FORT BENNING (March 25, 2015) --Border Patrol Agent Adalberto Rodriguez came off his border duties to learn more about how our partners work cross-border issues during the Intelligence Analysis of Transnational Operations Course at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.
The IATO graduated 23 other students March 18 from Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. They represented armies, air forces, navies, marines and police.
The idea of came about a year ago when leaders of the U.S. Border Patrol Tactical Unit, a rapid response unit of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, visited the Institute to see if any of its course offerings fit BORTAC's needs.
Rodriguez is the first border patrol agent to take an Institute course, sent with the express purpose "to gain first-hand knowledge of courses developed and instructed by WHINSEC, and to develop a working relationship between WHINSEC and CBP."
He said he believes the WHINSEC and CBP relationship will enhance operations and training of our partners in the hemisphere and will follow the 'whole-of-government' approach to problem solving.
The IATO, which is six weeks and two days, trains military officers, NCOs, and law-enforcement agents at the operational analyst level to evaluate, analyze, and strategize with various analytical techniques in a counter-illicit-trafficking operational environment.
The course consists of performance-oriented training focused on critical thinking; military decision-making process; COIN, or counterinsurgency, intelligence preparation of the battlefield; collection management; site exploitation and biometrics; map reading; operations terms and symbols and intelligence analysis techniques and procedures. The course also prepares students to operate in a joint inter-agency environment.
IATO is one of 15 resident courses WHINSEC offers each year, all of them open to the nations of the Western Hemisphere and all of them focused on developing leaders who can operate in a joint, interagency, multinational environment with the aim of maintaining the peace and ensuring stability.
While Rodriguez was the first border patrol agent to take the IATO course, he is not likely to be the last.
He wrote, "Not only would I recommend it, we are actively seeking a way to (get more agents here)."