Coast Guardsman Deploys to Afghanistan


Coast Guard intelligence specialists collect, analyze, process and disseminate intelligence in support of Coast Guard missions. While specialists operate in intelligence coordination centers, cryptologic units and various bases nationwide, one Coast Guardsman found himself on a deployment to Afghanistan.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Brooks was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with Cryptologic Support Team 34 from February to July 2013. Seeking out additional opportunities to serve his country with his unique signals intelligence skills, Brooks volunteered for the deployment.

His work while on deployment centered on signals intelligence support to U.S. and International coalition forces. While in theater, Brooks mastered nine key analytical databases that allowed him to analyze more than 12,300 reports, satisfy 250 requests for information, provide in-depth analysis on 41 objectives of interest and distribute 32 threat reports.

That’s a lot of data. But at the end of the day this data all led back to enhanced situational awareness and support for tactical operations against targets of interest from enemy forces.

In addition to his work in signals intelligence, he developed an insurgent tracking network and directed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment in support of 15 missions in Afghanistan. This network provided critical visibility on high-level insurgents across the operational theater.

Brooks also trained a team of eight U.S. Army signals intelligence analysts while on deployment to update an analysis-reporting suite. This resulted in a significant increase in the capability of Brigade Forces in forming a complete common operational picture of the threats in the immediate area. His efforts enabled the team to increase their ability to perform mission objectives and provide intelligence products for the protection of members of the Coalition Forces and the Afghanistan National Army.

Back from deployment, Brooks is now assigned to Cryptologic Unit Hawaii. His leadership and service has not gone unnoticed, however, and he is the recent recipient of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs Grateful Nation Award. The Grateful Nation Awards honors an outstanding representative from each of the military services who has distinguished him or herself by exceptional, superior service while deployed in direct support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom or New Horizon.

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