always engaged

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always engaged
THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE MILITARY INTELLIGENCE READINESS COMMAND
ALWAYS ENGAGED
Volume 7 – Number 1
Best Warrior Competition
IN THIS ISSUE:
• M IRC 2025
• Bold Knight
• The MIRC's new connectivity
The Army Reserve Intelligence mission is growing and so is the MIRC.
We need to add 1,500 highly qualified, highly motivated, and highly
disciplined Reserve Soldiers nationwide. If you are coming off active
duty, in a dead-end MOS, or are just joining the Army Reserves contact
your local recruiter or follow the links below for more information.
Master Sgt. Arthur Starks,
MIRC Command Career Counselor
[email protected]
703-806-5203
Retention SharePoint site
https://xtranet/sites/mirc/staff/ret/Pages/
default.aspx
Find a career counselor
http://stayarmyreserve.army.mil/region_
contact.html
Unit Locator
http://www.usar.army.mil/ourstory/Pages/
UnitLocator.aspx
Army Reserve Career Division
http://www.usar.army.mil/ourstory/
commands/StayArmyReserve/Pages/
Overview.aspx
Career Management Office
http://stayarmyreserve.army.mil/cmo/
cmo.html
ARCD Officer/Warrant Accessions
http://stayarmyreserve.army.mil/
accessions.html
Follow the MIRC at
www.facebook.com/USARMIRC
for the latest updates and stories.
Contents
FROM THE COMMANDING GENERAL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
FROM THE COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
MIRC COMMAND TEAM
MIRC 2025: THE FUTURE OF ARMY
RESERVE INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Brig. Gen. Gabriel Troiano
Commanding General
MAINTAINING SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE DOMINANCE . . . . . . . . . . 6
Col. Stephen E. Zarbo
Deputy Commanding Officer
THE MIRC LANGUAGE IMMERSION PROGRAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
752ND MI BATTALION ACTIVATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
THE BEST WARRIOR COMPETITION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
SOLDIERS EARN THE SCHÜTZENSCHNUR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Mr. Michael Stocks
Command Executive Officer
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Frank M. Patton
Command Chief Warrant
Command Sgt. Maj. Robert B. Breck
Command Sergeant Major
BOLD KNIGHT 2014. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
CELEBRATING SUCCESS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
THE 2014 MIRC COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR FORUM. . . . . . . 20
SOLDIER SPOTLIGHT: SPECIALIST MICHAEL AHUMADA . . . . . . . 22
MIRC MAGAZINE STAFF
Editor in Chief:
Maj. Gregg A. Moore
Public Affairs Officer
THE MIRC EXPANDS CONNECTIVITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
FORMER PRESIDENT RE-ENLISTS MIRC SOLDIER . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
www.usar.army.mil/AlwaysEngaged
www.facebook.com/USARMIRC
ON THE COVER — The MIRC Best Warriors pose with Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Breck at the beginning of an eight mile road march.
Back row, from left to right: Sgt. Jedidiah Hewson, Staff Sgt. Frank Kirmse, Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Breck, Sgt. David McDuffey, Spc.
Saad Khokhar. Front row, from left to right: Spc. Joshua Brannon, Spc. Eamonn O’Shea, Spc. Joshua Fritter, Sgt. Brandon Wakeley.
Photo by Spc. Erika Montano.
THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF
THE MILITARY INTELLIGENCE
READINESS COMMAND
ALWAYS ENGAGED
SUBMISSIONS — Always Engaged invites articles, story ideas, photographs and other material of interest to members of the MIRC family.
Manuscripts and other correspondence for the editor should be addressed to MIRC, Attn: Public Affairs, 8831 John J. Kingman Road, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060,
telephone 703-806-6126. All email submissions should go to [email protected]
SUBSCRIPTIONS — Always Engaged is a primarily digital magazine with a limited print distribution of 400. Always Engaged is an authorized Department of the
Army publication, published throughout the year by the MIRC Public Affairs Office. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Department
of the Army or the Chief, Army Reserve, nor should they be construed as official policy or directive in nature. Local reproduction of all material is approved, except
for copyrighted articles or photos.
Design, Layout, and Printing — Allen Wayne, LTD., www.allenwayne.com
Vol. 7, NO. 1
www.usar.army.mil/AlwaysEngaged
Always Engaged • 1
It seems like yesterday I wrote to you about my first six months in command
of the MIRC and the challenges that are in front of us as we grow in size and
capability. As I fast approach the completion of a full year in command, I
can report that my impression of the MIRC as an organization with the finest
Soldiers, Civilians, and Families has been more than solidified. I have personally
witnessed the hard work and dedication of the true professionals residing across
our formations. Despite dwindling resources and increased demands for our
services, MIRC Soldiers, Civilians and Family members have given it their all, and
continue to exemplify the Warrior Ethos and the Army Values, particularly that of
selfless service. I am confident, as the Army evolves over the next few years, the
MIRC will be considered as the model organization within the Army Reserve.
In the winter edition of the MIRC Magazine, I commented that the MIRC will
be going under a transformation over the next few years to be better positioned
to provide relevant intelligence support to the war-fighter. That transformation
has begun in earnest and continues to drive our efforts as a command for the
foreseeable future. In April, we activated the 752nd MI BN (CI) in support of the
902nd MI Group. We also stood up the first AFRICOM ARE and are fully engaged
in the preparations to stand up the 505th MI BDE in support of ARNORTH in
the fall. We are actively pursuing various re-stationing actions to provide our
Soldiers with the capability to provide reach-back intelligence support to our
partners in the Combat Support Agencies, ASCCs and COCOMs during IDT
FROM THE
COMMANDING GENERAL
weekends and during their Annual Training. Additionally,
the MIRC is continuing to look into the future in preparation
for the activation of two Expeditionary MI Brigades and
the conversion of our Battlefield Surveillance Battalions to
Expeditionary MI Battalions.
Amidst all of these actions, we are beginning to see the
results of our Collective Training strategy. The investment
in WAREXs, CSTXs and Live Environment Training (LET)
opportunities across our formations, has yielded an increase
in MI capability across the force. Leaders have embraced the
slogan “invest in one/train ten,” and have empowered their
Soldiers and Civilians so that each and every one of them
can make an impact within our organization. We will continue
to build upon this strategy in the future so that if and when
the MIRC is called to provide a capability, we will be ready.
At this point, I would like to express a very sincere and
special thank you to CSM Robert Breck, his wife Michelle,
and the entire Breck family. CSM Breck will be leaving
the MIRC in July 2014 to assume his new position as the
Command Sergeant Majorof the 807th Medical Command.
CSM Breck has been a guiding force for the MIRC over the
last three years, and has made the MIRC a centerpiece in
2 • Always Engaged
his life. His leadership, mentorship, and friendship have
been precious to me and to everyone in this command.
CSM Breck’s dedication to Soldiers, Civilians and Families is
unquestionable and unwavering. He and his family will always
be a part of the MIRC family and on behalf of the command I
want to wish all of them the best for the future.
I wish I could say that things will slow down in the future
but I cannot. We operate in a very fluid environment which
requires us to be flexible and forward leaning in all we
do. I am confident that all the Soldiers and Civilians in our
command, with the tremendous support from our Families,
will continue to meet the challenges facing us and succeed
at the highest level. I am extremely proud and humbled to
have the opportunity to lead such phenomenal people and
an incredible organization. Let’s take care of one another
and always remember serving our country is the greatest
privilege we can have bestowed upon us.
Always Engaged!
Brig. Gen. Gabriel Troiano,
Commanding General
Vol. 7, NO. 1
Soldiers, NCOs, Officers, and Civilians and Family members of the
Military Intelligence Readiness Command, this will be my last official
message in the MIRC Magazine as the MIRC Command Sergeant
Major. For the last three years, I have had the pleasure of serving with
the best Soldiers in Army Reserves' best command. I know there are
many of you I was not able to visit, but you were always on my mind.
Over the past three years I have been able to participate in many
of your activities such as weapons qualification, PT tests, Best Warrior
Competitions at the brigades, deployments, and redeployments.
During these events you made me feel very welcomed and, on some
occasions, you have pushed me to the limits of physical exhaustion
and challenged my shooting abilities. Those events will forever be
some of the most memorable moments of my life. I cannot thank all of
you enough for those memories of just wanting me to come back every
year and try to be the top shooter during your weapons qualification.
I have to say, I was glad to get schooled this year and to see the
excitement of those individuals that put their weapons skills to the test
and out-shot me by a long shot.
I also had the privilege of visiting with most of you prior to your
deployments and I have waited at the airport for your return. All of you
served with honor and accomplished the mission you were asked to
do. I wish to acknowledge all those individuals that helped to support
FROM THE
COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR
those deployments and helping in every way to deploy and
redeploy our Soldiers.
As a Command we have accomplished a great deal
over the last three years; the MIRC has deployed over 600
Soldiers, 3 battalions, and a great number of teams and
individuals in support of combat operations worldwide. I
have seen you prepare for your duties during your training
from home station to your mob stations. I have seen this
command come together and support each other for the
freedoms we enjoy. I have seen units put together from
across the MIRC and come together as a united team to
support each other through some rough times and get
through it side by side. I am sorry that I was never able to
visit you in theater, but you were always in my thoughts
and prayers.
I enjoyed visiting with and meeting your families at the
Yellow Ribbon events, calling them during the holidays
while you were gone. I saw the pride that your family and
friends have for your service in their support for you.
As the MIRC progresses in the future to a larger
organization, with more capability, you must understand that
you all have been part of the success of this command. No
matter what the MOS you hold or in what position you are
Vol. 7, NO. 1
within the MIRC Command, you are all professionals in the
eyes of all others. Keep up the great work and never settle
for anything less than perfection.
As I look back at all I have learned and gained from
these last three years, it is hard to put into words the
gratitude that I have for all of you. You have given me a
new level of trust and respect that I will long remember.
I want to thank all the Soldiers, NCOs, Officers and
Civilians and your families for all the hard work and
dedication you have given to, not only this command, but
to our Nation and for providing security and a way of life to
all of our citizens. I am forever grateful for the support and
trust you gave my family and me over the last three years!
I also wish to thank my family for supporting me over the
last 13 years of my military service. I could not have done
anything without the support of my wonderful wife and family.
God Bless you and keep you safe.
Always Engaged!
Command Sgt. Maj. Robert B. Breck,
Command Sergeant Major
www.usar.army.mil/AlwaysEngaged
Always Engaged • 3
:
5
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Sto
Engagement, to best
accomplish this mission.
Key to the success of MIRC
2025 is the growth and accurate
stationing of MIRC units. The Army Reserve
is currently resourced and funded for 205,000
troops, but only 196,000 positions are filled. This
shortage, combined with existing and future fiscal
constraints, means the Reserves will likely lose even
more authorized positions for soldiers. Additionally,
the Active Component is suffering a significant
reduction of troops with the Army as a whole shrinking
from 45 Brigade Combat Teams to 33. The active
forces will also conduct fewer Military Intelligence
missions; however, many of the mission requirements
will remain. Therefore, as the rest of the Army is
shrinking, Army Reserve Military Intelligence will
be asked to expand to fill the gap. The continued
requirement for Military Intelligence capabilities and
the drawdown of the Active Component force are the
primary reasons why the MIRC will grow from nearly
6,000 authorized positions to approximately 7,500.
I
e
rv
e
m
o
e
ur
The mission
statement of the
Military Intelligence
Readiness Command can
be summed up in two words:
Intelligence Operations.
This mission is the driving force behind
the MIRC 2025 vision to provide intelligence
support to meet theater requirements by producing
relevant and trained Army Reserve MI formations
and soldiers to Combatant Commands. The intent
of MIRC 2025 is to align MIRC formations, through
Regionally Aligned Forces (RAF) and Theater
ut
F
e
h
era
n
ho
g
rau
l
l
e
nt
es
R
y
r
A
f
s
n
tio
T
Current
Army
Military
Intelligence
Force
Structure
CURRENT
ARMYReserve
RESERVE
INTELLIGENCE
FORCE
STRUCTURE
MIRCMILITARY
Force
Structure
(Current)
National /
Strategic
III
III
III
III
III
PACOM
III
PACOM
JIOC ARE
USF-K
CENTCOM
III
CENTCOM
JIC ARE
X
X
X
X
X
XXX
500
501
513
66
470
ASCC
II
II
II
II
II
301
368
345
323
377
CCMD
NGIC
NGIC
CORPS
DIA
AFRICOM
III
AFRICOM
JIOC ARE
DIA
DIA
EUCOM
III
EUCOM
JAC ARE
ARCTU
STATE
SOUTHCOM
NORTHCOM
Legend
= US Army Reserve unit (MIRC)
= Active Component unit
= Joint unit (multi-service)
ACFP= ARMY CONTINGENCY FORCE PACKAGE
II
II
II
II
373
321
378
325
ACFP
AROA
NGIC
3200
OPERATING FORCE ROTATIONAL (ARFORGEN) / NG BfSB ALIGNED
XXX
III
3100
3300
2300
NGIC
2500
III
2200
XXXX
2100
III
CI /HUMINT
II
II
II
314
338
752
SIGINT/CYBER
I
NSA
GA
I
NSA
HI
4 • Always Engaged
I
NSA
TX
I
ATCAE
TECHINT
TITLE 10
II
III
III
203
NISG
TSC
III
648
Vol. 7, NO. 1
Future
Army Reserve
Military
Intelligence
Force Structure
FUTURE ARMY RESERVE
INTELLIGENCE
FORCE STRUCTURE
MIRCMILITARY
Force
Structure
(Future)
III
National /
Strategic
III
2100
NGIC
III
2200
2300
NGIC
PACOM
III
III
2500
NGIC
NGIC
DIA
CENTCOM
AFRICOM
EUCOM
X
III
CENTCOM
JIC ARE
X
III
AFRICOM
JIOC ARE
X
III
EUCOM
JAC ARE
X
XXX
500
501
513
207
ASCC
II
II
II
301
368
345
ARCTU
DIA
DIA
USF-K
CCMD
3300
3200
III
PACOM
JIOC ARE
X
XXXX
III
III
3100
STATE
SOUTHCOM
Legend
NORTHCOM
= US Army Reserve unit (MIRC)
= Active Component unit
X
X
66
470
505
II
II
II
II
II
337
323
377
3XX
383
= Joint unit (multi-service)
ACFP= ARMY CONTINGENCY FORCE PACKAGE
OPERATING FORCE ROTATIONAL (ARFORGEN) / CORPS ALIGNED
X
XXX
CORPS
II
319
373
III
AROA
HUMINT
II
372
INTG
= USAR
CI / HUMINT
II
314
INTG
= AC
II
338
INTG
II
3XX
INTG
X
II
321
378
II
752
CI
II
325
SIGINT / CYBER TECHINT
III
4100
ARISCOE
II
7XX
NSA
II
203
= JOINT
This growth in troops and mission requirements will
fuel force structure changes as the MIRC expands. We
are conducting more stationing actions during the next
year than ever in the MIRC’s history. To be successful
in our stationing we will align production units with
Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities
to maximize battle assembly and Annual Training
utilization. The Theater Support Battalions can
expect to keep similar mission sets and continue to
support Theater Intelligence Brigades. However, the
task organizations for their Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie
Companies will change. The Battlefield Surveillance
Brigades (BfSB) MI Battalions will undergo significant
changes as alignment with Active and National Guard
BfSB do not coincide with future mission sets. This
is primarily due to the difficulty in coordinating multi
component mission command and sustainment as well
as accounting for Title 10 vs. Title 32 authorities.
Alignments with the BfSBs will end with the
creation of Expeditionary – Military Intelligence
Brigades or E-MIBs. The MIRC will gain two E-MIBs
and potentially station them at Joint Base LewisMcChord, Washington, and Joint Base McGuire-DixLakehurst, New Jersey. The E-MIBs will not go into
effect until FY16, however, the 208th Regional Support
Group will inactivate at the end of FY15. This creates
a significant gap in mission command of the 208th
RSG and its subordinate units which will temporarily
Vol. 7, NO. 1
3XX
II
III
TITLE 10
III
NISG
TSC
III
648
migrate to the MIRC’s Training Support Command.
The exception is the 378th MI Battalion, which will
move to the 648th Regional Support Group until the
activation of the E-MIBs in FY16. The MIRC will also
activate the 505th Theater Intelligence Brigade (TIB)
in San Antonio, Texas. This will be a multi-component
headquarters with two subordinate BNs in direct
support to U.S. Army North (ARNORTH) in September
2015. The National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC)
Military Intelligence Groups (MIG) will remain in their
current structure and the Strategic Intelligence Groups
(SIG) will support Combatant Commands through the
new regional centers just created by the Defense
Intelligence Agency. The Department of the Army
also recently mandated creation of Army Contingency
Force Package (ACFP) units within the Army Reserve.
The 373rd Military Intelligence Battalion, with the
378th MI Battalion in support, is tasked as the first
MIRC ACFP unit given notice to conduct full spectrum
intelligence operations during a global contingency.
The MIRC is growing and, as such, there will be
more career opportunities for Army Reserve Military
Intelligence Soldiers than ever. MIRC 2025 will place
the MIRC in a position to answer current and future
intelligence requirements.
For more information, contact the MIRC 2025 Force
Management team at [email protected] ◆
www.usar.army.mil/AlwaysEngaged
Always Engaged • 5
Maintaining Signals
Intelligence
Dominance
Story and photos by
Maj. Gregg Moore
The Prophet is a system of sensors linked to a central
hub. At this central station, signals intelligence soldiers can
analyze and provide real-time actionable intelligence, situational
understanding, and force protection. The 373rd Military
Intelligence Battalion in Tumwater, Washington, is the only Army
Reserve unit with one of these systems consisting of two sensor
HMMW-Vs and a control center HMMW-V.
Spc. Nathaniel Rogers, an MI Systems Maintainer and
Integrator (MOS: 35T), is an expert at keeping the Prophet
in the fight. He deployed to Iraq with the 373rd in 2011 to
Spc. Nathaniel Rogers
explains trouble shooting the
Prophet system to a group of
Signals Intelligence soldiers.
6 • Always Engaged
Vol. 7, NO. 1
Soldiers from the 373rd Military Intelligence Battalion set up the Prophet’s central control and communication system. Once assembled, this dish provides
a link for analysts to send near-real-time intelligence to their higher headquarters a few miles away or around the globe.
maintain the system, and stayed to the end to help
the U.S. Army return the equipment for Operation
New Dawn as coalition forces left Iraq. Following
his deployment, he took a job as a civilian contractor
in Afghanistan, continuing to maintain the Prophet
System for 18 months.
Rogers said the Advanced Individual Training (AIT)
for the 35T Systems Maintainer and Integrator starts
with basic electronics theory fundamentals such as how
AC and DC function. The students slowly work their
way towards more and more complicated electronics.
They eventually learn to build their own radios to
demonstrate a core understanding of electronics.
“The idea is to teach us the trouble shooting
techniques, so it doesn’t matter what system it is, we
can figure it out,” said Rogers. He explained that the
three primary areas the training covers are networking,
electronics, and Satellite Communication systems.
Rogers said, “Getting to work on the equipment is fun
for me.”
Vol. 7, NO. 1
Rogers said he “felt more free to focus on the
equipment” as a civilian contractor and that he liked
that military leaders listened to his recommendations
more than when he was in uniform. On the other
hand, “it was freeing as a soldier” because contractors
can only work on the equipment they are contracted
for. If something needs repaired that is not in the
contract, the contractor risks getting fired because it
takes work away from a different contractor. Soldiers
are able to work on any equipment.
There are many versions of the Prophet. Some
differences are in mounting for different vehicles and
some have different hardware. Rogers said that when
he arrived in Iraq, he was given a system the previous
users were not able to repair, “for me, that was a really
awesome challenge.” ◆
www.usar.army.mil/AlwaysEngaged
Always Engaged • 7
The MIRC
Language
Immersion
Program
Military Intelligence Readiness Command language
qualified soldiers can improve their language skills
and cultural understanding through the Language
Immersion Program.
“These immersions are amazing for personal
growth and language development; especially for
non-heritage speakers like me.”
To participate in the program, soldiers must
score a 2/2 or better with a valid Defense Language
Proficiency Test within two years prior to the
event. Although, soldiers are not required to be in
a language-designated duty position, those who
are will have priority. Ranks are limited to Captains,
Lieutenants, Warrant Officers, and Sgt. 1st Class and
below.
“This has helped me in different ways and
continued to help me in my MOS. I went up from 2
on my listening to a 2+ on my DLPT.”
The intent is to put soldiers into situations in which
they will only speak the target language. During the
immersion, soldiers receive approximately 30 hours of
8 • Always Engaged
Vol. 7, NO. 1
classroom instruction and one-on-one tutoring each
week. They will also participate in cultural training
and excursions. Another important part of the cultural
training is living in the homes of host families, when
available. Host families will only speak in the native
language with the soldier and typically provide two
meals a day.
“I learned Spanish in the Dominican Republic.
I went to school in Spanish until I was 12. I have
been in the military for three years. This immersion
improved my language skills especially when it
comes to grammar and reading comprehension.
Although I am a native Spanish speaker, I know
that my weak points are writing and reading.
This immersion has helped me strengthen these
weaknesses.”
In addition to the classes, tutoring, and host
families, participants go on cultural excursions.
Language immersion opportunities change annually
depending on availability and budget constraints. Some
of the locations for 2014 include Puerto Rico, Taiwan,
France, Morocco, Portugal, Latvia, and South Korea.
“The highlight of the entire immersion program
was my instructor for the group class, Teresa.
When I learned that she was only 23 years old,
I thought that she was rather too young to be
an effective instructor—but I was proven wrong
almost immediately. After the first day of class,
I quickly realized that she was an incredibly
talented teacher who was knowledgeable, witty,
funny, fair, and caring. She ensured that everyone,
regardless of their level of Spanish, was engaged
in discussions, not letting the class be dominated
by those who were more proficient in Spanish.”
Ask your chain of command to contact the MIRC
Language Program staff if you are interested in
applying for a language immersion opportunity now! ◆
“I believe each excursion was a meaningful
experience. To take advantage of the time outside
the classroom, students should be required to
interact with locals. I think it’s a prime opportunity
to travel within the country and to analyze the
different words and accents that exist.”
Vol. 7, NO. 1
www.usar.army.mil/AlwaysEngaged
Always Engaged • 9
752 MI Battalion
nd
The 902nd Military Intelligence Group and
the Military Intelligence Readiness Command
activated a new battalion during a ceremony at
the Fort George G. Meade Museum, Maryland,
on April 18, 2014.
The 752nd MI Battalion, an Army Reserve
unit with detachments in Georgia, Texas and
California, will provide counterintelligence
support to the 902nd MI Group's
counterterrorist and counterespionage
investigations and operations.
“Our principal mission is to provide
that specific support with qualified
counterintelligence teams and agents,” said
Lt. Col. Anthony M. Callandrillo, commander,
752nd MI Battalion.
On order, the 902nd MI Group’s newest
battalion will mobilize and deploy in support
of contingency counterintelligence and force
protection requirements.
“We’re going to recruit from all over,” said
Callandrillo. “If I’ve got a Soldier in Colorado
who has a unique skill set, we’re going to have
the flexibility to place him where he best fits
in. After looking at his skill set and the mission
requirements, it might be determined he’s best
suited to supporting a field office in San Antonio
or he might end up coming to Fort Meade.
“It is interesting with the reserves, because
you want to match a unique skill set with
the mission, and that’s not always
going to be geographically based,”
Callandrillo added.
According to Callandrillo, the
battalion will also pay special attention
to more than just a Soldier’s military
occupational specialty.
“One of the more exciting aspects
of this will be not simply the military
qualifications the members of the
752nd MI Battalion will have, but what
qualifications they have as a whole,”
he said. “Where people work and
what they do in their day jobs will play
a part in this as well – not just what
they do when they’re in uniform.”
While the 752nd MI Battalion is
brand new, the unit couldn’t arrive
at a better time, according to Col.
Yvette C. Hopkins, commander,
902nd MI Group.
"The timing of this activation
is impeccable," Hopkins said. "As
the Army draws down, there will
be inherent risks associated with
our foreign adversaries and insider
threats. The counterintelligence
discipline is the pivotal discipline
which mitigates that risk to the Army." ◆
Command Sgt. Maj. Michael J.
Robinson, commander of the
troops during the ceremony,
unfurls the 752nd Military
Intelligence Battalion's guidon
during an activation and
assumption of command ceremony
at Fort George G. Meade, Md.,
April 18. Col. Yvette C. Hopkins,
commander, 902nd MI Group,
presided over the ceremony,
with Lt. Col. Anthony Callandrillo
becoming its first commander.
(Photo by Brian Murphy)
10 • Always Engaged
Vol. 7, NO. 1
activation
By Brian Murphy, 902nd MI Group
Col. Yvette C. Hopkins, the commander of the 902nd MI Group, passes the
new Battalion colors to Lt. Col. Callandrillo. In this traditional ceremony, he
assumes command of the 752nd. (Photo by Maj. Gregg Moore).
Vol. 7, NO. 1
www.usar.army.mil/AlwaysEngaged
Always Engaged • 11
The 2014
MIRC Best Warrior
On May 5, 2014, the Military Intelligence Readiness
Command held its annual Best Warrior Competition at
Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. This four day event consisted
of challenging physical and mental tests to determine
who the Command would name as the MIRC 2014
Soldier and NCO of the year and then go to compete
at the U.S. Army Reserve Command level. Competitors
went through a selection process at their brigades
and battalions before coming to the MIRC level contest.
But what is a Best Warrior? Each competitor answered
this question in their own perspective. However, their
description of this elite title was altogether the same.
“The Best Warrior Competition means that you’re a
well-rounded Soldier, a well-rounded Non-Commissioned
Officer, a true leader of every aspect; physically fit
and mentally sharp …” said Staff Sgt. Frank Kirmse, Human
Intelligence Collector from the USAR Support Group.
They studied hard, worked on their physical conditioning and
made personal sacrifices to compete at this level. Thanks to family,
leadership, and unit support, these soldiers were as ready and eager
as ever to take on the demands.
“I’ve been working hard, maintaining my warrior tasks and battle
drills, and making sure I don’t lose those abilities,” said Spc. Joshua
Fritter, from the MIRC Headquarters and Headquarters Company.
“I just have a fire within me … I want to compete and do my
best no matter what, and try to come out on top,” said Spc.
Joshua Brannon, Intelligence Analyst from Det. 8 EUCOM.
This year, the challenging events included the Army
Physical Fitness Test, a written essay, day and night land
navigation, rifle marksmanship, an eight-mile road march
carrying a 35 pound rucksack, first aid and medical
evacuation procedures, reassemble
parts from multiple weapons into
the correct and functioning
configurations, an obstacle
course, and answering
questions from a board of
Command Sgt.’s Major.
Like all Best Warrior
competitions, there can
only be two that standout
from the rest: one enlisted/
12 • Always Engaged
Vol. 7, NO. 1
Competition
junior soldier (Private through Specialist) and one
Non-Commissioned Officer (Sergeant through Sgt.
1st Class). Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Breck waited
until the award ceremony at the end of the week
to announce the winners. Up until that point, the
competitors were not told how they scored or ranked
between each other.
“You learned a lot about yourselves … I’m
impressed with every single one of you and the hard
work you put forward …” said Breck. “It was very
close between one, two and even three if we did a
third place winner.”
A loud round of applause and a flash of camera
lights went off for Spc. Saad Khokhar, from the
368th MI Bn., and Sgt. Jedidiah Hewson, a platoon
sergeant from the 301st MI Bn. As they stood up to be
recognized as this year’s Best Warrior and Best NCO,
Command Sgt. Maj. Breck awarded both competitors
a bronze eagle statue and shared a few words with
the advancing soldiers.
“You’ve got some competition ahead of you at the
[U.S. Army Reserve Command] level. It’s not going
to be easy, but it’s going to be a lot of fun, and I look
forward to watching both of you excel at that best
warrior competition. No matter what, you don’t give
Vol. 7, NO. 1
Story and photos by
Spc. Erika Montano, 323rd MI Bn.
up, you don’t quit, you just keep driving on just like
you did here. Hooah?”
“HOOAH!” both Khokhar and Hewson
responded proudly.
With the USARC Best Warrior Competition coming
up in June at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New
Jersey, both Soldiers will be preparing vigorously.
This means more studying, continuous physical
training and brushing up on board appearance;
however, both Khokhar and Hewson expressed that
with this MIRC level experience, they will continue to
grow and reach new limits.
“It’s competitive, it helps push you forward …
And overall it was a good experience, and I want to
continue doing it,” said Khokhar.
“It makes me realize what I’m capable of.
What I’m good at, what I need to work on … and
the biggest thing I realized is that I need to take
everything up to a whole new level for the USARC
[competition],” said Hewson.
Congratulations to the MIRC Best Warriors! ◆
www.usar.army.mil/AlwaysEngaged
Always Engaged • 13
A Noncommissioned Officer from the 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion
trains a German soldier to operate the Mk 19 Grenade Launcher.
Soldiers Earn the
Schützenschnur
for Weapons Proficiency
Story and photos by Maj. Gregg Moore
The 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion broke away
from their normal Battle Assembly for weapons training
at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Fifteen German soldiers from
the German Armed Forces Command in Washington,
DC joined the MI unit to cross-train with American and
German weapons. 323rd MI Battalion soldiers took
this opportunity to earn the German Armed Forces
Proficiency Badge, also known as the Schützenschnur.
“The German Armed Forces Command, USA and
Canada, is the top [German] headquarters in the United
States,” described Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Kleinhenz,
the German unit’s Command Sergeant Major. He went
14 • Always Engaged
on to explain, “This unit is in charge of any German troop,
whether Army, Navy, or Air Force that touches American
soil. They provide resources and administratively manage
all German troops in America and Canada.”
The American weapons included the MK19
automatic grenade launcher, the M9 pistol, the
M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, and the M16 rifle.
The Germans brought the P8 9mm Pistol, the MG3
Machine Gun, and the G36 Assault Rifle.
Soldiers must display excellent marksmanship
skills to earn this coveted German badge. The
Schützenschnur has three qualification levels:
Vol. 7, NO. 1
A German Noncommissioned Officer marks the target for a 323rd
Military Intelligence soldier. The scoring is based upon which ring is
hit. The smaller, center rings are for the gold level qualification, the
next ring for the silver, and the outer ring for the bronze.
Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Kleinhenz, German Armed Forces
Command, USA and Canada, discusses the operation and
safety features of the German P8 9mm pistol.
bronze, silver, and gold. Soldiers earn the award by
successfully hitting targets with the rifle, pistol, and/
or the machinegun. The award grade, or class, is
determined by the soldier’s lowest score.
To qualify at the bronze level, soldiers fire the
pistol and the rifle. The machinegun is not required
to earn this award. Fifteen 323rd soldiers earned the
Schützenschnur in Bronze.
To earn the next higher award class, soldiers must
qualify at the silver level with the machinegun and
either a pistol or rifle. Six 323rd soldiers earned the
Schützenschnur in Silver.
Vol. 7, NO. 1
Nine 323rd soldiers earned the highest award,
the Schützenschnur in Gold is earned when a soldier
scores a gold with the machinegun and either a pistol
or rifle.
Kleinhenz said, “We’re not just here to support
German units. A big part of our job is to promote the
German military culture. And through the Proficiency
Badge, the Schützenschnur, we are doing that.” He
continued, “It’s a good chance to bring soldiers together
and to train together. And what better way can we do
it than to be on a training field? To sweat together, to
shoot together, to do soldiering together.” ◆
www.usar.army.mil/AlwaysEngaged
Always Engaged • 15
B ol d K
g ht
ni
2014
Story by Maj. Gregg Moore
Most Army Reserve units only work with the Active
Component during deployments and at the occasional
training center rotation. But the Military Intelligence
Readiness Command and the U.S. Army Intelligence
and Security Command (INSCOM) have broken that
mold to increase efficiency and flexibility. A leader
in that effort is the Army Reserve’s 345th Military
Intelligence Battalion. The 345th works hand-in-hand
with the Active Component’s 513th Military Intelligence
Brigade at Fort Gordon, Georgia. This ongoing
affiliation includes support from the 513th during Battle
Assemblies, Annual Training, schools, mobilizations
within the Continental United States, and more.
The 513th Military Intelligence Brigade’s annual
exercise, named “Bold Knight,” includes soldiers
from all their active duty battalions as well as from
the 345th. Col. Steven Breton, commander of the
513th, directed full integration of the 345th supporting
the 513th during Bold Knight. The exercise involved
troops located in Texas, Georgia, and overseas. The
513th made the 2014 exercise more challenging than
in previous years.
Sgt. 1st Class Jason Gress, a Senior Intelligence
Analyst from the 345th noted, “Last year the products
16 • Always Engaged
were broad and basic. This year we’re more up to
speed on current events and techniques.”
Bravo Company, 345th MI Battalion, and the active
component Alpha Company, 202nd MI Battalion,
worked together at Camp Bullis, Texas. Capt. Angela
Brown, the Bravo Company Commander said this was
the first time an exercise of this type and breadth had
been conducted at the Theater Intelligence Brigade
level. While training at the INSCOM Interrogation
and Detention Training Facility (IDTF), soldiers from
both companies developed and honed their skills in
Military Source Operations (MSO) meeting mechanics,
screening operations, debriefs, and interrogations.
“Operation Bold Knight’s success was a direct
result of support from numerous agencies throughout
the Intelligence Community who provided instructor
support, role players, observer-controllers, and
mentors which created an almost one-on-one learning
ratio,” said Brown.
The 345th MI Battalion’s relationship is ongoing,
and involves much more than the annual exercise.
“We don’t mind coming in on the weekend if it helps
the Reserve Soldiers do their jobs,” said Warrant
Officer Brian McKinney, an Active Component Signals
Vol. 7, NO. 1
The 513th Military Intelligence
Brigade uses a mock village with
active role-players as part of the
human intelligence collection
training in their "Bold Knight"
exercise. (U.S. Army photo by
Capt. Shantece Wade, 513th MI
Brigade Public Affairs Officer)
Intelligence Technician. When asked about skill levels
between the fulltime and part-time soldiers, McKinney
said, “I can’t tell the difference between [Active
Component] and [Reserve Component] soldiers. My
experience has been individually based.”
Parts of the exercise included Reserve soldiers
training active component soldiers. The 513th
leadership recognizes that many soldiers from the
345th have significant deployment experience and
valuable skills from their civilian careers.
Additionally, there are many Reserve soldiers filling
fulltime Intelligence mission requirements with the
513th. “We are sitting side-by-side with [the Active
Component] and working the same targets,” said Staff
Sergeant Jay Clemons, an Army Reserve Geospacial
Intelligence Noncommissioned Officer with the 345th.
“The 345th integration [with the 513th] helps build a
common operating picture,” said Chief Warrant Officer
Luny Delva. Delva is a Reserve Component soldier
working daily with the 513th Brigade on fulltime orders.
Proudly stating, “The 345th is an analytic multiplier.” ◆
Soldiers of the 345th Military Intelligence Battalion conduct human intelligence collection training during the 513th MI Brigade's "Bold Knight" exercise in
March, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Shantece Wade, 513th MI Brigade Public Affairs Officer)
Vol. 7, NO. 1
www.usar.army.mil/AlwaysEngaged
Always Engaged • 17
Celebrating
Success
Story and photos by Lt. Col. Jeffrey W. Forest,
Command Mission Manager, CENTCOM JIC J2
DET 3, CENTCOM Joint
Intelligence Center J2
In April, the Army Reserve Soldiers of Detachment
3, Central Command Joint Intelligence Center J2
(CENTCOM JIC J2), Military Intelligence Readiness
Command, set aside their research and writing to
host a dining out. This event would be bigger and
better than the unit celebrations of the prior two years,
because DET 3’s brigade headquarters sponsored
the event in conjunction with its yearly training brief.
The guest list expanded to include key leaders from
the brigade and each of the unit’s ten detachments.
This was in addition to a long list of VIPs. Warm spring
weather greeted participants when they arrived at
the Naval Anti-Submarine Warfare Base, San Diego,
California where DET 3 is stationed.
In addition to the dining out, DET 3 Soldiers
planned and conducted a promotion, a change-ofcommand, a retirement, a reenlistment, an M9 pistol
qualification, and an Army Physical Fitness Test.
“The events were a fantastic success! It was a
team effort,” said Maj. Mike Martin, the detachment’s
executive officer who coordinated the events. “DET
3 started planning months in advance. 1st Lt Blake
Cheary, who served as ‘Mr. Vice’ for the dining out,
did an exceptional job. He made the event a night to
remember.”
Dining-Out
Tuxedos, evening gowns, and dress uniforms
converged at the ballroom as the sun started to set
over the Pacific on Saturday April 5th. Colonel Joseph
Dziezynski, Commander of the CENTCOM JIC J2,
opened the dining-out. The traditional toasts were
followed by a three course meal. The honored guest,
Brig. Gen. Gabriel Troiano, addressed the mess after
dinner. Following his speech, Brig. Gen. Troiano was
surprised to receive a cake covered with candles in
celebration of his 50th birthday.
18 • Always Engaged
Colonel Joseph Dziezynski, Commander of the Central Command
United States Joint Intelligence Center J2 (CENTCOM JIC J2), reenlists
Specialist Raymond Jack, from Detachment 5, Jacksonville, Florida,
during the Dining Out on 5 April 2014 in San Diego, California.
Next, Col. David Lent, Deputy Commander of the
CENTCOM JIC J2, was awarded the Legion of Merit.
Col. Dziezynski also presented Col. Lent a shadow
box on behalf of the unit. Col. Lent retired from the
Army Reserves after serving 30 years in the military.
He established today’s fully integrated, joint reserve
intelligence support to CENTCOM based on a network of
CENTCOM Intelligence Support Centers (CISCs) staffed
with reserve service members (including over 300 Army
Reserve Soldiers) working at ten locations across the
continental United States. Two former commanders of
the CENTCOM JIC J2 (previously called the CENTCOM
United States Army Reserve Element J2/JT) were present
to honor him: Brig. Gen. Christie Nixon, the Deputy
Commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security
Command, and retired Col. Alison Ryscavage.
Finally, Spc. Raymond Jack, from DET 5,
Jacksonville, Florida reenlisted. He joined DET 5 after
accomplishing his Intelligence Analyst training at
Fort Huachuca, Arizona, in 2010. Currently, Spc. Jack
is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in English at the
University of North Florida where he is completing his
senior year. He is also employed by the University. In
December 2014, Spc. Jack will enter law school.
Vol. 7, NO. 1
Promotion and
Change of Command
Prior to the Yearly Training Brief and dining-out,
Col. Dziezynski promoted Ken Carlson to colonel then
transferred command of DET 3 from Lt. Col. Marquez,
the acting commander, to Col. Carlson.
“My number one goal is to continue what Lt. Col.
Marquez had accomplished to make DET 3 into a
family – a place where people want to come to work –
and a fully operational CENTCOM Intelligence Support
Center,” Col. Carlson said.
Col. Carlson emphasized the importance of
teamwork with the local Navy Reserve intelligence unit,
“We have to be joint … joint schedules, joint teams,
joint production. In July, our Navy counterpart, and I
will present our joint plans for the CISC at the annual
Regional Director of Intelligence meeting in Tampa.”
Col. Carlson continued, “The goal of each of our
strategic reserve centers is to prepare and provide
trained and ready intelligence professionals to
augment active duty forces when needed. There is
no better way for soldiers to train than to work on real
intelligence products. We provide continuous and
surge support to the warfighter. In some cases, like
the Economic Working Group, we have resources and
expertise the active force doesn’t have. On this team,
reservists with civilian jobs in finance and business
apply their civilian expertise to understanding key
economic factors affecting the countries where
CENTCOM forces operate.”
“With the active duty draw-down, the importance
of the reserve force has increased because it is an
efficient, inexpensive resource. More talent will be
available to reserve units as active duty personnel
leave service,” Col. Carlson said. He explained that
Colonel Joseph Dziezynski, Central Command United States Joint
Intelligence Center J2 Commander, addresses the Soldiers and guests of
Detachment 3, Central Command United States Joint Intelligence Center
J2 (DET 3, CENTCOM JIC J2) at the detachment change-of-command
ceremony in April 2014. The unit is stationed at the Naval Anti-Submarine
Warfare Base, Point Loma, San Diego, California.
Vol. 7, NO. 1
DET 3 offers significant opportunities to experienced
intelligence professionals leaving active duty who are
interested in maintaining their proficiency in perishable
intelligence skills as they begin their civilian careers.
“I’m looking for Sergeants and Captains or above with
tactical experience. Not just in Military Intelligence
units but in tactical units. Mature people with life
experience who are self-motivated, successful in their
civilian careers, 100% ready for deployment, and want
to continue to serve.”
“We have four missions right now: economic, Iran,
and Afghanistan analysis which are here in San Diego;
and a counterintelligence mission which is located in
Phoenix. We are also standing up a CYBER mission in
San Diego in partnership with the local Navy Reserve
intelligence unit. This is an important opportunity for
skilled individuals who are interested in getting in on
the ground floor of this initiative,” Col. Carlson said.
After assignment to DET 3, Soldiers are expected
to develop their expertise for one of the missions.
This expertise may be focused on a regional issue
or on an individual country. The CENTCOM area
of responsibility includes a diverse set of cultures
and conflicts spanning 20 countries from Egypt
to Afghanistan and Yemen to Iran. Army Reserve
Element intelligence production team leaders
have established close working relationships with
CENTCOM intelligence directorate branch chiefs. They
collaborate throughout the intelligence production
cycle to focus production on important topics, ensure
product quality, and meet deadlines.
Headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa,
Florida, the CENTCOM JIC J2 is composed of ten
detachments which are located across the United
States. CENTCOM JIC J2 intelligence missions range
from all-source intelligence and geospatial analysis to
counterintelligence and human intelligence. Soldiers
support several CENTCOM Joint Intelligence Center
Central (JICCENT) branches including the regional
branch which is focused on strategic issues that affect
more than one country (Weapons of Mass Destruction,
Energy, CYBER, Human Environment, Economic) and
a number of branches focused on individual countries
or groups of countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central
Asian States, Iran, Iraq, Arabian Peninsula, Egypt,
Levant). CENTCOM JIC J2 Geospatial Intelligence
(GEOINT) Soldiers support JICCENT targeting
branches. CENTCOM JIC J2 Counterintelligence/
Human Intelligence (CI/HUMINT) Soldiers support
CENTCOM X Division branches. ◆
www.usar.army.mil/AlwaysEngaged
Always Engaged • 19
THE 2014 MIRC COMMAND
Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Fairley discusses
changes in the Army Intelligence Corps.
Chaplain (Maj.) Kenneth Koon shared
his personal story about suicide.
For the first time in MIRC history all of the Command
Sergeants Major and Sergeants Major were able to
gather for a Senior NCO Forum in Atlanta, Georgia.
During this forum, special guests included the Army
G2 Sergeant Major, Sgt. Maj. David Redmon, the U.S.
Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM)
Command Sgt. Maj.; CSM Panapa Willis, CSM Jeffrey
Fairley of United States Army Intelligence Center
of Excellence (USAICoE), Fort Huachuca; Sgt. Maj.
Saunders (National Guard Bureau G2 SGM); and our own
Col. Steve Zarbo, MIRC Deputy Commanding Officer.
CSMs came together
from across the MIRC.
20 • Always Engaged
This three-day event allowed us to hear from the
top three Intelligence Community Noncommissioned
Officers. We learned about the future of Military
Intelligence, also known as Intel 2020, from Sgt. Maj.
Redmon and Command Sgt. Maj. Willis through our
relationship with the INSCOM Family. Command
Sgt. Maj. Fairley discussed the way ahead for the
intelligence professionals and training our soldiers
for success. Col. Zarbo gave us an overview and way
ahead for the MIRC and the incredible growth we will
experience over the next five years.
Sgt. Maj. David Redmon
briefs Intell 2020.
Vol. 7, NO. 1
SERGEANT MAJOR FORUM
By Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Breck
Mrs. Stacey Sangster discusses the
administrative side of Soldier healthcare.
Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Fairley
speaking with MIRC battalion CSMs.
The MIRC staff sections from the headquarters
provided detailed administrative briefings.
This helped clarify and give a much better
understanding of the many processes in place.
We also discussed ideas for improving these
processes and the communication from top to
bottom and across the MIRC. Mrs. Stacey Sangster,
Recovery Care Coordinator, gave a great briefing
on the health of our soldiers and the importance of
making sure that as leaders we make sure that ALL
the paper work for Line of Duties(LODs) are done
Maj. Heidi Skelton-Riley, MIRC Deputy
G1, goes over promotion packets.
Vol. 7, NO. 1
properly so the Soldiers can be taken care of in a
timely manner.
The exchange of conversation among the
Sergeants Major and the speakers was invaluable and
worth the time. As the Senior Non-Commissioned
Officers, Senior Leaders and Senior Enlisted Advisors
to our Commanders, this was a golden opportunity
to learn from each other and join together for the
betterment of the all our Soldiers. ◆
(Left) Sgt. Maj. Albert Ponton, 2200 MIG and (right) Command
Sgt. Maj. Michael Robinson networking at the forum.
www.usar.army.mil/AlwaysEngaged
Always Engaged • 21
Soldier Spotlight
Specialist
Michael Ahumada
Story by Maj. Gregg Moore
Twice the citizen reacts to fire
On May 25th, 2009, at approximately 2000
hours, insurgent rockets exploded near the
Joint-Base Balad temporary housing tents in
Iraq. Army Reserve Geospatial Imagery Analyst,
Spc. Michael Ahumada and others from the 301st
Military Intelligence Battalion, were resting in those
tents along with many other soldiers and airmen.
Ahumada immediately donned his body armor and
other protective equipment.
As a nurse in his civilian profession and knowing
the area was densely populated with transitioning
soldiers, he went outside to check for casualties. A
wounded soldier was screaming in agony near the
point of impact about 45 meters from his tent. Still not
knowing whether the attack was over, Ahumada ran to
the hurt soldier.
The soldier was lying on the ground, bleeding
severely from a nickel-size wound on his back.
Ahumada applied pressure to try to stop the bleeding
and began to treat the casualty for shock. Taking
charge of the situation, he instructed others to
help loosen the wounded soldier’s clothing and
apply pressure to the injury. Ahumada instructed a
bystander to find help as he checked the soldier for
other injuries.
Emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene
after a few intense minutes. Ahumada explained the
situation and helped roll the bleeding soldier onto a
C-spine board. After ensuring the casualty was alert, he
assessed it safe to transport the wounded soldier before
loading him into the ambulance. Ahumada stayed in the
ambulance as they headed for the hospital.
While updating the doctor at the hospital via the
ambulance patch-phone, Ahumada saw the patient’s
ribs collapse to look like a “birdcage” on the right side.
The wounded soldier stopped speaking. Listening
with a stethoscope, Ahumada said he did not hear any
22 • Always Engaged
air exchange on the right side. The lungs had been
pierced and were collapsing.
The penetration allowed air pressure to build
up outside the soldier's lungs inside his chest. To
prevent total lung collapse, Ahumada alerted the
medics and grabbed the ambulance’s pneumothorax
kit. Ahumada punctured the third intercostals space
(between the ribs) of the right side of the chest to
release the air pressure building outside the lungs. He
felt the lungs inflate and the patient was immediately
able to speak and breathe. The kit was designed for
just this circumstance, and with the pressure relieved,
Ahumada sealed the puncture.
He said, “I’m not a hero, I was just there at the
right place.”
But twenty-five coalition soldiers died in that same
month in 2009. Thanks to Spc. Ahumada’s action, that
number was one less than it could have been.
Ahumada was born and raised in Coolidge,
Arizona. He joined the Army immediately after high
This bench was 2-meters from the 107mm Improvised Rocket Assisted
Mortar round impact. The soft sand and small rocks in the area probably
minimized the blast radius. (Photo courtesy of Spc. Michael Ahumada)
Vol. 7, NO. 1
Ahumada's Persistent
Chain of Command
Spec. Michael Ahumada supported Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle missions as part of Task Force 239 while in
Iraq. (Photo courtesy of Spc. Michael Ahumada)
school as an infantryman and spent
four years at Fort Drum, New York with
the 10th Mountain Division. In 1999, he
left active duty and joined the Arizona
National Guard and used the GI Bill to
become a nurse. In 2005, Ahumada was
working the night shift in the emergency
room when a member of the 301st MI
Battalion brought in his daughter. While
Ahumada sutured the minor wound, the
soldier spoke to him about joining the
Military Intelligence corps. Ahumada
transitioned to the 301st and trained to
become a Geospatial Imagery Analyst.
Ahumada deployed to JointBase Balad, Iraq with the 301st MI
Battalion in the summer of 2008. He
remembers that throughout his yearlong
deployment, there were typically two or
three mortar attacks per week, but most
were distant from living areas and rarely
affected anyone.
The wounded soldier was air
evacuated out of Iraq by the next
morning when Ahumada went back to
visit him at the hospital. The 301st MI
Battalion was at the end of their tour and
left a week after the incident. ◆
Vol. 7, NO. 1
Lt. Col. Alex Blandeburgo, the 301st MI Analysis and Control
Element Chief at that time, originally submitted Spc. Michael
Ahumada’s actions for a Bronze Star Medal the day following the
incident. However, by that fall, he discovered the award packet
was lost in theater during the unit transitions. The award was
resubmitted in early 2010 by the commander of Alpha Company,
301st MI Battalion, Maj. Michelle Kuck, through the Active
Component wartime chain of command, but was not approved
by the end of 2010. Blandeburgo and Kuck resubmitted the
award through the MIRC Chain of Command in November 2010,
which eventually made its way to the Army Reserve Command,
but was then rejected because it was not signed by the original
wartime chain of command. Blandeburgo retired and Kuck
continued the process. She finally tracked down the wartime
leadership by the summer of 2013 and obtained the signatures
by autumn. Unfortunately, the packet was sent to the Human
Resources Command (HRC) Awards Branch with an incorrect form
and missing an endorsement. The packet was reassembled with
the correct form, correct signatures, an Arizona Congressional
Representative’s endorsement, and send back to HRC. The HRC
Awards Board convened in December 2013 and approved the
award. By this time, Ahumada had left the service.
Michael Ahumada receives the Bronze Star Medal from Lt. Col. (Retired) Alex Blandeburgo.
Ahumada’s wife and daughter joined him for the ceremony with the University of Arizona’s
Army ROTC Awards Ceremony in Tucson, Az. on April 9th, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Maj.
Gregg Moore, MIRC PAO)
www.usar.army.mil/AlwaysEngaged
Always Engaged • 23
The MIRC Expands Connectivity
By Chief Warrant Officer 4 Steven Downs
The Military Intelligence Readiness Command has
been on a four year effort to improve the connectivity
and is carving out space for Army Reserve Intelligence
Operations at Army Reserve Intelligence Support
Centers (ARISC). In 2009, The MIRC identified that
the current communications architecture at the
ARISCs where not sufficient to support the ever
changing role of the Army Intelligence Soldier.
While this began with the requirement to connect
the Distributed Common Ground System, Army
(DCGS-A), we quickly identified the need for other
systems to be connected and operate in an Army only
environment. While the ARISCs have been some of
the best Intelligence Training and Operations Centers
in the Intelligence Community, they were using
communication systems provided by the Defense
Intelligence Agency, that are not compatible with
Army Tactical Communications Equipment.
Over the last four years, the MIRC has added
Intelligence Readiness and Operation Capability (IROC)
rooms at five of the nine ARISC sites and have plans
to continue this at the remaining four sites by the end
of fiscal year 2016. The IROC rooms have the ability
to support intelligence operations and reach-back with
real-time results. The rooms have been designed in a
modular fashion in order to support multiple networks
and can swap from a U.S. only network to coalition
networks with minimal reconfiguration. Each room has
its own Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications
Systems (JWICS), Video Teleconference Suite (VTC),
and multi screen wall scaler to project multiple images
at once. The rooms also have SIPRNET and NSANET
24 • Always Engaged
workstation as part of the standard package. VoiceOver-Internet-Protocol (VOIP) phones are on all
networks with the capability to support full-motion
video conferencing. We have been able to achieve
this through agreements with and support of the Army
G2, the Intelligence and Security Command, DIA,
the National Security Agency, and active component
Theater Intelligence Brigades. However, the primary
enabler has been the installation of Trojan Data
Networks at our five sites. This capability has enabled
the streamlined connection of DCGS-A on both JWICS
and SIPRNET. We are now looking to begin the first
Process, Exploitation, and Dissemination (PED) proof
of concept at the Southeastern ARISC, Fort Gillem,
Georgia. This effort will encompass the full capability
of the IROC room at the SE-ARISC with additional
enablers brought to the room to ensure seamless
operations between active component forces and
Army Reserve soldiers. This will test the MIRC’s ability
to conduct real time reach-back in support of deployed
forces. This proof of concept test will run into the next
fiscal year and should provide a foundation for soldiers
assigned to the Expeditionary Military Intelligence
Battalions (E-MIB) are connected, relevant, and
engaged with real world missions.
The MIRC has spent millions of dollars to ensure
that our soldiers have some of the best connectivity,
equipment, and facilities in the Army. If you have
not been to an ARISC lately, you should take the
time to see how they can support the Army Reserve
Intelligence Soldier. ◆
Vol. 7, NO. 1
Former president
re-enlists MIRC Soldier
Story and photo by Maj. Adam Collett, 75th Training Command
In a compelling example of “you never know unless
you ask”, a MIRC Army Reserve soldier received a
special honor for himself and his family when former
President George H.W. Bush presided over his reenlistment ceremony and signed his new contract.
The 39-year-old Master Sgt. Branden Young is a
husband, having married after his second deployment
to Iraq. Young and his wife, Amanda, live in Virginia,
where he works as a civilian contractor for the
government and attends his required reserve military
training assemblies. He is a member of the 2300th
Military intelligence Group in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Normally, Noncommissioned Officers re-enlistments
– even those of a senior grade – do not call for the
involvement of former presidents. But Young says his
wife’s background inspired the effort to petition for
Bush’s participation.
“She completed her master’s degree at the Bush
School of Government and Public Service,” Young
said. “So when we were talking about how to make
the re-enlistment a meaningful occasion, Bush’s name
came up.”
The Youngs decided it couldn’t hurt to ask.
Amanda contacted her graduate alma mater, which
in turn referred the couple to Bush’s post-presidential
staff in Houston, where the former president and first
lady settled after leaving the White House.
To their pleasant surprise, the eventual reply was a
positive one: Bush would host Young and family for a
re-enlistment ceremony at the post-presidential office
just west of downtown Houston.
Young and a number of family members and
friends made travel arrangements to Houston at their
own expense for the meeting. They were joined by
members of Young’s Army Reserve chain, including
Brig. Gen. Gabriel Troiano.
Bush not only signed the re-enlistment contract
as promised, but also made time for photos and
conversation with the Young family and the military
representatives.
“I have a lot of respect for President Bush,” Young
said. “He has done so much for the country before,
Vol. 7, NO. 1
during and after his time in office. His compassion and
service are remarkable.”
“Continuing in the Reserves was going to be a
commitment for my wife as well. We talked about
whether my staying in the Army was something we
wanted to keep in our lives,” Young said. “But she
loves the military and public service, so she was
completely on board.”
After the swearing of the oath and the signing
of the re-enlistment document, Bush looked first at
Young, and then at the gathering of family members
and friends. Nodding in the direction of Young, the
former president expressed his take on the moment
simply and directly, “I’m proud of him.” ◆
www.usar.army.mil/AlwaysEngaged
Always Engaged • 25
First Sergeant Wayne Baker passes the
Noncommissioned Officers Saber to Command
Sergeant Major Robert Breck at the MIRC CSM
Change of Responsibility Ceremony. For more
photos go to www.facebook.com/USARMIRC.
(Photo by Spc. Erika Montano).
THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF
THE MILITARY INTELLIGENCE
READINESS COMMAND
ALWAYS ENGAGED
NEXT ISSUE:
CAPTURED MATERIEL EXPLOITATION CENTER TRAINING,
UNIT MINISTRY TEAM HUDDLE, INTERROGATION TRAINING.