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Sentinel Focus begins its 5th Hard Stare

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. – Airmen of the 497th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group work diligently on the operations floor of the new 497th ISRG building April 21. More than 80 miles of fiber cable are installed throughout the complex, serving as a conduit for the group's intelligence products for deployed servicemembers.  (U.S. Air Force illustration/ Senior Airman Dana Hill)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. – Airmen of the 497th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group work diligently on the operations floor of the new 497th ISRG building April 21. More than 80 miles of fiber cable are installed throughout the complex, serving as a conduit for the group's intelligence products for deployed servicemembers. (U.S. Air Force illustration/ Senior Airman Dana Hill)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- Senior Airman Julia Richardson, 10th Intelligence Squadron cyber transport technician, analyses computer imagery on the operations floor of the new 497th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group building April 21. The complex is four times larger than prior facilities, housing assets and more than 700 personnel from six different buildings, now centralized into one location. (U.S. Air Force illustration/ Senior Airman Dana Hill)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- Senior Airman Julia Richardson, 10th Intelligence Squadron cyber transport technician, analyses computer imagery on the operations floor of the new 497th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group building April 21. The complex is four times larger than prior facilities, housing assets and more than 700 personnel from six different buildings, now centralized into one location. (U.S. Air Force illustration/ Senior Airman Dana Hill)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- 1st Lt. Josh Cutino, 30th Intelligence Squadron mission operations commander, tracks data provided by reconnaissance aircraft August 12 during Empire Challenge 10 at the Ryan Center.  The EC10 exercise was an annual Joint and Coalition ISR interoperability demonstration which pulled resources worldwide to showcase emerging ISR capabilities and provide vital lessons learned to improve support to warfighters at the tactical level. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech Sgt Randy Redman)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- 1st Lt. Josh Cutino, 30th Intelligence Squadron mission operations commander, tracks data provided by reconnaissance aircraft August 12 during Empire Challenge 10 at the Ryan Center. The EC10 exercise was an annual Joint and Coalition ISR interoperability demonstration which pulled resources worldwide to showcase emerging ISR capabilities and provide vital lessons learned to improve support to warfighters at the tactical level. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech Sgt Randy Redman)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- Airman 1st Class David Thurman, 13th Intelligence Sqaudron imagery analyst, tracks data provided by reconnaissance aircraft August 12 during Empire Challenge 10 at the Ryan Center.  The EC10 exercise was an annual Joint and Coalition ISR interoperability demonstration which pulled resources worldwide to showcase emerging ISR capabilities and provide vital lessons learned to improve support to warfighters at the tactical level. (U.S. Air Force
Photo/Tech Sgt Randy Redman)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- Airman 1st Class David Thurman, 13th Intelligence Sqaudron imagery analyst, tracks data provided by reconnaissance aircraft August 12 during Empire Challenge 10 at the Ryan Center. The EC10 exercise was an annual Joint and Coalition ISR interoperability demonstration which pulled resources worldwide to showcase emerging ISR capabilities and provide vital lessons learned to improve support to warfighters at the tactical level. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech Sgt Randy Redman)

10/21/2011 -- The Air Force's Distributed Common Ground System weapon system will begin its fifth detailed and thorough examination into its operations Oct. 30.

The DCGS is the Air Force's globally networked intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance weapon system, and its advancement requires detailed evaluations of its processes on a continuing basis.

The week-long evaluation, called Sentinel Focus, runs from Oct. 30 - Nov. 3 and enables the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing to inspect its processes and operations during real world missions to identify any possible areas of improvement.

The wing held its first Sentinel Focus in August 2009 and has been holding them twice a year since.

"This is our fifth comprehensive review of the Air Force DCGS weapon system," said Col. Paul Nelson, 480th ISR Wing commander. "Our goal is to enhance cooperation between various intelligence entities, enhance a culture of collaboration and share best practices and lessons learned."

Each location will have a team of subject matter experts to observe and evaluate how the Air Force DCGS enterprise functions during real-world operations over the course of the five-day study.
There are six sites that will be observed across the 480th ISR Wing and they are located in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Virginia, South Korea and Germany. Sentinel Focus will include both active duty and Air National Guard partners in those same states.

The event enables the wing to explore improving and expanding the weapon system's capabilities by focusing on collaboration with other federal intelligence agencies. The observers will look at common operating procedures among various government agencies to find ways for them to share intelligence data.

The teams will also determine if it is possible for other commands to contribute their strategic intelligence to operations of Air Force DCGS. The ultimate goal of the data sharing is to improve and streamline processes to meet a theater's intelligence requirements more effectively.

According to Nelson, the wing is always open to new ways of doing business to support service members on the battlefield and the nation.

"We have already made many improvements that enabled us to increase resilience to an already flexible organization and allow us to simultaneously support contingency operations like tsunamis along with ongoing operations," said Nelson.

Recently, the 480th ISR Wing provided disaster damage assessment imagery support to officials after the devastating tsunami in Japan while still supporting ongoing operations around the world.

The 480th ISR Wing's mission is to execute 24/7/365 ISR operations for the Air Force, joint commanders, the intelligence community and the nation's allies.