OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. --
Air National Guard Imagery Analysts from the 101st Intelligence Squadron are supporting Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts by providing processing, analysis and dissemination of imagery and geospatial products.
Col. David McNulty, Commander of the 102nd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group said, “These intelligence analysts are applying the knowledge, skills, and experience they've gleaned from years of work in our Federal Mission, the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS), to the current Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts in support of civil authorities.”
In the federal DCGS mission, analysts utilize state of the art equipment leveraging worldwide secure networks to analyze and interpret information collected by some of the world's most advanced reconnaissance aircraft like the MQ-9 Reaper, RQ-4 Global Hawk, and U-2 Dragon Lady.
McNulty went on to say, “While they use commercial off the shelf systems on unclassified networks and get their information from commercial satellites, Air National Guard RC-26 or Civil Air Patrol aircraft, the way they approach the problems and answer the key questions and fill information gaps is the same.”
When tasked for domestic operations in response to requests for assistance from civil authorities in cases of emergencies and natural disasters, Airmen use Unclassified Processing, Analysis and Dissemination (UPAD) equipment, commercially available software, and non-secure networks, they are capable of processing and analyzing information from multiple sources, including commercial satellites, Civil Air Patrol aircraft, UH-72 Lakota and RC-26 Metroliners.
“They're extremely motivated, knowing that what they're doing here on Cape Cod can help those in need in Texas.” Said McNulty of his people. He went on to say, “I've been awestruck by how quickly they've gotten up to speed and built their situational awareness up since we stood up our Information Awareness and Assessment team on Monday.”
Incident awareness and assessment support such as those efforts being conducted here on Cape Cod provide civil authorities in the affected regions information needed to make critical decisions as efficiently and effectively as possible.
These highly-trained Airmen analyze images and interpret raw data from a number of sources and transform this material into decision-quality information to provide a "picture" of the affected region. This provides civil authorities the resources needed to make critical decisions as efficiently and effectively as possible.
This is what the National Guard trains for. This is why America has a National Guard.
Just last week, the 101st celebrated its 100th year of service. In 1917, the unit’s mission was one of aerial observation. In 2017, those same skillsets are being used, to aid those in need, half-way across the country.
Maj. Gen. Gary Keefe, The Adjutant General of Massachusetts said recently of the 101st long-standing emblem, “The seagull emblem symbolically represented the squadron’s reconnaissance ability to act as a watchful eye for military ground forces photographing the field of engagement to assist and support the troops on the ground.”
Today, the seagull acts as a watchful eye for fellow Americans in need.