Friday, January 15, 2010

USAF intel agency officials support Haitian relief efforts

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- High-altitude damage assessment imagery as well as linguistic support are being provided for disaster relief and recovery efforts in Haiti by members of the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency headquartered here.

The imagery from the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft based at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., is being used by Department of Defense officials to provide disaster assessments for the consortium of agencies working on relief efforts with U.S. Southern Command officials in Miami.

Analysts from the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group at Beale AFB are providing assessments of the imagery to assist in all aspects of recovery and relief.

"The Global Hawk can shoot images fast enough so that it is close to video quality. Yesterday it took 400 to 700 images and today it will take 1,000 images over the country," said Col. Bradley Butz, the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing vice commander. "We are providing unclassified images to U.S. Southern Command for its use and SOUTHCOM, in turn, provides these images to the agencies supporting the relief efforts in Haiti."

"We are committed to working with our sister services, partners and allies to ensure our global enterprise can direct the talents of our team wherever needed," said Col. Daniel Johnson, the 480th ISR Wing commander. "Today that need is in Haiti, and it is our privilege to support this effort and hopefully help save lives."

Members of the agency's 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group at Hurlburt Field, Fla., are supporting Air Force Special Operations Command's efforts to stabilize the airport in Port-au-Prince as well as other security issues.

"Airmen from the 361st (ISRG), and others from the 70th (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) Wing, quickly mobilized to provide linguistic support for commanders in Port-au-Prince," said Col. James Rix, the 361st ISRG commander. "The objective is to ensure U.S. forces are able to work closely and seamlessly with local officials to assist Haitian rescue efforts, and facilitate U.S. and international community response to this disaster."

Unclassified photographs of the destruction in Haiti shot from a Global Hawk can be found at