Earlier this month, the 75th Army Ranger Regiment permanently activated its newest battalion.
The Ranger Military Intelligence Battalion (RHIB) is now one of the five battalions of the 75th Ranger Regiment, the other being three infantry battalions (1/75, 2/75, 3/75) and a Special Troops Battalion.
According to the 75th Ranger Regiment, the RHIB’s mission is to recruit, train, develop, and employ Rangers who specialize in cyber, electronic warfare, and full-spectrum intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations. In addition, the Battalion sports a remotely piloted aircraft (PRA) capability.
The Battalion had been provisionally activated in 2017.
Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Sikora, the commander of RHIB, said in a statement during the activation ceremony that “today the intelligence and cyber Rangers remain at the top of their fields, able to do things with their tools that are rarely matched by their peers. Each one of the RMIB Rangers earned their tan beret and scroll the same as every other military occupational specialty in the 75th Ranger Regiment formation. Everyone is a Ranger first.”
Unmanned aircraft systems operators, all-source analysts, geospatial analysts, human intelligence collectors, technical operations, electronic warfare or cyber analysts are some of the military occupational specialties that comprise the RMIB. Unlike most Special Operations units, however, everyone must volunteer for and successfully pass the 75th Ranger Regiment’s selection (the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 1 or 2, according to their rank).
Last year, the 75th Ranger Regiment released a short promo/recruitment video about its newest battalion. It offers a short glimpse of what’s like to be in the RMIB.
Major Paul Lushenko, the operations officer of the RMIB, had written a paper on the benefits that the new unit will bring to the 75th Ranger Regiment. Titled “The 75th Ranger Regiment Military Intelligence Battalion, Modernizing for Multi-Domain Battle” and published in the Military Review, the U.S. Army’s professional journal, the paper makes some interesting points about the RMIB and its utility in both low-intensity and near-peer conflicts. Major Lushenko argues that the RMIB offers a platform of experimentation and innovation in which concepts can be tested. He posits, furthermore, that the newest addition to the 75th Ranger Regiment presents scalable and versatile packages (individuals or teams) that can be used in a variety of roles.
Before the establishment of the RMIB, intelligence gathering, analysis, and dissemination in the Ranger Regiment took place either in the infantry battalions or the Special Troops Battalion, which had a military intelligence company. The fragmented nature of the Regiment’s intelligence capabilities restricted its potential. The RMIB is a solution to that.
“Within Sullivan’s Charter for the 75th Ranger Regiment, we continue to evolve as an ‘awesome force composed of skilled, dedicated Soldiers who can do things with their hands and weapons better than anyone,’” added Lt Col. Sikora.
The U.S. military’s premier direct action, light infantry Special Operations unit, the 75th Ranger Regiment is the only unit in the Army to have been continuously deployed in a combat zone since 9/11. Furthermore, the Rangers are probably the ones who have undergone the more significant evolution since the Global War on Terror (GWOT) began. Gone are the days when Rangers would only conduct airfield seizures and pull security for Delta Force. The operational tempo of GWOT forced the Regiment to evolve and thus get assigned increasingly more important missions.