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NEWS | Nov. 1, 2021

470th MIB companies conduct exercises to improve intelligence gathering systems

By David DeKunder 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Two companies with the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston conducted exercises from Sept. 21-23 to familiarize themselves with intelligence-gathering equipment and refine processes for expeditionary operations in South and Central America.

Soldiers from Company A, 312th Military Intelligence Battalion, conducted a training exercise with the Survey, Collection, and Analysis Mobile Platform, or SCAMP, and Air Vigilance systems, while Company B, 312th Military Intelligence Battalion, took part in the Deployable Intelligence Support Element, or DISE, exercise. Both exercises were conducted at JBSA-Camp Bullis.

Maj. Joshua Taft, 312th MI BN operations officer, said the exercises provided service members in both companies the opportunity to rehearse procedures to transport, set up, operate and tear down intelligence platforms.

These assets will be utilized to support U.S Army South, or ARSOUTH, and the U.S. Southern Command, or USSOUTHCOM, operational requirements and deployments in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

He said by going through the hands-on exercises, service members will be able to gather and disseminate data and information to commanders on the field in a timely manner.

“These platforms allow us to deploy at the discretion of the commander and assist in information collection and dissemination,” Taft said.

The objective of the SCAMP/ AV Field Training Exercise was for the service members to exercise the concepts of expeditionary Signals Intelligence, or SIGINT, collection and analysis to support ARSOUTH requirements. 

The exercise provided the opportunity for Alpha Company to refine standard operating procedures associated with both platforms, preparing both leaders and Soldiers for future operations to support ARSOUTH and USSOUTHCOM.

Troops in the exercise were able to operate both intelligence collection platforms. The SCAMP is an expeditionary tool meant to support the decision-makers with a SIGINT survey mission, with a solution for collection and analysis, while providing a smaller logistics footprint. The AV offers forward-deployed elements enhanced indications and warnings for force protection.

Taft said the 312th MI BN received both intelligence-gathering systems during the summer.

During the exercise, service members were separated into two teams, one which operated SCAMP, the other, the AV system, said Taft.

Troops utilizing the SCAMP executed processing, exploitation and dissemination to produce finished intelligence products, practicing setting up and tearing down antennas and equipment which is part of the SCAMP system. The team working on the AV established connectivity and showed proficiency in the deployment and redeployment of the platform’s sensor.

The DISE exercise was held for two days. The goal of this exercise was to give the service members assigned to Bravo Company, 312th MI BN the opportunity to practice expeditionary intelligence support for ARSOUTH contingency requirements.

The DISE provides forward intelligence analysis to ARSOUTH’s contingency command post in a deployed environment.

This exercise evaluates the DISE’s ability to rapidly deploy and establish connectivity to sensitive intelligence systems.

Taft said the DISE is a forward analytical element that consolidates information from forward units in a deployed environment. It fuses information from multiple sources to provide decision-makers with enhanced situational awareness in contingency operations. He said the DISE exercise is conducted about one to two times every 3 months.

Company B, 312th MI BN utilizes the DISE for both wartime and non-wartime situations, including humanitarian efforts, Taft said.

“We recently used this capability in Honduras last year after Hurricanes Eta and Iota,” he said. “Because of the amount of severe weather associated with Central America and the Caribbean, there’s a good chance it will be used again. In Honduras, the platform offered additional insight on risks to potentially flooded roadways and neighborhoods. The DISE provided the enhanced capability to support the distribution of humanitarian aid.”

Taft said the 10 troops from Company B, 312th MI BN who participated in the DISE exercise work on this capability on a daily basis; it is part of their duties in the company.

“We want to make sure that we can deploy our equipment and our platforms properly,” Taft said. “By rehearsing and refining our procedures and processes here at JBSA, we will be able to deploy at a moment’s notice in the event of an emergency to support our higher headquarters with additional intelligence capabilities.”