By Sgt. 1st Class Damian Steptore, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public AffairsSeptember 29, 2009
FORT HOOD, Texas - A five-man team, from the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, "Long Knives," walk cautiously down a dark hall way in an abandoned building, Sept. 22., looking for suspicious activity or sensitive items which may pose a serious threat.
This scene could easily describe what the infantry Soldiers were doing during recent deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan, but this was part of a three-day, tactical site-exploitation exercise on Fort Hood by a mobile training team of civilian instructors.
"We've done this before," said Sgt. Jesse Schuster, a team leader assigned to the 2nd. Bn., 12th Cav. Regt., of Blacksburg,Va. "But after receiving this class and getting hands-on application, things are a lot clearer on how things are supposed to be properly done."
Schuster has been deployed twice to Iraq during his six years in the Army and said the training will definitely pay off for future deployments.
"It's a more in-depth look at how to conduct proper intelligence round up, rather than just tossing houses," he added.
The training team consisted of two instructors from the National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, Va., who taught a platoon-size group of Soldiers various principals regarding tactical site exploitation, along with document and media exploitation.
During the first day, the Soldiers received classroom instruction. Day-two consisted of the hands-on portion of the course, and the third and final day was dedicated to media exploitation, which outlines the best and most efficient means to analyze evidence.
"The analyst learned how to put together a picture of the evidence once it's found," said Bob Chambless, the Senior DOMEX instructor. "These are some good guys, and they are picking up the stuff quick."
Chambless is a former servicemember who believes proper analysis of evidence is essential for today's warfighter. "I used to think when I was in the Air Force, I would help us win the war, but now I'm back teaching military, and now my goal is to help troops stay alive," he added.
The 2nd Bn., 12th Cav. Regt., Soldiers are only a small sample of the units scheduled to receive this training. Chambless and his team will teach units worldwide to approximately 3,000 Soldiers.