Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Trainer (ISR-T)

Project Leader: Todd Richmond

The University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) supports the mission of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center Center of Excellence in its effort to develop an interactive multimedia instruction (IMI) system focused on Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Synchronization Planning. The resulting ISR-Training system (ISR-T) lends itself to blended learning and adaptability; it can be used in resident training, web-based training with an instructor, and web-based training without an instructor. This is done through a combination of scenario engagement (presented by some mix of text, visuals, audio and video), background materials, and directed exercises. Training results are tracked for each student so that instructors can assess performance and understanding.

The target audience for ISR-T is members of the intelligence community or personnel with the appropriate security clearance in any agency with the mission to perform ISR Planning and Synchronization. These will be primarily Army, but include Joint Military Intelligence (MI) service members, civilians, and contractors of active and reserve component, both Army Reserve and National Guard, MI units, and other individuals and units preparing to, or having the potential to be deployed in support of a combat or non-combat operation. The audience is not limited to Army individuals and is to be produced and presented with joint audiences in mind.

The goal of ISR-T is to complement existing training exercises and applications. The ISR-T does not teach the detailed mechanics of the ISR Synch Planning Process – this is what the ISR Synch Manager Course is designed to do. Instead, ISR-T supplements existing training and helps students understand the big picture and how to think about the ISR Synch Planning Process using an expert framework and creative problem solving. ISR-T exercises introduce students to how ISR experts work creatively and use critical thinking skills, and then present problems that require students to implement these skills Students are provided with opportunities to visualize the problem space in a number of ways, and are tested on how to think through the ISR process and ask the right questions. The underlying approach is to create a system which helps students develop a holistic lens for thinking through the ISR synch problems associated with conventional and asymmetric threats.

Students should be able to view ISR Synch problems from various points of view potentially including: the Commander’s, the operational Soldier’s, the collector’s, and friendly and enemy networks. Students must learn to solve ISR Synch problems creatively with limited resources. Ultimately, ISR-T should help students understand the “how” and “why” they do what they do, rather than simply developing a procedural trainer. The ISR-T also supports (but does not require) ISR problem solving incorporating SECRET level asset capabilities which further emphasize the “how and “why” they do what they do.

Contact: Todd Richmond, USC ICT