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New ISR wing joins AF with unique mission

The proposed organizational emblem of the newly activated 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing is based on the 363rd Flying Training Group. Only the scroll text will change. Once the emblem is approved by the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry, it becomes the official emblem of the organization. (U. S. Air Force graphic)

The proposed organizational emblem of the newly activated 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing is based on the 363rd Flying Training Group. Only the scroll text will change. Once the emblem is approved by the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry, it becomes the official emblem of the organization. (U. S. Air Force graphic)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. -- The Air Force's newest wing, and one with a unique mission, was activated here Feb 18, in a ceremony officiated by Gen. Herbert Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, headquartered here.

The stand-up of the 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing continues the Air Force ISR transformation process begun last fall with the redesignation of the Air Force ISR Agency as the 25th Air Force, an operational Numbered Air Force within ACC. The 363rd will be the first and only wing of its type within the Air Force, providing integrated cross-domain targeting and analysis, and producing tailored, integrated analytical and targeting products for the operational and tactical-level warfighters. The new wing is aligned as a subordinate unit to 25 AF. 

"The birth of this wing sends a resounding message that will echo across our entire Air Force. More specifically, the message will resonate particularly well within our Service's wings, operations groups, and squadrons. It transmits an unmistakable signal to the CAF, MAF, SOF, Space and Cyber communities that we are once again deadly serious about reconstituting, revitalizing, and revolutionizing two Air Force intelligence core competencies:  targeting and all-source analysis," said Maj. Gen. John N.T. Shanahan, 25 AF commander and host of the ceremony.

The wing will be the only Air Force entity solely focused on content-dominant multi-intelligence analysis and targeting for five distinct mission sets: Air Defenses, Counter-Space, Counter-ISR, Theater Ballistic Missile/Cruise Missile Threat, and Air Threat.

The new wing was created by combining existing organizations, including the Air Force Targeting Center at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., the 361st ISR Group at Hurlburt Field, Fla., the 526th and 547th Intelligence Squadrons from the Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and reassigning or activating appropriate intelligence squadrons.

Col. Michael Stevenson took the reins of the new wing during the ceremony and said bringing these organizations together as one offers incredible opportunities for the Air Force.

"Through this wing we will harness the power of both the Air Force and the national intelligence enterprises for our Air Force operational and tactical commanders," Col. Stevenson said as he became the wing's first commander.  "Our ultimate customers -- the men and women who plan and fly operational missions -- will see dramatic boosts in our target systems analyses, and greatly enhanced understanding of the threat. No matter what's being flown -- from the AC-130 to B-2 to C-17 to F-22 -- or where they're flying, we'll be judged by the quality our target materials and the threat assessment we provide. This is a no-fail business."

The 363rd headquarters will remain at JBLE in the space occupied by the former AF Targeting Center.