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Airmen provide intelligence needs for Red Flag

by Tech. Sgt. Chris Stagner
Red Flag Public Affairs

2/9/2010 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- Airmen of the Core Intelligence Cell here are making sure every pilot who flies a Red Flag 10-2 mission is prepared to accomplish their goals and come home safely.

For every mission a pilot at Red Flag flies, the CIC briefs them three times, and the briefers adopt a special mentality to do it.

"We have to try to outsmart the bad guys," said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Dyck, the Red Flag CIC night NCO in charge deployed from the 48th Operations Group at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. "We try to figure out what they're going to do next so the pilots know what to expect. If we've done our jobs right, they'll always succeed."

Sometimes referred to as "the Wikipedia for the pilots," the intelligence Airmen spend many hours reviewing and analyzing information so aircrews leave Las Vegas with aces up their sleeves. They research the routes the pilots are going to fly and what threats and weaponry they might encounter. If a pilot asks a question, they have to be prepared to answer it.

As studied as the intelligence specialists are, they don't know everything, and they rely on the pilots to provide the tactical information needed so future missions are better prepared.

"The pilots debrief with their squadron intelligence officers, and then bring that information to us," said 2nd Lt. Loren Voss, the CIC night officer in charge deployed from the 48th OG at RAF Lakenheath. "We use the information that's provided to us to analyze tactics, because that's something only the pilots have seen."

Though the intelligence Airmen at Red Flag are considered subject matter experts, they still benefit from the Red Flag experience.

"This is the first time I've worked in this environment," said Airman 1st Class Robert Gause, the CIC order of battle manager deployed from RAF Lakenheath. "I feel better prepared because I have a better knowledge of what the pilots need."

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