group. The IO Chief, IO targeting officer, IO G2, IO planner, and special projects representative attended as well. This Week -5 meeting was conducted using the same principles as the battalion six-week training meeting process. The intent of this meeting was to cross-walk the IO staff elements’ efforts to ensure that everyone had the same focus working towards the same objective, and that there was no stovepiping of information occurring. The information that was discussed in this meeting tied in with the weekly targeting meeting. (See Figure 12 for example IOWG meeting slides and their explanation.) The IOWG meeting on Tuesday afternoon complemented the targeting meeting on Thursday. 

Slide 1:  Seating Chart 

IOWG seating diagram

Slide 2:  Lead-in graphic 

Multi-National Division (North) emblem

Slide 3: Issues slide (CDG's/IO elements' concerns from previous week)  

issues slide

Slide 4:  Agenda (explains IOWG meeting format) 

IOWG AGENDA 

    1. Agenda 
    2. Focused time periods of meeting 
    3. Intelligence Update 

    • Past two weeks roll-up
    • Near term events 
    • 6-week outlook 
    4. Review of MND(N) calendar (6 month review) 
    5. IO planning calendar/Identify new requirements (IO) 
    6. IO focus by week, next five weeks (IO) 
    7. Week +1: Assessment of events (staff and TF/Bn/BG) 
    8. Week 0: Detailed plan for week (staff and TF/Bn/BG) 
    9. Week 1: Detailed plan for week (staff and TF/Bn/BG) 
    10. Week 2: Changes (by staff section) 
    11. Week 3: Changes (by staff section) 
    12. Week 4: IO detailed plan for week (by staff section) 
    13. Issues 
    14. Guidance 
 

Slide 5:  Focused weeks - The number of the week corresponds with G3’s calendar.
Last week + 1 = Assessment (IO staff elements and maneuver units brief their assessment for the week’s identified problem set).
Week 0 = Current week (IO staff elements and maneuver units brief their actions for the week tied in with the week’s identified problem set).
Week -1 = IO staff elements and maneuver units brief their actions for the week tied in with the week’s identified problem set.
Week -2 and week -3 = Staff sections only brief their changes to the other elements from the week before.
Week -4 = Staff sections only brief their actions for four weeks out.
Week -5 = IO initial concept taken from respective problem set and what the elements are doing from the IO synchronization matrix that is updated twice weekly.

Agenda for focused weeks

Slides 6-9: Four intel slides of MND(N) taken from the ACE update and briefed by the IO intel officer. 

IO Intel "Entity Actions" Slides 

Slide 1     =  Past 2 week roll-up 

Slide 2     =  7 day outlook 

Slide 3     =  Concerns for next 6 weeks out 

Slide 4     =  Concerns for next 90 days out 

Slide 10:  Calendar color codes (legend matches calendar) 

color codes (2)

Slides 11-16:  Calendar six months out 

Calendar six months out (2)

Slide 17:  IO planning timeline (chronologically displays IO problem set mission analysis, internal targeting meetings, targeting synchronization briefs to the DCG, and IO IMPIN issue dates). 

IO planning timeline

Slide 18:  IO focus by week cross-walked with G3 synchronization operations (IO plans five weeks out staying out in front of G3 Plans by three weeks for shaping operations). 

IO focus by week

Slide 19:  Week + 1 assessment slide by staff element and maneuver unit (provide date of the event; what the task is by stating who, what, when, where, why, and how; shading the color of the assessment by following the legend; and the element’s assessment). 

week+1 assessment slide

Slide 20:  Week 0 concept taken from G3 synchronization calendar, IO problem set planning calendar, and what elements have planned on the IO synchronization matrix. 

week 0 concept


Slides 21-32:  Week 0 broken down differently between separate elements.

week 0 broken down between separate elements

PSYOP
    
*TPTs = What the TPT is doing; what coordination measures are needed to place with maneuver units.
    *PDD = What is purpose of the product; when will it be finished.
    *Radio MIR = What is day of broadcast; how many times; directed at what audience.
    *Media = What print/TV product; how many times published; who is target audience; what is media source.
G5 —
   
 *Meetings = What is purpose; what coordination measures/suspense are needed.
PAO —
    
*Purpose of press release/press conference; any coordination matters.
PMO —
   
 *What bilat meeting; with whom; for what reason.
JMA —
   
 *What bilat meeting; with whom; for what reason.
Finnish company civil military cooperation (CIMIC) house —
   
 *What is purpose of CIMIC house; what coordination measures are needed.
Maneuver units —
    
*Unit CIMIC patrols = CIMIC patrols’ purpose that complements maneuver patrols.
    *IO purpose for patrols = What themes and messages they are disseminating to the public.
    *Unit bilats = Purpose; who attended down to company commander.
    *Unit radio shows/spots = Date of the show/spot; its topic; radio station. 

Slide 33:  Week -1 concept taken from G3 synchronization calendar, IO problem set planning calendar, and what elements have planned on the IO synchronization matrix. 

week -1 concept taken from G3 synch calendar

Slides 34-46: Week -1  (same as slides 21-32 with the exception of occurring the next week). 

week-1

Slide 47:  Week -2 concept taken from G3 synchronization calendar, IO problem set planning calendar, and what elements have planned on the IO synchronization matrix. 

week -2 concept taken from G3 synch calendar

Slides 48-55:  Week -2 (same as slides 34-46 without the maneuver slides, and with the exception of occurring the following week and briefed only as changes for the staff). 

week -2

Slide 56:  Week -3 concept taken from G3 synchronization calendar, IO problem set planning calendar, and what elements have planned on the IO synchronization matrix. 

week -3 concept taken from G3 synch calendar

Slides 57-64:  Week -3 (same as slides 48-55 without the maneuver slides, and with the exception of occurring the following week and briefed only as changes for the staff). 

week -3

Slide 65:  Week -4 concept taken from G3 synchronization calendar, IO problem set planning calendar, and what elements have planned on the IO synchronization matrix. 

week -4 concept taken from G3 synch calendar

Slides 66-73:  Week -4 (same as slides 49-58 without the maneuver slides, and with the exception of occurring the following week and briefed only as changes for the staff). 

week -4

Slide 74:  Week -5 IO concept presented at the meeting to prepare members for problem set planning focus during week -4. Element input is taken from IO synchronization matrix. 

week -5 IO concept

Slide 75:  Targeting meeting focus (ties in with IOWG). 

targeting meeting focus

Slide 76:  DCG’s Guidance 

DCG's guidance

Figure 12. IOWG Meeting Slides and Explanation 

Review IO Assessment and Update TSM. Following the IOWG, the Deputy IO reviewed the maneuver unit assessments from week + 1 (slide 19) and updated the current TSMs with the targeting officer. These current TSMs were then reviewed at the targeting meeting with the entire IO group. The TSMs were updated following the targeting meeting. 

Update IO Synchronization Matrix. Secondly, after the IOWG the Deputy IO reviewed the input from both the staff and the maneuver units and updated the synchronization matrix.  The IO synchronization matrix always had staff input for four weeks out and maneuver input for one week out. 

Update G3 FOP. The third event after the IOWG was to update the G3 future operations planning synchronization matrix that was briefed to both the Chief of Staff and the CG on two separate occasions. The Deputy IO updated the problem sets on the division G3 calendar once a week, providing the command group with IO’s campaign visibility. The IO Chief briefed ongoing and future campaigns to the command group during the meeting. The key to this process was that the DCG chaired the IOWG and was present at the synchronization meetings. 

CG’s BUB and Weekly Assessment. The Deputy IO informed the CG in the BUB three nights a week what shaping operations were being conducted in MND(N) by depicting the last 48 hours and the next 48 hours of operations. At the Friday night BUB, the Deputy IO provided the CG with a current assessment from the targeting meeting for the ongoing active problem sets (see Figure 13 below for example BUB slides). This completed the IO targeting operational rhythm circle by keeping the command group up to date on the SFOR 11 targeting progress. 

problem set last 48 hrs

problem set last 48 hours

problem set overall target assess

Figure 13.  Example BUB slides 

Table of Contents | Foreword | Chap 1 | Chap 2 | Chap 3 | Chap 4 | Chap 5 | Chap 6 | Chap 7 | Chap 8 | Chap 9