USAF INTELLIGENCE BADGE
In 2014, the United States Air Force underwent a significant structural realignment of its intelligence services when it Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Agency was changed from a Field Operating Agency operating under Headquarters, United States Air Force to the 25th Air Force under Air Combat Command. The move was meant to consolidate the ISR’s efforts and capabilities with those of other critical intelligence-driven combat support agencies such as the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency.
For enlisted Airmen, there are five Air Force Specialty Codes that comprise careers in the Intelligence Career Field. Previously known as Operations Intelligence specialists, 1N0X1 All Source Intelligence Analysts gather intelligence from traditional sources as well as emerging areas such as social media Web sites and Internet forums, where chatter and communications are taking place with ever-increasing frequency. Geospatial Intelligence specialists ((1NX1) collect and collate geospatial data that’s critical in just prosecution of the Global War on Terror, using it to maximize the effectiveness of different types of strikes while minimizing potential collateral damage.
Signals Intelligence (1N2X1) involves monitoring communications and transmissions not only for content, but in determining the locations of senders and recipients. Cryptologic Language Analysts (1N3X1) collect, translate, and analyze intelligence information that’s been transmitted in a foreign language, often employing knowledge of particular regions and their cultural traditions to enhance their analysis. Fusion Analysts (1N4X1) act as overseers of ISR activities, coordinating efforts to ensure that no potential insights are left unexplored.
Training for all these specialties takes place at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas, with Cryptologic Language Analysts also involved in intensive studies at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterrey, California. Training times range from three to eighteen months.
The Intelligence badge is also worn by Officers in the 14NX Intelligence specialty code. In addition to passing the Single Scope Background Investigation mandated for all Air Force personnel in the Intelligence field, officers must also be eligible for access to Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) and material classified as Top Secret. This eligibility is determined through a Special Background Investigation, which is conducted on a periodic basis as mandated by regulations.