ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - More than 150 observers from federal and state intelligence, law enforcement and active, Reserve and ROTC military organizations got up close and personal with equipment and weapons of the 203rd Military Intelligence Battalion during TECHINT Day festivities Sept. 16.

The daylong event, hosted by the Army's only Technical-Intelligence battalion, and led by commander, Lt. Col. Irene M. Zoppi consisted of attendees moving through unit displays in the morning and firing on the foreign weapons range in the afternoon.

As visitors moved through the stations, battalion Soldiers showed them a variety of foreign weapons, enemy interrogation, identification and evacuation procedures; decontamination of
equipment and personnel; sensitive site exploitation/fingerprinting and forensics; aircraft and vehicle identification; IED identification and more.

Guests included Brig. Gen. William F. "Duff" Duffy, commander of the U.S. Army Reserve's Military Intelligence Readiness Command; Maryland State Senator Ed Reilly from Anne Arundel County; and police tactical unit members from Anne Arundel County as well as ROTC cadets and instructors from Johns Hopkins and George Mason universities.

"This type of training is a great way to display our expertise and capabilities," Duffy said. "I saw the 203rd in action in Afghanistan and I can say that they have tremendous aptitude and knowledge."

Regarding the cadets on hand, he said that because they've already decided to be in the Army, exercises like these "whets their appetite" for the future.

Reilly said it was his first visit to APG and his first TECHINT demonstration.

"I'm very impressed to see how America defends our country, how Soldiers have to drill constantly to be prepared, and the role civilians play in our defense," he said.

Lt. Harry Peterson led the group of police officers from the Anne Arundel County tactical unit.

"You can't underestimate this type of training," he said. "Especially from a weapons apprehension aspect. Some of the techniques are very similar."

TECHINT is intelligence derived from the collection and analysis of threat and foreign military equipment and associated materiel for the purposes of preventing technological surprise, assessing foreign Scientific and Technical (S&T) capabilities and developing countermeasures designed to neutralize an adversary's technological advantages.

On order, the 203rd MI (TECHINT), or when designated as the Captured Materiel Exploitation Center, or CEMC, deploys and conducts operations in support of combatant commanders or other government agencies in order to collect and exploit captured enemy weapons, equipment and other materiel.

A reserve component unit with more than 45 different military occupational skills that provides intelligence derived from reconnaissance, collection and tactical exploitation of weapons, equipment and other materiel found, captured or acquired worldwide; established the CEMC or
the Combined or Joint CEMC; conducts training on foreign weapons, vehicles and other equipment and conducts emergency technical intelligence missions in support of contingency