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DIA’s new analytics course requires tradeoff

The DIA director promised his tenure would amount to more than changing riders, and here’s a case in point. DIA plans to push forward later this year with a new advanced intelligence analytics course that will have DIA civilians training together with uniformed staff.

DIA Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn

The change will require temporarily slowing down deployment of analysts to the combatant commands in 2014.

The course will be called PACE for Professional Analyst Career Education. DIA describes it as an enhancement of its existing Defense Intelligence Strategic Analysis Program. DIA plans to launch a pilot version in October and the first six-month course in 2014.

The agency anticipates cranking out about 200 analysts a year through PACE.

Most pilot projects are hatched to earn buy-in for controversial ideas, but DIA says the PACE pilot will improve the final version.

“Feedback from students and instructors will be considered before the program is fully launched,” DIA says in a written statement.

The catch is that PACE will mean slowing the arrival of DIA analysts to joint intelligence operations centers for about a year. DIA set up these JIOCs following the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review, which ordered improved intel coordination for the combatant commands.

DIA Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said slowing the throughput of new analysts will be worth it, because civilians will get the same skills and professional develop opportunities afforded to uniformed staff.

“Those of us in uniform know exactly what our professional development opportunities will be, whether you’re a private coming in or whether you’re a lieutenant coming in,” Flynn said at last month’s C4ISR Journal conference.

Civilians have had less training, and PACE is meant to fix the problem.

“I want to make sure that (civilian analysts) are all trained; that they are trained in the tradecraft; they’re trained...all in a similar way; they know about the tools,” he said.

DIA describes PACE as “the first mandatory advanced analytics training for DIA civilians.” It says it wants to create analysts who are “comfortable with complexity and uncertainty; can navigate informational and contextual ambiguity."

The course is designed for all civilian analysts at DIA's GG-12 employment grade and below, and for enlisted staff at the E-6 grade or below and for officers at the O-3 grade or below in the DIA National Capitol Region.

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