470th Military Intelligence Brigade - INSCOM

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470th Military Intelligence Brigade

The unit was born 12 July 1944, as the 470th Counterintelligence Corps Detachment. It was activated July 31 of that year at Quarry Heights, and became part of the regular Army 23 November 1951. Since that time, it underwent several redesignations. On 20 May 1997 an inactivation ceremony was held for the 470th MI Brigade. A forward based detachment of 69 soldiers from Company D, 202d MI Battalion, 513th MI Brigade, assumed the mission of the 470th at Fort Clayton, Panama, upon its official inactivation date of 15 July 1997. This change reflects transitions occurring in the European and Central American theaters.

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:

On 20 December 1989, President Bush responded to Panamanian dictator General Manuel Noriega's campaign of physical harassment against U.S citizens by ordering the use of military force under Operation JUST CAUSE. The US forces successfully seated pro-Noriega strongholds, cornered Noriega, and forced him to surrender on 3 January 1990. The 470th Military Intelligence Brigade received the Panama Battle Streamer for its participation and was recognized as the first INSCOM unit to participate in combat operations.

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.

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Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Created by John Pike
Updated Tuesday, October 28, 1997 9:19:13 AM