The Battlefield Surveillance Brigade is one of the new unit types created under the Army Transformation Plan. Its mission is to provide commanders at division or higher level with a broad overview of the combat situation in the area of operations. A Battlefield Surveillance Brigade consists of a special troops battalion (headquarters company, signal company and brigade support company) two military intelligence (MI) battalions and a cavalry reconnaissance squadron. These units embody multiple capabilities, including signals intelligence, unmanned drones, long-range ground reconnaissance and surveillance, and intelligence analysis. Currently there are three active-duty BSBs plus seven in the Army National Guard. Most of the latter currently have nonstandard organizations due to the distribution of units by state. Eventually, however, the National Guard brigades will be standardized with a table of organization similar to the active component brigades, albeit with only one MI battalion.
The 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade was activated at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington state, in 2008 via a redesignation of the 201st Military Intelligence Brigade. The former unit had consisted of one active component and two reserve component MI battalions and it took a year to complete the transition. Today, all of the brigade’s units are from the active component and it requires no augmentation from the Army National Guard or Army Reserve.
Organizational flags for the BSBs are identical to those of the old MI brigades: vertical stripes of oriental blue and silver gray with yellow fringe and the unit’s shoulder sleeve insignia centered. The flags are made of heavyweight rayon banner cloth. Dimensions are 3 feet at the hoist by 4 feet on the fly plus 2/12-inch fringe. Since the 201st was an MI brigade prior to its transformation, no change to its organizational flag was necessary. “With Courage and Vision” is the brigade’s motto, which appears on its distinctive unit insignia (unit crest).
See also US Army UEx Combat Divisions.