525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade

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525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade
525 BfSB.svg
525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1948?-present
Country United States
Branch U.S. Army
Part of XVIII Airborne Corps
Garrison/HQ Fort Bragg
Engagements Vietnam War
Operation Just Cause
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Uphold Democracy
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Joint Guardian
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel David J. Woods
Insignia
Distinctive Unit Insignia 525 MI BDE DUI.png

The 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade is a unit of the United States Army which specializes in the acquisition and analysis of information with potential military value.

Mission[edit]

The 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade provides intelligence analysis and collection support to the XVIII Airborne Corps. It is the only rapidly deployable battlefield surveillance brigade in the United States Army. The brigade headquarters, two MI battalions and a Cavalry Squadron are stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The brigade’s capabilities include a full range of advanced intelligence analysis and intelligence collection that includes counterintelligence, long range surveillance, aerial signals intelligence, and Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP). Its Soldiers come from across the range of Military Occupational Specialties in the Army to include military intelligence disciplines, infantry, aviation, signal, and the full range of critical Combat Support and Combat Service Support experts. Its mission is to provide all-source, predictive intelligence and electronic warfare in support of worldwide contingency operations.

History[edit]

The 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade traces its lineage back to World War II: the 218th Counter Intelligence Corps Detachment and the 525th Interrogation Team. These units were deactivated after World War II. On 21 February 1948, the 525th Headquarters Intelligence Detachment was reactivated and assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It was redesignated the 525th Military Intelligence Service Group in December 1950. During the Korean War, elements of the Group participated in seven campaigns and earned a Meritorious Unit Commendation and two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations. In December 1953, the Unit was redesigned again as the 525th Military Intelligence Group, and was transferred from Fort Bragg to Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

Upon arrival in Vietnam, in November 1965, the 525th Military Intelligence Group was assigned to the U.S. Army, Vietnam. There, the Group provided advisor and intelligence support to include; aerial reconnaissance and surveillance, counterintelligence, interrogation, technical intelligence, and area intelligence (espionage in support of USARV). After Vietnam, the Group moved several times. On 16 September 1978, it returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina where it was redesignated as the 525th Military Intelligence Brigade (Airborne).

In December 1989, the Brigade participated, once again, in a rapid deployment operation, providing critical intelligence support to Joint Task Force (JTF) during Operation Just Cause. Brigade soldiers interrogated key Panamanian Defense Force members, screened documents, and served as the nucleus of the JTF Panama J2. The soldiers who served with JTF Panama, J2, received the Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation award.

Operation Desert Shield deployments began in early August 1990. The Brigade sent over 1,600 soldiers in support of XVIII Airborne Corps. Missions included all source analysis to Corps Headquarters and subordinate units, interrogating over 5,000 enemy prisoners of war, flying over 550 combat intelligence collection missions, collecting signals intelligence, providing communications jamming support, conducting long range surveillance operations, and augmenting the 6th French Light Armored Division.

The brigade also deployed to Haiti in support of Operation Uphold Democracy. The brigade task force conducted split-based operations which provided signals intelligence and direct support teams to the maneuver brigades. The brigade also provided imagery support, intelligence analysis support, signals intelligence analysis, and national imagery support to the headquarters of both Joint Task Forces (JTF) 180 and 190. The task force also utilized its counter-intelligence/human intelligence teams and established and ran the joint detainee facility in support of JTF-190.

From late 2004 to late 2008, 525th MI Brigade deployed several times to Iraq in support of XVIII Airborne Corps, which was serving as the Multinational Corps-Iraq for the majority of 525th's deployment. Upon returning from Iraq, the brigade began the process of reorganizing into the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade. The largest change was that the Analysis and Control Element was detached and became attached to the Corps G2 staff section. For its participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 16 November 2004 until 15 November 2005, the 525th received a Meritorious Unit Commendation.[1]

OIF 04-05 Order of Battle[edit]

Concurrent with the reorganization and redesignation as the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, the Airborne tab was deleted from the shoulder sleeve insignia effective 16 March 2009.[2]

The brigade is currently deployed in support of Operation Joint Guardian as Multinational Battle Group East part of the NATO Kovoso Force (KFOR) (525 BfSB) and is headquartered at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. The Mutlunational Battle Group East additionally has multiple Regular Army, National Guard, Reserve component forces and has 12 different Multinational units.

Subordinate units[edit]

319th Military Intelligence Battalion (BFSB)[edit]

319 MI Bn DUI.png

The 319th Military Intelligence Battalion (Operations) traces its lineage to the activation of the 319th Military Intelligence Headquarters Detachment at Bad Schwalbach, Germany, 1 August 1945 where it served as an interrogation unit for German Prisoners of War. In 1946, the unit was sent to Japan and began a long association with the Orient. It was joined by other interrogation units which served in the Philippines in 1944 and later the reformed 319th served in the Korean War. After deactivation in 1968, the battalion was reactivated in 1982 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as a subordinate unit of the 525th Military Intelligence Brigade to provide both general intelligence support and special communications support to the XVIII Airborne Corps. In October 1983, elements of the battalion deployed to the island of Grenada for Operation Urgent Fury. In 1988, battalion personnel participated in the emergency deployment to Honduras to counter an incursion by Nicaraguan forces. In 1989, the 319th deployed to Panama in support of Operation Just Cause. The 319th MI Battalion deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield as part of the XVIII Airborne Corps. In September 1994, the battalion deployed to the island of Haiti in support of Operation Uphold Democracy. In December 1995 and again in October 1996, the battalion deployed elements to Hungary, Italy, and Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Endeavor. In March 2003, the Battalion's B Co (TENCAP) deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom in support of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force(MEF). The 525th MI BDE consisting of both the 319th/519th battalions deployed in support of Operation Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005.

The battalion deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as part of Combined Task Force Lightning (525 BfSB). The battalion deployed in July 2010 and returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in July 2011. While deployed the battalion was headquartered out of the Kandahar City area of RC-South, Afghanistan.

In January 2013 the 319th Military Intelligence Battalion again deployed to Afghanistan. This time they operated out RC-East, Afghanistan. The battalion returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in October 2013.

Current commander is COL Dylan Carlson.

519th Military Intelligence Battalion[edit]

519MIBnDUI.png

The 519th Military Intelligence Battalion was activated on 15 October 1948 at Fort Riley, Kansas. Elements of the battalion served in the Republic of Korea from 1951 until 1954, participating in seven campaigns and earning one Meritorious Unit Commendation and two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations. The battalion was inactivated in 1954. On 25 January 1958, the 519th Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion (BN) (Airborne (ABN)) was reactivated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In May 1965, the 519th MI BN (ABN) deployed to the Dominican Republic for Operation Powerpack, where it supported the 82d Airborne Division and the US Marines in combating the Communist insurgency on the Caribbean island. In late Summer of 1965 the 519th MI BN redeployed back to FT Bragg, NC and subsequently deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in November 1965. During the Vietnam War, the battalion again left the United States and distinguished itself by participating in sixteen campaigns and earning three Meritorious Unit Commendations.

In 1972, the battalion returned to Fort Bragg. After several reorganizations, the battalion officially achieved a three-company configuration in September 1978, with Headquarters, Headquarters & Service Company; Company A (Interrogation); and Company B (Counterintelligence).

In 1975, elements of the 519th MI BN were used to create the Forces Command Intelligence Training Detachment [FITD], which was formed and commanded by Captain Gregory MP Davis. Personnel were also drawn from the 1st MI BN and the 218th MI Detachment. FITD was in direct support of Forces Command Headquarters, but attached to the 525th Intelligence Group.

The FITD mission was to develop and deliver tactical intelligence training to National Guard and Reserve MI units using Mobile Training Teams (MTT) and creating skill sets through hands-on, training in the form of both platform instruction and Command Post Exercises (CPX), with the trained unit functioning with the Brigade, Division, or Corps it supported ("bringing training to the unit"). Training was very realistic since it was "All-Source" and the materials included "live" Iraqi Army Order of Battle, SIGINT and COMINT, actual imagery of the region, and POW role players who were actual interrogators responding in foreign languages, plus tactical CI reports drawn from foreign liaison and clandestine operations.

The training was so successful and effective that FORSCOM extended the mission to include Active Duty MI units and intelligence staffs at divisions and corps. In 1977, FITD conducted the largest intelligence command post exercise in the history of the US Army for the III Corps, and included Active Duty and National Guard divisions as well as Active Duty and Reserve MI units engaged in a classified CPX in which Iraq was the aggressor against Jordan. The training was constantly updated based on problem resolution from each exercise, and the SOPs developed were integrated into the US Army Training and Doctrine Command curriculum.

The innovative training included, for the first time, tasking by tactical intelligence units of strategic assets such as USAF SR-71 reconnaissance missions, NRO overhead imagery, and Signals Intelligence from NSA. The concept of Tactical Counter-Intelligence {CI] was also introduced, converting CI agents, previously dedicated to conducting security investigations, to the role of tactical agent handlers and case officers. Also introduced was the concept of the Rear Area Operations Center in Theater commands, which integrated multi-Service intelligence and Military Police personnel into a tactical analysis and rapid response unit to address terrorists and Soviet Spetsnaz commando assaults.

FITD was later transferred from FORSCOM to TRADOC, and in 1987, was relocated from Fort Bragg to Fort Huachuca, where it was re-designated the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade. [Captain Davis later (1984) formed and directed the operations of the Clandestine Services organization under the DOD HUMINT program.

On 16 April 1982, the battalion was reorganized and redesignated the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion (Tactical Exploitation) (Airborne), resulting in the activation of Company C (Electronic Warfare). Since then the battalion has reorganized one more time. In 1995, Company C was inactivated and Company F, 51st Infantry (Long Range Surveillance) was assigned to the battalion to provide the Corps with long range surveillance capability. About 2007, during the reconfiguration of the 525th MI Brigade to a Battlefield Surveillance Brigade (BfSB), Company F (LRS), 51st Infantry was reflagged as Troop C (LRS), 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment (1-38th CAV) and was removed from the control of the 519th MI BN and reassigned to 1-38th CAV, which is another subordinate battalion in the 525th BfSB. Subsequently, Company C, 519th MI BN was reactivated as a line company in the 519th MI BN.

During the 1990s, the 519th MI BN participated in Peace Keeping Operations in Haiti (Operation Restore Democracy), Bosnia (Operations Joint Endeavor and Joint Forge) and Kosovo (Operation Joint Guardian). The 519th MI BN also deployed individual Tactical Human Intelligence Teams to Somalia in support of Operation Restore Hope.

The battalion participated in combat operations in Grenada (Operation Urgent Fury) in November 1983, Panama (Operation Just Cause) in December 1989, and in the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations (KTO) (Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm) and was subordinate to the 525th MI Brigade (CEWI) (ABN), as part of the XVIII Airborne Corps, under Third US Army during the deployment in the KTO from August 1990 to March 1991.

The 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, is presently a subordinate unit of the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, provides tactical HUMINT, long range reconnaissance and surveillance, counterintelligence, interrogation, multi-functional collection and exploitation, and SIGINT support within assigned areas of the Division, Corps, Joint Task Force (JTF) or Multi-National Force area of operations.

During the Global War on Terrorism, 519th MI BN has repeatedly deployed for combat operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The 519th MI BN recently served in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) I, OEF III, OEF IV, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) I, OIF IV, and OEF XII and has continued to distinguish itself as one of the elite intelligence battalions in the military. "Always Out Front"!

In 2005, some members of the unit were involved in the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal.

The battalion recently redeployed back to Fort Bragg, NC after serving in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XI, from July 2010 to July 2011, under the command of LTC Anthony “Tony” Hale as part of Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) 101. While in Afghanistan, the 519th MI Battalion was headquartered at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, with its units deployed throughout Regional Command East. The 519th MI BN is presently commanded by LTC Kevin McAninch, who assumed command on 4 August 2011 from LTC (P) Tony Hale.

The 519th MI BN’S motto is “Strength Through Intelligence.”

1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment[edit]

Beret Flash C troop 1-38 Cav Rgt.jpg 38 Cav Rgt DUI.jpg

According to the US Army Center of Military History (CMH) at Fort McNair in Washington, DC, the 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment was activated on 16 March 2009, and a ceremony marking the activation was held on 21 May 2009. The unit consists of a Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, two ground troops (Troops A and B), and a long range surveillance unit, Troop C.[3] (Although locally called a company, the CMH has confirmed its actual designation is "Troop C.")

Company F (LRS), 51st Infantry Regiment was inactivated effective 15 March 2009 and its assets were used to form Troop C, 1–38th CAV. Following its inactivation at Fort Bragg, the unit designation was reactivated on 16 January 2011 at Fort Bliss, Texas, as Company F (Anti-Tank), 51st Infantry Regiment, a unit of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.

Troop C requested to have the lineage of its predecessor, Company F (LRS), 51st Infantry Regiment, as its lineage. HQDA disapproved of the request and replied, "HQDA approved MTOE does not allow for a separate infantry company. As documented, the company is a subordinate of 1–38th CAV and as such will carry the designation of Troop C, 1–38th CAV." Although formed from the assets of Company F, 51st Infantry Regiment, the new unit, Troop C, 1–38th CAV, has an entirely different lineage, and the lineage of F-51st has gone to the new unit at Fort Bliss. This anti-tank company has an authorized strength of 6 officers, 0 warrant officers, and 48 enlisted. The previous Company F, as an LRS unit, had 7 officers, 0 warrant officers, and 136 enlisted.

The 1st Squadron, 38th CAV deployed in July 2010 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as part of Combined Task Force Lightning (525th BfSB) under the International Security Assistance Force or ISAF that is part of NATO and is currently based on the south area of Kandahar, overwatching the Afghanistan-Pakistan boarder.

Its current commander is LTC Eric Crider

586th Network Support Company (NSC)[edit]

Provides tactical communication and automation support for the brigade.

The company is currently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as part of Combined Task Force Lightning (525BfSB) and is headquartered out of RC-South, Afghanistan.

29th Brigade Support Company (BSC)[edit]

The 29th Brigade Support Company is a multifunctional logistics company that was activated on 26 October 2006. Its primary mission is to provide quality field maintenance and to distribute all classes of supply, except medical, to the 525th BfSB.[4]

The company deployed in July 2010 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as part of Combined Task Force Lightning (525 BfSB) and was headquartered out of Kandahar Airfield until January 2011. The company was then moved to FOB Spin Boldak for the remainder of the tour. The unit redeployed in July 2011.

Current Command Team; Company Commander is CPT Benjamin Nakamura and Company First Sergeant is 1SG Guillermo Fonseca.

Former subordinate units[edit]

224th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation)[edit]

The 224th Aviation Battalion (Radio Research) was activated in Saigon, South Vietnam, on 1 June 1966. The battalion and its four subordinate companies began with on 6 aircraft and 159 personnel, but quickly expanded in size. In July 1967, the battalion reached its highest strength of 1,066 personnel, and within two years had 30 aircraft assigned. On 19 May 1971, the battalion was redesignated as the 224th Army Security Agency Aviation Battalion. The battalion participated in fifteen campaigns and received three awards of the Meritorious Unit Commendation, along with the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm during its service in the Vietnam War. On 3 March 1973, the colors of the battalion were transferred to Oakland, California, and the unit was formally inactivated. On 1 June 1981, the unit was reactivated as the 224th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation). The battalion is stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, and is currently organized with a Headquarters and Headquarters Service Company and Company B (Electronic Warfare).

On 15 October 1997, Company A (Aerial Surveillance) was deactivated. From February 1984 to January 1990, the battalion provided continuous support to the U.S. Southern Command from an OCONUS operating base, conducting aerial intelligence collection missions from its C Company (Provisional). In 1984 and in 1987, the 224th Military Intelligence Battalion won the National Security Agency Director’s Trophy for its excellence as a tactical cryptologic unit. As a subordinate unit of the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, the 224th Military Intelligence Battalion provides the highest quality aerial reconnaissance and surveillance support to the XVIII Airborne Corps and Corps’ Major subordinate commands. Currently, the unit has elements deployed in support of operations in Europe, Southwest Asia, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Decorations[edit]

Operation Iraqi Freedom

Specialties[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]