CROSSCUT was the codename for an experimental three-month training program designed to train Splinter Cell operatives in the tradecraft and techniques of so-called "open water" espionage. Sam Fisher was the first agent selected to take part in this training program, which began operation in 2008.
The CROSSCUT training program was a joint venture between the CIA's National Clandestine Service (formerly known as the Directorate of Operations) and Third Echelon. The purpose of the program was to teach lone Splinter Cell operatives the techniques of "open water" espionage, which included working in an exposed and lit environment, such as daylight city streets and other public venues. Colonel Irving Lambert selected Fisher to serve as the very first entrant into this experimental program. Fisher's successful completion of the training, coupled with his ability to utilize his newfound skills in the field, would give Lambert the reasoning to send other Splinter Cell agents into the program in the future. While it is unknown whether or not this happened, Fisher found the information and training he received as invaluable, and it was inferred that his recommendation to Lambert about CROSSCUT would be a positive one.
The project team leader was a woman known as Jackie Fiest. She oversaw the training of Fisher, which included everything from weapons, unarmed combat, covert communications, and surveillance. Also included in the training program were techniques that Fisher described as tradecraft "tricks" that occurred in daylight and under heavy countersurveillance. The program culminated in a weeklong "live fire" exercise on the streets of San Francisco, CA. This exercise was designed to test Fisher's ability to manage a network of agents and deliver sensitive information without detection. Fisher's ability to evade his "tails" and successfully protect his package (known as "the key") impressed Fiest and her team of "watchers". The exercise was Fisher's final exam before graduating the CROSSCUT program. A postmortem of the exercise occurred in a CIA safe house in Sausalito across the San Francisco Bay from Angel Island State Park, where Fisher discussed his evasion strategy and provided the group with insight into their individual performances (mostly negative comments). The conclusion of the debrief may have been cut short due to the death of Sam's adopted brother, Peter, and the subsequent events of Fallout.
CROSSCUT Team MembersEdit
- Sam Fisher was the program's first trainee. It is presumed he completed the program successfully.
- Jackie Fiest was the team leader for the CROSSCUT training program. While little is known of her physical appearance and background, her dialogue and team camaraderie would suggest she is a friendly as casual CIA agent. She is described in the Fallout at one point as wearing a "blue sweatshirt embossed with a circa 1960s red female symbol".
- Frederick (known operationally to Fisher as "Tail 6.1" due to his surveillance position) was heavily featured during the final "live fire" exercise. He was assumed to be a CIA DIrectorate of Operations case officer.
- Reginald and Judy (known operationally to Fisher as "Tail 6.2.2" due to their cover as an arm-in-arm couple) were also part of the "live fire" exercise. They were also assumed to be CIA Directorate of Operations case officers.
- There were at least an additional 8 team members to CROSSCUT. While Fisher recognized many of them, there were certain faces he did not recognize, suggesting they were assets he did not identify during the exercise.
- CROSSCUT was a cross-promotional training program between Third Echelon's "Splinter Cell" program and the CIA, which trains an agent in stealth tactics and concealment.