FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md --
The 16th Intelligence Squadron set on a path to become a Reserve Component partner with the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing (ISRW), Oct. 1, 2014, creating a culture of seamless operations integration between active duty and Reserve Airmen.
Initially, the 16th IS, which falls under the 655th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group, integrated across the wing to conduct varied missions.
The 16th IS, nicknamed the "Honey Badgers," sprinted to full operational status in less than 10 months to provide cryptologic professionals and subject matter expertise to nine wing missions.
In August 2018, the 16th IS was assigned as a “classic associate” of the 94th Intelligence Squadron to best capture the effects of Reserve support. This association allows regular Air Force units to retain principal responsibility for a weapon system or systems and share equipment with one or more Reserve component units.
“To meet 94th IS mission requirements, the 16th IS full-time staff organizes, administers and recruits highly-qualified traditional Reservists, and in cooperation with the 94th IS, instructs and trains these same Reservists to meet surge or steady-state requirements,” said Lt. Col. Jason Soto, 16th IS Director of Staff.
This partnership of active duty and Reserve Citizen Airmen resulted in support to more than 2,000 ISR missions during fiscal year 2018 alone.
“The continued high operations tempo, coupled with fiscal and manning realities, has created a reliance of permanently assigned Reserve Airmen to meet mission requirements,” explained Lt. Col. Jeff Derr, 16th IS commander.
Derr expressed that this partnership is based upon mutual trust in the expertise and professionalism of both teams, also noting that there is no degradation in mission capability when a Reservist takes lead.
“The 94th Intelligence Squadron's partnership with the 16th IS allows our team to deliver innovative solutions and products to national and tactical customers, truly enabling the 94ths motto of, ‘Any Signal, Any Time, Any Where,’” said Lt. Col. Rachael Chancey, 94th IS commander. “We value our partnership with the 16th IS and look forward to the continued successes our squadrons share.”
In 2017, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein said, “As we strengthen how we build joint leaders and develop exceptional leaders for the future, it’s important that we acknowledge the inherently joint nature of air and space power. We must train Airmen to bring air, space and cyber capabilities together with all the other elements of a strategic military campaign.”
For more information regarding the Air Force Reserve intelligence career field, visit https://afreserve.com
Editor’s note: Select last names omitted from photo captions for operational security reasons.