by Staff Sgt. Veuril McDavid
102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs
11/8/2015 - OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- Members
of the 102nd Intelligence Wing and special guests held a ribbon-cutting
ceremony to open the wing's newest facility, here, Nov. 7.
The new facility provides the Air Force additional capability and
capacity to support worldwide ISR missions with state-of-the-art
equipment and experienced, combat ready analysts.
The building is part of the Air Force's Distributed Common Ground
System, which is also referred to as the AN/GSQ-272 Sentinel weapon
system, the Air Force's primary intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance weapons system and deals with ISR planning, collection,
processing, analysis, exploitation and dissemination. The weapon system
employs a global communications architecture that connects multiple
intelligence platforms and sensors.
"It's tremendous to see DGS-MA declare full-operation-capability here at
Joint Base Cape Cod," said Col. Virginia Doonan, vice commander, 102nd
Intelligence Wing. " The hard work of all of our Airman in intelligence,
civil engineering, communication, engineering & installation, and
other support functions were integral in the completion of this
Construction for the new building began in Nov. of 2009. Meanwhile, the
unit commenced 24/7 initial-operating-capability missions in a temporary
facility on base in December 2009.
Since then, the unit has exploited and analyzed information from MQ-1 Predators, MQ-9 Reapers, and MC-12W Liberty aircraft.
The new $17.6 million facility and associated equipment were necessary
to reach full-operating-capability and exploit Intelligence,
Surveillance and Reconnaissance data from high-altitude platforms like
the U-2 Dragon Lady and RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft.
The new facility, and its weapon system, is run by the 102nd
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, comprised of three
squadrons, equating to more than 385 full-time and drill-status
intelligence, communications, and support airmen.
It is their mission to perform "near-real-time" intelligence processing,
exploitation, and dissemination. This means analyzing and interpreting
raw data from a number of sources and transforming this material into
decision-quality information and actionable intelligence. This data is
then rapidly disseminated to air, ground and naval force component
commanders for use in the planning and execution of military operations
across the spectrum of conflict.
"Bringing all airmen and mission elements of DGS-MA under one roof has
been an exceptionally long and tedious process," said Col. David
McNulty, commander, 102nd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
Group. "Because of the insatiable need for ISR support, many of our crew
members associated with high-altitude exploitation missions have been
on the road for years, performing their crew-duty on the operations
floors of other DCGS sites. The FOC installation and operations team,
comprised of our communications professionals, High Altitude crews, and
contractors put in an absolutely herculean effort this summer and early
fall to bring it all together."
"Today brings to full circle, to final completion, all the dramatic,
painful, and taxing changes levied upon this wing since the fateful
decisions of [the Base Realignment and Closure program], on 13 May
2005," said Col. James LeFavor, commander, 102nd Intelligence Wing.
"With the start of our fully functional intel weapons system here, we
have finally made the total transition from Fighter to Intelligence
Each Distributed Ground Station is capable of robust, multi-intelligence
processing, exploitation and dissemination activities to include sensor
tasking and control. Sites can support multiple ISR platforms in
multiple theaters of operation simultaneously.
The U.S. Air Force's ISR enterprise is vital to the national security of
the United States and its allies, providing an unrivaled capability;
focused, integrated ISR is inseparable from operations and enables
Air National Guard units such as the 102nd Intelligence Wing are crucial to that mission.
"From a historical perspective, our wing has now come full circle in our
lineage in Air Force missions," said Doonan. "In 1921, the 101st
Observation Squadron was activated and was the ISR of that time period.
We moved away from intelligence after WWII, when we processed wet film,
and moved into the decades of fighters and Air Defense of our nation.
Now, in 2015, we have stood up as a fully-operational intelligence
mission and have come back to the roots of the 102nd Intelligence Wing
and the 101st Intelligence Squadron in our 24/7 ISR role."