air force isr

Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency

The Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, headquartered at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was activated June 8, 2007. Formerly known as the Air Intelligence Agency, the new Air Force ISR Agency reports to the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance as a field operating agency. The United States Department of Defense defines ISR as:
An activity that synchronizes and integrates the planning and operation of sensors, assets, and processing, exploitation, and dissemination systems in direct support of current and future operations. This is an integrated intelligence and operations function.

The agency organizes, trains, equips and presents assigned forces and capabilities to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for combatant commanders and the nation. It also implements and oversees the execution of Air Force policies intended to expand ISR capabilities.

The agency's 12,000 people serve at about 72 locations worldwide.


The agency oversees the 70th Intelligence Wing, 480th Intelligence Wing, National Air and Space Intelligence Center and Air Force Technical Applications Center. It also manages and supports signals intelligence operations for the Air Force Cyber Command's 67th Network Warfare Wing, Air Force Information Operations Center and the 55th Wing. The Agency manages missions and provides support for specific intelligence operations within these units. The support includes organizing, training and equipping the cryptologic elements of these organizations.

Air Force ISR Agency Units

National Air and Space Intelligence Center

The National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the U.S. military's primary producer of intelligence on foreign air and space forces, weapons and systems. NASIC works to determine their performance characteristics, capabilities, vulnerabilities, and intentions. NASIC assessments often shape national security and defense policies. As the DOD experts on foreign aerospace system capabilities, the center also supports weapons treaty negotiations and verification. Since 1961, the center's mission and resources have expanded to meet worldwide technological developments and the national need for aerospace intelligence. In recent years, the emphasis has shifted toward evaluating worldwide aerospace systems and producing products tailored for specific customers.

70th Intelligence Wing

The 70th Intelligence Wing, headquartered at Fort Meade, Md., integrates Air Force capabilities into global cryptologic operations, directly supporting national-level decision makers, combatant commanders and tactical warfighters. Activated on Aug. 16, 2000, the wing works closely with the National Security Agency, drawing upon its worldwide signals intelligence efforts to gather useful information for joint and Air Force operations. The wing includes six operational intelligence groups in the continental U.S., Pacific and European theaters.

102d Intelligence Wing

The 102d Intelligence Wing, based at Otis Air National Guard Base, is a new intelligence unit of the Air National Guard.

181st Intelligence Wing

The 181st Intelligence Wing, based at Hulman Field, is a new intelligence unit of the Air National Guard.

184th Intelligence Wing

The 184th Intelligence Wing, based at McConnell Air Force Base, is a new intelligence unit of the Air National Guard.

480th Intelligence Wing

With headquarters at Langley AFB, Va., the 480th IW operates the AN/GSQ-272 SENTINEL ISR Weapon System also known as the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS). The wing produces and provides timely, tailored intelligence data and capabilities to meet Air Force needs. As a force multiplier, the wing delivers valuable information to U.S. combatants across the globe. The wing performs imagery intelligence, cryptologic and measurement and signatures intelligence activities, targeting and general intelligence production, intelligence data handling system network operations, and data/product dissemination. Subordinate to the wing are three intelligence groups located at Beale AFB, CA and Langley AFB, VA. The wing was activated Dec. 1, 2003.

Air Force Technical Applications Center

Founded in 1973, the Air Force Technical Applications Center, headquartered at Patrick AFB, Fla., monitors the world for nuclear-related events and violations of nuclear treaties, and develops monitoring technologies, largely MASINT as national means of technical verification.

Supported Units

67th Network Warfare Wing

Becoming operational on 5 July 2006. the 67th Network Warfare Wing, headquartered at Lackland AFB, is the USAF's information warfare force. It organizes, trains, and equips cyberspace forces to conduct network defense, attack, and exploitation under the Air Force Cyber Command.

55th Wing

With headquarters at Offutt AFB, Neb., the 55th Wing conducts worldwide reconnaissance; command, control and communications; Presidential support and international treaty verification as directed by the President, Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, theater combatant commanders, commanders of major Air Force commands and national intelligence agencies.

Air Force Information Operations Center

With headquarters at Lackland AFB, Texas, AFIOC is engaged a range of activities as the Air Force's information operations executive agent, including integrating information operations tactics, training and technology for combatant commanders. The center comprises approximately 1,000 military and civilian members trained in the areas of operations, engineering, operations research, intelligence, radar technology, and communications and computer applications. AFIOC's lineage dates to Sept. 10, 1993, when the Air Force Information Warfare Center was established from elements of the Air Force Cryptologic Support Center and Air Force Intelligence Command. The organization was renamed the Air Force Information Operations Center on Oct. 1, 2006 to better reflect its mission and support to combatant commanders. The 696th Information Warfare Wing is part of the AFIOC.


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