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Thread: Small Kill Teams in Iraq

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    Default Small Kill Teams in Iraq

    I'm looking for any information that any of you may have or used in reference to Small Kill Teams and their use against IED/mortar emplacement. Characteristics, composition, and TTP's would be great if you have it. Or if you have any idea where I can find some info on it. From what I understand, it's a newer idea and still developing.

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    I see you posted the same query over on LF.net...In what context have you heard of these teams, Army or Marine Corps? That might help narrow things down a bit.

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    Specific characteristics, composition, and TTP's of any counter-IED effort should not be discussed on an open forum, period. Even if the question is of a probing, mischaracterized nature.

    infantrygw21, it would be appreciated if you would at least state your background, or at least fill out your profile a bit better, before asking such questions.

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    Sorry, I'm an infantry officer in the army. I'll be deploying within the month and have been tasked with making a PPT for my bn LPD.

    Small kill teams, I've also heard called Direct Action Teams. I'm not looking for any OPSEC compromising information. I'm looking to build a general guide line of what has been included in the team, ie rifle squad with sniper or rifle squad with MG team, how they were employed, what did you use them for, and what type of security/qrf did you use.

    if you have any specefic questions of me, please pm me and I will gladly help out with more informationa bout myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by infantrygw21
    Sorry, I'm an infantry officer in the army. I'll be deploying within the month and have been tasked with making a PPT for my bn LPD.

    Small kill teams, I've also heard called Direct Action Teams. I'm not looking for any OPSEC compromising information. I'm looking to build a general guide line of what has been included in the team, ie rifle squad with sniper or rifle squad with MG team, how they were employed, what did you use them for, and what type of security/QRF did you use.
    That last bit that I've highlighted is precisely OPSEC info when discussing counter-IED efforts.

    As a US Army Infantry officer, you should know that the best place to post that question, if you don't have SIPR access, is on BCKS. Specifically, the Urban IED/VBIED & Insurgent TTPs subfolder in the COIN community.
    Quote Originally Posted by infantrygw21
    ...if you have any specefic questions of me, please pm me and I will gladly help out with more informationa bout myself.
    There's a Tell Us About You thread on this board for that very purpose.

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    Default Use CALL NIPR and SIPR sites

    Quote Originally Posted by infantrygw21
    Sorry, I'm an infantry officer in the army. I'll be deploying within the month and have been tasked with making a PPT for my bn LPD.

    Small kill teams, I've also heard called Direct Action Teams. I'm not looking for any OPSEC compromising information. I'm looking to build a general guide line of what has been included in the team, ie rifle squad with sniper or rifle squad with MG team, how they were employed, what did you use them for, and what type of security/qrf did you use.

    if you have any specefic questions of me, please pm me and I will gladly help out with more informationa bout myself.

    Mate,

    go to the CALL NIPR and SIPR sites and look there.

    Best

    Tom Odom

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    Quote Originally Posted by infantrygw21
    Sorry, I'm an infantry officer in the army. I'll be deploying within the month and have been tasked with making a PPT for my bn LPD.

    Small kill teams, I've also heard called Direct Action Teams. I'm not looking for any OPSEC compromising information. I'm looking to build a general guide line of what has been included in the team, ie rifle squad with sniper or rifle squad with MG team, how they were employed, what did you use them for, and what type of security/qrf did you use.

    if you have any specefic questions of me, please pm me and I will gladly help out with more informationa bout myself.
    Where are you stationed at? Some installations have created places where you can get on the clearance roster and "surf" the SIPR. However, if you do do that, you'll want to talk to your S-2 about handling the classified material that would encounter and how to make a classified and unclassified version of your briefing.

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    There's enough unclass/FOUO info available that he shouldn't have to worry about clearance issues involved in prepping a classified brief.

    If he really is a cherry LT, he needs to start learning yesterday how to use AKO, BCKS, CALL and the rest of the info resources available to him.

    I've already provided a link to a specific BCKS community that should be of use. As a retiree, I no longer have access to CALL (Tom, since you are the CALL rep on SWC, I hold you responsible for that), so I can't say what is currently available.

    I also recommend the AKO KC folder CENTCOM IED Training, where you will find the Joint IED Defeat Task Force ppt brief IED Defeat - Staff Process (large file - 123 slides). Ambush Teams are discussed within the brief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh
    There's enough unclass/FOUO info available that he shouldn't have to worry about clearance issues involved in prepping a classified brief.

    If he really is a cherry LT, he needs to start learning yesterday how to use AKO, BCKS, CALL and the rest of the info resources available to him.

    I've already provided a link to a specific BCKS community that should be of use. As a retiree, I no longer have access to CALL (Tom, since you are the CALL rep on SWC, I hold you responsible for that), so I can't say what is currently available.

    I also recommend the AKO KC folder CENTCOM IED Training, where you will find the Joint IED Defeat Task Force ppt brief IED Defeat - Staff Process (large file - 123 slides). Ambush Teams are discussed within the brief.
    I agree, although getting access to the SIPR will also provide a wealth of information to guide other stateside prep as well and allow him to ask the right questions of his commander and/or A/S-2 to get answers when he's in country.

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    It should be the job of the 2 to provide update briefs to all key leaders on the counter-IED "Best Practices" TTPs that are regularly updated on SIPR. If its being left to every individual to hunt down information on their own prior to deployment, there's a leadership failure at that unit.

    However, (once again requiring an AKO log-in) the weekly FOUO IED Newsleter provides updates on SIPR addresses and POCs to access the latest info across the board.

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    If he really is a cherry LT, he needs to start learning yesterday how to use AKO, BCKS, CALL and the rest of the info resources available to him.
    Are these Army resources/organizations? I've never even heard of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenophon
    Are these Army resources/organizations? I've never even heard of them.
    Yes, they're Army-specific resources.

    AKO = Army Knowledge On-line. Every service member has an AKO log-in, that provides access to most of these resources. "The Army's Enterprise Portal, Army Knowledge Online (AKO), is a primary component of The Army Knowledge Management (AKM) strategy and The Army Transformation. As the single point of entry into a robust and scalable knowledge management system, AKO is strategically changing the way The Army does business. By enabling greater knowledge sharing among Army communities, AKM fosters improved decision dominance by commanders and business stewards in the battlespace, organizations, and Army's mission processes." Sounds great, but it's a loooong way from that point right now. But it does maintain a HUGE amount of information readily accessible in its numerous "Knowledge Center" files.

    BCKS = Battle Command Knowledge System. Pretty good mix of professional discussion forums linked with subject-specific FOUO-and-below document archives. Great potential although not used nearly enough; still working out kinks in the system.

    CALL = Center for Army Lessons Learned. Self explanatory - great resource.

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    Default CALL, AKO, etc are your friends

    Xenophon,

    I can access CALL using the DEERS logon feature, even though I do have an AKO guest account. BCKS does have some interesting info at the link provided up thread, but just like the Marine Corps Lessons Learned system, it is only as strong as the material input by users who are at the "tip of the spear".

    Recommend you look at getting an AKO account (you need to find an Army sponsor), and definitely MCLLs to fill in some of the gaps of doctrinal information you've learned in the schoolhouse thus far. There are some very interesting articles out there about urban fire support coordination/execution. I suspect you'll be able to get hooked up with AKO/BCKS when you get to Ft. Sill, and the period of instruction may cover some of those TTPs already.

    Me thinks the concept of "killer teams" may be localized to a particular unit, so if it is an emergent concept, it's not going to be out there. Infantrygw21 has received some excellent direction so far: see the S2 and if he doesn't have the answers, push him to find them. That's what they should be excelling at anyway.

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    I am not sure and I may be wrong but this sounds alot like Drop Off or Stay Behind Teams that were adapted to LE special ops to catch serial bombers.
    It was based upon FBI and ATF profiles to catch bombers. Also based upon the old theory that repeat criminals always return to the scene of the crime.
    Don't know if this helps but sounds very close.

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    Ok, gentlemen, obviously this has sturred a little debate. I understand the OPSEC implications, yes I know what AKO is, yes I do have access to SIPR/NIPR accounts. I was tasked with finding some info out on the "internet" to see if there was any info that people were talking about on unsecure forums regarding STK. Because the idea is fairly new to the current theater, there are many different briefs and such coming thru SIPR.

    I apologize to those who have been distrought at the thought of a "cherry LT", as stated before, violating OPSEC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh
    It should be the job of the 2 to provide update briefs to all key leaders on the counter-IED "Best Practices" TTPs that are regularly updated on SIPR. If its being left to every individual to hunt down information on their own prior to deployment, there's a leadership failure at that unit.

    However, (once again requiring an AKO log-in) the weekly FOUO IED Newsleter provides updates on SIPR addresses and POCs to access the latest info across the board.
    Sometimes it is better to get information straight from the horses' mouth. What the S-2 finds important may not be the same things as a company commander or a platoon leader. I spent as much time as I could on the SIPR as a company commander - not because the S-2 wasn't feeding information and good information at that, but because intelligence isn't just a S-2 responsibility. The time to figure out what resources will be best available in country is prior to deployment, especially since your best connections tend to be SIPR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by infantrygw21
    Ok, gentlemen, obviously this has sturred a little debate. I understand the OPSEC implications, yes I know what AKO is, yes I do have access to SIPR/NIPR accounts. I was tasked with finding some info out on the "internet" to see if there was any info that people were talking about on unsecure forums regarding STK. Because the idea is fairly new to the current theater, there are many different briefs and such coming thru SIPR.

    I apologize to those who have been distrought at the thought of a "cherry LT", as stated before, violating OPSEC.
    The idea has been around since 2003 and put into practice since 2003. How it has evolved, I don't know, but my guess is that the tools have improved, creating a shift in TTPs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shek
    Sometimes it is better to get information straight from the horses' mouth. What the S-2 finds important may not be the same things as a company commander or a platoon leader. I spent as much time as I could on the SIPR as a company commander - not because the S-2 wasn't feeding information and good information at that, but because intelligence isn't just a S-2 responsibility. The time to figure out what resources will be best available in country is prior to deployment, especially since your best connections tend to be SIPR.
    The 2 doesn't decide all by himself what is important, in a type of intel vacuum. If that's happening in any unit, its a serious problem. Also, I didn't mean to imply that you should only rely on the 2. Just that it is the 2's job to provide such updates. Just as it is the professional responsibility of every leader, NCO or officer, to seek out what resources they can on their own to help them execute more effectively in their lane. The two aspects should balance - but neither is sufficient as a stand-alone prep for operational deployment. And leadership failures can occur on both sides of that equation; first, when the command does not ensure that adequate current info is being disseminated down and second; when leaders at any level assume that what they are being fed is sufficient and they don't need to exert themselves to fill it out with anything more.

    Of course, best case scenario is that leaders at most levels within a unit are able to establish direct connection with counterparts in theater who they are rotating in to replace, to truly get it "from the horse's mouth". Unfortunately, that rarely occurs - for a wide variety of reasons. However, the secure professional forums, we've been discussing, AKO, BCKS, WU, NCO.net, Stryker.net, PlatoonLeader.net etc. allow us to come close to this ideal - if only more would take advantage of these resources.

    For Slapout9's benefit, the same issue exists within the LE community - there is tremendous real-time info-sharing potential within the RISS system, but the regional systems differ so much (i.e. WSIN from MOCIC) that its effectiveness is problematic, even if access and usage was universal for the state and local LE community - which is a loooong way from happening. Secure forums such as CYBERCOP and FPS portal also have great potential - but are little used.
    Quote Originally Posted by infantrygw21
    I apologize to those who have been distrought at the thought of a "cherry LT", as stated before, violating OPSEC.
    FM 22-102 Wall-to-Wall Counseling
    Most lieutenants require daily wall-to-wall counseling for the first three years of their Army career.
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 06-01-2006 at 01:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh
    The 2 doesn't decide all by himself what is important, in a type of intel vacuum. If that's happening in any unit, its a serious problem. Also, I didn't mean to imply that you should only rely on the 2. Just that it is the 2's job to provide such updates. Just as it is the professional responsibility of every leader, NCO or officer, to seek out what resources they can on their own to help them execute more effectively in their lane. The two aspects should balance - but neither is sufficient as a stand-alone prep for operational deployment. And leadership failures can occur on both sides of that equation; first, when the command does not ensure that adequate current info is being disseminated down and second; when leaders at any level assume that what they are being fed is sufficient and they don't need to exert themselves to fill it out with anything more.

    Of course, best case scenario is that leaders at most levels within a unit are able to establish direct connection with counterparts in theater who they are rotating in to replace, to truly get it "from the horse's mouth". Unfortunately, that rarely occurs - for a wide variety of reasons. However, the secure professional forums, we've been discussing, AKO, BCKS, WU, NCO.net, Stryker.net, PlatoonLeader.net etc. allow us to come close to this ideal - if only more would take advantage of these resources.

    For Slapout9's benefit, the same issue exists within the LE community - there is tremendous real-time info-sharing potential within the RISS system, but the regional systems differ so much (i.e. WSIN from MOCIC) that its effectiveness is problematic, even if access and usage was universal for the state and local LE community - which is a loooong way from happening. Secure forums such as CYBERCOP and FPS portal also have great potential - but are little used.
    I concur that there needs to be a balance. However, I found that SIPR access was more readily available and reliable than NIPR during my time in Iraq, and so learning the SIPR resources are just as important if not more important when it comes to being in theater. I don't want him walking away thinking that SIPR is just a tool for the S-2 Shop and Command, which is why I haven't let up on the point. This is what Fort Lewis has done, and while this article doesn't mention it, a newsletter I received from the SCLL talked about how there are available SIPR terminals for anybody on the access roster, allowing team leaders, squad leaders, platoon leaders, etc. to get direct access to the unfiltered information. This is a huge leap forward.

    http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.o...kerBrigade.htm

    The Army, as the other services, has institutionalized the process of collecting and distributing “lessons learned” from the battlefield, but the information often does not flow to combat units quickly enough to let them adjust their own tactics before they deploy.

    Among the Army units that have rotated in and out of Iraq during the past three years, the Stryker brigades appear to have perfected the lessons-learned drill by setting up a high-tech communications center at Fort Lewis, Wash., where senior leaders and junior commanders receive day-to-day feedback from deployed troops. These detailed, unfiltered reports shape their training and preparation for combat. In the process, they also have managed to stir apprehension among some Army officials who worry that the Stryker’s way of doing business sets it too far apart from the mainstream.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shek
    I concur that there needs to be a balance. However, I found that SIPR access was more readily available and reliable than NIPR during my time in Iraq, and so learning the SIPR resources are just as important if not more important when it comes to being in theater. I don't want him walking away thinking that SIPR is just a tool for the S-2 Shop and Command, which is why I haven't let up on the point. This is what Fort Lewis has done, and while this article doesn't mention it, a newsletter I received from the SCLL talked about how there are available SIPR terminals for anybody on the access roster, allowing team leaders, squad leaders, platoon leaders, etc. to get direct access to the unfiltered information. This is a huge leap forward.
    Yes, SIPR access has expanded a great deal over the years - and there have been SIPR terminals available at a few locations in Iraq since '03 for the use of anyone who could get a clearance verified. And stateside, Ft. Lewis isn't alone in that respect either. Although I have have pushed info-sharing on the professional boards available through a simple AKO log-in, if you noticed on one of my earlier posts in this thread, I also provided a link to an AKO FOUO file which contains an extensive list of SIPR IED-related sites.

    The usage of SIPR that we are discussing right now falls within the context of the statement in my last post that it is the professional responsibility of every leader, NCO or officer, to seek out what resources they can on their own to help them execute more effectively in their lane..

    However, my point from the the beginning of this thread is that SIPR is a classified resource; if someone is tasked to prepare an unclass brief it needs to stay that way. We don't want to have someone hit up a SIPR terminal, jot down some notes and slip it in to the unclass brief (let lone use a personal jump-drive for downloading). As SIPR use has expanded, so have compromises. The serious compromises in Afghanistan that you've probably read about are just the tip of the iceberg.

    Yes, SIPR is a great resource, now available to many that were barely aware of it not too long ago. However, it is also easily open to abuse. As access to classified information expands, proper INFOSEC and classified handling procedures need to be taught to all of those who have access.

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