Air Force Eases Congressional Concerns Over NASIC Alignment

Air Staff keeps foreign technology experts

Keeping the National Air and Space Intelligence Center organizationally separate from the rest of the Air Force’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance enterprise is not expected to negatively affect the agency’s work, according to a service spokeswoman.

The comment comes after Congress dropped legislation from the fiscal year 2015 Defense Authorization Act, signed into law Dec. 19, that would have directed the service to develop a plan to keep the organization aligned under the Headquarters Air Staff with direct reporting through the air branch’s vice chief of staff.

The center — headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH — is the Air Force’s principal organization for keeping tabs on foreign air and space technologies, and until recently the organization has been a division with the now-defunct Air Force ISR Agency (AFISRA).

That agency was broken apart in October and re-organized as the 25th Air Force under Air Combat Command to give the ISR community a more operational focus.

“DIRLAUTH, or direct liaison authorized, has been authorized between 25th AF and NASIC to ensure streamlined communication and information-sharing on behalf of the national intelligence community and warfighters,” Air Force spokeswoman Vicki Stein said in a Dec. 16 email to Inside the Air Force. “Thus far, the reorganization has not had any negative impact on NASIC’s effectiveness, nor do we expect it to.”

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Northrop Awarded $657M To Build Four South Korean Global Hawks

First delivery in 2018

Northrop Grumman has secured a contract to deliver four unmanned RQ-4B Global Hawk surveillance aircraft to South Korea, as Japan begins negotiating a similar deal.

The $657 million “hybrid contract” procures four Block 30 aircraft, two spare engines and two ground control stations, according to a Dec. 16 Defense Department contract announcement.

The deal comes almost nine months after South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced the selection of Global Hawk to meet its high-altitude surveillance requirement.

In a Dec. 17 email to Inside the Air Force, Northrop spokesman Warren Comer said the company is pleased to move forward with RQ-4B delivery. As a foreign military sale, the program will be managed through the Air Force’s Global Hawk program office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OK.

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