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NASIC squadron wins AFA Citation of Honor

Air Force Association's Chairman of the Board F. Whitten Peters, Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright present awards during the Air, Space, Cyber Conference

Air Force Association's Chairman of the Board F. Whitten Peters presents the AFA Citation of Honor to the National Air and Space Intelligence Center Information Exploitation Squadron during the Air, Space, Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 18, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wayne Clark)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The Air Force Association recognized a squadron from the National Air and Space Intelligence Center as one of the winners of the 2017 National Aerospace and Specialty Awards during the Air, Space, Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 18, 2017.

NASIC’s Information Exploitation Squadron earned AFA’s Citation of Honor for the unit’s operations and services. The squadron is one of three Air Force units to win this year’s award, which is presented annually for most outstanding contribution by an individual or organization to the development of aerospace power for the betterment of mankind.

“With this diverse mission set, our data is used across all facets—as tippers to other intelligence assets, supporting kinetic and non-kinetic targeting, providing foundational new information for assessments, supporting arms control, or complimenting other intelligence sources,” said Katherine Tucker, squadron director.

The Information Exploitation Squadron includes five flights that provide air, space and cyberspace intelligence to policy makers, and collects open source intelligence for processing, exploiting and disseminating information to combatant commands.

In addition to being the starting point for analysts’ intelligence reports, the squadron also identified 171 command and control networks with 115 signal intelligence studies to eliminate 293 insurgency cells.

"It is a tremendous accomplishment to win a national-level award, especially competing against every type of squadron in the Air Force. The Citation of Honor is a testament to the incredible, if often unsung, work done by GXK members, past and present," said Col. Bart Bonar, Global Exploitation Intelligence Group commander.

Among the squadron’s specific accomplishments in the past year include 3,500 hours directing a special intelligence fusion cell that led to a target development for 603 sorties—arming the Joint Task Force with 20 strike packages.

“Our people are passionate about their mission and the unique role we have in the Air Force,” said Tucker. “The work requires deep skills, creativity and dedication as often the mission impact is neither direct nor immediate.”