Accession Number:

ADA571262

Title:

Manned Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance: Strategic, Tactical . . . Both?

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIR FORCE RESEARCH INST

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2012-12-01

Pagination or Media Count:

20.0

Abstract:

The Obama administrations desire to rebalance the United States global focus to the Western Pacific and East Asia has serious ramifications for the manned airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR community. That force, historically steeped in strategic-level intelligence collection, has become through the exigencies of the counterinsurgency conflicts of the early twenty-first century the worlds finest supplier of tactical-level intelligence. The US Air Forces arsenal of manned airborne ISR assets is a fixture over the battlefields of Afghanistan, and ground war fighters rely on these platforms for tactical intelligence. The intelligence that the United States manned airborne ISR force communicates often means the difference between life and death for ground forces engaged in combat. This was not always the case, however. Prior to the Persian Gulf War, these platforms were the masters of the peacetime airborne reconnaissance program. They spent the Cold War flying near the periphery of the Soviet Union and that of many other nations gathering intelligence designed to inform national-level decision makers. Beginning with the Persian Gulf War and developing fully in Operation Enduring Freedom, manned airborne ISR was transformed. First providing indications and warning to aircrews patrolling over Iraq and developing the ability to give near-real-time threat warning to ground forces in Afghanistan, the new force is now a world-class provider of tactical intelligence. The upcoming Asia rebalance and the nearsimultaneous Afghanistan drawdown, however, herald a shift in mission. The question now becomes, What next for manned airborne ISR

Subject Categories:

  • Military Intelligence

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE