United States Army Weapons Intelligence Teams (WIT) play a crucial role in the intelligence gathering of the weapons systems that the enemy employs on today’s battlefield. It is because of these specialized teams of Soldiers and the unique skills they possess that we, as an Army, have been able to develop and implement Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) that have saved countless American and Coalition Forces lives.
The very first Weapons Intelligence Teams began their initial training at Fort Gordon, GA. These teams consisted primarily of volunteers from all across the United States Army (Brittain, 2011). These first teams of personnel were mainly made up of linguists who performed in this function on their first rotation in the theater of operation in 2004. Most of the training they received was from former members of the British Weapons Intelligence Service teams that were able to implement the skills that they were taught in Northern Ireland during their clashes with the IRA (Brittain, 2011). After only two cycles of training at Fort Gordon, the course was then relocated to Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD. Soldiers attending the course were trained at Aberdeen Proving Grounds for four years on a rotational basis before being relocated yet again to Fort Huachuca, AZ. (Brittain, 2011).
Weapons Intelligence Teams are predominantly involved in the tactical level of exploitation of Weapons Technical Intelligence (WTI). WTI falls into a category of intelligence that is made up from the technical and forensic collection and exploitation of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), components that make up IEDs, improvised weapon systems and other conventional and non-conventional weapons. A Weapons Intelligence Team is usually comprised of five Soldiers. Each position in the team is Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) immaterial, though some Military Occupational Specialties are preferred because of the relevant expertise and experience they bring to the team. The Soldiers in the team cross train so that all members are proficient and qualified to perform every task of the WIT mission.
A Weapons Intelligence Team will usually have two analysts. One analyst acts as a liaison to the Brigade Headquarters. This analyst primarily focuses on the threats posed by Improvised Explosive Devices by providing the Brigade Intelligence Officer with WTI support. They also coordinate and share intelligence with outside agencies. The other analyst assists the team on the ground during the on-site exploitation actions and the follow-on actions in order to provide the team with an intelligence aspect. Both analysts are fully qualified to carry out the duties and responsibilities of both roles. The Weapons Intelligence Team also has an investigator. The Investigator, usually a Military Police Investigation Officer or Criminal Investigation Division Officer assists with the evidence collection. They ensure that the chain of custody is properly...