ISR career field named 2015 AFA Team of the Year

  • Published
  • By Janis El Shabazz
  • Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs
The Air Force named the 1A8X2 Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Operators career field as the 2015 Air Force Association Team of the Year.

Each year, one enlisted career field is selected for recognition for exemplifying professionalism, technical expertise and leadership. This year's selected career field was established in 2010 to meet the ever-increasing demand for airborne ISR professionals.

"From the first day the 1A8X2 Airmen were tasked with a diverse mission set, requiring intense technical training in the performance of geolocation, ISR threat warning and reporting, electronic attack and airborne ground surveillance," said Senior Master Sgt. Justin Needle, the 1A8 career field specialty manager.

ISR operators were recognized for such accomplishments as the following:

They flew 27,000 sorties totaling 135,000 tactical systems operator (TSO) hours; supported 850 operations by identifying 46,000 high-value targets, which made a difference on the battlefield.

The career field streamlined the $7 million TSO training program, trained and deployed 400 Department of Defense/coalition forces members, reducing certification times by 27 percent and saving the joint task force $400,000.

They also successfully completed 138 EC-130H combat missions; supported 680 joint tactical airstrike requests, generated 152 insurgent tipoffs and seized 64 high value individuals while shielding 4,800 special operations forces.

They deployed 19 airborne intelligence technicians to four combatant commands for a total of 8,600 combat hours; 1,100 E-8C missions resulted in 3,700 intelligence reports, ensuring combatant commanders had global command and control ISR.

"The career field, which was established in 2010, is young and so are the Airmen in its ranks,” Needle said. “In fact, 47 percent of the force is in the E-1 to E-4 range but despite the high expectations and critical nature of their work, 1A8X2 Airmen always strive for excellence and they deliver results worthy of this honor every day."

The team will be honored during a May ceremony in Washington D.C.

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