The Twenty-Fifth Air Force (25 AF), headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio--Lackland, Texas, first activated October 20, 1948 as the United States Air Force Security Service. After several organizational realignments and redesignations, today it reports to Air Combat Command as a Numbered Air Force.
25 AF provides multisource intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) products, applications, capabilities and resources, to include cyber and geospatial forces and expertise. Additionally, it is the Service Cryptologic Component responsible to the National Security Agency/Central Security Service for Air Force matters involving the conduct of cryptologic activities, including the full spectrum of missions directly related to both tactical warfighting and national-level operations. With the inclusion of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing and 55th Wing, 25 AF missions expanded to include electronic warfare, airborne national command and control (C2), reconnaissance in support of nuclear operations, and some aspects of nuclear C2.
25 AF provides full-spectrum decision advantage to warfighters and national leaders through globally integrated ISR, electronic warfare, information operations, and strategic command and control.
The Air Force Technical Applications Center, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, 55th Wing, 70th ISR Wing; 480th ISR Wing; and 361st ISR Group, are aligned under 25 AF. 25 AF is also responsible for mission management and support of signals intelligence operations for 24th Air Force. In addition, the organization provides guidance to two Air Force Reserve units and 22 Air National Guard units with ISR responsibilities. 25 AF also provides mission management to AFTAC as well as support for specific intelligence operations within the wings, groups and assigned cryptologic elements.
Air Force Technical Applications Center
The Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC), based at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, performs nuclear treaty monitoring and nuclear event detection. AFTAC provides national authorities quality technical measurements to monitor treaty compliance. It also performs research and development of new proliferation detection technologies to enhance or assist treaty verification to limit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. AFTAC began as the 1035th Field Activities Group July 7, 1959 and after several organizational changes, redesignated the Air Force Technical Applications Center October 1, 1980. It has been performing its nuclear event detection mission since its inception in 1973.
9th Reconnaissance Wing
The 9th Reconnaissance Wing (9 RW), headquartered at Beale Air Force Base, California, is responsible for providing national and theater command authorities with timely, reliable, high-quality, high-altitude reconnaissance products. To accomplish this mission, the wing is equipped with the nation's fleet of U-2 Dragon Lady, RQ-4 Global Hawk, and MC-12W Project Liberty reconnaissance aircraft and associated support equipment. The wing also maintains a high state of readiness in its expeditionary combat support forces for potential deployment in response to theater contingencies. Activated as the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing on May 1, 1949, it is composed of more than 4,500 personnel in four groups at Beale, one group at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, and multiple overseas operating locations.
The 55th Wing (55 WG), headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, is 25 AF's largest wing composed of 6 groups and 31 squadrons located worldwide, employing 48 aircraft, including 12 models of 3 different types and employs a workforce of over 7,000 people. First activated on June 29, 1948 as the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, it conducts a global flying mission with worldwide reconnaissance and treaty verification tasked by our nation's highest levels as well as the National Airborne Operations Center. Additionally, it provides base support to more than 50 associate units, including U.S. Strategic Command, the Air Force Weather Agency and a military community of over 57,000.
70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing
The 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing (70 ISRW) is the Air Force's "Cryptologic Wing." Headquartered at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, and with 34 operating locations worldwide, the 70 ISRW delivers timely and actionable intelligence across the spectrum of contingencies and crises, operational planning and combat operations. It executes global ISR operations in air, space and cyberspace to enable strategic, operational and tactical effects for the National Command Authority, the joint warfighting team, air component operations, and Air Force mission partners. The 70 ISRW serves as the Air Force's designated lead wing for National-to-Tactical Integration (NTI) operations and synchronization, and executes global ISR missions in support of combatant command and air component operations via the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) and the Global Cryptologic Enterprise (GCE). Additionally, the 70 ISRW is the Air Force's designated lead wing for ISR operations enabling both cyber effects and space superiority operations. The wing provides expeditionary force protection capabilities, delivers tailored adversary tactics and Integrated Air Defense System (IADS) analyses, executes federated and delegated missions with Intelligence Community partners, provides information protection and assurance services, and deploys advanced engineering and infrastructure installation capabilities globally. First activated as the 70th Observation Group on September 13, 1941, the wing underwent several organizational changes until being designated as the 70th ISR Wing January 1, 2009.
480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing
The 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing (480 ISRW), headquartered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, is the Air Force leader in globally-networked ISR operations. The wing's comprehensive ISR missions include lead wing designation for the AF Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS), as well as national cryptologic, information technology, cyber ISR, tactical analysis, Combined Forces Air Component Commander (CFACC) support, and national-to-tactical signals intelligence (SIGINT) integration. The wing has a global presence, and spans the full spectrum of ISR operations from humanitarian assistance to major theater conflict - integrating with federated mission partners to provide timely, relevant intelligence that is regionally aligned in support of Major Command/Combatant Command theater operations. Activated June 21, 1943 as the 480th Antisubmarine Group, after several redesignations, it later became the 480 ISRW.
361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group
The 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group (361 ISRG), headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Florida, is the premier provider of specialized ISR capabilities to Air Force Special Operation Forces (SOF). The group and its three assigned squadrons, the 19th Intelligence Squadron (IS), 25 IS and the 43 IS, train, equip and present more than 250 Airmen to provide specialized ISR special operation forces for worldwide employment. The group began as the 11th Photographic Group (Mapping) November 19, 1941, and following several organizational actions, redesignated as the 361 ISRG on October 10, 2008 and activated October 29, 2008.
25 AF has more than 27,500 active, Reserve and Guard military and civilian members serving at 71 locations worldwide.
(Current as of November 1, 2014)