48th Intelligence Support Squadron

The 48th Intelligence Support Squadron is one of three squadrons aligned under the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group. The unit was activated at Beale Air Force Base on 30 November 1994, and its lineage can be traced throughout the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency and its predecessor organizations. It was originally formed as the 6948th Security Squadron (Mobile) at Goodfellow Air Force Base on 1 July 1963. The unit has been involved in numerous combat and humanitarian relief operations, most recently to include Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, UNIFIED PROTECTOR, Haiti Earthquake relief operations, and Defense Support to Civilian Authorities during the years' recent California wildfires.

"To deliver real-time, unimpeded intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations by maintaining, defending, and supporting the cyberspace domain for the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System (AF DCGS) enterprise, both in-garrison and deployed. We sustain the capability to operationalize U-2, MQ-1, MQ-9, MC-12W and RQ-4 ISR data in order to collect, process, exploit and disseminate actionable intelligence to US & coalition forces worldwide."

The 48th Intelligence Support Squadron maintains a full suite of servers, switches, and systems providing National Security Agency (NSA) Networks, Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications Systems (JWICS), NATO, Coalition and other unique US networks required for daily ISR operations. Additionally, the squadron maintains the JWICS infrastructure for Beale AFB along with around-the-clock connectivity to the RQ-4 Global Hawk ISR weapon system. The unit also operates a Modularized Interoperable Surface Terminal (MIST) antenna for daily training and testing for local U-2 and Global Hawk training sorties.


- Maintaining the Cyberspace Domain:

  • Configuration and sustainment of globally-networked hardware and software for Allied and Coalition ISR networks to enable collection, processing, exploitation, and dissemination of imagery, signals, and voice data
  • Cyber Crew Integration to perform real-time troubleshooting, maintenance, and resolution of imagery and signals intelligence systems, crew communications, and links/nodes throughout all phases of ISR execution

- Defending the Cyberspace Domain:

  • Performing Cyber Surety measures for all weapon system assets comprising the AF DCGS enterprise, to include network vulnerability assessments, fortification of pilot voice networks, and accreditation of national mission partner systems

- Supporting the Cyberspace Domain: 

  • Supply and Logistics management of COTS/GOTS hardware, software, wired/wireless, terrestrial, and data management equipment that enables the execution of both in-garrison and deployed ISR operations
  • Civil Engineer support to weapon system infrastructure (e.g.--Power and HVAC maintenance for all AF DCGS systems/networks/C2 nodes) for both in-garrison and deployed ISR operations


Personnel and ResourcesThe unit consists of 230 military members comprised of 13 various Air Force Specialty Codes, 100 contractors, and 2 civilian personnel. Total Force Integration plays a major role in enabling the unit's mission, which is supported daily by the inclusion of both Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve partners.

The 48th Intelligence Support Squadron is organized into three flights: The ISR Cyber Operations flight (SCO) provides direct support to the weapon system as well as maintenance for tertiary systems necessary to conduct mission operations. The ISR Cyber Transport flight (SCP) provides network infrastructure and radio frequency systems support providing network capabilities and long-haul communications. The ISR Cyber Operations Support (SCX) flight provides logistics support, plans and implementation, infrastructure support, and information assurance. In addition, the ISR Maintenance Operations Center provides maintenance control functions and trend analysis, while the Mission System Supervisor element provides 24/7 direct interface between intelligence operators and maintenance personnel.