Title: Deployment Sketches - Part 1
Release Date: 2016-08-10
Document Date: 2003-12-22
Description: This intern, deployed to both Kuwait and Iraq along with a previous columnist in this series, lists memorable anecdotes.
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(U) Deployment Sketches - Part 1
Run Date: 12/22/2003
(U//FOUO) My experience during my NIST deployment was
fantastic! I had initially thought I would volunteer to support my
parent service (USAF), however, I decided the NIST was the way
to go - I could use the experience I gained in the Geospatial
Exploitation Office and apply it at the front lines. My team was
deployed from 9 March to 8 June (give or take). One team
already wrote an article, so I will try not to
(U//FOUO) I was part of our "advance team" which included the
team Officer in Charge (OIC) and a "comms guy". We flew from
BWI on a chartered flight along with another advance team from
NSA going to support the I MEF. We arrived at Doha, Kuwait, got
shown to some warehouses to catch up on sleep, and then were
convoyed about an hour north to Camp Virginia. The first day we
were at Doha was my first experience with a combat situation. We
had a SCUD drill in the middle of that first afternoon - I admit, once
I got my mask and suit on, I fell asleep. I was just too tired from
the flight (BWI to Shannon, Ireland, to Cypress, to Doha).
NSA's Baghdad teams attend Musketeer brief
(U//FOUO) When we got to Camp Virginia (in Kuwait), we were
shown to a Bedouin tent with about 60 other cots in it. We would
stay there until the rest of the team showed up. I stepped outside
with my toothbrush, and asked a staff sergeant where should I
brush my teeth. She pointed at the ground. So that's where we
brushed our teeth - outside, with a bottle of water, and we spit on
(U//FOUO) Our mission when we arrived at Camp Virginia was to
support the Army's V Corps. Even though seven years of my 10
years of Air Force experience has been in joint assignments, this
was different. In fact, except for the NSA team, the rest of the
personnel were Army. We first had to establish relationships with
the watch-center personnel, and the G-2 (i.e. the Intelligence
(C) I think as a team, we did really well. We bribed the G-2 and
the warrant officers with our gourmet coffee. We did the very best
to remember that we weren't out there to just pass serialized
product reports from the TOPIs or make read files: we were out
there to leverage all of NSA's assets to keep the troops ahead of us
alive. We produced actionable intelligence from NSA information.
(S) One night, I came across a target, got up, walked five steps to
the Artillery Officer, and it was on the list to be destroyed literally
that fast. Later, our comms team set up an NSTS line from our
desk to the artillery desk, and then ran another line out to the
operations floor to the Brigadier General in charge of targets, so
(U//FOUO) IA Interns
1. Coming Soon: IA
2. 3 1/2 Months in
3. 3 1/2 Months in
Qatar: Outside of
4. Deployed to
5. Camp Virginia to
Camp Victory: In
6. Camp Virginia to
Camp Victory: Into
7. NISTing in Kabul and
Baghdad - Part One
8. NISTing in Kabul and
Baghdad - Part Two
9. Working at Prince
Sultan Air Base, SA
Sketches - Part 1
Sketches - Part 2
12. Dispatch from CSG
we could have our own "private hot line". It made communication
instantaneous (and a lot safer than running through three very
(TS//SI) There are so many memories...
the Intel guy from Seal Team 5 who mysteriously appeared in
our SCIF and asked for some help, but didn't give us feedback until
weeks later (no connectivity to do so).
Shooting off some rounds at the Republican Guard facility near
the Republican Palace (thank you TEAM OSD) with no lights or
ventilation. (We were sent with 5000+ rounds of ammunition, and
fired some off in a safe area. We put a broken piece of mirror on a
desk outside, then pulled another mirror off the wall and used it to
reflect sunlight into the room.)
All of us getting our smallpox shots and then the contests to see
who had the grossest scar forming.
The day one of our OGA (other governmental agency) friends
asked for us to find one of their sources who claimed they were
kidnapped (they weren't).
The day we tracked a communications device associated with the
Republican Guard to our front door, literally - the TAREX guys who
brought it to us said it had been ringing the whole trip.
When 2nd ACR (armored cavalry regiment) needed help with a
pile (about five feet tall) of Iraqi comms gear.
When ETC (European Technical Center) shipped us four
desperately needed air conditioners.
Taking my first-ever Blackhawk ride to the Birthday Palace in
Tikrit to help resupply the MUSKETEER Team.
Taking my second Blackhawk ride to resupply them again on a
hill in the middle of nowhere (see
article - number 5 in this
series - to see a picture).
Surviving what a 28-year Sergeant Major called the worst convoy
she had ever been on.
Reenlisting in the SSO's comms center in the basement of the AlRasheed Hotel.
(U) Watch for part two tomorrow!
"(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet
without the consent of S0121 (DL sid comms)."
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DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108