Navigating the future

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Sarah Williams
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

The Air Force intelligence career field consists of multiple paths. Cryptologic language analysts, all source intelligence analysts and geospatial intelligence analysts are just a few occupations that play a significant role in Goodfellow’s training mission.

These different careers work together to give the most accurate and detailed information to decide the best courses of action.

Geospatial intelligence is one of the critical pieces to the puzzle, providing imagery support to other intel specialties.

Geospatial intelligence analysts go through a five-month training course. The course begins by learning fundamentals such as intelligence community partners, operational structure and the capability limitations of sensors they will work with in the operational field.

As the course progresses, students advance to gathering data, analyzing data in real time and honing their briefing skills.

“This course trains a lot in a short amount of time,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Stewart, 315th Training Squadron instructor. “They need to be able to analyze a lot of data as quickly and accurately as possible to best equip those who navigate the chessboard that is the battlefield.”

Throughout the course, students are constantly developing their critical thinking skills. They are given scenarios with low quality imagery meant to imitate and give real-world exposure. Students utilize the imagery to the best of their ability and drive the mission forward to guess the adversary's next move.

“Having that ability to think outside the box is going to be vital to any geospatial analyst,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Bowling, 315th TRS instructor. “Things go sideways in the field that most don’t expect to happen, and when equipment breaks, they can’t just apologize and not do anything. They have to figure out how to keep the mission going.”

Students learn to rely on each other for different perspectives and approaches to achieve solutions. Bowler expanded upon how the diversity of different backgrounds, while bouncing ideas off each other, has better increased the chances of someone knowing how to move forward in difficult situations.

While growing together, students become better prepared for the operational field. The course empowers students of every branch to be successful in their future endeavors.