New cyber intelligence group activates at Otis ANG Base
By Lt. Col. Robert Spierdowis, 102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 01, 2016
OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Cape Cod, Mass. -- The 202nd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group of the Massachusetts Air National Guard activated during an Assumption of Command ceremony August 28, here. The 202 ISRG, a Cyber Intelligence unit, is assigned to the 102nd Intelligence Wing with a primary operating location of Otis Air National Guard Base.
Typically a "Change of Command" is performed when a military unit's current commander relinquishes command to the unit's new commander. However, the 202 ISRG is a new unit with no previous commander, therefore an "Assumption of Command" was conducted. The two ceremonies are very similar and highlight the unit's flag being handed to the new commander who will lead that organization into the future.
The primary function of the 202 ISRG and its three subordinate squadrons will be to conduct global integrated cyber ISR operations to detect, characterize, and mitigate cyber threats, exploit computer networks, and enable full-spectrum cyber operations.
"I am especially proud to serve as the presiding officer as four great leaders assume command of one new Group, two new Squadrons and one historical Squadron; starting the journey to making us fully operational," said Col. Virginia I. Doonan, Commander of the 102 IW. "Serving as intelligence professionals in the cyberspace domain is truly cutting edge and I'm excited that our Wing becomes a part of this new generation of defending our nation's cyberspace interests."
Command of the 202 ISRG was formally accepted by Col. Joseph F. Morrissey Jr. His duties as the group commander include leading, organizing, training and equipping three squadrons of intelligence analysts and cyber technicians in order to provide cyber ISR support to 25th Air Force, contributing to U.S. Cyber Command and global cryptologic missions.
"The importance of this mission cannot be overstated," said Morrissey. "Cyber is in the news every day and we have a unique opportunity to aid our nation in this domain."
Cyber ISR is a mission focused on the nation's ability to operate in cyberspace. Significant efforts have been made by the Department of Defense to strengthen cyber capabilities to include the stand-up of U.S. Cyber Command in 2009, the re-designation of 24th Air Force to Air Forces Cyber in 2010, and the implementation of U.S. Cyber Command's Cyber Mission Forces in 2013. The heightened interest in cyberspace comes from current threat assessments and growing adversary capabilities in the cyber domain.
The 102 IW's addition of the 202 ISRG reflects the Air Force's firm commitment to growing the Cyber Mission Force and the 202 ISRG will be a critical element of U.S. Cyber Command's efforts to defend our nation from adversarial cyber activity. The new group's Airmen will focus on digital network exploitation analysis and digital network intelligence, which enable computer network operations and provide ISR support to 25th Air Force and U.S. Cyber Command.
The 102 IW was established in 2008, after changing its mission from the F-15 Eagle flying operations of the 102nd Fighter Wing to a new intelligence mission. The existing intelligence group is a component of the Air Force's Distributed Common Ground System and exploits and analyzes information received from both piloted and remotely piloted aircraft operating in various locations around the world. The addition of the 202 ISRG to the 102 IW increases the Wing's diversity of ISR missions and aids the Intelligence Community by working in both the physical and cyberspace domains.