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Chapter 5

Direct and Supervise Interrogation Operations

The direction and supervision of interro- gation operations are critical to the success ful performance of the interrogation ele ment's mission. Direction and supervision are the responsibility of the senior interro gator. These responsibilities fall into three categories: Advising, coordinating, and directing actual interrogation operations. FM 34-80 provides guidance for brigade and battalion IEW operations, and FM 34-25 provides guidance for corps IEW opera tions. The supervisory duties discussed in this chapter are-

  • Advice and assistance.
  • Prepare and move to deployment site.
  • Establish a site for interrogation operations.
  • Supervise the interrogation process.
  • Supervise the CED exploitation cycle.
  • Supervise administrative tasks.


The senior interrogator coordinates and provides input to both the parent MI unit's S2 and S3 and the supported echelon's intel ligence staff. This includes reviewing source evacuation plans and estimates, as well as advising on the capabilities and limitations of the interrogation element. He must be able to discuss and provide advice on the interrogation element's deployment in order to most effectively support the intelligence collection effort. To accomplish this, the senior interrogator must be familiar with the intelligence annex to the supported echelon's operations order (OPORD). In addition, the senior interrogator must con stantly coordinate with the division or corps G2, the interrogation teams, and the intelligence staffs of supported echelons. This is done preferably through liaison visits to these elements. This coordination is critical to ensure that information and information updates are passed to the inter rogation teams and, in turn, are passed to OB personnel in an orderly, accurate, and timely manner. This ensures access to important information which may become available between liaison visits.


The intelligence annex of the supported unit's OPORD indicates the exact location of the holding area. Once this is known, the senior interrogator ensures the interrogation team moves to that location. Interrogation elements deploy with little more than their personal weapons and equipment. Assigned vehicles and radios may not be sufficient to move the entire element; especially, when the element is deploying to more than one site. The senior interrogator makes arrangements for transportation and determines when it will be provided. Interrogation elements are not equipped for small unit movements. Unaccompanied deployment is a dangerous procedure and should be avoided. When this cannot be done, the following steps must be considered to minimize danger during movement:

  • Confirm the element's exact destination.
  • Obtain a safe route from the supported command, if this is not possible, then, select the rouge offering the best protective terrain.
  • Identify checkpoint locations along the route. If checkpoints are not available, radio contact on a periodic basis should be established with the parent MI unit.
  • Obtain current call signs, frequencies, and passwords for unit areas that will be crossed during the movement.
  • Coordinate with all affected units. The safest method for deploying the interrogation element is to have them accompany one or more of the supported echelon's subordinate units as they deploy. This method should be used whenever possible. When it is used, the senior interrogator must determine exactly when the element must arrive at the assembly area, the element's position within the march order, and what call signs, frequencies, and passwords will be used during the movement.


Once the interrogation element has arrived at the designated holding area, the senior interrogator establishes a site for interrogation operations. The senior interrogator coordinates with the military police to ensure that the site is set up to enable operations between the interrogation operations and the holding area. He also contacts the commander responsible for the operational area. This commander authorizes a specific location close to the holding area and within its secure perimeter as the site for interrogation operations. The interrogation element's mission does not include performing its own perimeter security. The senior interrogator also contacts the officer in charge of the holding area and coordinates the following:

  • Screening site. A specific site for screening sources must be selected and agreed upon. The site must enable the screener to observe the sources while they are inprocessed and segregated. The site, however, must be shielded from the direct view of, and far enough away from the sources so they cannot see, hear, or overhear screening conversations.
  • Medical support. Procedures must be established to verify that any sick or wounded personnel have been treated and released by authorized medical personnel for interrogation.
  • Guards. Arrangements must be made for guards to escort each source selected for interrogation. The guard should accompany the source throughout the interrogation process.
  • Movement. Routes and procedures for movement must be arranged for transportation of the source from the holding area to the interrogation operations area.
  • Evacuation. Evacuation procedures should have been previously established. These procedures should be discussed so that all concerned are familiar with time constraints and procedures of exactly when and who should be evacuated.
  • Communications. Arrangements for receiving and transmitting message traffic must be made with the C-E officer. These arrangements must provide for primary and alternate electrical and courier channels.
  • Site preparation. An interrogation element must contain as a minimum, an operations and administrative area as well as specific areas to conduct interrogations. If the element will be exploiting CEDs, an area must also be designated for this activity.

The area, for the conduct of individual interrogations, is established in such a way as to ensure that interrogations taking place in one area cannot be heard by personnel in another area. At a minimum, the interrogations area, whether a tent or a building, must have enough space to accommodate the interrogator, source, guard, and an interpreter, if needed. Each area should have a table and at least three chairs. A light is required for night operations. Field expedient replacements for this equipment are used as necessary.


The senior interrogator ensures that the interrogation process is started immediately upon receipt of the source. This process is continuous and can become confused if the senior interrogator does not closely supervise the timely and orderly conduct of each step in the process. The three steps in the process are screening, interrogation, and reporting.


Screening determines who will be interrogated on a priority basis and in many cases how many times a source will be interrogated. For this reason, the successful accomplishment of the intelligence collection effort depends on qualified screeners. The senior interrogator designates his most qualified interrogators as screeners. He should not assign himself to screening operations. This cannot always be avoided, however, but must be kept to a minimum. He is required to supervise all steps of the interrogation process.


The senior interrogator ensures that sources are assigned for interrogation according to the screening results. This method of assigning assures that the highest probability of obtaining the maximum amount of pertinent information within the time available is chosen.

The senior interrogator, then, assigns his subordinates to interrogate screened sources. He does this by comparing information gained during the screening process to the abilities (linguistic skills, technical expertise, and special knowledge) of his subordinate interrogators. He then selects the interrogator best suited to conduct the interrogation of a particular source.

At times, a situation will occur in which none of the available interrogators speaks the target language well enough to conduct an interrogation. When this occurs the senior interrogator coordinates with S1/G1 for procurement of native interpreters. The senior interrogator maintains a list of available interpreters. He compares this list with the qualifications of his subordinate interrogators and the information listed on the screening report. Based on this comparison, the senior interrogator can then assign the best qualified interpreter and interrogator. Interrogators must monitor interpreters periodically to ensure their performance is according to the standards established by the senior interrogator.


The senior interrogator ensures that all reports are prepared and submitted in an accurate and timely manner. SALUTE reports must be generated immediately upon identification of information which satisfies an intelligence requirement. Other reports which are generated by an interrogation must be correctly and accurately prepared and submitted upon completion of the interrogation.

The senior interrogator ensures that all reports generated in the interrogation process are transmitted within established time frames. Transmission procedures and time frames should have already been discussed and verified with the site communications officer upon arrival to the holding area.


The senior interrogator ensures that the three steps of CED processing: accountability, exploitation, and evacuation are correctly and rapidly conducted (see Chapter 4).


The senior interrogator ensures that three major functions are accurate and kept updated. These are maintaining the SITMAP, updating the collection mission, and maintaining the Army files.


He ensures that the SITMAP is kept updated by posting all known enemy units and activities within the supported unit's area of operations, according to the intelligence summary (INTSUM), intelligence report (INTREP), periodic intelligence report (PERINTREP), and other intelligence reports. In addition, he ensures any 'dispositions obtained through interrogations are posted to the SITMAP as accurately as the information will allow.


Through previously discussed liaison visits and established communications, he ensures that all subordinate interrogators are kept abreast of any changes to the collection mission.


He ensures that files have been estab lished for any documents, reference materials, and blank forms that the interrogation element has in its possession. The same files must be generated for any documents, reference materials, and blank forms that may be acquired or generated during day-to-day interrogation operations. He ensures that these files are established, maintained, and disposed of according to AR 25-400-2.

Page last modified: 26-04-2005 16:40:25 Zulu