STUTTGART, Germany – U.S. Special Operations Command Europe hosted 16 students for a SOCEUR tactical intelligence course (STIC) from April 1 to May 22, in Poljče, Slovenia.
Students from 10 European nations participated in the seventh iteration of the course held at the Slovenian Ministry of Defense Training Facility. The STIC is designed to increase the intelligence, or intel, capabilities at the Special Operations Task Unit level for commissioned and non-commissioned officers. It course enhances students’ intelligence proficiency when planning and executing full-cycle intelligence, analysis, and targeting for contingency and training operations.
"Seventy-five percent of the students had no previous intelligence schooling, so the STIC is critical training to our allies' SOF intelligence personnel,” said Col. Todd Runyon, SOCEUR Intelligence director.
One student thought the course will help prepare him for future missions.
“This was my first intel course, as there are very few course opportunities for (us),” said a Finnish Special Operations Forces intelligence sergeant. “This is just what I needed right now as it helped me become familiar with various intel tools and other useful information, some of which might come in handy when I soon deploy to Afghanistan. It also helped improve my ability to work with SOF partners. Now I don’t have to use two months to learn intel tools in order to work with SOF partners when I go to Afghanistan.”
The course focuses on seven areas of study: intelligence and data mining; link analysis; tactical exploitation operations; biometrics; country study; and target intelligence package production, culminating in an exercise using the battlefield information collection and exploitation system computer network.
Students not only learn valuable intelligence skills but are also given the opportunity to exchange knowledge and further develop connections with their European counterparts.
“It was helpful having other NATO SOF in the class as they provided a broader view through their encounters and experiences during class discussions,” said a Slovenian SOF intelligence student.
The STIC provides an opportunity that would not regularly be available to European SOF partners.
Another course is expected to take place later this year as SOCEUR continues to develop and enhance interoperability between American SOF and their EUCOM partner-nations.
SOCEUR is a sub-unified command of USEUCOM and exercises operational control of European theater Army, Navy and Air Force Special Operation Forces. SOCEUR is responsible for SOF readiness, targeting, and exercises, plans, joint and combined training; developing NATO and partnership activities; and executing counterterrorism, peacetime and contingency operations."