By Scott Prater
As Lt. Col Theresa Malasavage, 50th Operations Support Squadron commander, passed a ceremonial key to Col. John Shaw, 50th Operations Group commander, members of the squadron’s intelligence flight took a proverbial step sideways.
As directed by the Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, intelligence flights throughout the Air Force are transitioning from operations support squadrons to operations groups as part of a service-wide effort to streamline the organization, training and equipping of intelligence personnel.
“It seems like just a little administrative move, but the chief had a lot in mind here,” Colonel Shaw said. “He wanted to bring more attention to the intelligence functions that we use in today’s operations and give the senior intelligence officer in every operations group the opportunity to have a little more visibility and influence in daily operations.”
Administratively, it means that the intelligence flight now works directly for the 50 OG commander.
“The mission of the intelligence flight is to provide world-wide situational awareness, enemy threat capabilities and sensitive compartmented information security to enhance and protect the 50th Space Wing and base operations,” said Maj. Scott Spiller, 50 SW intelligence chief.
Now known as the 50th OGI, the flight provides intelligence support to more than 6,600 active duty, reserve and civilian men and women of the 50 SW, to include the wing commander and staff, operations squadrons and 22 global sites.
Colonel Malasavage noted that although the actual change over from 50 OSS/IN to 50 OGI occurred back in January, most in the operations group were probably unaware of the transition until the April 8 OG commander’s call.
“That’s a good thing,” she said. “That means we made a seamless transition. And despite the organization change that took place, some very basic goals are still in place for intelligence in the 50 SW. The first being we want to continue and grow our space intelligence capabilities for the wing. We also want to get to a place where the flight is delivering actionable intel for our operators.”
Colonel Shaw completed the official transfer by explaining that the changeover comes along with some intensified objectives.
“We need Major Spiller and his group to do the traditional mission of the intel flight, like brief folks before they go down range and assist our group commander with any threats to our mission sector,” he said. “But, we also need them to focus specifically on threats to our systems, so that we can be prepared to respond.”