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ISR keeps watch
Photos and story by 1st Lt. Lawrence Robinson, Media Outreach Officer

“We were non-commissioned officer heavy when we got here,” said Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platoon leader 1st Lt. Michael Sterling. “That was a good thing because it gave us some experienced leaders to help train the troops who joined later.”

The 2-113th Infantry Battalion's ISR platoon provides continuous intelligence for Camp Bucca's leaders and planners.

Sterling, a veteran of the Afghanistan campaign, is joined by Staff Sgt. Wayne Stine and Sgt. Ethan Letz. Sterling, a

Leading the way 1st Lt. Michael Sterling heads a protective service detail during a recent visit to Safwan.

veteran of the Afghanistan campaign, is joined by Staff Sgt. Wayne Stine and Sgt. Ethan Letz. Both were members of the ISR before deployment, and helped get the platoon up and running. Stine assists Sterling with the planning and management.

The platoon, which is comprised of reconnaissance and sniper Soldiers, was augmented by 2-113th rifle companies Soldiers.

“We originally had 16 guys, and we had trained together for about a year or so before we got here. Once we got to Camp Bucca and got the new guys, we were able to bring them along pretty quickly,” said Stine.

Because the ISR's primary mission is intelligence collection, the platoon spends a great deal of time and effort developing human intelligence resources from among the local population, Iraqi military and police forces.

As a result, the ISR is constantly traveling throughout the area visiting towns, check points, police stations and military outposts in an effort to maintain a relationship that encourages mutual aid and support. They also maintain an observation post and communications relay station on Safwan Hill, the highest point in southern Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Wayne Stine (l), Intelligence Reconnaissance and Surveillance platoon sergeant and an interpreter speak with an Iraqi civilian while providing security during a mission.

The Platoon serves as a Protective Service Detail for distinguished visitors. The focus of a PSD mission is to get the principal in and out of their meeting safely. They accomplish this by planning and rehearsals that enable the platoon to provide constant protection.

“We have been doing this long enough that a lot of things stay the same depending on where we’re going, but there are always route planning, inspections and briefings that have to take place before the mission starts,” said Letz.

Stine observed that the success of the ISR platoon is due to its Soldiers.

“These guys make my job easy.”


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Volume 34 Number 4 Staff / Information
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