by Captain Robert B. Walter
It is April 1995, and Iraq is starting to feel the
full effects of the sanctions that the United Nations imposed
following the Gulf War. With civil unrest mounting and
assassination attempts increasing, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
is desperate for a solution to help relieve the pressure. In a
daring move, he sends some of his ground forces south towards the
Kuwaiti border, again threatening the sovereignty of that small
nation. The United States responds swiftly and surely, mobilizing
air, sea, and ground forces in a demonstration of resolve against
further aggression. As part of the U. S. Army's III Corps
deployment, the 163d Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion (Tactical
Exploitation), 504th MI Brigade, is soon on its way to Kuwait,
prepared to conduct its human intelligence (HUMINT) and
counterintelligence (CI) missions.
This scenario was the basis for the annual Interrogation, CI, and
Enemy Prisoner of War (EPW) Exercise (ICE-X) held at Fort Hood,
Texas, from 15 to 25 May 1995. For the soldiers of Company A, 163d
MI Battalion, the ICE-X was the pinnacle of the yearly training
plan. The ICE-X provided very thorough and realistic training to
each soldier and addressed all of the company's mission essential
task list (METL) objectives. The planning, rehearsal, and execution
of a myriad of tasks provided Company A and other ICE-X
participants with a number of valuable lessons on CI and EPW
operations. These lessons greatly enhanced the company's ability to
maintain its intelligence readiness and execute its wartime
mission. The following are just a few of the many lessons from
Hosted by the 163d MI Battalion, ICE-X 1995 proved to be an
excellent exercise, one that offered realistic training on multiple
facets of HUMINT, CI, and EPW operations. During the five-day
exercise, more than 850 soldiers and marines from thirteen military
police (MP) and MI units worked together to control, process, and
interrogate nearly 1000 EPW cases. They achieved this volume by
recycling more than 200 EPW role-players through division EPW
holding facilities and the corps holding area (CHA). Additional
role-players portrayed local officials, nationals, and CI sources.
These players, scattered throughout the corps rear area, supported
CI agents and teams in the CI force protection source operations
(CFSO) portion of the exercise.
A great deal of planning went into the ICE-X to ensure each unit
would meet its training objectives. Company A used real-world Iraqi
order of battle information and their actions of October 1994 to
create a realistic scenario for the five-day exercise. The scenario
development process included breaking each day into six-hour blocks
and each Iraqi division or brigade into a battalion- or
company-sized unit. Once planners established the scenario,
dedicated interrogation and CI script writers spent roughly 12
hours a day for three months creating individual roles. In the end,
the writers produced over 500 interrogation and 200 CI roles for
the exercise. They based each role on real-world data and
synchronized it with the scenario.
The mission-oriented nature of the exercise helped Company A and
other participants enhance individual and unit readiness. The ICE-X
provided each soldier with a better understanding of Iraqi units
and their capabilities. The scripted scenario also enabled trainers
to evaluate each soldier's interrogation or interview skills by
comparing the reported information to the scripted information.
While preparing for the ICE-X, Company A conducted several smaller
exercises, each addressing specific areas within the company's
METL. One such ramp-up exercise was a week-long CFSO exercise in
the latter part March 1995. This exercise introduced many of the
company's CI agents to overt source operations. The agents learned
how to execute the entire spectrum of source operations. They
conducted liaison with role players acting as local national
officials or sources and held source meetings in local
establishments. The CI agents learned how to use intelligence
contingency funds, surveillance and countersurveillance equipment,
and interpreters to support CI operations. As most of the role
players were language qualified, the company's CI agents had to use
interrogators as interpreters during many of the source meetings.
The CFSO exercise used the same real-world data as that developed
for the ICE-X and, therefore, served as a preliminary to the actual
Company A also conducted two interrogation exercises prior to the
ICE-X. These exercises prepared interrogators to conduct all facets
of interrogation operations from EPW screening, interrogation, and
document exploitation to using unique unit automation and
communications equipment. Language training focused specifically on
the Southwest Asia area of operations and prepared interrogators
for the ICE-X and its contingency missions. The majority of the
interrogations were conducted in target languages of Russian and
MP and MI Doctrine
One interesting lesson learned while preparing for the ICE-X was
the differences between MP and MI doctrine on the physical set-up
of the CHA and the Corps Interrogation Facility (CIF). The 411th MP
Company, 720th MP Battalion, established and guarded the CHA during
the ICE-X. Representatives from the 411th MP Company and Company A,
163d MI Battalion, discussed the layout of the facility in great
detail during our initial coordination meetings. The MPs pointed
out that FM 19-4, MP Operations, has the MPs occupying about 90
percent of the CHA with the CIF in one small corner. We argued that
this set-up was not adequate for our purposes and referred the MPs
to FM 34-52, Interrogation Operations. FM 34-52 gives MI plenty of
room for the CIF, about 65 percent of the CHA, and the MPs the
remaining 35 percent. The MPs argued that the FM 34-52 set-up did
not provide adequate space for and proper control of the EPWs.
Eventually we reached the compromise depicted in Figure 1 below.
This arrangement gave the MPs enough room for their EPW
requirements and MI adequate space for interrogation operations.
The compromise CHA worked very well during the ICE-X. It will
eventually become the standard CHA and CIF set-up in the III Corps
tactical standing operating procedure.
Corps Holding Area Operations
A good rehearsal is a key element to the success of any operation.
This was definitely true for ICE-X 1995. Company A and the 411th MP
Company conducted a quick rehearsal after deploying to North Fort
Hood and establishing the CHA. The rehearsal showed there were some
issues the MI and MP companies still needed to work out. First, the
MPs realized that the initial hold area was not large enough for
the expected volume of prisoners. The companies expanded the
initial hold area, a solution that proved adequate during the
Second, the rehearsal demonstrated that more interrogators were
needed as interpreters to assist the MPs during EPW inprocessing.
This caused some concern for us, mainly because screening
operations would be much slower due to the loss of personnel. This
delay would only further exacerbate the MP's difficulty in quickly
processing the EPWs into the holding areas. The rehearsal, however,
showed that our fear was unfounded. In fact, increasing the number
of interrogators supporting inprocessing actually led to a quicker
turn-around time from screening to interrogation. The interrogators
at the inprocessing station completely screened the prisoners prior
to their reaching the CIF screening tent. This helped the
interrogation operations section identify the prisoners needing
An additional benefit was the close working relationship which
developed between interrogation teams and MP squads. Although
commanders from both companies planned the CHA operation, it was
the MI and MP soldiers that worked out the kinks in the procedures
and made the operation a success.
Reserve Component Integration
We learned a great number of lessons during the execution phase of
the exercise. One key lesson was how to effectively integrate
Reserve Component (RC) soldiers into the operation. The 301st MI
Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve, provided many of the CI agent
augmentees on the teams. Louisiana National Guardsmen from the
415th MI Battalion (Linguist) provided additional interrogators.
These soldiers came with varying abilities and levels of knowledge.
In order to effectively maximize each soldier's potential, Company
A integrated the RC soldiers into all facets of the operations. The
RC soldiers worked side by side with Active Component soldiers,
rather than isolated in separate RC-only teams or shifts. After a
short train-up time, most of the RC soldiers were able to conduct
operations effectively, some even outdistancing their Active
Component counterparts. By the end of the exercise, it was
difficult to tell whether an Active or RC soldier had prepared a
Role-player training was another area that had a direct impact on
the success of the ICE-X. Company A established and operated a
Role-Players' Academy during the first three days of the exercise.
During those three days, role-players received classes on the laws
of war, the Geneva Convention, and what it is like to be an EPW. In
addition, the linguist role players received time to prepare their
roles in the target language, therefore, making them more effective
as EPWs and enhancing the overall training value of the exercise.
The III Corps ICE-X 1995 was a tremendous training opportunity for
all soldiers to hone their warfighting skills. The 1995 exercise
met the corps' goals of working the corps and below HUMINT and CI
system. ICE-X 1996 will bring theater-level assets into the
scenario, allowing us to identify and resolve incompatibilities of
equipment and doctrine. We are looking forward to ICE-X 1996 and
hope to see you there!
Captain Robert B. Walter is currently attending the
Combined Arms and Services Staff School. He was the commander of
Company A, 163d MI Battalion (Tactical Exploitation), at Fort Hood,
Texas, and has served as an S2 in both the 7th Infantry Division
and the 1st Cavalry Division. Captain Walter is a 1987 graduate of
the University of Colorado.
CFSO Course Now Available!
The U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca
(USAIC&FH) completed the validation process for the Army's first
course on counterintelligence force protection source operations
(CFSO). The CFSO course (3C-F17/244-F9) will teach
counterintelligence agents and interrogators the advanced skills
needed to meet the requirements of AR 381-172, CFSO, and Low Level
The six-week course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, consists
of three phases:
- First Phase: One week of platform instruction that
teaches basic doctrine and uses of CFSO, mission analysis and
planning, the operational cycle, operations security, and
- Second Phase: Four-week scenario-based practical
exercise. Students conduct CFSO with the assistance and advice of
the instructors (one instructor to every two students).
- Third Phase - One-week graded situational training
exercise without instructor assistance.
The CFSO course is open to Active Component
commissioned, warrant, and noncommissioned officers in
counterintelligence and interrogator military occupational
specialties (MOSs). Other course prerequisites are--
- U.S. citizen with a valid SECRET clearance.
- Hold MOS 97B, 97E, 351B, 351E, or 35E.
- Assigned, or on orders, to a position requiring CFSO
- Be a promotable sergeant, or above, and a Basic NCO
- Score 2 or higher in listening, reading, and speaking on
the Defense Language Proficiency Test if in MOS 97E.
- Score of 89 or higher on the Defense Language Aptitude
Battery if in MOS 97B.
Contact your training manager if interested in the CFSO
USAIC&FH Point Of Contact
CW3 George, DSN 821-1294 or commercial (520) 533-1294.