About CIA



Admiral Calland’s Jacket

Vice Adm. Albert “Bert” M. Calland III was the first US military flag officer to set foot in Afghanistan in 2001. He served as commander of all Special Operations Forces for US Central Command during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. He subsequently served as CIA Deputy Director from 2005 to 2006.


Afghan Hat

A gift from Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai to former DCI George Tenet.


Afghan Saddle

Joint CIA and US Military Special Forces teams inserted into Afghanistan found the local terrain challenging. The joint US teams and their Afghan military allies found local transportation networks offered opportunities American forces had not enjoyed in over a century: cavalry charges. But these were commonplace in the campaign. A CIA communications officer obtained this saddle for the CIA Museum with the assistance of an Afghan colleague who was killed a month later.


Al-Qa’ida Gas Mask

Shown here is one of many gas masks found in an al-Qa’ida safehouse in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in December 2001.


Al-Qa’ida Training Manual

In 2001, US intelligence officers picked up this al-Qa’ida training manual outside Kandahar, Afghanistan. The officers found the manual while searching the ruins of a suspected chemical processing site. US ordnance that damaged the site caused the handbook’s burn marks. The manual includes instructions for firing Stinger missiles.


Blood Chit

Blood chits are carried to request aid from people in enemy territory. An unspecified reward is promised to anyone helping the person to safety. This blood chit is made of waterproof Tyvek for use in Afghanistan.


Escape & Evasion Survival Kit

Designed for use by special operations personnel, this kit contains a number of survival tools, including a diamond wire to cut metal, fishing equipment, a ceramic blade, a can opener, lock picks, and a mini-Leatherman tool.

20 cm x 15 cm x 7 cm
(L x W x H)


Lapis Lazuli

Royal blue lapis lazuli is a semiprecious gemstone that was highly prized by ancient Babylonian and Egyptian royalty. Today, miners recover the gem from only a few deposits around the world. A major site is in the rugged Kokcha Valley of northern Afghanistan; it dates back 6,000 years. The stone has many uses, including jewelry and pigment for ultramarine paints. Some believe lapis lazuli has mystical powers.

Lapis lazuli, in both raw and polished-gem forms, is a known element of al-Qa’ida’s financial network. This raw lapis came from a Taliban stronghold. In today’s market, the value of raw lapis ranges from $250 to $1,200 a kilogram, depending on quality.


Mine Probing Tool

In December 2001 a team of CIA/DS&T officers used this tool to uncover a 2,400-pound Improvised Explosive Device (IED) buried in the dirt-covered roof of the governor’s palace at Kandahar—rendering it safe just minutes before it was set to detonate.

The fast moving actions of these technical experts saved the lives of many officials of the new Afghan government as well as US and Coalition forces. Within hours of this team’s arrival in Afghanistan, each of its members had earned the Intelligence Star – one of the CIA's highest honors awarded for an actof courage performed under hazardous conditions subject to grave personal risk.


Pointy-Talky Language Chart

Dari is the language commonly spoken by the tribes of northern Afghanistan. Americans not fluent in Dari could use this chart to communicate basic words and phrases in written and spoken phonetic Dari by speaking or pointing to the words printed on the chart.

51cm x 30 cm
(L x W)


PRC-112B1 Survival Radio

The PRC-112B1 is a hand-held radio providing line-of-sight voice, text, and data communications. It contains a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, which also allows it to transmit the user’s geographic location. This unit was used as a survival radio during CIA operations in Afghanistan.

18 cm x 9 cm x 4 cm
(L x W x H)

Shrade Tool

A CIA medic carried this multi-purpose tool in Afghanistan. He used it to perform numerous surgical procedures, including three lower-leg amputations.


Special Operations Forces Laser Marker (SOFLAM)

US Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan used the AN/PEQ-1A SOFLAM to direct exact delivery of ordnance. The SOFLAM was an important tool in the battle for Tora Bora where a CIA‑US Special Forces team directed 72 hours of unrelenting air strikes—sometimes dangerously close to their own position—killing hundreds of al‑Qa’ida terrorists.

Posted: Jul 23, 2012 09:04 AM
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2012 08:29 AM