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Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency
Air Force ISR Agency.png
Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency emblem
Active 8 June 2007
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Field Operating Agency
Role Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance
Part of United States Air Force
Garrison/HQ Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
Motto(s) Freedom Through Vigilance
Major General John N.T. "Jack" Shanahan[1]

The Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (AFISRA), headquartered at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was activated 8 June 2007.[2] Formerly known as the Air Intelligence Agency, the 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.[3]

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 17,000 people serve at about 65 locations worldwide.


The 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing; 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing; Air Force Technical Applications Center; National Air and Space Intelligence Center and 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group are aligned under the Air Force ISR Agency. The agency is also responsible for mission management and support of signals intelligence operations for 24th Air Force and the 12th Air Force's 55th Wing. In addition, the agency provides guidance to two Air Force Reserve units and 22 Air National Guard units with ISR responsibilities. The Air Force ISR Agency further provides mission management and support for specific intelligence operations within all these organizations and to assigned cryptologic elements.

Air Force ISR Agency Major Units

70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing

The 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, with headquarters at Fort George G. Meade, Md., integrates Air Force capabilities into global cryptologic operations, directly supporting national-level decision makers, combatant commanders and tactical war fighters. The wing works closely with the National Security Agency and Central Security Service, leveraging the net-centric capabilities of a worldwide cryptologic enterprise to conduct national missions and enable national-tactical integration for joint and Air Force combat operations around the world. The effect on the battle space is immediate, high-impact and decisive. The wing includes six operational intelligence groups located in the U.S., Pacific and European theaters. First activated as the 70th Observation Group Sept. 13, 1941, the wing underwent several organizational changes until redesignated as the 70 ISR Wing Jan. 1, 2009.

480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing

The 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, headquartered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis Va., serves as the lead for the Air Force's premier ISR weapons system, known as the Distributed Common Ground System. This enterprise approach to ISR operations enables the wing to readily analyze and disseminate actionable intelligence supporting Air Force combat operations, as well as, U.S. combatant commands and key coalition partners. The wing is also responsible for the global command and control effort essential to collect, process, exploit and disseminate ISR data from numerous airborne platforms including the U-2, RQ-4 Global Hawk, MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper, and MC-12W aircraft. The wing also conducts real-time cryptologic and signals intelligence operations directly supporting Air Force, Joint and Combined forces worldwide. The 480th ISR Wing considers itself the Air Force's "organization of choice" for deploying skilled ISR operators who provide critical ISR capabilities from many austere sites around the world. The wing first activated June 21, 1943 as the 480th Antisubmarine Group (Separate) and after several organizational actions, activated again Dec. 1, 2003 and redesignated as the 480 ISR Wing Jan. 1, 2009.

Air Force Technical Applications Center

The Air Force Technical Applications Center at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., performs nuclear treaty monitoring and nuclear event detection. AFTAC provides national authorities quality technical measurements to monitor treaty compliance and performs research and development of new proliferation detection technologies to enhance or assist treaty verification to limit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to preserve our nation's security. AFTAC began as the 1035th Field Activities Group July 7, 1959 and after several organizational changes, redesignated the Air Force Technical Applications Center Oct. 1, 1980 and has been performing its nuclear event detection mission since its inception in 1973.

National Air and Space Intelligence Center

The National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the primary Department of Defense producer of foreign air and space intelligence. The 1961 Foreign Technology Division was redesignated Feb. 20, 2003, as NASIC.

361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group

The 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Florida, is the premier provider of specialized ISR capabilities to the Air Force Special Operation Forces (SOF). The group and its two assigned squadrons, the 19th Intelligence Squadron and 25th Intelligence Squadron, train, equip and present more than 250 Airmen to provide specialized ISR special operation forces for worldwide employment. The group began as the 11th Photographic Group (Mapping) Nov. 19, 1941, and following several organizational actions, redesignated as the 361 ISR Group on October 10, 2008 and activated Oct. 29, 2008.

Supported Units

Twenty-Fourth Air Force

Headquartered at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, the 24 AF activated 18 Aug. 2009, to establish, operate, maintain and defend Air Force networks and to ensure warfighters can maintain the information advantage. The unit reports to Air Force Space Command.

9th Reconnaissance Wing

Headquartered at Beale Air Force Base, California, the 9th Reconnaissance Wing mission is to organize, train and equip U-2S Dragonlady and RQ-4 Global Hawk combat elements for peacetime intelligence gathering, contingency operations, conventional war fighting and Emergency War Order support.

55th Wing

With headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, 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.

432d Wing

The 432d Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to Air Combat Command, stationed at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. The group operates unmanned reconnaissance aircraft which provide real-time reconnaissance, surveillance, and precision attack against fixed and time-critical targets.

See also


External links

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