201st MIB trains in the field for deployment
November 13, 2009
- The 201st MI Battalion conducted more training here Oct. 26-29 in preparation for its deployment next year.
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The 201st Military Intelligence Battalion conducted more training here Oct. 26-29 in preparation for its deployment overseas next year.
"The 201st is one of only two interrogation battalions in the active Army," said Lt. Col. Dennis Lewis, battalion commander. "Both are stationed at Fort Sam Houston under the leadership and direction of the 470th MI Brigade, which will certify us for combat operations later in the year."
Approximately 200 of the battalion's Soldiers set up communications equipment, transportation and living accommodations at or near the Intelligence Security Command Detention Training Facility on Camp Bullis in order to take part in a battalion-level, integration-focused field training exercise - third in a series of exercises designed to enhance the skill-level proficiency for the battalion.
"This exercise is about integration; establishing standard operating procedures, getting systems in place, and making sure duties and responsibilities are known," said Capt. Luis Deleon, Company A commander. "It is also about training Soldiers who are new to the unit and the military occupational specialty."
"Previous training exercises focused on battle drills and sections drill, whereas this one is more integration focused," said Capt. John LaGrandier. The latest training highlighted the synchronization processes between the company-level and battalion-level operations - how they support each other in theater, he said.
Proper treatment of detained persons was a key component of the FTX. Soldiers rehearsed procedures to ensure they were consistent with Department of Defense directives and Army doctrine on interrogation operations.
Sgt. Thomas Haenke, B Company, was "ecstatic" about doing his job publishing intelligence reports, ensuring quality control and disseminating information to higher echelon intelligence agencies; information from interrogators that has the potential to greatly impact the process.
"I like it because not all the information is essential, but some will help," he said. "I feel good about these reports. They have the potential to help the war fighter."
Communications and information management staff, responsible for providing all communication equipment, provided computers, radios, telephones lightweight integrated telecommunications equipment.
"We respond to trouble tickets or equipment problems, give access to equipment, support information technology issues and keep the IDTF in touch with the world," said Spc. Aaron Loux. "We look forward to getting there and getting the job done."
Even legal professionals played a part. Sgt. Brandon Grable, a paralegal, ensured interrogation plans were reviewed, advised on policy, created commanders' briefs, and educated interrogators on detention laws between countries in a state of war.
"Our goal at the start of the exercise was to achieve integration and synchronization of all internal battalion functions," said Lewis. "We were largely successful. The battalion is now capable of using interrogation results, analysis and exploitation of captured media to produce relevant and timely intelligence for the warfighter."