By: Sgt. Melissa N. Lessard 504th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs
The 303rd Military Intelligence Battalion participated in an urban intelligence collection operations training March 1-5 around the Fort Hood area. The battalion specializes in expeditionary intelligence operations and performs their training in a multitude of settings.
This is the second year in a row they have participated in such training.
The primary teams consisted of human intelligence (HUMINT) and counter intelligence (CI). Human intelligence focuses on the enemy strengths and weakness in the battlefield while counter intelligence focuses on international threats to the U.S. In this particular training, the Soldiers on these teams are conducting surveillance detections to protect military operations.
Soldiers who participated agreed to be surveilled specifically for training purposes.
1st Lt. Cecelia Croman, a platoon leader with Alpha Company 303rd MI BN, said that conducting the training in an urban environment prepares the Soldiers for a real world environment. She said at the end of the day, her Soldiers are learning how to plan, prepare, and execute military intelligence operations.
One of the key takeaways during the training was to focus on complacency.
“Soldiers who are deliberate were more successful during operations,” she said. “Don’t just go through the motions and check the block, especially when safety is involved. If they are complacent, not paying attention to their surroundings, it can cause failures and compromise the mission. People can lose lives.”
During the operations Soldiers were told not to rely on technology to help them navigate through their operations. They spend a considerable amount of time planning and conducting reconnaissance to understand their location.
Sgt. Michael Sanders, an agent for the battalion, said that people are so dependent on technology but the adversary has the same technology. If they wanted, they have capabilities to disrupt systems.
“You need to know analog, like map reading, to get to and from areas,” he said.