Fort Bliss, TX — After graduating from the National Ground Intelligence Center at Charlottesville, Va., Dec. 21, Soldiers from a variety of 1st Armored Division units and military occupational specialties prepared to deploy to Afghanistan and employ a new skill: Document and Media Exploitation.
The practice of DOMEX supports Army intelligence operations. Items of enemy intelligence gathered during a mission are turned over to a DOMEX team, who look for meaningful intelligence within the items, before sending their findings to another team for further analysis.
“We go through everything from cell phones, emails or (digital media),” said Sgt. Jeffrey Litherland, a member of the deploying DOMEX group. “We read it all, then write a report and send it to an intelligence analyst.”
The deploying Soldiers range from infantrymen to human intelligence collectors, but they all trained in the relatively new intelligence discipline of DOMEX for two weeks at the NGIC.
“It was like going to college for two weeks,” said Staff Sgt. Gregory Lavato. “It’s taught by retirees who have been downrange and have actually done the job.”
Though not a military occupational specialty, a 2010 Army posture statement described DOMEX as an, “intelligence multiplier and key component of target exploitation in the tactical and operational environment.”
For their final pre-deployment brief on Jan. 23, 2013, the Soldiers were greeted by Col. David M. Hamilton, commander of 212th Fires Brigade, 1st Armored Division, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jesus Degracia, command sergeant major of 212th Fires Brigade, who wished them well and urged them to remember their training and discipline in the deployed environment.
The 212th Fires Brigade is the support brigade for the Soldiers’ deployment. The Soldiers also received legal, finance and operational security briefings.