By Maj. Annmarie DanekerMay 19, 2011
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The 203rd Military Intelligence Battalion (MI BN), Military Intelligence Readiness Command, recently conducted a Combined Joint Captured Materiel Exploitation Center (CJCMEC) training exercise to bring intelligence personnel together to learn skills necessary for the exploitation...gathering and analysis...of foreign materiel from a battlefield.
Intelligence personnel from the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) as well as Canadian forces, the British Army, and South Korea participated in the 5-day exercise.
Training opportunities included a foreign weapons familiarization range, foreign weapons and vehicle exploitation, Improvised Explosive Device familiarization and then a culminating event to bring all the tasks together.
Although the DIA-mandated CJCMEC has been conducted annually, this year's event is the first time the exercise has been conducted solely by US Army Reserve (USAR) Soldiers.
"It is heartening because this mission was previously mainly run by our Active components and we just participated, so I'm happy that our Reserve TPU [Troop Program Unit] Soldiers can step into what used to be just an Active component mission," said Lt. Col. Troy Heskett, 203rd MI BN Commander.
One of the main training events for the intelligence personnel was a series four Technical Intelligence (TECH INT) lanes where teams were given a scenario of searching a vehicle or a designated area. The teams were graded on a variety of tasks, including securing the scene, searching the premises, documenting the site, and collecting evidence.
Pfc. Kira Anderson, a Multi-Media Illustrator with Delta Company, was the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) specialist on her team when it went through the lane. Her tasks included taking photos of the vehicle and drawing a scene sketch.
"My job is also to check for any chemicals or gasses that might be unsafe for my team," she said.
For Pfc. Brent Sessions, an Intelligence Analyst with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, the exercise was a chance to better understand working conditions he might face in theater.
"I am just trying to get a feel for what it would be like out in the field and get good training for if I ever do get deployed with this unit," he said.
"I also want to learn what my role would be, and how to act in an environment under enemy conditions," he said.
Learning exploitation techniques was the purpose of the exercise, but it also gave Soldiers with the 203rd the experience of working alongside military personnel from other US military branches and nations.
"It's very different...I've never done anything like this before," said Anderson.
"I like getting to see what other cultures are like and see how they associate with each other," she said.
The exercise wasn't all hard work, especially for the participants from other nations. The visiting personnel were given a chance to eat at some local restaurants and also attend a Baltimore Orioles baseball game.
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