In an April 2009 appearance, General David Deptula, USAF Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), told a group at Goodfellow AFB that the USAF is "heading toward in integrated, full-spectrum ISR program throughout air, space and cyberspace."
His remarks extended beyond this observation, which was also noteworthy for its inclusion of cyberspace in the ISR spectrum. Deptula indicated that ISR is moving "to the tactical level" rather than being "husbanded at higher levels." The USAF is increasing the number of enlisted ISR airmen by 25 percent over the next three years and changes are reportedly underway to overhaul ISR training. Based on the General's remarks, the training may extend beyond ISR itself to its broader context:
Creating an Air Force ISR enterprise where the source is transparent, analysis predictive and distribution immediate is a must for the joint force if we are to survive and thrive against the threats and security challenges in front of us.
Critics of USAF-managed drone operations, and those overseen in support of CIA and Special Forces have asked for greater transparency. Teaching transparency fundamentals in ISR training could involve exposing intelligence hypotheses to a somewhat broader audience, while not compromising secrecy, and lead to more robust critical thinking by intelligence officers. What this curriculum should consist of should itself be transparent.
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