U.S. Army military intelligence is a complex environment with many military occupational specialties supporting the mission.
Signals intelligence analysts examine foreign communication and forward that information to their commanders or higher authority.
May 30, Company B, 163rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 504th Military Intelligence Brigade, headed to a training site to hone their skills in examining intelligence through low-level voice interception.
Soldiers left mid-morning on a ruck march to their training site on West Fort Hood. After completing their ruck march, the Soldiers completed training on antenna group OE-254 and the Wolfhound Handheld Threat Warning System. After training, they completed mission set to observe the training in action.
2nd Lt. Jackson Kuplack, Co. B platoon leader, said that the OE-254 is one of the many tools the platoon uses to perform signal intelligence. They also practiced techniques and procedures to move as quietly as possible in a combat scenario.
Kuplack said that performing scenarios on a regular basis is extremely important. If Soldiers do not practice the skills consistently, they lose the skills. The company’s goal is to conduct this type of routine training at least quarterly to keep the Soldiers’ signal intelligence skills fresh.
“It is extremely important because everything we do out here is a perishable skill,” he said. “So if something happens, if they have to go downrange at a moment’s notice, they don’t have to practice anything; they just know it.”
Spc. Zachary Buckmaster, a signal intelligence analyst for Co. B, participated in the training and was excited to be there.
“Coming out to the field as an intel Soldier is definitely a good experience,” Buckmaster said.
Buckmaster worked with his fellow Soldiers to assemble the Wolfhound and OE-254. All Soldiers involved work as a team, because it really takes collective knowledge to work with the system.
Soldiers are rotating out of the unit and it is very important to pass that knowledge on to the junior Soldiers, he said.
“Today we are working on team tactics,” he said. “We are working with LLVI components and doing what we do.”
Collecting intelligence is what they do, whether it is in the field, or in an office.
“I take signals and I exploit them,” he said. “LLVI is important, because it provides force protection for the units that are on the front line. So tippers, early warning, threat protection, everything that they need to kind of have a head’s up for the fight. We are basically a scout style element where we are on the front lines with them.”