By Airman 1st Class Jonathan Whitely | Peterson-Schriever Garrison Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The U.S. Space Force activated the 71st and 72nd Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadrons Sept. 11, 2020, at Peterson-Schriever Garrison, Colorado.
The squadrons, which fall under Space Delta 7, made history as one of the first space intelligence squadrons activated in the USSF.
“The realignment of intelligence forces under the U.S. Space Force represents a generational opportunity to re-think the way we apply intelligence support to operations both in space and other supported domains,” said Senior Master Sgt. Justin Michaels, 71st ISRS superintendent. “It represents a chance for us to approach mission requirements in innovative ways that allows us to better understand the threat environment and ensure the safety and protection of our forces.”
Maj. Michael Harter, 71st ISRS commander, said the squadron presents intelligence support to all the Space Mission Deltas across the USSF. The unit provides intelligence professionals from six geographically separated detachments to work directly with space operators.
“We provide operational intelligence on adversary actions and reactions so space operators can best posture themselves to accomplish their mission,” Harter said.
Also operating on Peterson, with three geographically separated detachments, the 72nd ISRS provides tactically focused intelligence analysis, exploitation and reporting for the joint warfighter.
“We know the adversary is actively using space to do subversive and dangerous things,” said Maj. Kimberly Templer, 72nd ISRS commander.
One of the primary advantages of the ISR squadrons within the USSF, directly under Space ISR Delta 7, is the dissemination and utilization of operational intelligence in an expeditious, timely and efficient manner.
Depending on the missions of the specific detachments, the units work on a 24/7 schedule. “It’s important for us to be aware of what we’re doing across Delta 7, because we all have a piece of the puzzle and to be able to put those pieces together is huge,” Templer said. “Even though the ISR squadrons and detachments are in different pockets of the space domain, it’s a symbiotic relationship.”
Operations in the space domain not only impact the military, but also have significant economic and communications implications for the global population, said Senior Master Sgt. Caleb Lloyd, 72nd ISRS superintendent.
“The American way of life is heavily reliant on the capabilities and assets the Space Force provides,” Lloyd said. “It’s our job to identify threats and understand adversary capabilities and intent so we can provide sound assessments to our senior leaders [so they can] make time-critical decisions on how we protect and defend.”