Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
1 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Pfc. Ethan Cruce assembles a satellite in the area of operations for the Deployable Intelligence Support Element before the start of Lightning Focus 24, the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater’s annual exercise. The DISE platoon is an expeditionary element that provides critical intelligence and secure communication services to establish a common intelligence picture. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
2 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Soldier assigned to the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater participates in the immersive intelligence scenario-based exercise.
(Photo Credit: 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla )
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Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
3 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Soldier assigned to the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade- Theater displays the green paddle to the range tower. Soldiers qualified on M4 Carbine and M17 pistols at Cao Malnisio, Pordenone, Italy as part of Lightning Focus 24, the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater’s annual exercise. (Photo Credit: 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla ) VIEW ORIGINAL
A Soldier assigned to the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater participates in the immersive intelligence scenario-based exercise.
4 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Caleb Carrion places concertina wire around the area of operations for the Deployable Intelligence Support Element before the start of Lightning Focus 24, the 207th MIB-T's annual exercise. The DISE platoon is an expeditionary element that provides critical intelligence and secure communication services to establish a common intelligence picture. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
5 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Ethan Lopez and Spc. Caleb Carrion pose in front of the area of operations for the Deployable Intelligence Support Element before the start of Lightning Focus 24, the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater’s annual exercise. The DISE platoon is an expeditionary element that provides critical intelligence and secure communication services to establish a common intelligence picture. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla) VIEW ORIGINAL

VICENZA, Italy — Sgt. Allen Khosho loves to talk and in the U.S. Army, he found the perfect profession — human intelligence collector.

Incredibly, twenty-five years ago, Khosho barely spoke English.

Recently, as a part of the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater, Khosho joined fellow intelligence Soldiers to certify their skills during Lightning Focus 2024, the brigade’s annual exercise.

“I learned so much. It’s given me the chance to look at my weaknesses and strengths.” Khosho said. “I feel like it has prepared me for when I will go to the continent.”

Looking back, Khosho has come a long way to get to this point.

While stocking grocery store shelves in his homeland, Iraq, Khosho watched American TV shows with Arabic subtitles and tried to learn as much English as possible. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Khosho got a job cleaning laundry on a U.S. Army post, hoping for better opportunities to support his family. While there, chatting with U.S. Soldiers, his English got better and he became a manager.

Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
1 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldier assigned to the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater participates in the immersive intelligence scenario-based exercise.
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla)
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Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
2 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Saiveon Harmon assembles cables on the TROJAN network in the Deployable Intelligence Support Element's area of operations before the start of Lightning Focus 24, the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater’s annual exercise. The DISE platoon is an expeditionary element that provides critical intelligence and secure communication services to establish a common intelligence picture. (Photo Credit: 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla ) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
3 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Soldier assigned to the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater places his personal belongings in the airport x-ray machine while a role player looks on during the 307th Military Intelligence Battalion's theater entry training. The training gave Soldiers the chance to practice entering foreign theaters and practice responses to precarious situations. The training was part of the Lightning Focus 24, the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater’s annual exercise. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
4 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Sage Martin and Sgt. First Class Michael Nunley identify their targets prior to qualifying on the M4 Carbine at the gun range at Cao Malnisio, Pordenone, Italy. Soldiers qualified on M4 Carbine and M17 pistols at Cao Malnisio, Pordenone, Italy as part of Lightning Focus 24, the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater’s annual exercise. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
5 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Soldier assigned to the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater takes a photo of Staff Sgt. Christian Vergara as he pushes a HUMVEE during the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade- Theater's culmination event, Mungadai. The brigade “Mungadai” was a culmination event for the 207th MIB-T’s annual exercise, Lightning Focus 2024. The 24-hour event tested Soldier’s mental and physical strength in order to build unit cohesion. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
6 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Capt. Derek Prario maneuvers through the low crawl obstacle during the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade- Theater's culmination event, Mungadai. The brigade “Mungadai” was a culmination event for the 207th MIB-T’s annual exercise, Lightning Focus 2024. The 24-hour event tested Soldier’s mental and physical strength in order to build unit cohesion. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla) VIEW ORIGINAL

Before long, he was an Iraqi interpreter working with U.S. Army infantry and calvary units. His goal was to join the U.S. Army. After moving to Arizona, he enlisted as an interpreter in the U.S. Army in 2017, meeting that goal. He reclassified to become a human intelligence collector, Khosho gets to do what he does best— talk to people.

Now, as a member of the U.S. Army’s premiere intelligence brigade — Soldiers who served as analysts and collectors — Khosho helped collaborate in an immersive intelligence scenario-based exercise.

Soldiers from the 307th and 522nd Military Intelligence Battalions gained a deeper understanding of the demands and challenges of their missions in Africa, bolstering their confidence for future missions.

"Ensuring our teams are both certified and expertly trained amplifies their effectiveness in Africa,” said Lt. Col. John Wildt, commander of the 307th Military Intelligence Battalion. “The better prepared our soldiers are through intensive training, the more proficient they become at identifying threats and feeding vital intelligence back into the system.”

Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
1 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Cpl. Elijah Mazzochette speaks to a role player during the 307th Military Intelligence Battalion's Theater Entry Training. The training gave Soldiers the chance to practice entering foreign theaters and practice responses to precarious situations. The training was part of the Lightning Focus 24, the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater’s annual exercise. (Photo Credit: 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla ) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
2 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Sage Martin shoots his M4 Carbine down range. Soldiers qualified on M4 Carbine and M17 pistols at Cao Malnisio, Pordenone, Italy as part of Lightning Focus 24, the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater’s annual exercise. (Photo Credit: 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla ) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
3 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Capt. Nicola Newton maneuvers through an obstacle during the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade- Theater's culmination event, Mungadai. The brigade “Mungadai” was a culmination event for the 207th MIB-T’s annual exercise, Lightning Focus 2024. The 24-hour event tested Soldier’s mental and physical strength in order to build unit cohesion. (Photo Credit: 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla ) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
4 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldier assigned to the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater participates in the immersive intelligence scenario-based exercise. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
5 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Soldier assigned to the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater has his personal belongings inspected by role players during the 307th Military Intelligence Battalion's theater entry training. The training gave Soldiers the chance to practice entering foreign theaters and practice responses to precarious situations. The training was part of the Lightning Focus 24, the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater’s annual exercise. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lightning Focus 24 bolsters Soldiers’ confidence for Africa missions
6 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Capt. Rashan Moss shoots his M17 pistol at the gun range at Cao Malnisio, Pordenone, Italy. Soldiers qualified on M4 Carbine and M17 pistols at Cao Malnisio, Pordenone, Italy as part of Lightning Focus 24, the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater’s annual exercise. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla) VIEW ORIGINAL

So, in conjunction with the scenario, Lightning Focus also increased weapons proficiency, basic Soldier skills, junior Soldier and noncommissioned officer development, and unit cohesion.

This was achieved by multiple training events in Northern Italy. Including the theater entry training at the Aviano Air Base’s passenger terminal, where Soldiers had the chance to practice entering foreign theaters and precarious situations.

Lightning Focus 24 culminated in a 24-hour test of mental and physical strength, better known as a Mungadai. This intense event, named after Genghis Khan's historic test, included Soldiers from across the brigade to build unit cohesion.

For Khosho his experience in Lightning Focus 24, and in life, was akin to an Iraqi proverb.

“Calmly walk for a month rather than crossing a river,” said Khosho. “It's wiser to be patient and careful when pursuing your goals, rather than rushing into something risky. Take your time and plan carefully, even if it means it'll take longer and require more effort.”

U.S. Army video by Chris House