The Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 102nd Intelligence Wing declared full operational capability as an intel unit, with the opening of a new $17.6 million facility and associated equipment at Otis ANGB, Mass., Nov. 7. The Distributed Common Ground System hub will enable the unit to expand from gathering, processing, and disseminating intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data from medium-altitude platforms, to medium- and high-altitude aircraft, according to a unit release. “From a historical perspective, our wing has now come full circle in our lineage,” from an observation unit in the 1920s, to an air-defense unit, and finally back to an ISR wing, 102nd IW Vice Commander Col. Virginia Doonan said. The 102nd IW has been working with MQ-1, MQ-9, and MC-12W platforms from a temporary ground facility since 2009. The new DCGS facility will expand its capabilities to now interface with both the U-2 Dragonlady and RQ-4 Global Hawk, according to the release. Massachusetts crews have been working from other DCGS sites to gain expertise for several years. The unit flew its final F-15 sortie in 2008.
As the U.S. continues to pursue a diplomatic resolution with Russia over its troop buildup on the Ukraine border, the Defense Department is looking into what capabilities it will need to reassure NATO allies if Russia does launch an invasion, its top spokesperson said Jan. 21.