By Marci Miller
National Security Agency Public Affairs
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The 109th Military Intelligence Battalion, “TF Disrupter”, of the 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, 7th Infantry Division, learned, April 15, that it had earned top honors as the best military intelligence unit in the Army.
The 109th MI Bn. rose above nominees from across the Army to earn the prestigious Director’s Trophy for providing critical signals intelligence support during the battalion’s deployment to Regional Command East, Afghanistan.
The Director’s Trophy is awarded annually by the Director of the National Security Agency to the Army intelligence unit or element judged to have made the most outstanding contributions to the mission during the previous calendar year. It is the most prominent award given by the National Security Agency to a unit or element.
“We are truly honored to have won the DIRNSA Trophy, the first battlefield surveillance brigade intelligence unit to do so,” said Maj. Jeremy Dobos, 109th MI Bn. executive officer. “It’s a tribute to the professionalism and dedication to duty of the American soldiers and sailors who served with Task Force Disrupter during combat operations in the Regional Command East.”
Intelligence units throughout Afghanistan are crucial assets, often helping commanders in theater, and even worldwide, acquire information about terrorist groups and their safe havens.
While all of the Army’s intelligence personnel and units played a vital role in supporting numerous intelligence missions throughout Afghanistan, the 109th MI Bn. excelled at developing and instituting unique and innovative methods of supporting ground forces, while simultaneously meeting national information requirements from governmental intelligence agencies.
According to the NSA, the 109th MI Bn., led by Lt. Col. Douglas Woodall, provided unparalleled, continuous intelligence support to multiple maneuver brigades and Combined Joint Task Force-One, while developing target and collection methods to meet ground commanders’ priority intelligence requirements.
These innovations garnered the attention of leaders throughout the Army, and led to senior leaders describing the battalion as the “model battalion for future expeditionary intelligence operations.” The unit was cited as a future force best practice to the Chief of Staff of the Army.
“It takes a network to defeat a network, and our collaboration throughout Afghanistan and intelligence agencies back home made all the difference. This is an award we share with the entire intelligence community and serves as a testament of where global intelligence operations have progressed over the past 12 years,” Woodall said. The 109th MI Bn. developed and delivered cutting edge capabilities to safeguard our troops while targeting and eliminating an adaptable enemy.
This is the first time in history that an intelligence battalion from a battlefield surveillance brigade has received this honor.
The leadership of the 109th MI Battalion attribute their success to several key enablers such as their world-class training and their participation at the Joint Readiness Training Center.
The unit was the first intact tactical intelligence battalion to participate in a JRTC rotation.
The 109th leadership also lauded the combat deployment preparation and support assistance received from the intelligence and security command.