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[] 3rd Infantry Division After Action Report Operation IRAQI FREEDOM,

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Third Infantry Division (Mechanized) After Action Report: Operation

Hier: Chapter 6, Embedded Media und Chapter 27, Information Operations

"Overall, the ambitious media embed program executed by the 3ID (M) was
an unqualified success. Media that became part of the team told
first-hand accounts of the 3ID (M) fairly and accurately. Neither
mission accomplishment nor the integrity of the media was compromised.
The media we surveyed spoke highly of their experience and stated the
embed far exceeded their expectations. Soldiers, media, and the American
public were the true beneficiaries."

"The use of e-mail to contact (...) Iraqi governmental decision makers
(...) was a great idea in planning, but the U.S. failed to understand
the Iraqi government was based on Stalinism and the fear of reprisals
was greater than they had anticipated. (...) The coalition egregiously
underestimated Hussein?s ability to use IO to his advantage. (...) The
most effective way to counter this was to monitor the radio and TV
stations that were playing anti-coalition messages and target them for
physical destruction."

Extrem lesenswert sind auch die Kapitel zu Command and Control-Themen.
Das ist mal was anderes als die Lobeshymnen in Jane's oder Aviation Leak
and Waste Technology. ;-)


For Official Use Only

Third Infantry Division (Mechanized) After Action Report 


Chapter 6

Embedded Media


In the wake of the most recent military/media problems during Operation
ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense decided
to implement an ambitious media embed operation with U.S. military
forces. The reasons were several, including the desire to have media
tell the soldiers' story, but also to have the ability to counter the
Iraqi propaganda machine. Prior to deploying in November 2002, the Third
Infantry Division (Mechanized) (3ID [M]) agreed to embed 50 news media
representatives (NMRs) within the division. The division conducted
extensive training exercises during December 02-January-03 where 3ID (M)
embedded media in units for 3-4 day periods. Unit leaders and the public
affairs section developed extensive tactics, techniques, and procedures
(TTPs) to support media in the event media were embedded for war. By the
time the war started, the Marne Division crossed the Iraqi border with
97 NMRs from more than 60 media organizations.

Observation Synopsis

Embedding is a doctrinal term defined in FM 46-1 as "?the act of
assigning a reporter to a unit as a member of the unit. The reporter
eats, sleeps, and moves with the unit. The reporter is authorized open
access to all sections of the unit and is not escorted by public affairs
personnel. Rather, the unit is the public affairs escort. Reporters file
their stories from unit locations and security is accomplished at the
source, by establishing with the reporter what can be covered and
reported on and what cannot be reported on, or when material can be
reported." (p 25).

The military media relationship had been tenuous at best since
Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM and subsequent low intensity
conflicts and stability and support operations (SASO) during the 1990s.
Media received information during after-operations press briefings from
an official spokesperson and were allowed to interview soldiers who
participated in the operation. There was little firsthand information
from observations made by media who were allowed to accompany troops
during these embeds.

Prior to deploying, the division had never trained with embedded media.
Media training primarily dealt with encountering media on the
battlefield. If we were going to embed media, then we would have to
train as we would fight. The 3 ID (M) embedded media for 3-4 days at a
time in December during Second Brigade Combat Team's (2nd BCT's)
battalion task forces' live fire exercises (LFXs) that culminated with
the BCT's LFX in December 02. Feedback from the media was extremely
favorable and the print and broadcast stories reflected that enthusiasm.
Commanders and soldiers also started feeling more comfortable with media
in their ranks.

After the entire division received a deployment order and units arrived,
media were embedded with them as part of their training program. These
training exercises also offered media the chance to train as they would
fight. We discouraged the transfer of broadcast tapes and news stories
on daily runs out of the training area. Instead, we encouraged media to
use technology that they would probably take to war to file with their
editors and producers. Media were required to stay in the field for the
duration of the four-day exercise. These training opportunities helped
the division and media

S. 42:

develop tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that would benefit
both organizations.

Chief among the TTPs was how media would be transported. Several
vehicles were available and used in training including the Bradley
Fighting Vehicle (BFV) in front line units. Sources of power were made
available to recharge batteries for still and broadcast cameras.
Inverters became a necessity for power from high mobility multipurpose
wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs). Clothing packing lists were also evaluated
and refined. But the most important TTP was for the media understand the
soldier and for the soldier to understand the media.

Due to restrictive Department of Defense (DOD) public affairs guidance,
media were not allowed to embed with 3ID (M) units from the United
States early in the deployment cycle. This proved a hardship on local
and regional media who could not afford the cost of airfare to Kuwait.
This restriction also interrupted team building between units and media
who covered the deployment from Fort Stewart. The team building would
prove essential later when building trust between media and soldiers, a
prerequisite for briefing the media on unit plans.

Media were embedded in 3ID (M) units on March 11. The Coalition Press
Information Center-Kuwait provided chemical protective equipment to
include suits and masks. Public affairs assigned media across the
division down to the brigade combat teams and to certain separate
battalions including 3-7 Calvary, 3rd Military Police Battalion, and 1st
Battalion 3rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment. Commanders had the
flexibility to assign media anywhere within their brigades/battalions.
Commanders had additional flexibility to move them among units to
highlight different operations.

When assigning media to brigades/battalions, every effort was made to
distribute media owned by the same corporation evenly within a brigade
to ensure greater coverage across the division. As an example, the four
newspapers from the Tribune News Corporation: The Chicago Tribune, LA
Times, Newsday, and The Orlando Sentinel were assigned to the 3rd BCT,
2nd BCT, 4th Brigade, and the 3rd Military Police (MP) Battalion
respectively. The three major weekly magazines were each assigned to a
different BCT. Every brigade and 3-7 Cavalry had a major network or
cable broadcast station assigned. The three major wire services,
Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France Presse (AFP) were assigned
to different brigades. AFP wanted greater coverage and asked that their
print journalist and photographer be split between units. This decision
offered AFP the only photographer assignment with the division's
aviation. Cox News, Hearst, and Knight-Ridder news services were treated
similarly. On any day during operations, a wide variety of articles
about different 3ID (M) units could be found across the various news

What the division would tell the media about the plan, if anything,
before crossing into Iraq was a big concern. The embed ground rules
stated explicitly that media were not authorized access to classified
information. However, the idea of embedding requires trust as implied in
the doctrinal definition. Two days before the ground war, the 3ID (M)
provided the media a broad overview of the plan, including tentative
timelines, so that the media would understand the context of what they
were observing and avoid filing stories that would tip intentions to the
Iraqis. If media were not provided the context, they could report their
observations and unknowingly provide the Iraqis sensitive information.
Public affairs emphasized the ground rules concerning access to
sensitive information and the penalties for knowingly releasing
sensitive information prior to the briefing. For the purposes of the
definition, sensitive information included any mention that the media
was privy to classified plans. As the operation progressed, media were

S. 43:

allowed unprecedented access to plans. We know of no media that violated
the trust during the entire operation. After all, they were coming
along. The 3ID (M) advocated media vehicles since units would have to
carry media equipment in addition to military equipment and several
days' basic load. Media could also bring additional support such as
engineers, producers, and sound technicians. Media would be able to
bring better transmission equipment; therefore, a better quality of
video would be produced for the world to see our great soldiers. No
vehicles traveled near the front of formations. The reporter or
broadcast cameraman often traveled forward to gather footage, but the
vehicle remained in the combat trains. When time allowed during a pause,
vehicle and people linked up for broadcast. News media representatives
and their vehicles all made it safely through the war. The world saw
vivid pictures of disciplined, well-trained U.S. soldiers in action.

The following criteria was established for a broadcast media vehicle:

1) Vehicles would be civilian equivalents to military vehicles,
primarily HMMWVs and Land Rovers.

2) Vehicles would run on diesel fuel compatible with JP8.

3) Individual commanders would determine where vehicles were placed in

4) Should vehicles break down, we would repair on a non-interference
basis. If we could not repair the vehicle, media could abandon it and
cross level only necessary equipment into military vehicles.

During the war, the soldiers of the division had the opportunity to
review articles written by embedded media, usually through the Early
Bird. It was evident the program was working to our expectations. Media
published and broadcast the great work of 3ID (M) soldiers around the
world, accurately and unvarnished. As an example, William Branigan wrote
about the family members near An Najaf that were killed when they ran a
checkpoint from his own first hand accounts. Media often checked with
unit personnel to ensure security before filing. Public affairs know of
no instance when commanders required broadcast or print journalists to
have news reviewed for security before filing. Embedded media had a more
realistic understanding and were more optimistic in their accounts than
media who were reporting from the Pentagon, from Central Command
(CENTCOM) in Qatar, or from Coalition Forces Land Component Command
(CFLCC) in Kuwait. This was most evident during the extreme sandstorm
near An Najaf. The commanding general (CG) had briefed the media before
the war that 3ID (M) would consolidate at that point for 48-72 hours to
rearm, refit, and refuel. The pause was placed in context when they
filed, even with the unexpected heavy fighting nearby. Media outside
Iraq immediately began suggesting a "quagmire" and flawed plan. In sum,
the embedded media balanced the negative press from reporters outside
Iraq. There were very few instances of media breaking ground rules. At
times CFLCC and V Corps told embedded reporters from Fox News and Cable
News Network (CNN) to shut down, although they had their unit
commander's permission to broadcast. There were only two instances that
public affairs is aware of when injuries were announced in the paper
before next of kin could be notified: Major Roger Shuck's Bradley was
hit by an rocket propelled grenade (RPG) and reported in The Washington
Post and Major Ron Coffey sustained injuries which were reported in The
Jerusalem Post and further

S. 44:

reported in the States. There was only one instance when a reporter was
asked to hold information until a spouse was notified and the reporter
did not. The Long Island Newsday reporter filed a story that included a
reference to1st Battalion 3rd Aviation Regiment Commander, Lieutenant
Colonel Williams having a hard landing behind enemy lines the first
night of the war.

Overall, the ambitious media embed program executed by the 3ID (M) was
an unqualified success. Media that became part of the team told
first-hand accounts of the 3ID (M) fairly and accurately. Neither
mission accomplishment nor the integrity of the media was compromised.
The media we surveyed spoke highly of their experience and stated the
embed far exceeded their expectations. Soldiers, media, and the American
public were the true beneficiaries.

Lessons Learned

o Embedding media should be the first consideration for media
accompanying and covering military operations.

o Embedding media is a relationship of trust. Embedding at the earliest
opportunity allows for sufficient time to build a trusting relationship.

o Media will follow clearly established ground rules. Some flexibility
within the ground rules is appropriate.

o Media require a basic understanding of future operations to put their
observations in context. Otherwise, their reports could inadvertently
tip adversaries to friendly intentions just by interpreting what they

o Access to leaders and soldiers through embedding provided first-hand
accounts and balanced negative press from media not embedded.

o Embedded media will provide an accurate and truthful picture that can
counter state run media propaganda.

o "Train as you fight" requires training with embedded media. Combat
Training Centers (CTCs) and Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) do
not prepare units for embedded media, rather they train for encountering
media on the battlefield.

o Allow broadcast media to bring their own transportation when
accompanying mechanized or ground assault convoys. They can transport
their own equipment and provide better coverage. Establish clear
coordination measures for ensuring safety of the vehicle and people. 


S. 269:

Chapter 27

Information Operations (IO)

The pre-war phase of information operations was primarily focused on the
decision makers in the Iraqi Army. The use of e-mail to contact the
generals urging them to surrender and contacting Iraqi governmental
decision makers offering them deals to leave the country was a great
idea in planning, but the U.S. failed to understand the Iraqi government
was based on Stalinism and the fear of reprisals was greater than they
had anticipated. Also, the use of psychological operations (PSYOPs) to
drop leaflets was negated when the leaflets were collected and those who
read them were punished.

During the actual prosecution of the war, the IO campaign took on a
different tone. Physical destruction was a more effective method of
controlling the enemy?s IO campaign. The coalition egregiously
underestimated Hussein?s ability to use IO to his advantage. He
demonstrated to the Iraqi people that he was in charge, and he would
prevail no matter what the coalition could do. This was coupled with the
fact that the Iraqi people were dubious of U.S. intentions. The 1991
debacle that encouraged an uprising and then abandoned the Kurds was
foremost in the minds of the people. Hussein played upon this,
convincing the people the U.S would only go as far as the oil fields and
would never go as far as Baghdad. They had no reason not to believe him.

The most effective way to counter this was to monitor the radio and TV
stations that were playing anti-coalition messages and target them for
physical destruction. Also, IO effectively used combat cameras
(com-cams) to show that the coalition forces were not pillaging the
country and were bringing humanitarian aide to the people in the
southern part of the country. These images were broadcast on Commando
Solo and SOMMS-B assets of PYSOPs. This could not be countered by the
state run media and many citizens in Baghdad had locally made,
black-market, satellite dishes, even though owning one of these meant
six months in an Iraqi prison and a life-time of monitoring by Iraqi

Com-cam effectively showed the Iraqi people that the regime was lying to
them by showing the minister of information stating that the U.S. troops
were no where near Baghdad contrasted by footage of U.S. troops in the
This helped destroy the regime?s credibility. PSYOPs were used to deploy
IO messages
via loudspeakers in cities where coalition troops were moving, as well
as to
keep the lines of communications (LOCs) clear of civilians.

In the post-hostility phase of the operation, IO was used to inform the
locals of the coalition?s intent as to the Iraqi people. IO helped to
keep peace by announcing curfew hours and instructions on how to
surrender. IO was
used to convey the message: ?We?re in charge. Saddam may have cut off
the utilities, but we?re here to help you help yourselves by working
with you to restore normalcy.? IO worked closely with civil affairs (CA)
and PSYOPs. IO?s greatest failures came from messages derived from
Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC). They did nothing to
help provide essages to give to the brigades in the form of talking
points. They provided several statements by General Franks and messages
to the Iraqi people telling them how they would be treated. After these
were distributed, V Corps would call to say do not use it. This caused
great confusion among the Iraqi people. By not providing messages in a
timely manner and by being indecisive about the messages they wanted
delivered, corps and higher missed a great opportunity to more rapidly
bring an end to the war while still ensuring coalition victory.

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