The Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (AF ISR) (F.K.A. the Air Intelligence Agency (AIA)) is an agency of the United States Air Force, with headquarters at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and was activated 1 October 1993. The name change occurred 8 June 2007, and conincides with its new realignment from under the Air Combat Command to under the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. AF ISR had previously been realigned under Air Combat Command on 1 February 2001 as a primary subordinate unit and served as its primary information operations force provider normalizing and synchronizing IO capabilities into the warfighter's arsenal.
AF ISR is both an organization within the US Air Force and the National Security Agency (NSA), the US' unified Signals Intelligence Organization. AF ISR and its counterparts in the Navy and Army are known as Central Security Service within NSA.
Mission and organization
The agency's mission is to deliver multi-source intelligence products, applications, services, and resources. It also provides IO forces and expertise in the areas of information warfare, command and control warfare, security, acquisition, foreign weapons systems and technology, and treaty monitoring, to support Air Force major commands, Air Force components, and joint and national decision makers. With the realignment under Air Combat Command, the AF ISR commander serves as the Eighth Air Force deputy commander for information operations. The Eighth Air Force with its bomber and IO capabilities is the Air Force's first operational force designed to achieve and maintain information superiority.
The agency's 12,000 people serve at approximately 70 locations worldwide.
The National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Air Force Technical Applications Center, and 70th Intelligence Wing are aligned under Air Force ISR Agency. The agency is also responsible for mission management and support of signals intelligence operations for the 67th Network Warfare Wing, 55th Wing, 480th Intelligence Wing, and Air Force Information Operations Center, all four of which are subordinate to Air Combat Command and Eighth Air Force.
Air Force ISR Agency Units
National Air and Space Intelligence Center
The National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), with headquarters at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, traces its roots back to 1917 during World War I. It is the primary Department of Defense producer of foreign aerospace intelligence. NASIC develops its products by analyzing all available data on foreign aerospace forces and weapons systems to determine performance characteristics, capabilities, vulnerabilities, and intentions. Center assessments are also an important factor in shaping national security and defense policies. As the DoD experts on foreign aerospace system capabilities, the center historically has also been involved in supporting American weapons treaty negotiations and verification.
70th Intelligence Wing
The 70th Intelligence Wing, with headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland, gains and exploits information as a major component of Eighth Air Force's global information operations mission. It provides national decision makers, tactical theater commanders, and warfighters of all services with tailored, timely and actionable information - anywhere, anytime. The wing plans and directs the integration of its components into theater and local exercises, ensuring wartime capabilities are tested and validated, and it assists component commanders with refining their requirements for products and services. Subordinate to the wing are three intelligence groups located in the continental U.S. and in the Pacific and European theaters. The wing was activated on 16 August 2000.
Air Force Technical Applications Center
The Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC), with headquarters at Partrick AFB, Florida, mission is primarily Nuclear Detonation (NUDET) Detection, accomplished using seismic, hydroacoustic, and satellite detection systems.
67th Network Warfare Wing
The 67th Network Warfare Wing, with headquarters also at Lackland AFB manages the agency's global mission. The 67 NWW manages the planning of all-source intelligence. It assists Air Force components in the development of concepts, exercises and employment of AF ISR forces to support contingency, low-intensity conflict, counter-drug and special operations. Subordinate to the wing are five information operations groups located in the continental U.S., and in the Pacific and European theaters. Redesignated from units of the 67th Information Operations Wing, the new network warfare wing was activated on 5 July 2006 as part of a major restructuring of Air Force cyberspace assets.
The 55th Wing, with headquarters at Offutt AFB, Nebraska, 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.
480th Intelligence Wing
The 480th Intelligence Wing, with headquarters at Langley AFB, Virginia, produces and provides timely, tailored intelligence data and capabilities to meet Air Force needs. As a dynamic, worldwide force multiplier, it delivers valuable information to combatants. The wing conducts intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tasking processing, exploitation and dissemination processing in support of national interests. It also performs imagery intelligence, cryptologic and measurement and signatures intelligence activities, as well as targeting and general intelligence production, intelligence data handling system network operations, and data/product dissemination. Subordinate to the wing are three intelligence groups located in the continental U.S. The wing was activated 1 December 2003.
Air Force Information Operations Center
The Air Force Information Operations Center (AFIOC), with headquarters at Lackland AFB, Texas, is engaged in a myriad of activities supporting its role as the Air Force's information warfare executive agent. It integrates information warfare tactics, training and technology for combatant commanders. The center is comprised of about 1,000 military and civilian members trained in the areas of operations, engineering, operations research, intelligence, radar technology and communications and computer applications. Formerly known as Air Force Information Warfare Center (AFIWC) activated 10 September 1993 by combining the Air Force Electronic Warfare Center with elements of the Air Force Cryptologic Support Center's securities directorate and portions of Air Force Intelligence Command. The merger of these organizations provided a solid baseline for the emerging IW mission.