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The Twenty-Fifth Air Force

25th Air Force

25th Air Force

The Twenty-Fifth Air Force, headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland, Texas, first activated October 20, 1948, as the United States Air Force Security Service. It has had a number of organizational realignments and redesignations throughout its history, and today reports as a Numbered Air Force to Air Combat Command.

 

Twenty-fifth Air Force provides multisource intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products, applications, capabilities and resources, to include cyber and geospatial forces and expertise. Additionally, it is the Service Cryptologic Component responsible to the National Security Agency/Central Security Service for Air Force matters involving the conduct of cryptologic activities, including the full spectrum of missions directly related to both tactical warfighting and national-level operations. With the inclusion of the Ninth Reconnaissance Wing and 55th Wing, 25th Air Force missions expanded to include electronic warfare, airborne national command and control, reconnaissance in support of nuclear operations and some aspects of nuclear C2.

 

Mission

Twenty-fifth Air Force provides full-spectrum decision advantage to warfighters and national leaders through globally integrated ISR, electronic warfare, information operations and strategic command and control.

 

Organization

More than 29,000 Airmen are assigned to 25th Air Force under its wings and center: the Air Force Technical Applications Center, Ninth Reconnaissance Wing, 55th Wing, 70th ISR Wing, 480th ISR Wing, 319th Air Base Wing ABW and 363rd ISR Wing, at its San Antonio, Texas, headquarters, and at more than 60 Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units with ISR responsibilities. Twenty-fifth Air Force is also responsible for mission management and support of signals intelligence operations for 24th Air Force.

 

The Air Force Technical Applications Center

The Air Force Technical Applications Center, based at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, performs nuclear treaty monitoring and nuclear event detection. AFTAC provides national authorities quality technical measurements to monitor treaty compliance. It also performs research and development of new proliferation detection technologies to enhance or assist treaty verification to limit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. AFTAC began as the 1035th Field Activities Group July 7,1959, and after several organizational changes, redesignated the Air Force Technical Applications Center October 1, 1980. AFTAC’s slightly more than 1,000 Airmen perform its worldwide nuclear event detection missions.

 

The Ninth Reconnaissance Wing

The Ninth Reconnaissance Wing, headquartered at Beale AFB, California, is responsible for providing national and theater command authorities with timely, reliable, high-quality, high-altitude reconnaissance products. To accomplish this mission, the wing is equipped with the nation's fleet of U-2 Dragon Lady, RQ-4 Global Hawk, and MC-12W Project Liberty reconnaissance aircraft and associated support equipment. The wing also maintains a high state of readiness in its expeditionary combat support forces for potential deployment in response to theater contingencies. Activated as the Ninth Strategic Reconnaissance Wing on May 1, 1949, it is composed of approximately 3,900 Airmen in four groups at Beale, one group at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, and multiple overseas operating locations.

 

The 55th Wing

The 55th Wing, headquartered at Offutt AFB, Nebraska, is 25th Air Force’s largest wing composed of six groups and 31 squadrons located worldwide, employing 48 aircraft, including 12 models of three different types and employs a workforce of over 6,600 Airmen. First activated on June 29, 1948, as the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, the wing conducts a global flying mission with worldwide reconnaissance and treaty verification tasked by our nation's highest levels, as well as the National Airborne Operations Center. Additionally, it provides installation support to more than 50 associate units, including U.S. Strategic Command, and a military community of more than 57,000. 

 

The 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing

The 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing is the Air Force's "Cryptologic Wing.” Headquartered at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, with 34 operating locations worldwide, the wing’s more than 1,400 Airmen deliver timely and actionable intelligence across the spectrum of contingencies and crises, operational planning and combat operations. The wing executes global ISR operations in air, space and cyberspace to enable strategic, operational and tactical effects for the National Command Authority, the joint warfighting team, air component operations and Air Force mission partners. The 70th ISRW serves as the Air Force's designated lead wing for National-to-Tactical Integration operations and synchronization, and executes global ISR missions in support of combatant command and air component operations via the Distributed Common Ground System and the Global Cryptologic Enterprise. Additionally, the 70 ISRW is the Air Force's designated lead wing for ISR operations enabling both cyber effects and space superiority operations. The wing provides expeditionary force protection capabilities, delivers tailored adversary tactics and Integrated Air Defense System analyses, executes federated and delegated missions with Intelligence Community partners, provides information protection and assurance services, and deploys advanced engineering and infrastructure installation capabilities globally. First activated as the 70th Observation Group on September 13, 1941, the wing underwent several organizational changes until being designated as the 70th ISR Wing January 1, 2009.

 

The 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing

The 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, headquartered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, is the Air Force leader in globally networked ISR operations. The wing's comprehensive ISR missions include lead wing designation for the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System, as well as national cryptologic, information technology, cyber ISR, tactical analysis, Combined Forces Air Component Commander support, and national-to-tactical signals intelligence integration. The wing’s almost 6,000 Airmen are assigned around the globe, and their missions span the full spectrum of ISR operations from humanitarian assistance to major theater conflict – integrating with federated mission partners to provide timely, relevant intelligence that is regionally aligned in support of Major Command/Combatant Command theater operations. Activated June 21, 1943, as the 480th Antisubmarine Group, after several redesignations, it later became the 480th ISR Wing.

 

The 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing

The 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, headquartered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, is the Air Force's premier precision targeting production, special operations ISR and full-spectrum analytical support to the tactical warfighter unit, enabling combat power in air, space and cyberspace. The wing’s more than 1,400 Airmen provide operations planning and execution support to Major Commands, Component Numbered Air Forces and theater Air and Space Operations Centers. The 363rd ISRW is the only entity solely focused on content-dominant multi-intelligence analysis and targeting for five distinct mission sets: Air Defenses, Counter-Space, Counter-ISR, TBM/Cruise Missile Threat and Air Threat. The 363 ISRW produces tailored geospatial and comprehensive threat analysis products to Air Force units employing airpower worldwide.  Additionally, it organizes, trains, equips and deploys airborne/ground tactical ISR professionals to conduct sensitive operations in response to national taskings.

 

The 319th Air Base Wing

The 319th Air Base Wing, headquartered at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, is responsible for the infrastructure and operational support to the 69th Reconnaissance Group’s RQ-4 Global Hawk mission.  The 2,000 total force Airmen assigned to the 319 ABW provides rapid combat support through mission support functions, mobility preparedness and continuous security to GFAFB, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Cavalier Air Force Station located in Cavalier, North Dakota.  Communication professionals with the 319th Communication Squadron maintain one of two high-frequency global communications systems in the Air Force, offering 24/7 global continuity for command and control in support of the Department of Defense, Executive Branch of the U.S. Government and Department of Homeland Security.  Additionally, the wing’s innovative enhanced-use leasing initiatives provide access to unmanned aerial partnerships with community and industry professionals.

 

Personnel

Twenty-fifth Air Force comprises more than 29,200 active-duty, Reserve and Guard military and civilian members serving at 75 locations worldwide.

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