By Capt. Jason WelchAugust 21, 2018
"We are one team and we have one goal."
Iraqi staff Maj. Gen. Jamal Mazal Taher, chairman of intelligence for the Joint Operations Command - Iraq, welcomed Iraqi and coalition intelligence officers to a workshop for intelligence methods and training, Aug. 13, 2018, held in Baghdad, Iraq.
"Our objective is to improve intelligence operations to support the fight," said Jamal.
The workshop brought Iraqi intelligence officers from operations centers spread across Iraq to one location to share their best methods and techniques for developing the intelligence needed by operations centers to conduct the fight against ISIS.
It also allowed members of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment "Brave Rifles" and their coalition partners supporting Operation Inherent Resolve to learn more about how their Iraqi partners conduct intelligence operations and to offer their support in the form of shared experiences and training opportunities.
"The purpose of the workshop was to provide the coalition supplementary awareness of challenges facing the Iraqi intelligence operation centers and military intelligence schools," said Capt. Patricia Price, lead intelligence officer for the Regimental Support Squadron, 3rd Cav. Regt., and an intelligence advisor to the Joint Operations Command - Iraq.
The Brave Rifles regiment is deployed to Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, working by, with and through the Iraqi Security Forces and coalition partners to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Price organized the workshop to bring the intelligence community together to share and learn from their respective unique challenges.
Each of the operations centers is populated with a unique demographic composed of different religious backgrounds, ethnic minorities, tribal histories, political parties, and economic strengths and weaknesses.
Each operations center also faces unique challenges with regards to what equipment is available, how weather patterns can affect their efforts and difficult terrain for enemy fighters to hide in.
It is the enduring mission of the intelligence officer to understand the environment and predict how the enemy will act within it, despite all these factors to consider, in support of an operational commander.
"In Iraq we wish to improve the intelligence work through taking the information of the enemy's movements and where he exists through intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to secure aerial attacks in order to hit the bed down locations of enemy," said Jamal.
"Intelligence is very important in order to prepare the plans for these operations," said Jamal. "Without intelligence it is considered from the beginning to be an unsuccessful operation. It is the basis for any successful operation."
Also attending the workshop were coalition intelligence officers representing the U.S., U.K., Denmark, Singapore and Spain.
"All these countries have come together to give their support. Each has experience and different skills, and works to transfer those skills to those who need them. Coordination is very important between all the countries represented here," said Jamal.
Each coalition partner was given the opportunity to provide feedback and input to the intelligence officers from each operations center.
"This conference was very important and unique in order to communicate our points of view to each other and discuss the difficulties and obstacles in the field of intelligence work in the operations commands," said Jamal.
The goal for the conference was also to discuss support of coalition forces in developing enduring Iraqi intelligence courses, logistical support and technical support to intelligence operations, said Jamal.
"Part of what this meeting is for is to choose what training is needed, what kinds of training is not needed, and to coordinate how that training will come together in the future," Maj. Brian Hatalla, 3rd Cav. Regt. chief of intelligence.
The workshop shaped future training efforts by the coalition and identified key areas to focus on, said Price.
Those efforts include developing new curriculums that fit the specific needs and capabilities of the Iraqi intelligence officers and operations commands, said Price.
Meanwhile, there may be more workshops on the horizon.
"Our Iraqi partners said they were very satisfied with the event and we're all looking to set a second intelligence workshop in the near future," said Price.