543rd ISR Group airmen negotiate competitive field training exercise at Medina Annex at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. (Air Force)
The Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency will become a numbered Air Force under an ongoing reorganization.
The new 25th Air Force will remain headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, but will fall under Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. The AF ISR Agency name will become part of the organization's 66-year legacy, according the Air Force.
"For the first time we will combine our incomparable skills as ISR professionals with ISR platforms and sensors," said Maj. Gen. John Shanahan, current agency commander. "We're gaining two wings, the 55th and 9th wing, and building a third ISR wing, which will combine to bring platforms and sensors, targeting, and analysis capabilities together as a holistic, much more integrated, and operationally focused numbered Air Force."
Shanahan will become the 25th AF commander when the move occurs in September.
The organization's mission will not change, according to the Air Force. But for the first time it will combine its analysis capabilities with aircraft dedicated to ISR. The 25th Air Force with its three additional wings is expected to become one of the largest numbered Air Forces in the Air Force, with 28,000 personnel.
"In the context of the reorganization process, from my perspective it's evident the leadership of Headquarters Air Force, ACC and Air Force ISR Agency/25AF is all in to optimize global vigilance," said Steve Doucette, the agency's reorganization project lead. "We've had months of very long days and hard-hitting meetings with ACC and Headquarters Air Force counterparts, who want to ensure combatant commanders get everything Air Force ISR can offer to answer their intelligence problem sets."
"This is the logical evolution in the ISR enterprise," Shanahan said. "It's the right step, and moves us further down our evolving path to refine what we bring to the fight in terms of world-class ISR expertise and capabilities."