Special Operations Forces and Long Range Surveillance Detachment operations.
Every soldier on a battlefield is a HUMINT collector.
The first hours and days of OPERATION DESERT SHIELD/STORM presented a superb opportunity for Counterintelligence Agents to assist in protecting the force. Counterintelligence personnel provided valuable counter-terrorism briefings and site surveysxiii throughout the build-up of U.S. military forces and into combat operations. These briefings and surveys were particularly valuable in the early stages of OPERATION DESERT SHIELD when U.S. military units arriving in-country knew very little regarding Iraqi intelligence capabilities or the likelihood of terrorist activities directed against American troops and facilities. Moreover, “CI reporting from refugee centers proved an invaluable source for information about conditions in Kuwait,”xiv contributing immeasurably toward the planning success of OPERATION DESERT STORM.
During OPERATION DESERT SHIELD, Interrogators and debriefers produced critical intelligence reporting from the Border Stations along the Iraq/Saudi Arabian border. These Border Stations were manned by members of the coalition. Iraqi defectors normally reported to these outposts upon crossing the border. The defectors proved a valuable source of intelligence regarding Iraqi capabilities and intentions. During OPERATION DESERT STORM, interrogators harvested huge sums of highly perishable data to be immediately relayed to commanders in contact with the enemy. Interrogators were exceptionally busy as Enemy Prisoner of War cages were rapidly filled with Iraqi prisoners. Interrogators garnered a number of highly valuable lessons learned from the Gulf War. Of particular note, interrogators were reacquainted with the lost art of questioning through an interpreter. These types of interrogations had not been conducted since the U.S. military operated in Viet Nam.xv
Special Operations Forces and Long Range Surveillance Detachment Operations
Special Operations Forces and Long Range Surveillance Detachments were inserted behind enemy lines to report Iraqi troop disposition, support to targeting, and, a host of non-traditional missions such as analyzing river crossing site feasibility and helicopter landing zone composition. Despite a myriad of operational dilemmas such as a lack of adequate cover and concealment and soldier load challenges,xvi these soldiers proved especially adept as the eyes