AIRIP member, Joseph Slattery, is an embedded contractor for a leading technology company where he manages the Executive Security Operations Support program. The program consists of real-time intelligence monitoring and operational support for the executive protection and event risk management teams. Previously, he served 6 years in the United States Navy as an Operational Intelligence Specialist, where his role ranged from Maritime Interdiction and Security Operations to Cyber Intelligence. Further, after his military service, Joseph worked in law enforcement and casino surveillance.
Throughout the Close Protection Community there has been growing interest and discussion in the value of using Intelligence. While the ongoing focus has centered around Strategic and Protective elements of Intelligence, an equally important element is Operational Intel. Operational Intel (OPINTEL) is the continuous monitoring and gathering of information from multiple sources to create intelligence that is directly related and impactful to an ongoing operation occurring in real time. A dedicated OPINTEL team serves as a single entity for real time operations support which bridges the existing gap between a problem and the solution.
When employing OPINTEL it is imperative to shift the mindset of what the Operations Center’s function should involve. Traditionally, the focus has been on access control, dispatching, and acting as a liaison to Law Enforcement. These functions remain an integral part of operations, however, to properly utilize the OPINTEL functions the following responsibilities must be incorporated:
Maintaining Operational and Situational Awareness
Operational Intelligence Monitoring
Reach Back Availability
Maintaining Operational and Situational Awareness is critical for OPINTEL as it serves the function as being the all-knowing team in relation to time and space for assets, events, and details. Operational Intelligence Monitoring should provide real-time monitoring of media reports that occur in the areas of operation. This should entail a continuous, collaborative effort to search for any reporting that may negatively impact an ongoing or future operation. OPINTEL should be a trusted source for all agents acting as a single point-of-contact to directly resolve issues. In the event that an issue needs to be escalated to other groups, OPINTEL ensures follow through, tracking the outcome, and reporting back to necessary parties. Reach Back Availability allows access to all levels of resources, efforts, and solutions in a streamlined and timely manner.
To successfully implement an OPINTEL program, consistent training including OPINTEL Analysts and Agents would be highly recommended. Training would allow for the opportunity to establish trust, have parties become cross-trained for a better understanding of individual roles, and to allow for context and communication.
It is the hope that this piece will be able to serve as a conversation starter, how can OPINTEL serve your team? The goal is for OPINTEL to be the single escalation point for Agents or Analysts to turn to when they need information, answers, and real time reporting.