The 470th MI Brigade had a wide variety of intelligence collection assets on the ground, in the air and at sea. It used these assets for counterinsurgency, counterdrug and force protection missions. Its area of operations included all of Latin America south of Mexico. The 470th MI Brigade conducted operations other than war such as disaster relief missions, support to Cuban Safe Haven migrant camps, participation in peace operations between Peru and Ecuador and monitoring the cease-fire in El Salvador. Soldiers were also deployed to Desert Storm, Somalia, Haiti and Korea.
470th Military Intelligence Brigade, stationed in Corozal, Panama, consisted of:
In September 1996, the Pentagon released seven training manuals used at the U.S. Army School of Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia. These seven manuals, which taught murder, torture, and extortion, were used to teach courses at the U.S. Army School of the Americas during the 1980s despite explicit U.S. army policy.
In 1987, the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade was ordered to teach military intelligence in South and Central America. The Brigade asked the School of the Americas [SOA] for help putting together instruction materials for Mobile Training Teams (MTT's) in Latin America. MTT's were used around the world to bolster the efforts of permanently assigned advisors by conducting specialized intelligence training beyond the capabilities of the local advisory and intelligence personnel. The brigade retrieved from U.S. Army School of the Americas (USARSA) USARSA a series of documents that included training material which taught murder, extortion and torture. Apparently this material was not subjected to an independent review by the 470th MIBDE or USSOUTHCOM when it was brought into Panama from USARSA. In 1987 USSOUTHCOM began issuing the training manuals with the objectionable material, and distributed 1,000 or more copies to students and military intelligence schools in Columbia, Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador and Guatemala. in Latin America. In 1989, a former member of the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade assumed instructor duties at the USARSA, and used these manuals as student handouts.