With over 16 years of non-stop combat deployments under their belt, the Rangers are about to become even deadlier on the battlefield.
In a historic first, Task & Purpose has learned that the 75th Ranger Regiment will be activating a fifth Ranger battalion to provisional status on May 22. The new battalion, called the Ranger Military Intelligence Battalion, will be located on Fort Benning, Georgia, alongside regimental headquarters, the 3rd Ranger Battalion, and the Ranger Special Troops Battalion.
“The battalion is designed to further professionalize the Regiment’s Intelligence Warfighting Function, align home-station training and capabilities against the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Joint Forcible Entry and surgical combat operations, and incentivize the recruitment of unique specialties to support the U.S. Army’s premier light infantry assault force,” Col. Marcus Evans, the current commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment, told Task & Purpose.
The new military intelligence battalion will be composed of two companies and a detachment that focuses on human and signals intelligence, geospatial and imagery analysis, electronic warfare, technical surveillance, and unmanned aircraft operations. This will give the 75th Ranger Regiment the capability to deploy flexible Ranger intelligence teams capable of finding and fixing the enemy anywhere on the battlefield. It will also increase the 75th’s already robust ability to execute the F3EAD (Find-Fix-Finish-Exploit-Analyze-Disseminate) targeting methodology that has been used with great success in the war on terror.
For the 75th Ranger Regiment, considered the military’s premier special operations direct-action raid force, the activation of the intelligence battalion will mark the first major expansion since the addition of a line company to each battalion nearly a decade ago.
The new battalion’s cyber electromagnetic activities company, or CEMA, will help to address emerging threats.
“The CEMA Company constitutes the 75th Ranger Regiment’s solution to more effectively integrate Electronic Warfare and Cyber in support of the Regimental Commander’s combat objectives,” Evans explained.
The company provides “critical requirements to better enable the 75th Ranger Regiment’s ability to meet the challenges of America’s evolving adversaries, particularly Violent Extremist Organizations,” he added.
The Ranger Military Intelligence Battalion is calling on the service of two experienced warfighters for its first set of leadership. Its first commander is slated to be Maj. Ryan Irwin (promotable), who will be accompanied by Master Sgt. Lee Garcia. Irwin has served in multiple special operations assignments and has deployed multiple times in support of overseas operations. Garcia has spent his entire career in the 75th Ranger Regiment, and has also deployed multiple times in support of overseas operations.
The new battalion will present new personnel and manning requirements, which have traditionally been a challenging problem for the regiment, especially when it comes to support soldiers.
“The Regimental Recruiting Detachment continues its partnership with the Intelligence Center of Excellence to inform Army Intelligence Soldiers of the opportunities to serve in the 75th Ranger Regiment,” Maj. Tony Mayne, a spokesman for the 75th Ranger Regiment, said.
When asked if there was a possibility that standards might change to fill the ranks, Mayne was quick to respond. “There are no changes to existing published Ranger standards for assessment and selection for RMIB personnel,” he said.
The new battalion will be fully activated by 2019, but will have the flexibility to deploy Rangers as needed. With the regiment’s often undisclosed involvement in many of the nation’s conflicts, the new battalion is sure to turn the 75th Ranger Regiment into an even deadlier sword for the United States to wield in the fight against terrorism and rogue nations.