The role of human intelligence is growing ever more important as the enemy shift to lower tech means of communications. Human intelligence collectors, or 35 Ms at the Military Intelligence Company, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment provide the training in tactical questioning for rotational training units at the National Training Center.
“We replicate the role of sources or insurgents to allow the rotational unit to practice tactical questioning and approaches,” said Spc. Adam Stafford. “The experience we gain from sitting at the other side of the interview is tremendous.”
Troopers play the role of insurgents and when the rotational unit captures the 35Ms, they conduct tactical questioning at the capture site. Then, the RTU evacuates the 35M to a secure location for more in depth interrogation by counter intelligence specialists. Being interrogated by fellow 35Ms while the troopers from the 11th ACR depict insurgents adds to the challenges the RTU has to overcome. The realistic scenarios combined with the same training all 35Ms receive ensure that the RTU receives the best real world training by the troopers.
“We try to present a realistic person for them to interview,” said Spc. Christopher Gulick. “Often times that means memorizing over 200 page dossiers in order to properly answer any questions they might have.”
The 11th ACR continues to provide world class training to Soldiers before they are placed in harm’s way. By practicing interview techniques here Soldiers will become more familiar and confident in their questions, ultimately allowing them to gain the information needed to save lives.
“It’s a great chance to see what our peers can do,” said Spc. Wedon Williams, a Trooper with MICO, 11th ACR. “Being on the other side of things allows me to learn from the RTU’s mistakes and makes me better at my job.”