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

Twitter
RT @366FW: Air Force Chief of Staff @GenCQBrownJr shares some words of wisdom with our Gunfighters! Our Airmen continue to #acceleratecha
Twitter
April is recognized as the Month of the Military Child. The ever-changing military lifestyle impacts every member o… https://t.co/hmvocXQaGL
Twitter
Airmanship 200 is the second of three development courses that new #Airmen receive to better understand #AirForce v… https://t.co/1rueS9ToLP
Twitter
#ICYMI -- The Department of the Air Force published a website where #Airmen and @SpaceForceDoD #Guardians can acces… https://t.co/0YJcST5XaT
Twitter
Combating #COVID19 one shot at a time. https://t.co/EVyenHCi5D
Twitter
The Department of the Air Force-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Accelerator is helpin… https://t.co/cfsdOX43hY
Twitter
.@LRAFB, Arkansas, Airmen completed 106 sorties, 254 flying hours, and nearly 2,000 training events during a multi-… https://t.co/3YOSh8DvcT
Twitter
Today is Gold Star Spouses Day. It honors the surviving loved ones of military service members killed in the line o… https://t.co/JYCacpkds5
Twitter
Everyone is susceptible to invisible wounds. These wounds have an impact can develop at any time, in any place, in… https://t.co/XxPKyovJc9
Twitter
#AirForce Civil Engineer Center Operation Directorate teams are following safety protocols and working closely with… https://t.co/4IjMrV240S
Twitter
RT @grandslamwing: Beware of frostbite 🥶 Our #TeamAUAB cryogenics team brave the heat of the flightline to deliver aircrew the frigid, but…
Twitter
Being able to recognize an invisible wound could save a life. Learn more about available resources here:… https://t.co/M9JOy6XRWn
Twitter
“When you believe in something, you just have to put your heart and soul into it and don’t worry about what the res… https://t.co/K44qwDwFMG
Twitter
Second Lt. Max Atkinson, a student pilot in the 71st Student Squadron at Vance AFB saved the life of a local motorc… https://t.co/SHv1e8Te6M
Twitter
The 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron conducted four functional ground tests of the Air Launched Cruise Missile at… https://t.co/jerYunV1vQ
Twitter
RT @CENTCOM: #Airmen from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing @grandslamwing participated in the recent @USAFCENT's Agile Combat Employment ca…
Twitter
The Department of the #AirForce held a Virtual Industry Day on the Advanced Battle Management System acquisition ef… https://t.co/h36eGxfMKJ
Twitter
Take a look at the most recent Week in Photos! Which one is your favorite? More at: https://t.co/thFY9KXqud https://t.co/KzHQlzTovo
Twitter
Give CSAF Gen. Brown a follow at @GenCQBrownJr to get the latest insight about his strategic vision to… https://t.co/AgAHxPjkQJ
Twitter
.@USAF_ACC's U-2 Federal Laboratory at Beale AFB, California, executed the first rapid, successful in-flight test o… https://t.co/xD8fFXpXtX
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,340,236
Follow Us