Intel Analysts Provide Lethal Readiness
by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Abbey Rieves
Technology and the digital age's immediacy
have entirely changed how the world operates.
available almost anytime and anywhere.
But with the growing
ways to access information comes a growing vulnerability gap.
From aircraft and maritime vessels to cell phones, smart
watches, and even electric toothbrushes, these things all release
some type of frequency or signal. Department of Defense intelligence
analysts have the capability to find, fix, track, target and or
access these unseen energy surges.
Trained at Goodfellow,
intel analysts use their unique skills to read the signals released
from enemy technology, such as surface-to-air missile systems. With
phenomenal accuracy, analysts can identify what type of adversary
weapon is deployed, its location, the threat level presented; and,
the threat needs to be neutralized.
These highly skilled intelligence members
capture various snippets of data and piece it together like a puzzle
for senior leaders and partnered allies to make strategic decisions
and advance America’s vital interests.
October 11, 2022 - U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Alexander Pearsall, 316th Training Squadron student, conducts an unclassified brief in a simulated joint operations center for his capstone exercise, Operation Loneshark, at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. This learning environment is a joint intelligence exercise that includes students from the Space Force, Marine Corps and Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abbey Rieves)
“A lot of the stuff
we do– across all of the intelligence career fields– impacts
worldwide decisions for other countries’ leaders,” said Master Sgt.
Andrew Mundy, 316th Training Squadron flight chief. “Second and
third-party allies rely on us for the intel we gather to help them
make strategic decisions.”
The 17th Training Wing’s
specialized education has taught more than 360,000 intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance warriors how to satisfy
intelligence needs for levels higher than the DoD.
of this discipline springs from the people, specifically
“Instructor’s presence is the first
representation of what the intelligence career field looks like for
Airmen new to the Air Force,” Staff Sgt. Caleb Elsea, 316th TRS
instructor. “We set expectations for Air Force standards like
discipline, customs and courtesies, and how we treat one another.”
Upholding strong Air Force values sets the tone in daily
tasks and drives the need for continuous improvements to achieve
Similarly, the 316th TRS' additional value,
‘always looking forward,’ builds on the excellence expectation.
Teaching intelligence fundamentals and critical thinking through
scenario-based exercises develops lethal skills applicable to the
entire military domain.
“We try to instill that the small
things matter,” said Mundy. “If you can’t do little things now, how
can we expect you to do the big things later?”
security depends on realism in the training environment and the
student’s seamless transition to the operational force.
Master Sgt. Anthony Madrid, 316th TRS electronic intelligence
signals instructor, is a force-multiplier who quarterbacks the
strategy to execute his course’s final capstone, which is the last
step to operationalize the students for the military domain.
October 11, 2022 - U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Anthony Madrid, 316th Training Squadron signals intelligence flight chief, checks the quality of intelligence gathering work from Airman 1st Class Owen Arthur, 316th TRS student, during the capstone exercise, Operation Loneshark, at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. Arthur analyzed a simulated near peer adversary’s air defense system activity and was poised to report alarming data to individuals role playing senior leaders and partnered allies to assist them in making strategic decisions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abbey Rieves)
The end of course exercise is called
Operation Loneshark. It’s designed to simulate a joint air
operations center environment and have the students execute
different missions sets while they respond to real-world situations
and support the Joint Force Air Component Commander’s top priority,
establish and maintain air superiority, which is the extent to which
one force in a conflict controls the air domain over another.
This joint learning environment challenges students from
different services to operate as a united force like they would in a
real-world situation. Madrid ensures Operation Loneshark is stacked
with relevant information, uses modern technology, and operates with
a strong, connected enlisted force of instructors.
Instructors bring diverse and globalized experiences that drive the
development of the next generation of DoD intelligence warriors,
today, explained Madrid.
“Operation Loneshark’s regular
content upgrades, or modernization, could not be successful without
the collaboration of noncommissioned officers,” said Madrid. “These
NCOs unanimously bring diverse, informed, and relevant enrichments
for continuously improving academia.”
capstones, students had to tracked ISR assets by take-off times
alone,” said Madrid. “Now we provide them with real world products
like an ISR sync matrix. We are bringing ops floor resources and
tactics into the training.”
Madrid has modernized student
training by capitalizing on current world events, such as Russia’s
invasion of Ukraine, China’s response to the Speaker of the House’s
Taiwan visit, and inputs the latest reports from the intelligence
“We are already getting real-world data into the
classroom,” Madrid explained. “This way, our students are more
prepared on the ops floor.”
The recent add-on, ‘Operation
Twitter,’ infuses actual social media feeds like Tweets into the
“Injecting social media feed into the
training scenarios provides a more realistic feel to the exercise,”
said Madrid. “And furthers students’ operational readiness.”
“We are not rewriting courses,” Mundy added. “We are completely
Using relevant and updated information
enhances Airmen readiness and lethality.
“The kind of enemy
we are facing now and in the future are more adapted to compete with
us,” said Elsea. “We must be one step ahead of them by ensuring our
Airmen replacing us can accomplish that mission.”
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