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311 TRS, 314 TRS Airmen visit ISR platforms, units

Airmen from the 311th and 314th Training Squadrons at the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., visit pilots and intelligence personnel at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 22. Beale is home to both the U-2 Dragon Lady and the RQ-4 Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, both of which are intelligence-gathering aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Airmen from the 311th and 314th Training Squadrons at the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., visit pilots and intelligence personnel at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 22. Beale is home to both the U-2 Dragon Lady and the RQ-4 Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, both of which are intelligence-gathering aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)

PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. -- Forty-one Airmen from the 311th and 314th Training Squadrons at the Presidio of Monterey traveled to Beale Air Force Base, Calif., on August 22-23 to get an up-close look at the RQ-4 Global Hawk and the U-2 Dragon Lady.

These intelligence platforms carry out missions for the 9th Reconnaissance Wing. The Airmen discussed the capabilities and operations of the ISR aircraft with intelligence operators, maintainers and pilots. The 9 RW also provided a wing mission briefing and discussed the organization and functions of an Air Force base.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Krause, 548th Intelligence Group Deputy Commander, led discussions on the role of linguists in ongoing operations. Members from the 9th and 13th Intelligence Squadrons then escorted the Airmen to their respective classified operations centers and gave more in-depth briefings on real-world missions occurring in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 9 IS processes film and analyzes imagery U-2 missions. The 13 IS provides all-source, fused, near-real-time intelligence to Air Force, joint/combined task force, and unified command commanders worldwide to meet Air Force, theater and national objectives.

The 41 Airmen on this trip are currently learning foreign languages including Arabic, Chinese, Korean and Persian-Farsi at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. Once they complete their 12-to-24-month-long training at the Presidio, they will travel to Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, for four additional months of training to hone their intelligence analysis skills before moving on to operational assignments as ground or airborne cryptologic linguists.

"This 'first look' into Air Force intelligence operations provided insight into their future jobs and served as a motivational tool for these intelligence warriors," said Staff Sgt. Damien Davies, who co-organized the trip. From the response of those who participated, it was a resounding success.

The Airmen stopped at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., to view the C-5, C-17 and C-141 on the flight line and visit the Travis Air Museum on the return trip. The 311 TRS and 314 TRS are already looking forward to the next orientation trip.