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SENTINEL FOCUS improves intelligence support

An MQ-1 Predator takes off in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Predator carries the multi-spectral targeting system with inherent AGM-114 Hellfire missile targeting capability and integrates electro-optical, infrared, laser designator and laser illuminator into a single sensor package. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Julianne Showalter)

An MQ-1 Predator takes off in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Predator carries the multi-spectral targeting system with inherent AGM-114 Hellfire missile targeting capability and integrates electro-optical, infrared, laser designator and laser illuminator into a single sensor package. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Julianne Showalter)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --  Members of the 693rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group here will observe and learn how the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System enterprise operates worldwide during SENTINEL FOCUS '09 held Aug. 2 to 6.

At Ramstein, the 693rd ISR Group uses the DCGS to support Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom by collecting, processing, utilizing and disseminating ISR data from U-2S aircraft and MQ-1B Predator Unmanned Aircraft System missions.

Headed up by the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Va., the study will help identify practices and areas of the DCGS enterprise, located at distributed ground systems across the Air Force, needing improvement.

Each location will have a team of subject matter experts observing and evaluating how the DCGS enterprise functions during real-world operations over the course of the five-day study. There are five distributed ground systems being evaluated during SENTINEL FOCUS '09 and they are located at Langley AFB (DGS-1); Beale Air Force Base, Calif. (DGS-2); Korea (DGS-3); Germany (DGS-4) and Hawaii (DGS-5).

"Our subject matter experts involved in SENTINEL FOCUS '09 will be allowed to take a look at how we run our day-to-day operations to ensure the DCGS enterprise is operating in the most effective and mission-beneficial way," said Lt. Col. Aras Suziedelis, 693rd ISR Group deputy commander. "This will require brainstorming, potential paradigm shifting and being open to new ways of doing our business."

Eleven issues will be evaluated by the teams during SENTINEL FOCUS '09 to help develop solutions. These solutions will be used by Numbered Air Force commanders to assist in unifying ISR capabilities with joint warfighters, according to Col. Dan Johnson, 480th ISR Wing commander.

"SENTINEL FOCUS '09 will give us operational insight into Air Force DCGS enterprise best practices that need benchmarking and operational challenges that need addressing," Colonel Johnson added. "Once we gain this insight, we can formulate solutions that will allow us to further develop competencies vital to sustaining full-spectrum ISR capabilities for the war fighter and our nation."

At the 693rd ISR Group, this means a chance to improve their processes as well.

"This study will determine best practices at each distributed ground system, which could then be evaluated for us to standardize the processes across the Air Force as applicable," Colonel Suziedelis said. "Improving and streamlining processes at DGS- 4 can only translate into meeting our theater's intelligence requirements more effectively."

Units and ground sites of the 480th ISR Wing are also located in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nevada and Utah. 

The 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs office contributed to this article.