Intelligence mission moves forward
By Senior Airman Matt Benedetti, 102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 08, 2009
OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- As the wing embarks on establishing a new tradition of excellence at Otis, 13 members of the 102nd Intelligence Wing recently returned from training at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, sporting hard earned intelligence badges.
They completed their career development courses in short order and are now deployed to Alabama for 90 days of specialized training and certification.
"They have completed 6 months of training at Goodfellow AFB and are supporting U.S. Central Command (from) Alabama," said Master Sgt. Ed Veneto, intelligence flight supervisor. Sergeant Veneto graduated from Goodfellow AFB and is an electronic systems analyst.
"The training is commensurate with an Airman going overseas," said Sergeant Veneto. The members are tasked in an air and space expeditionary force rotation with a unit line number.
"Even though they are going to a stateside base to do a manning assist and get some certifications from the 117th Intelligence Squadron in Alabama, they are technically supporting a (U.S. Central Command Air Forces) pre-deployment. They have to be 100 percent overseas deployable to take these ULNs. They technically could be forward deployed from that location," said Sergeant Veneto.
Lt. Col. Dave McNulty, 101st Intelligence Squadron commander, described the training process as a journey and is proud of their performance thus far.
"Colonel Schiavi handed out 17 coins last month to our honor graduates," said Colonel McNulty. "Five different specialties are awarded at Goodfellow AFB and we have had at least one distinguished graduate from each of those courses."
McNulty is impressed with the commitment of the group.
"They returned from Goodfellow AFB, cranked out their CDCs within 60 days and headed down to Alabama," he said.
The deployed Airmen faced additional challenges due to the fact that their coursework is classified; forcing them to study at the vault at Otis or go to Hanscom AFB to study at a sensitive compartmentalized information facility.
During the first 30 days, Airmen take open and closed book tests and a "check ride" with the mission examiner.
"The process is similar to a pilot going through his or her training -- you have to know your academics as well as be able to demonstrate proficiency in the actual task," explained Colonel McNulty.
The deployment requires each individual to be title 10 active duty as they will be making "kill chain" decisions. The 13 Otis Airmen are embedded as members of the 117th Intelligence Squadron for the 90 day duration of their training.
Colonel McNulty is mindful of the diligent efforts of the newly minted intelligence Airmen as well as the sacrifices of their families.
"We know family members are putting up with a lot with these deployments and we appreciate their support," said Colonel McNulty.
"It's a team effort. The logistics readiness folks, Senior Master Sgt. Joann Letourneau and 2nd Lt. Jenn O'Connell, have done an outstanding job," said Colonel McNulty.
As the mission moves forward, Otis Airmen continue to excel in their training and are poised for this vital undertaking.
"It is great to see people showing up with their intelligence badges. They have worked hard getting through Goodfellow AFB, completing their CDCs and going to a formal training unit," said Colonel McNulty. "It is fantastic to see it taking shape."