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    Eyes on Florence: 181st Airmen run overwatch for relief operations

    181st Airmen run overwatch for relief operations

    Photo By 1st Lt. Jonathan Padish | An Airman assigned to the 181st Intelligence Wing reviews imagery on computer monitors...... read more read more



    Story by Airman 1st Class Jonathan Padish 

    181st Intelligence Wing

    HULMAN FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ind. — Around the world, Airmen assigned to the 181st Intelligence Wing of the Indiana National Guard provide real-time incident awareness and assessment in support of various missions. That capability, however, is not limited to war-fighting efforts. Sometimes that capability is utilized in the United States for domes-tic operations.

    In September 2018, approximately 20 Airmen assigned to the 181st IW have been providing image-ry analysis and assessment for first responders in areas affected by Hurricane Florence.

    “Right now, we are supporting Hurricane Florence operations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Brian McCammon, a mission operation commander for the 137th Intelligence Squadron. “We’re doing the ground work, making sure our potential customers have the ability to get imagery from us ranging from bed-down locations to low geography with possible flooding. As soon as the hurricane moves through and we can get visibility for aircraft, we send aircraft up. We analyze imagery and then disseminate it out to military and government enti-ties. We continuously provide situational awareness to our people in theater working to save lives.”

    The imagery gathered and analyzed by the Airmen supports search-and-rescue efforts on the ground.

    “We support boots on the ground by giving situational awareness to search-and-rescue teams and government organizations,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Andrew Johnson, an intelligence operations commander assigned to the 181st IW. “Search-and-rescue teams sometimes don’t have the ability to see what’s going on except for what’s in front of them. We can see the big picture and say, ‘hey, it looks like someone really needs help over here,’ and get them help.”

    The domestic operations capabilities provided by the 181st IW Airmen, which involves unclassified imagery and instruction, stemmed from capabilities utilized during military intelligence operations.

    “We started with continuation training where we took uncleared Airmen that have not gotten their clearance or intelligence school training and mirrored our classified military operations,” said McCammon. “We then morphed into an emergency response group that’s able to provide reach back from here in Terre Haute and support anywhere in the country. It’s considered innovative.”

    Because of the contingency nature of domestic operations, the Airmen must react quickly to the call for help.

    “We are ready to go at a moment’s notice,” said McCammon. “When we get notice that things are about to rock and roll, we do the call up and everyone can be here within 24 hours and stand up operations here in Terre Haute and, if need be, send people down on location.”

    The Airmen complete these contingency operations in addition to their normal military intelligence efforts.

    “We do domestic capabilities in addition to our Title 10 responsibilities,” said McCammon. “Our troops are personally selected to do extra time each month and put in extra training.”

    Despite the extra time and training required to complete domestic operations missions, the Airmen appreciate the outcome of their efforts.

    “I’m here because this is what I like to do,” said McCammon. “I find it rewarding, and my team does as well. You’re helping your own Americans. Being able to have a hand in that and save lives is very personally gratifying.”

    Other Airmen share similar sentiments.

    “It’s a great feeling being able to come out here on a drill weekend knowing what we do can save lives,” said Johnson. “We’re going out there and making a difference.”

    All in all, the innovative efforts of 181st IW Airmen allow them to support domestic operations by utilizing existing military capabilities to protect Americans around the world and at a moment’s no-tice.



    Date Taken: 09.16.2018
    Date Posted: 09.18.2018 14:46
    Story ID: 293353
    Location: TERRE HAUTE, IN, US

    Web Views: 305
    Downloads: 0