News happening around Little Rock Air Force Base


Intel cell drives force integration forward

Airman instructs pilot on integrated air defense system kill chain.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Chase Wagner, 19th Operation Support Squadron NCO in charge of squadron operations, instructs U.S. Air Force Capt. Shawn Tupta, 41st Airlift Squadron chief of tactics, on the integrated air defense system kill chain at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 12, 2019. The kill chain is one of many steps used in preparing aircrew before leaving on a mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin)


The core objective of the 19th Operation Support Squadron intelligence section is to gather information and provide pre-mission briefs to aircrew. Comprehending the capabilities of the adversary is an integral role within intelligence, giving Team Little Rock and its partners the advantage to mimic the battlefield by training how they fight.

“If we flew without intel, it would be like going into a fight blind,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Shawn Tupta, 41st Airlift Squadron chief of tactics.

The importance of intel has proven to be paramount throughout history, especially when military branches interact. When looking at intel-specific military events, Operation Eagle Claw, a failed rescue mission in 1980, is a prime example of the need for military services to be on the same page. This was just one event that served as a reason to focus on interoperability and is a prime example why information gathering and liaising between the service components is critical to mission success. During the second annual C-130J fly-in, Team Little Rock worked alongside the Army to enhance interoperability.

“Recently we had the opportunity to integrate with the Army intel side of things,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Chase Wagner, 19th OSS NCO in charge of squadron operations. “It was a good learning experience, and it proved to be a challenge because Air Force and Army intel are completely different.”

Accompanying TLR during the fly-in were C-130 units from Ramstein Air Base, Germany; Yokota AB, Japan; Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, California; Keesler AFB, Mississippi; Dyess AFB, Texas; while representatives from the U.S. Army complimented the training scenarios with ground support.

“Integrating with the Army was the biggest change in this year’s fly-in,” Wagner said. “Getting the chance to see how they work, integrating and coming up with a plan to meet everyone’s training objectives was a good challenge.”

Throughout the years, integration has proven to be beneficial to the armed services collectively, leading to a greater impact on total force readiness.

“We have different perspectives,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Alex Sweeney, 19th OSS chief of squadron operations. “Army intel focuses on ground threats, and Air Force intel focuses on the impact the aircrew have on the mission.”

Although each mission has varying requirements, each scenario is built to provide effective training. 

The fly-in is a good experience for everyone,” Wagner said. “Not only our pilots, but on the intel side of things, it gives us a chance to tap into our resources and really focus on training. This all comes back to meeting Air Mobility Command’s objective of full-spectrum readiness.”

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