Story by: Lt. Col. Richard Goldenberg - 42nd Infantry Division
Dated: Tue, Mar 17, 2009
Warrant Officer Jonathan Molik looks on and advises Spc. Maria Romeo and Sgt. Crystal Wilson Feb. 7 as the analysts prepare for deployment to the Joint Intellegence Combat Training Center
LATHAM, NY (03/18/2009; 1242)(readMedia)-- Soldiers of the New York Army National Guard’s 42nd Infantry Division Intelligence community, known in military terms as the G2, deploy today to the Army’s Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. where the Citizen Soldiers will train at the Joint Intelligence Combat Training Center.
The deployment of troops will include Citizen Soldiers from the intelligence sections of the 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters based in Troy, N.Y., the division’s tactical command posts on Staten Island and Buffalo, N.Y. and intelligence Soldiers from the Mass. Army National Guard.
The training exercise will simulate actual division intelligence operations for the Soldiers by employing real-world events and scenarios from recent combat actions overseas. While many of the systems and technologies used to collect intelligence data remains classified, the training and skills for intelligence analysis for the Soldiers is not.
Soldiers from the New York Army National Guard will replicate their roles as a divisional intelligence center, providing analysis and targeting data for the training of the Army’s newest generation of intelligence officers, warrant officers and enlisted Soldiers.
For their upcoming exercise, the analysts and intelligence staff will review, process and respond to actual battlefield reports and data gathered in 2006 from Army combat operations in Iraq. The historical data will be the foundation for the troops’ training scenario.
"I think it will be exciting because we will get real world training rather than the normal class room training," Spec. Maria Romeo said. Romeo is a division intelligence analyst from Clifton Park, N.Y. and based at the South Lake Armory in Troy, N.Y.
The Joint Intelligence Combat Training Center (JICTC) trains intelligence officers and Soldiers, as well as intelligence professionals from other U.S. government agencies to successfully execute intelligence operations in a Joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment. The JICTC, officially dedicated in March 2006, is a world-class digital training facility operating as a true combat training center, using realistic scenarios modeled on real world operations with over 120,000 messages and products.
Participants undergo realistic and dynamic intelligence training using state-of-the-art intelligence collection and processing systems. Analysts and staff officers learn to process and apply tactical intelligence reporting from Soldiers, sensors, satellites and a variety of aerial platforms. The JICTC applies recent lessons learned; best practices and tactics, techniques and procedures from Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) and the War on Terror.
The JICTC battle staff exercise conducted this March is called Exercise Eagle 2. It is built on current world information and intelligence reports accessed via real world databases compiled from secure intelligence networks from the Department of Defense and allied or coalition threat reporting.
Exercise Eagle 2 brings students together from across the U.S. Army Intelligence Center (USAIC)-new intelligence lieutenants, seasoned company grade officers and captains, warrant officers, noncommissioned officers, and new Soldiers just learning their intelligence craft - into one large multi-echelon exercise. International intelligence officers, from over 117 nations also attending USAIC courses will participate, creating a true multi-national training environment. Joint service intelligence personnel attending USAIC courses also participate in the training, refining their own intelligence skills and tasks and taking away techniques from the Army intelligence career field.
Soldiers like Romeo who have yet to deploy overseas are eager to participate in these types of training events because they prepare them for the possible day when their skills and training are called upon for actual battlefields.
"I was nervous when I first joined the New York Army National Guard, but now I feel that I am a part of something that I would miss if I left" Romeo said. "I have been in for three years now and if I had to re-enlist today I would because I love what I am doing."
The training isn’t just new to young recruits but also for Soldiers like Warrant Officer Jonathan Molik, a 42nd Infantry Division All Sources Intelligence Technician from Ganesvoort, N.Y. Molik joined the Guard as an enlisted Soldier just to pay for college and after 11 years of service is now a Intelligence Warrant Officer looking to make a career out of the Army National Guard.
"I am absolutely now a career Soldier," Molik said. "I am excited this time about the training because the last time I did this I was a sergeant being told how and when to do things. Now I am the one in charge."
Part of Molik’s leadership experience will include seeing the Soldiers that were once young privates and now serve as Non-Commissioned Officers step up and show what they can do. "I am very excited to see the influx of these new Soldiers step up to the plate since 9-11 in a real world scenario," he said.
This training has been in the making for the past year. Major Christopher Ciccone, the division’s deputy intelligence officer G-2 from Rensselaer, N.Y. initially contacted the Army Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca to arrange the collective training event for the Rainbow Division’s intelligence Soldiers.
"As a unit I expect great things because we have great people in the positions," Molik said.