In 2007, a Nevada news station reported that the CIA had used a Nevada Test Site in 2002 for a secret training camp with exiles from Iraq, with the intention of starting a war with Saddam Hussein. In a book entitled Hubris by Washington journalists David Corn and Michael Isikoff, intelligence sources claimed that the Bush administration’s CIA Director, George Tenet, established a classified training camp in Nevada and smuggled in former Iraqi soldiers who were given the collective code name “The Scorpions.”
The Scorpions were trained to return to Iraq to seize control of a military base and provoke Hussein into striking back, at which time the U.S. would invade Iraq. U.S. General Tommy Franks ended this plan before The Scorpions ever returned to Iraq. The CIA has neither confirmed nor denied these claims.
Satisfying Prerequisites for CIA Agent Jobs in Nevada
Not just any Nevadan can apply to the CIA and realistically hope to land a job as an agent. He or she must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen. Prospective CIA agents from Nevada must also pass physical, psychological and drug screening exams. No illegal drug use should have occurred in the past year. Aspiring CIA agents in Nevada must also pass background checks and lie detector tests, as well as personal interviews.
Education and Experience Prerequisites – There are two ways a Nevadan can enter the CIA at the entry-level:
- Professional Trainee Program (PT): This program is intended for aspiring Nevada CIA agents ages 21 to 25 who have a bachelor degree but not much substantial work experience
- Grade point average should be 3.0 or above
- The bachelor degree may be in any field, but degrees in the following areas can give an applicant an advantage:
- International business
- Biological engineering
- Chemical engineering
- Nuclear engineering
- Physical science
- International relations
- Clandestine Service Trainee Program (CST): This program is designed for aspiring Nevada CIA agents who are ages 26 to 35, have a bachelor degree (in any field, with the advantageous disciplines listed above) and have substantive work experience
- Work abroad or residence in a foreign country is an advantage
- Proficiency in a foreign language is also an advantage, especially in:
Core Collector Training – New Nevada CIA agents must complete the 18 month long Clandestine Service Trainee Program. This provides the groundwork and fundamentals for Core Collectors, agents who will be dealing with foreign intelligence. Agents may go on to be a Core Collector/Operations Officer, stationed for three years in a foreign country to gather and handle intelligence; or a Core Collector/Collection Management Officer, stationed in either the U.S. or overseas and managing core collectors.
Nevada and the Intelligence Community
In 2013, international news sources reported that the CIA had finally acknowledged the existence of Area 51 in Nevada. However, instead of being home to aliens and UFOs, as many Americans had believed, the CIA said Area 51 was a testing site for the OXCART and U-2 aerial surveillance programs. Area 51 is located 125 miles to the northwest of Las Vegas. In response to a request submitted under the Freedom of Information Act by a senior fellow at the National Security Archives, the CIA has declassified information on Area 51. It now shows up on aerial surveillance maps such as the popular Google Maps.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) does more than keep the United States at a strategic advantage by gathering and foreign intelligence. This became evident when a former CIA agent and director of the agency testified in the Nevada legislature in 2011 on the need for renewable energy. Former CIA Director James Woolsey spoke in Nevada about how renewable energy would bolster national security, creating a feed-in tariff program that would help Nevada maintain critical functions during a terrorist attack or natural disaster. CIA jobs in Nevada are vital to the strategic security of the state as well as that of the entire nation.