BY Scott R. Gourley. DEFENSE MEDIA NETWORK. October 11, 2012
A recently released “sources sought” document reflects further refinement of the U.S. Army’s “Vigilant Pursuit” concept. Designed to decrease the time between intelligence data collection and soldier action, the program is described by service representatives as “combin[ing] human intelligence and signals intelligence capabilities to provide soldiers information necessary to identify persons of interest while in the field and us[ing] cross cueing and tipping to enable soldiers to make decisions that require time-sensitive responses.”
Stated another way, the system is designed to reduce the time it takes to identify/confirm a high-value target before taking down that target.
The program has been developed by the U.S. Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command’s (RDECOM) Communications-Electronics Research Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) working in conjunction with the Army G-2.
A key element of the “Vigilant Pursuit” concept involves greatly enhanced cooperation and interoperability between the human intelligence (HUMINT) – information collected by people about people – and signals intelligence (SIGINT) – intercepted electronic signals – communities.
Although HUMINT and SIGINT teams have historically worked independently of each other in field operations, “Vigilant Pursuit” places the capabilities into a team of two vehicles that will work together in the field.
The recently announcement describes a “Vigilant Pursuit” system as consisting of two government-furnished Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicles (M-ATVs); designated as the SIGINT Tactical Pursuit Vehicle and the HUMINT Tactical Pursuit Vehicle.
Capabilities mandated for the SIGINT Tactical Pursuit Vehicle include:
- Cooperative and collaborative operations with the HUMINT vehicle;
- Secure communications capabilities;
- Collection capabilities for both modern and legacy communications;
- Netted geo-location linked to the HUMINT vehicle;
- Connectivity to the DCGS-A [Distributed Common Ground System – Army] intelligence enterprise;
- a 360 degree camera;
- a CREW (Counter RCIED Electronic Warfare) system;
- ability for man-portable operations; and,
- onboard computing and storage.
The HUMINT Tactical Pursuit Vehicle will incorporate the same secure communications architecture and netted geo-location source linkages to the SIGINT platform. Other common subsystems and capabilities include the CREW system, 360-degree camera, and the ability to support manpack operations with HUMINT systems. In addition, the HUMINT platform will include capabilities for Army counterintelligence (CI) and document and media exploitation (DOMEX) reporting, and the ability to transfer data from lower to higher enterprise domains.
The recent announcement was released “to determine the potential capability and sources for the design, fabrication, test and delivery of ‘Vigilant Pursuit’ systems in a very short time period (approximately 6 months or less).” In addition to the potential hardware activities, it is anticipated that a contractor may be required to deploy field service representatives “to an active combat area to support the operation and maintenance of the systems and to provide training to soldiers of various military specialties…”