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Report on Physical Pressures Training, January 15, 2002

15 Jan 2003

From: John F. Rankin, SERE Training Specialist
         Christopher Ross, SERE Coordinator

To: Officer in Charge, FASUTRAGRULANT Det Brunswick

Via: SERE Department Head


Encl. (1) Draft ICE SOP
        (2) Coercive Management Worksheet
        (3) Physical and Psychological Pressures Paper
        (4) Al Queda Training Manual

1. Background: Dates of the report are 29 Dec 02 - 4 Jan 03. Mr. Ross and I were directed to proceed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba at the request of LtCol Moss, Commander of the Interrogation Control Element (ICE), JTF-GTMO. Our initial impression concerning the reason for the trip was to provide ICE personnel with the theory and application of the physical pressures utilized during our training evolutions.

2. We arrived 30 Dec 02 and were met by SFC Sessions, ICE Operations Chief, at the Ferry Landing, Windward Side - GITMO. He transported us to the security building wherein we received our access badges. Immediately following we proceeded to the ICE command center located in Camp Delta, the primary detention facility. Here we met with LtCol Moss (USA) and Capt Weis (USMC), the ICE Operations Officer. After a thorough in-brief, it was confirmed that a high-level directive had initiated our subsequent trip for the purpose of providing "physical pressures" training. LtCol Moss also provided us with a draft ICE SOP [Standard Operating Procedure] for utilization of physical pressures, enclosure (1). A tentative training plan was drafted.

3. On the morning of 31 Dec: 02, Mr. Ross and I initiated training with an in-depth class on Biderman's Principles, enclosure (2) and the theory and practical application of selected physical pressures, IAW our "Blue Book", to approximately 24 ICE personnel. This training was conducted in one of the newly constructed interrogation facilities located at Camp Delta. During this training it was stressed that the physical pressures are only part of the overall conditioning process designed to establish and maintain an effective captive management program, as described in enclosure (3). Later in the day Mr. Ross and I were taken on a tour of one of the inactive "blocks" and the Maximum Security Unit (MSU) located in Camp Delta.

4. On morning of 2 Jan 03, Mr. Ross and I presented classes to ICE personnel covering interrogation fundamentals and resistance to interrogation. Resistance was specifically requested since it was evident that some of the higher priority detainees had received some kind of resistance training, as evidenced by the Al Queda Training Manual, enclosure (4). Theory is that ICE personnel would be able to more readily recognize if the detainee was applying resistance techniques and then counter or report their efforts. During the afternoon, we presented an abbreviated theoretical physical pressures and peacetime guidance (governmental and hostage) to Marine JTF-GTMO personnel and two JTF-GTMO Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) officials.

5. During the evening Mr. Ross and I were taken to another detention site and allowed to observe operations being conducted. (Recommendations included in enclosure (3)).

6. On 3 Jan 03, Mr. Ross and I met with Major General Miller, JTF-GTMO Commander, at the ICE command center. During the meeting the high-level directive was sighted which outlined specific guidance regarding current and proposed ICE operations in dealing with detainees. Major General Miller clearly expressed his guidance as to the application of physical pressures. He gratefully accepted our advice as to how operations and management of detainees could be improved and thanked us for our efforts. Later that afternoon we were taken into the active blocks and observed some interviews of detainees. We later received an out-brief by LtCol Moss and Capt Weis wherein Capt Weis was provided enclosure (3).

7. Issues and Recommendations:

Issue: Security clearance information

Discussion: Due to short notice of trip, no POC was provided or obtained to pass security clearance information to facilitate issuance of badges. I was in one of the clearance systems and my information was available. Mr Ross' was not. Mr. Hill was called and immediately responded by faxing information to the Special Security Office (SSO), GTMO.

Recommendation: Participants and sponsors send clearance information or POCs expeditiously to avoid delays. SSO, GTMO POC is [REDACTED] Mr Hill investigate reason why my clearance information was available through one of the systems/databases and Mr. Ross' was not.

Issue: Rental car availability

Discussion We were authorized a rental car, however, orders did not specify which agency. Most rental agencies located in Jacksonville, FL airport do not afford the convenience of drop off sites. Since we were only transiting from the airport to NAS Jacksonville, a drop off capability was needed to avoid the $50.00 cab fare.

Recommendation: Future trips of this nature should utilize Enterprise Rental since they have a satellite office located in the military terminal. Enterprise has also waived the drop fee for personnel on orders. A reservation request form and business card has been provided to the Resource Department.

8. A debrief of the trip was provided to available SERE personnel. A make-up brief is available upon request for those that missed it.

9. Conclusion: It is unknown at this time whether another request for support will be made. Recommend that future trainers, if requested, be thoroughly prepared to discuss and explain Biderman's Principles and captive management techniques.

John F. Rankin

[Handwritten note: Maybe a good idea to plan/coord a return trip to see how things are progressing]

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