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Air Force officials begin new ISR weapon system

2/24/2010 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFNS) -- Air Force officials began a comprehensive review of the Distributed Common Ground System, commonly known as the Sentinel, and its periodic maintenance Feb. 22 through 26 here.

Sentinel Focus 10A is the second review for the DCGS, the Air Force's globally networked intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance weapon system. The weapon system includes five core ISR distributed ground stations around the world that collects, analyses and distributes the right intelligence to the warfighters on the ground.

The premise of Sentinel Focus 10A is to optimize the Air Force DCGS weapon with a holistic review of the system's line of operations, service offerings and capabilities across the enterprise in order to present a unified ISR capability to joint and national consumers.

"At the end of the day, our customers want high-confidence reporting from our analysts," said Col. Daniel Johnson, the commander of the 480th ISR Wing. "We are in constant communication with ground forces before, during and after their deployments. Because of our direct outreach to the ground forces and continuous technological improvements, we are committed to this across-the-board review of the DCGS weapons system every six months in order to remain flexible and ready for any challenge manmade or from Mother Nature."

The five-day event will provide members of the wing an opportunity to focus on the weapon system's participation in the Operation Enduring Freedom surge, its ISR role during the drawdown in Iraq and information it provides for the special armistice mission in the Korean peninsula. Members of the 480th ISR Wing also provided disaster damage assessment imagery support to U.S. Southern Command Airmen's rescue and recovery operations after the earthquake in Haiti.

The Sentinel produces intelligence information collected by the U-2, RQ-4 Global Hawk, MQ-9 Reaper, and MQ-1 Predator aircraft. Operational crews of intelligence professionals analyze the data while it's being collected and provide actionable intelligence immediately to joint and coalition forces around the world.

"Our initial Sentinel Focus hard stare, held last August, is already reaping results and advancing the weapon system," Colonel Johnson said. "For example, we have seen direct results in the command, control and collaboration employment process across the ISR enterprise. Common operational standards have been solidified and flexibility (has been) built in to our systems to support the uniqueness of each supported combatant command and numbered air force."

Units and ground sites from the 480th ISR Wing are located in California, Hawaii, Virginia, South Korea and Germany. The wing also leverages a relationship with Air National Guard partners in those states as well as Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nevada and Utah.

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