By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Daniel Schumacher

“Away the SNOOPIE team, away,” is heard over the ship’s intercom. Moments later, Sailors rush through the ship carrying video cameras, binoculars and digital cameras with long-distance lenses.

The ship’s nautical or otherwise photographic intelligence exploitation (SNOOPIE) team is a reaction team that records and photographs unknown contacts that approach the ship within visual range for both intelligence gathering and documentation.

The team is comprised of Sailors from Intelligence and Media departments and acts as the eyes for the tactical action officer (TAO) and commanding officer (CO) by documenting and reporting every action a contact makes so that everyone involved has the information they need to make tactical decisions.

“The no-kidding truth and final positive confirmation of what that contact is can only be done via visual identification,” said Lt. Cmdr. Neal Agamaite, from Kaneohe, Hawaii, one of Stennis’ TAOs. “The SNOOPIE team, in conjunction with our lookouts, provides the TAO that positive identification.”

Due to the SNOOPIE team’s training in intelligence, collections and analysis of threats, it is able to quickly identify the contact and determine if a contact’s weapons are manned or uncovered and whether or not they are in a threatening posture.

The SNOOPIE team also evaluates and records the contact’s patterns of life: how many personnel are on board, how they are acting, types of weapons on board, and what type of approach the contact makes toward Stennis.

If the contact’s behavior is unusual or unknown, the SNOOPIE team will report their findings, and the CO and TAO will take appropriate action.

“We make sure to get both video and photographic documentation of the contacts the entire time so that we can analyze if a contact is friend or foe,” said Mass Communication Specialist 3nd Class Fred Gray IV, from Garrettsville, Ohio. “This makes it easier for our chain of command to make the best tactical decision.”

All photos and videos of contacts are taken to the carrier intelligence center to be sent to all concerned commands within the area of responsibility (AOR).

“The SNOOPIE team allows units assigned to Stennis to better understand past interactions that have occurred in order to improve our level of understanding for future interactions and avoid miscalculation,” said Lt. Cmdr. Wayne Lewis, from South Weymouth, Mass., Stennis’ assistant operations officer.

SNOOPIE team personnel are always on call and ready to respond to any contact situation anywhere on the world’s seas.

The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG), consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) are deployed to the U.S. 5th Feet Area of Responsibility to strengthen regional partnerships, sustain maritime security, and support combatant commander requirements for assets in the area.

For more information about JCSCSG visit www.stennis.navy.mil and www.facebook.com/stennis74.

(photo)

Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jamie Hawkins, from Oak Harbor, Wash., takes photo aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during a ship’s nautical or otherwise photographic intelligence (SNOOPIE) drill. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Hetherington / Released)

Advertisements