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Senior Military Intelligence Officers' Conference (SMIOC)
The Senior Military Intelligence Officers' Conference (SMIOC) brings together the leadership of the combatant command J-2s, the Service intelligence chiefs, and other Defense and Intelligence Community officials for a review of issues and concerns affecting the Defense Intelligence Community. Led by the Director, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the conference began in the late 1970's as an annual 2-day meeting.
The need for such a body is rooted in the origins and development of DIA. In December 1960, a Presidential study group recommended that the intelligence control channels be brought into consonance with the DoD Reorganization Act of 1958. The change gave the Unified and Specified (U&S) Commanders greater control over the intelligence operations of their respective components, and at the same time consolidated military intelligence activities at the DoD level. The intent was to improve intelligence coordination within the DoD to achieve a more closely integrated Defense Intelligence Community.
DIA became operational on 1 October 1961 as the Nation's primary producer of foreign military intelligence and the central intelligence manager for DoD. The Agency was charged with supporting the requirements of the Secretary of Defense, the JCS, the military forces, as well as other policymakers. In June 1963, the J-2 of the Joint Staff was disestablished and its staff support functions assigned to DIA. By 1964, a much-broadened intelligence capability covering a wide spectrum of the decisionmaking processes as they related specifically to a military force or to an entire theater of operations, had been instituted.
Additional measures to strengthen the U&S Commands' staff intelligence capabilities followed in the 1970's as DIA sought to ensure the U&S Commands and the Services of its commitment to maintaining ". . . a strong and continuing support to the operating forces." To this end, DIA Director, Lt Gen Eugene F. Tighe, Jr., established in 1979, a Directorate for JCS Support in DIA to increase the Agency's effectiveness in providing support to military operational intelligence consumers. Moreover, he saw that it "would be beneficial to our community" for a forum--i.e., the SMIOC, to "freely exchange thoughts and ideas as well as intelligence information on significant issues of mutual interest."
In 1983, DIA Director, LTG James A. Williams, informed the SMIOC membership that, "Each year I host a Senior Military Intelligence Officers' conference attended by intelligence officers from the Unified and Specified Commands, the Services and Defense Agencies [to provide] . . . information that is of paramount interest and concern to all intelligence officers and tactical commanders." He called for continued ". . . working together to improve intelligence support provided to the Commands and their subordinate elements."
Specifically, the Agency set about identifying a methodology for the development of U&S Command intelligence architectures. The purpose was to develop a systematic framework which defined the U&S Commands' existing and projected mission, organization, capabilities, resources, and information flows, and as a result, improve intelligence support to the Commands' warfighting capabilities. These efforts were followed by the l986 Goldwater-Nichols "Department of Defense Reorganization Act" which charged DIA with developing joint intelligence doctrine which would enhance DIA-U&S Command cooperation. The legislation identified DIA as an agency supporting the warfighting commands.
By 1987, DIA sought to actively involve the U&S Commands in the Defense intelligence planning, programming, and budgeting process in an environment of increasing requirements and high-risk conflict. This meant satisfying their intelligence requirements, integrating master plans and architectures, developing a joint intelligence doctrine as well as joint intelligence interoperability/standardization, and increasing the channels of communications and interaction. These themes carried into the 1990's as major SMIOC issues.
"No combat commander has ever had as full and complete a view of his adversary as did our field commander. Intelligence support to OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM was a success story," stated JCS Chairman, General Colin Powell. Following the Gulf War in 1992, each SMIOC adopted a theme that would provide an intelligence roadmap for increasing the readiness of operational commanders in the 21st Century. The SMIOC generally meets twice a year and the membership has remained essentially the same since the first meeting.
DIA Historian's Office
This page was last updated May 18, 2012.