News story

Defence intelligence training

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Army reservists and RAF regulars have been taking part in intelligence training together for the first time.

RAF officers and junior officers from 2 of the army’s reservist military intelligence battalions came together for a week of exciting and mentally-challenging intelligence training.

The training helped to give RAF officers completing the joint air intelligence course (JAIC) insight into the army’s operating environment, and also formed part of the junior army officers’ training as Intelligence Corps officers.

During the week, the students prepared briefing material for a commander seeking to expel a fictional Musorian force from the Island of Colchis.

Through researching the opposing force’s doctrine, and studying ground, the trainees were able to assess the enemy’s likely plan. They were then taught how to develop this understanding into a detailed assessment of the enemy’s courses of action.

Army reservist Second Lieutenant Thomson, who took part in the training, said:

The joint training allowed both sides to sharpen each other’s understanding of intelligence and in particular the human terrain components. Our RAF colleagues also helped us to understand air assets and how their capabilities will support intelligence on operations.

This promises to be the first of many examples of reservists training with their regular counterparts across defence.

Army reservists work together with RAF officers on a military intelligence exercise
Army reservists work together with RAF officers on a military intelligence exercise [Picture: Corporal Lynny Cash RAF, Crown copyright]

JAIC trainee Flying Officer Barnett said:

The JAIC entered the unfamiliar territory that is the land environment. Though we all had a degree of familiarity with army structures, equipment and tactics this was a chance to increase our understanding of their intelligence element.

Working with Intelligence Corps officers from the Army Reserve, some of whom had a great deal of operational experience, was invaluable. This was an opportunity not only to draw on their civilian experiences but also to share our understanding of the intelligence environment from an air perspective.

Talking about the 2 services coming together for this training, Lieutenant Colonel O’Driscoll said:

None of the services should expect to work and plan operations in isolation. Instead we will work together, jointly, to overcome operational challenges. Instilling this philosophy in the minds of our intelligence operators is essential.

This is exactly the variety of experience that supports intelligence analysis; we need people who are prepared to think differently, people that can imagine the cunning of a sophisticated opponent.

The UK Reserve Forces play a vital part in our nation’s defence. Find out how you can get involved and what is on offer for Reserves.