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National Air Intelligence Center

Headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, the National Air Intelligence Center, a component of the Air Intelligence Agency, is the Air Force's single, integrated intelligence production center and is the primary Department of Defense producer of foreign aerospace intelligence.

The NAIC assesses current and projected foreign forces, threat and weapon system capabilities and employment, develops targeting and mission planning intelligence materials and evaluates evolving technologies of potential adversaries.


NAIC products and services play a key role in assuring that American forces avoid technological surprise and can counter the foreign air and space threat. NAIC and constituent units provide center customers a broad range of integrated, tailored assessments and information operations products and services.


These services and products directly support Air Force operational units, national decision makers, as well as the research and development sustaining the acquisition of United States air and space weapons systems. The combat effectiveness and survivability of advanced weapons and support systems, both in the field and in development, depends on the accuracy of NAIC intelligence. The National Air Intelligence Center develops its products by analyzing all data available to the U. S. intelligence community on foreign air and space forces and weapon systems to determine performance characteristics, capabilities, vulnerabilities and employment.

NAIC assessments are also an important factor in shaping our national security and defense policies. As the Department of Defense experts on foreign aerospace system capabilities, center members have historically been involved in supporting U. S. weapons treaty negotiations and verification.

Center responsibilities cover the full range of air and space systems and technologies including: aircraft missiles space systems radars electronic and electro- optic countermeasures integrated air defense systems command, control and communication systems

Sophisticated data processing, engineering and modeling techniques enable NAIC analysts, technicians, scientists and engineers to fulfill the center's mission.

Another core NAIC mission area is the processing and exploitation of Measurement and Signature Intelligence. NAIC serves as the National and Department of Defense executive agent for processing, exploitation, integration, reporting and dissemination of MASINT data collected from radar, electro- optical and infra- red technical sensors.

NAIC prepares spectral, spatial and temporal signatures of threat tar-gets in support of air and space forces, develops analytical tools for technical analysis and provides technology transfer of these techniques for fusion of MASINT data in the operational environment.

NAIC is the nation's only exploitation organization for imagery collected under the Open Skies Treaty. It serves as the exploitation agency for Signals Intelligence collected for the RC- 135 Rivet Joint and Combat Sent missions and is the Department of Defense organization for the development of machine translation tools. HQ NAIC traces its roots back to the Foreign Data Section of the Air-plane Engineering Department, formed in 1917, at McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio. The section studied foreign aircraft, translated foreign language aerospace publications and maintained a technical library.

During World War II, the Army designated the unit the Technical Data Laboratory and depended upon it for information on

enemy aircraft technology. By the end of 1945, nearly 750 people were at work at the unit, then known as "T- 2 Intelligence," evaluating captured foreign aircraft and translating, indexing and microfilming technical documents.


In 1951, the S& TI mission fell upon the Air Technical Intelligence Center, its primary focus Soviet technology. In July 1961, the Air Force deactivated ATIC, yet activated another unit to take over its manpower, mission and facilities.


The Air Force Systems Command's Foreign Technology Division was the organizational beginning of today's National Air Intelligence Center. Since the beginning of its organizational lineage in 1961, the units mission and resources have expanded to meet the challenges of worldwide technological developments and the accompanying national need for aerospace intelligence. In recent years, the emphasis has increasingly shifted toward evaluation of worldwide aerospace systems and the production of "tailored," customer- specific products.

NAIC was formed Oct. 1, 1993, with the integration of the Foreign Aerospace Science and Technology Center and the 480th Intelligence Group.

Headquarters NAIC employs more than 1,600 people. Subordinate units at Langley Air Force Base, Va., and Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., form the 480th IG, and provide support to NAIC operational customers.

The five divisions of the Directorate of Intelligence Analysis, located at the Pentagon and Washington, D. C., area, provide tailored, substantive military intelligence to the Air Force Chief of Staff, the Secretary of the Air Force, Air Staff and other Department of Defense and national customers.

Besides their commitment to the mission, the 2,059 people that work for NAIC are actively involved in many community projects helping people. Tutoring children at a local school, coaching youth sports teams, working with Habitat for Humanity in building houses for the less- fortunate, working with kids that have mental and physical challenges, adopting a highway, organizing local food and blood drives and sponsor-ing the Wright- Patterson Air Force Base Annual Sports Day.

NAIC people are leading the way, making the community better. As our nation enters the information age of the 21st century, the need for tailored air and space intelligence and information operations products and services will continually increase.

As information operators on the AIA team, NAIC will continue to provide the nation's military forces the tailored intelligence products essential to precision employment and in-formation- based warfare, expanding the Air Force's capability to conduct information operations and achieve information superiority.


Supporting the operational forces by providing timely intelligence information

With headquarters located at Langley Air Force Base, Va., the 480th Intelligence Group is a component of NAIC. Langley is a long standing establishment on the lower peninsula of Virginia. It is a major contributor to the entire community known as the Tidewater area, which is located within minutes of several major cities including Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News and Colonial Williamsburg. The capital, Richmond, is only an hour away.


The 480th, formerly an Air Combat Command organization, provides conventional mission planning support and target materials, multi- source intelligence analysis and operational intelligence required to train, prepare and support in- garrison and deployed combat air forces.



The 480th's specific mission is to process and apply intelligence and other information using state- of- the-art capabilities to provide timely, relevant and accurate products and services for the operational air forces.



The unit's vision is "Center of Excellence," providing imagery- focused multi disciplined intelligence for global information superiority, committed to vigilance.

Through sophisticated communications and computer systems, the 480th provides the deployed war fighter direct access to the comprehensive assets of the NAIC.

The unit is organized into three subordinate squadrons:

20th Intelligence Squadron Located at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., was assigned in 1992.


27th Intelligence Squadron Located at Langley Air Force Base, Va., was assigned in 1990.


36th Intelligence Squadron Located at Langley Air Force Base, Va., was assigned in 1990.

Also, the 123rd Intelligence Squadron, an Arkansas Air National Guard Unit, located at Little Rock Air Force Base, is gained during wartime.

Subordinated squadrons provide both scheduled and ad hoc intelligence tailored to the unique, immediate needs of air warfighters. They employ the concepts and processes of virtual production, application utilizing a myriad of state- of- the- art information processing and production systems and on- line databases. The unit has committed itself to being ever vigilant of the constant advances in information processing, storage and dissemination technologies. It is also recognized throughout the intelligence and operational community as a leader in the testing, evaluation and application of new technologies to meet the needs of current and emerging weapons systems and their employed munitions. The unit has been instrumental in recent innovative programs and projects that included the development of digital target materials, production of digital materials for Air Force Mission Support Systems, virtual production and providing air combat units with near- real- time imagery information for mission planning and execution.

Since its origination in 1969, the 480th has been awarded five Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards.



The patch was approved in 1958. The cloud and sky are symbolic of the squadron's historic flying mission. "Yosemite Sam" represents squadron personnel carrying on the activities of the unit, map reading, target location and visual reconnaissance. Sam's gun is symbolic of target- making weapons and devices, and the camera system indicates photographic reconnaissance. The lightning bolt represents direct destruction from the air, artillery adjustment and fighter strikes. The 20th IS provides mission planning support primarily to bomber units in support of U. S. Strategic Command. It maintains liaison between NAIC and U. S. Strategic Command on nuclear targeting, weaponeering and battle damage assessment issues.



The mission of the 20th is to pro-vide prompt, precise intelligence enabling warfighters to safely engage and achieve global objectives. The 20th processes and analyzes raw electronic intelligence data, and prepares both operational and technical ELINT reports and studies.

The 20th is organized into three flights:

Target Materials

Combat Applications


The Target Material Flight produces precise coordinated measurements and mission- support materials for Air Force bomber, fighter and other airborne platforms engaged in exercise, training or actual combat operations.

It provides graphics, coordinated measurements and aim point selection assistance supporting nuclear, conventional and humanitarian relief operations. It also performs distribution of maps and charts supporting short- notice mission planning and flying requirements Air Force wide.

The Combat Applications Flight activities entail providing direct application support for specified combat customers. This includes an AIA node for operational dissemination of near- real time imagery to Air Force and Department of Defense users worldwide; and is Air Combat Command's point of contact for pre-mission survivability and threat assessments, target analysis, weaponeering support and post- mission combat assessments for the Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missile program. Additionally, it performs modeling and simulation survivability analysis studies for requesting customers and is the executive manager for the Integrated Air Defense systems efforts.

The Operations Flight provides the day- to- day operating support to the other flights within the 20th. These activities are dispersed through branches who perform the activities of planning, requirements management, systems maintenance, logistics support and resource management.

The 20th IS began its origins as the 20th Photographic Mapping Squadron in 1942. In these early years, the unit worked under many different names and was stationed all over the world from Sydney, Australia, to Newark, N. J., to Yokota, Japan. They participated in the Pacific air offensive and the occupation of Japan until inactivation in 1946.

The 20th was back in service for the Korean War as the 20th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron until 1967. In 1992, it was reactivated and designated the 20th Air Intelligence Squadron under the newly formed Air Combat Command, operating out of Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. A year later, it was redesignated as the 20th Intelligence Squadron under the Air Intelligence Agency. Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. was established in 1896 as Fort Cook, and is currently the oldest "fort" west of the Mississippi River.

Fort Cook was named after Gen. George Cook, who was famous for more than 20 years of service during the Indian Wars.

In 1924, they added a runway and the base became Offutt Air Field after Lt. Jarvis Offutt, Omaha's first air casualty. It became Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., in 1948 when the Army and Air Force became separate services.

Offices of the 20th IS are located in the Martin Bomber Building, the same building that manufactured B-26 Marauders and B- 29 Superfortressess.

Both the "Enola Gay" and "Bock's Car," the B- 29s which dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were built here. The Martin Bomber Building, or Building D, is one- third the size of the Pentagon.

27th Intelligence Squadron

The 27th Intelligence Squadron's mission is to expertly serve the 480th IG and other Department of Defense organizations using skilled professionals and leading edge technologies and to develop, provide and manage systems and production infrastructures and services.

The 27th IS is responsible for sustaining the 480th's daily operations. It operates and maintains automated production support systems, a secondary imagery dissemination sys-tem and photographic and litho-graphic facilities for the group. Their vision is to become an unrivaled source of information warfare support and achieve a virtual based infrastructure to fuse multimedia applications and products through emerging technologies and state- of-the- art facilities in anticipation of customer needs for information dominance and operational supremacy. The 27th provides the communication, photographic, dissemination and facility, security and logistics management necessary for the 480th to deliver high- quality, time- sensitive, imagery based intelligence for dissemination to U. S. and allied war-fighters around the globe.

The 27th Intelligence Squadron is comprised of two flights:


Production Services

Systems/ Data Base Management

The Systems and Database Management Flight provides state- of- the-art communications and computing and the Production Services provides a broad range of essential services. The Visual Information Branch provides digital and wet imagery processing, still photography and 35mm slide production, high- speed, large-volume reproduction and graphic design.

The Dissemination Branch distributes and tracks all outgoing products, maintains a chart library with worldwide coverage and the basic target and training graphic repository.

Also, the Security Branch manages the group's programs and maintains unit and visitor security clearances and facility security devices. The Facility Branch manages the entire facility and grounds including upgrades and construction. The Logistics Branch manages the group's supply and equipment accounts. The unit was active during World War II when it won seven campaign streamers, a Distinguished Unit Citation and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. The 27th was inactivated in December 1945 then reactivated in September 1990.


Bat outahell: red cloaked batman with oxygen mask and headset

Aerial Cameras: model K- 17, 18, 22, 24 in various formats

Map Section: connecting the twin fuselage


White cloud formation: highlight-ing the batman and representing the sky P- 38 Lightning: unique twin-boom airframe, fastest long- range fighter


Lightning Bolts: Representing the aircraft's name, and the crew's flying style


Bare metal: flying without paint shaved an extra 300- 4000 pounds, given it more speed


Blue: as camouflage to hide form gunners as they made high speed runs over de-fended targets


Normandy stripes: often left to keep our gunners from shooting down single or small groups of P- 38s


Nose art: Like most WWII flyers, F- 4 and F- 5 crew often personalized their aircraft. They often painted small swastikas on the nose for each mission over enemy territory.

36th Intelligence Squadron

The 36th IS provides tactical target materials, special targeting and weaponeering analysis, and tailored digital data bases to support U. S. Air Force weapons systems, mission planning and aircrew training.

The squadron also provides focused and tailored intelligence to meet the specific requirements of Air Force units preparing for deployment, while they are deploying, and during the time they are deployed.

The 36th is organized into four flights:

Digital Materials

Intelligence Applications

Targeting/ Recognition Materials

Requirements Management

The Digital Materials Flight provides accurate digital maps, charts, elevation data, detailed geo coded imagery and other digital products supporting automated mission planning needs and unique requirements for advanced weapon systems.

It serves as the Air Force's sole producer of multi- spectral imagery. The Intelligence Applications Flight supports combat air forces, training units, the NAIC and AIA staffs by producing materials, targeting analysis and specialized target studies.

The Targeting/ Recognition Materials Flight produces ad hoc and scheduled general military intelligence to support exercise, training and combat operations of the Air Force and other Department of Defense aircrew members the same type of target materials they will be using in operational conditions as well as producing prototype target materials for future and developmental weapon systems.

The Requirements Management Flight assigns and tracks all ad hoc and scheduled production requirements. They also submit, track and monitor associated all- source intelligence collections.

The 36th was originally called the 28th Observation Squadron July 1942 and activated at Goodman Field, Ky.

The 28th held many different designations including the 28th Reconnaissance Squadron, April 2, 1943; the 28th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron in August; the 36th Photographic Mapping Squadron in October; and the 36th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, March 1944.

In those early years, the unit served in the United States, New Guinea, Philippines, Okinawa and Chofu, Japan.

The 36th PRS was inactivated in February 1946. In September 1990, the unit was redesignated as the 36th Tactical Intelligence Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Va., and assigned to the 480th.

In November 1991, the 36th TIS was redesignated as the 36th Air Intelligence Squadron and in October 1993, it was redesignated as the 36th Intelligence Squadron.