News: Putting together a puzzle to better understand the enemy
Story by Spc. Shantelle Campbell
TIKRIT, Iraq — Soldiers with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kan., showed their Iraqi counterparts at Forward Operating Base Dagger how little pieces of information can reveal a much bigger picture and unveil valuable information about their enemy.
During an intelligence analysis class, March 15, the 4th Iraqi Army Division's Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Battalion and other 4th IA Div. Intelligence Soldiers learned how to gather, analyze and disseminate information that could help their commanders make better decisions.
"If they don't conduct analysis, what's lost is intelligence driven operations," said Staff Sgt. William Freund, a military intelligence analyst with 4IBCT. "Their commanders can send their Soldiers out on patrols, but if they don't conduct analysis on the information they have, they're only going to be reactive to what the enemy is doing. By conducting analysis, they're going to be proactive. They're [going to] know where they want to patrol.
"Analysis is going to give commanders the opportunity to use all of their resources and the information they already have in order to effectively engage the enemy," added Freund, who conducted intelligence skills training with the Iraqi Army's intelligence section during a previous deployment.
"Whenever we conduct this type of training or I have a discussion with them about a certain type of method, I see a lot of progress," he said.
In addition to learning how to gather and analyze data, the 4th IA Div. Soldiers learned about link and pattern analysis. According to Freund, link analysis is finding a connection within information that is gathered whereas pattern analysis is simply finding a common theme within the data.
"[Link analysis is] one of the most basic ways to find out who you're fighting or who your adversary or enemy is," he said. "Sometimes you may only get a couple of names but once you start conducting LA and piecing it together you can find out who's really at the bottom of it or who may be in charge. Another tool they've learned is pattern analysis, which is trying to find patterns in certain activities that occur. If there [were five improvised explosive devices] in the last two weeks and they all happened around [noon] they [could] plot that out and they [could] find that pattern by the way that they organize the information."
2nd Lt. Zana Ali Taki, a Soldier with 4th IA Div. said that the lessons they learned in the class became another way for them to protect the Iraqi people.
"With this class, we've learned new information about analyzing intelligence," he said. "They've taught us how to deal with these reports and turn them into one big picture — helping us to imagine each one of these reports as a piece of a puzzle that we can connect together and use the information to brief our unit commanders."