The Air Force Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency is being realigned from Headquarters Air Force as a Field Operating Agency to become part of a new operational Numbered Air Force, or NAF, under Air Combat Command, or ACC, officials said July 11.
"The primary focus of this realignment is to establish an ISR NAF (25th Air Force) to enable closer synchronization and integration of Air Force ISR activities and effects,” said Lt. Gen. Bob Otto, deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. “We do this by combining ISR aircraft, PED (production, exploitation and dissemination), targeting and analysis under a single NAF focused on operational mission execution, employment, deployment, and readiness issues."
With operational control of many Air Force ISR capabilities, ACC will, in addition to its contribution to wartime missions, retain the ability to provide multi-disciplined intelligence, including: analysis, imagery, targeting and other capabilities in support of international emergency relief and other peacetime operations. Flight operations and data analysis will be streamlined, allowing integration of tactical, regional, and national ISR capabilities.
The new Numbered Air Force headquarters will be located at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. A team of experts from ACC, Air Force ISR Agency and Headquarters Air Force is already at work developing the program action directive which will assign responsibilities for the actions needed to complete the realignment. Further details will be provided as the realignment plan is fully developed.
"As a result of the realignment, the Air Force will build on its existing, preeminent ISR enterprise and continue to provide proactive intelligence, responsive ISR operations, and comprehensive analytical assessment products,” Otto said. “This is critical for decision making at the tactical, strategic and national levels."
In its more than 65-year history, through several name changes and alignments, Air Force ISR Agency has had an incredible legacy of leadership executing ISR operations in concert with the national intelligence community, Defense Department combat support agencies, and joint and coalition partners.
The realignment as part of 25th Air Force under ACC builds on the foundation of cooperation and collaboration by enhancing critical tactical and national relationships, and more closely aligns Air Force ISR forces and capabilities with combat support agencies such as the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
"When AF ISR forces are needed, we've established a simpler process through a single force provider; think of it as dialing 1-800-ISR to access our significant capabilities, which are now organized under a single Numbered Air Force commander," Otto said.
“This change puts collection, exploitation, analysis, and targeting together under a single organization,” he added. “Its beauty is in its simplicity."