A Holistic Approach to Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance
AIR EDUCATION AND TRAINING COMMAND KIRKLAND AFB NM OPERATIONS GROUP (58TH)
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One of the most common questions heard at senior levels in the military is, Why is ISR still a high-demand, low-density capability after several years of needing it We have done much to boost the number and quality of assets in combat, such as flying more sorties on the battlefield and standing up the ISR Task Force within the DOD to expedite the fielding of ISR platforms and sensors. Since 2009 the number of ISR sorties in Afghanistan alone has quadrupled, and in just the last year the Air Force has fielded wide-area surveillance systems such as Gorgon Stare that represent a leap forward in technology, taking ISR from the proverbial looking through the soda straw to maintaining surveillance across an entire city. The Air Force has even developedan independent training pipeline for operators of remotely piloted aircraft to help address the demand for their surveillance platforms. Despite this effort, the Air Force still cannot meet the demand. The service is addressing the imminently correctable shortage of physical assets even if the results are not as forthcoming as many would like. Issues include the development of better sensors, fusion of multiple forms of intelligence into an integrated picture, automation of analysis, expansion of bandwidth, and storage of data. Granted, these efforts entail technological difficulty, but much of the work is already under way and reflects significant progress. The ISR Task Force has cut through much of the bureaucratic red tape, rapidly fielding programs such as the MC-12 Liberty aircraft for manned ISR and helping to expedite the introduction of Gorgon Stare widearea video surveillance to the battlefield.
- Information Science
- Military Intelligence