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Military Competence: applying the lessons from Abu Ghraib
Posted by: McQ on Monday, April 17, 2006

Jon correctly highlights some military incompetence below. As we all know, the debacle at Abu Ghraib was also a result of military incompetence at various levels.

The good news is the military has learned from the problems encountered there and has responded with a solution:
Army leaders are taking lessons learned from the 2003 Abu Ghraib detainee abuse incidents in Iraq to revamp the intelligence field. Changes include the activation of dedicated interrogation battalions and a new joint training center for the intelligence career field.

The 201st Military Intelligence Battalion is the first of four joint interrogation battalions — two active and two reserve — to be activated in the next several years. Its mission is to conduct detainee screening and interrogation missions in support of military operations throughout the world, such as Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

"Being the first dedicated interrogation battalion in the Army, the spotlight is on these fine soldiers and their leadership," said Col. Richard Saddler, commander of the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade and keynote speaker at the ceremony. "Fortunately, they are the finest our nation has to offer, and they will do well in their upcoming missions. "

The 201st Military Intelligence Battalion comprises 147 active duty soldiers, all specializing in interrogation and intelligence.

The concept for the battalions came about, in part, as a result of a 2004 investigation led by Maj. Gen. George Fay into the Abu Ghraib abuse of detainees.

"The Department of the Army, based on the Fay report and other weaknesses in how we conducted intelligence operations, recognized the need for dedicated interrogation battalions," Saddler said.

"Prior to this, the command and control stopped at the company level. The Army needed the command and control a battalion structure can provide," explained Lt. Col. John Strycula.
This is an important development that addresses many of the shortcomings which became evident during Abu Ghraib. A dedicated unit of trained interrogators who understand the rules under which interrogations are to be conducted and who will also be given command oversight for any holding facility and the screening process taking place there makes another Abu Gharib much less likely to ever happen again. These battalions fill a critical void discovered during Operation Iraqi Freedom and splashed all over the front pages of newspapers around the world.

Along with the new battalion, plans for a new joint training center at nearby Camp Bullis are in the works.

"This interrogation center of excellence will feature a (major training) event that all interrogation units will rotate through to ensure they are battle ready on all interrogation and warrior tasks before they go to war," Saddler said.
"Train as you fight. Fight as you train".

Glad to see "lessons learned" acknowledged and applied in a positive and productive way.

UPDATE (Dale): Aaah. Good ol' Camp Bullis. I spent a couple of months there for Air Base Ground Defense School in 1984. Who could forget the 12-man plywood hooches, with their oil-drum heaters, accomodations left over from when Camp Bullis was a German POW Camp? Who could forget the regular "confidence course" runs? Low-crawling through the mud under barbed wire? The Close Quarters Battle drills? The day and night patrolling? The 4-day field exercise for graduation?

Man, I haven't thought about that place in years.

Good times....good times.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

McQ all this school is going to become is the NEW School of the America’s for the Progressives.... now they have a place to march and protest against America’s regime of torture...
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
YeaH? Well, good luck finding it.
Written By: Dale Franks
"the military has learned from the problems encountered"

Unfortunately, the military always seems to be learning the same things over and over. The proposed solution, reorganizing, also seems to be the preferred solution of most bureaucracies to any perceived problem. As we all know, our nation is secure now because of the establishment of the Dept. of Homeland Defense. The problems at Abu Ghraib were not a result of a faulty TOE, but rather a failure of the leaders at all levels to follow established rules and regulations and to properly lead, supervise, and train their subordinates.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
The proposed solution, reorganizing, also seems to be the preferred solution of most bureaucracies to any perceived problem.
Believe me, this is much more than just "reorganizing".
YeaH? Well, good luck finding it.
Heh ... yup. This isn’t Ft. Benning which had relatively high traffic (for demonstration effectiveness purposes) and descent local amenities.

This is in the middle of hot, dry nowhere.
Written By: McQ

Hard to find?

I410 to NW Military Hwy or I10 to Camp Bullis Rd.

And now:
Camp Bullis Outdoor Recreation Area


Monday & Friday: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sportsman’s Range

Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Extended hours for hunting seasons are:

Dove Season (Sept-Oct):
Monday and Friday 8 a.m.-Dark

Saturday & Sunday 7 a.m.-Dark

Archery Season (Oct):
Thursday-Monday 5:30 a.m.-Dark

Gun Hunting Season (Nov-Jan):

Times will be announced in Oct

Spring Gobbler Season

(Mar 26-Apr 30):
Friday-Monday 5:30 a.m.-Dark

Catfish Pond

Saturday & Sunday (Mar-May) 12-6 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday (Jun-Sep) 4-10 p.m.

General Hunting Information

Hunting at Camp Bullis is open to DOD ID
cardholders. Hunters are grouped by category
to establish priority for hunting stands/areas.

You must purchase a Texas State hunting license
and a Camp Bullis hunting permit/activity
card. Active duty military personnel have priority.

See the complete hunting guide here.

The Camp Bullis Outdoor Recreation Center offers:

125 rifle-hunting stands
17 turkey-hunting blinds
19 archery hunting areas
15 dove-hunting areas.
Fees are determined annually.

General Fishing Information

The Camp Bullis Outdoor Recreation Center provides a pay-as-you-go catfish pond. All catfish are sold by live-weight. No catch and release. The pond is restocked in Mar and Jun each year with 3-5 pound channel catfish. Catfish are $1.75 per pound, live weight. A fishing license is not required. There is no daily fee.

Written By: Bill
URL: http://

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