Joining Blue and Green

As manpower and resources pour into Afghanistan, Air Force and Army intelligence-gathering capabilities are also getting ramped up, with more cooperation expected in this area between airmen and soldiers there, says Col. Eric Holdaway, director of intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance for Air Forces Central. This will especially be the case with next month’s arrival of MC-12W manned overhead surveillance aircraft and the processing and dissemination teams that will support them in theater, he told reporters April 23 during a teleconference. Included in the Army’s ISR buildup is the much-bandied Task Force ODIN, which the land service used to counter improvised explosive devices in Iraq. While the Army’s model is very effective for its purposes, the Air Force’s ISR mission differs a bit and is broader, Holdaway said. “They’ve developed a very strong capability for working very closely with a brigade combat team . . . to work a specific problem” he said. Conversely, the Air Force’s responsibility includes tactical reconnaissance support as well as expanded ISR support to the theater commanders, he explained. Still, “There’s a very good complement between TF ODIN and what the air component brings to theater ISR,” he said. (For more, read April 24’s Daily Report entry The UAV Advantage) (For more on plans for the MC-12W, read Project Liberty Heads Downrange)