VICENZA, Italy -- Soldiers from the 522nd Military Intelligence Battalion deployed to Vicenza, Italy, Sept. 24-28, to work alongside their parent unit, the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade (Theater), during Exercise Gallant Crew 18, an exercise aimed at validating the U.S. Army Africa Analysis Control Element.
This three-week exercise tested the battalion headquarters, the USARAF ACE, and the Brigade’s Deployable Intelligence Support Element, responsible for forward positioning in the event of a crisis in Africa. Supported by the Joint Multinational Simulation Center, Gallant Crew 18 served as the first certification exercise for a theater ACE in the U.S. Army’s Intelligence and Security Command.
“The mission of the DISE is to support USARAF through intelligence capabilities and to forward deploy wherever we are needed,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mark A. Wire, the deployable intelligence support element senior warrant officer.
“There are a lot of challenges of being forward deployed in an austere environment. The purpose of this is to continually test and improve our communications ability with the USARAF headquarters here, with the 522nd MI BN in Germany, and be able to synchronize the understanding of the operational environment,” he said.
Gallant Crew 18’s objective is preparing Soldiers to be mission ready and capable to deploy if needed as a part of a forward deployed USARAF element such as the USARAF early entry command post. The EECP maintains the ability to quickly deploy forces into the theater and establish an initial presence from a forward deployed location. The theater ACE is responsible for providing the USARAF commander and staff with timely, relevant and actionable intelligence for any contingency across the continent.
“The 522nd MI BN has organized regional teams to augment the DISE,” said Maj. Erik Luedtke, the ACE deputy chief. “The teams are made up of subject matter experts for that region and will essentially deploy with the DISE in order to enhance capabilities.”
The teams will continue to work together to maintain readiness for future missions.