HomeNewsArticle Display

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

U.S. Air Force graphic

U.S. Air Force graphic




INTELLIGENCE, SURVEILLANCE, AND RECONNAISSANCE ...

EYES AND EARS ON ADVERSARIES



Since the beginnings of armed conflict, superior knowledge has been one of the keys to effective combat power. For over 100 years, Airmen have exploited the vertical dimension to gain a decisive information advantage over our foes. The evolution of globally integrated ISR has fundamentally changed how America fights wars. Today, the Air Force has embraced globally integrated ISR as one of the Air Force’s feature calling cards. ISR is much more than a support function. It is the foundation upon which every joint, interagency, and coalition operation achieves success. Our 34,000 ISR Airmen identify and assess adversary targets and vulnerabilities from hideouts to bunkers to mobile launchers with greater accuracy than ever seen in the history of warfare. In 2012 alone, ISR Airmen shaped combat plans for 33 named operations, enabled the removal of 700 enemy combatants from the fight, provided critical adversary awareness and targeting intelligence to U.S. and coalition forces in over 250 “troops-in-contact” engagements, enhanced battlespace awareness through 540,000 hours of sustained overwatch of tactical forces and communication lines, and identified over 100 weapons caches and explosive devices that would have otherwise targeted American and partner forces.


Air Force ISR is about helping leaders make informed decisions to maintain deterrence, contain crises, or achieve success in battle. Through a mix of aircraft, satellites, and other technologies that collect, exploit, and disseminate critical information, Air Force ISR gives policymakers the ability to minimize uncertainty about our adversaries and their capabilities. It does so by strengthening deterrence, making adversaries act more cautiously, providing intelligence that allows commanders a decision-making advantage, and delivering real-time information on which joint, interagency, and coalition operations rely to fight effectively and win. Globally integrated ISR allows American forces to carry out functions that they previously performed with much greater danger and at higher cost.

In recent years, the development of Air Force ISR capabilities has focused mainly on meeting the needs of permissive combat environments. In more contested future environments, gaining and maintaining an ISR advantage will become increasingly difficult and even more important. Therefore, the Air Force will focus primarily on enhancing its ISR capabilities for operations in contested environments. Accomplishing this will require updating the current mix of ISR assets, while also giving significant and sustained attention to modernizing Air Force ISR systems and capabilities.

 



 

RELATED 'AIRPOWER FOR AMERICA' CONTENT

Click here to go back to the Airpower for Airmen Page

Click here to go to Rapid Global Mobility Page

Click here to watch the Global Vigilance, Global Reach, Global Power for America Video

 

 

Engage

Facebook Twitter
#Airmen maintain #F16 Fighting Falcons at Campia Turzii, #Romania, as part of Theater Security Package 19.1. They h… https://t.co/0pAANJMo3j
A new travel payment process for pipeline students, initiated by the #AirForce Installation and Mission Support Cen… https://t.co/OcQzldU3OK
.@PACAF Gen. CQ Brown Jr. met with Mongolian & US senior leaders, affirming their growing partnership.… https://t.co/Pg5Ma2NFUQ
Nondestructive inspection specialists identify possible defects in systems & equipment before anything can become a… https://t.co/7OHMrlLE39
.@SecAFOfficial praises #Airmen, expresses gratitude in farewell remarks reflecting on her tenure as #AirForce secr… https://t.co/bv177Nr7nk
.@SecAFOfficial was honored during a celebration ceremony @Andrews_JBA May 21, 2019, an event which highlighted her… https://t.co/tMSo0I8KxO
RT @SecAFOfficial: Thank you to the #Airmen & families serving around the world for the #USAF. https://t.co/CYWpd8Aeuh
Today #USAF celebrates the rapid innovations and accomplishments of @SecAFOfficial, the Honorable Heather Wilson.… https://t.co/dVQM3A5DWF
RT @SecAFOfficial: Proud to have had the opportunity to be your wingman. https://t.co/gDMUq5yA7L
RT @SecAFOfficial: .@MIT is a leading institution for AI research, education & application —making this a huge opportunity for the #USAF as…
.@HQAirUniversity recently hosted @SecAFOfficial's 66th annual National Security Forum, enabling the sharing of per… https://t.co/qBlG5F69ah
#ICYMI #Barksdale Airmen deployed in support of @CENTCOM Bomber Task Force in early May @DeptofDefense. The #B52 is… https://t.co/o8yJgq72dm
Tomorrow the #AirForce will celebrate @SecAFOfficial's tenure as the 24th Secretary of the Air Force. #WatchLIVE as… https://t.co/mTuhuZaNxu
RT @DeptofDefense: Throughout the history of the @USAirForce, adaptation and innovation have played a key role in sustaining global suprema…
It was "Fangs Out" @HAFB for Exercise Venom 19-01 which aligned with Hill’s Combat Showcase. https://t.co/3UtNLRYcp1 https://t.co/5d3JW876IH
The #B52 Wise Guy, a cold warrior that stood sentinel over America from the darkest days of the Cold War to the glo… https://t.co/yxSgZpsBKY
Have a bright idea for ways to #FuelMoreFight? @AFEnergy's looking for you. https://t.co/nbHISOo0KP
Congratulations to #USAF Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet Maj. Sydney Cloutier from Pensacola High Schoo… https://t.co/baRvgYsuPC
Grand Forks AFB soon to be known as America's Global Hawk Base once the @319ABW is re-designated as the 319th Recon… https://t.co/EBRkBhkE0f