How airmen can work together for persistent ISR

How airmen can work together for persistent ISR
During our careers, the Air Force ISR enterprise grew in both capability and capacity. In the late 1990s, the Air Force operated an ISR enterprise dominated by manned aircraft, each with their own specialized team operating unique systems that turned data into initial intelligence. Only a few organizations could turn raw airborne sensor data into intelligence in near-real time. We were only beginning to move data to the analyst, versus deploying the analyst to the data.

As battlefield demand of ISR grew, we scaled up. We were fortunate to help build and execute airborne intelligence operations on a global scale, connected via a global network — we called them “reachback” operations. Reachback operations were the first step in transmitting ISR sensor collection across the globe in seconds. Even today, few nations can conduct this type of ISR operational design. The enterprise has continued to advance, achieving fully distributed operations around the world. We also made it possible to remove humans from aircraft, allowing missions to fly nearly three times longer and expand the data available to exploit. Correspondingly, the Air Force increased the number of organizations that could accept data and create intelligence.

Read the full article on C4ISRNET

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