Updated: Jan 2017

Specialty Summary

1A8X2 Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Duties: Manages, supervises and performs airborne ISR operations. Flies as primary aircrew onboard a wide variety of aircraft to operate, evaluate and manage airborne ISR information and related ground processing systems. Performs identification, acquisition, recording, analysis and reporting of assigned ISR tasks. Provides ISR threat warning support and interfaces with other units. Performs and assists with mission planning. Maintains assigned publications and currency items. Participates in theater and tactical-level ISR coordination networks. Processes, analyzes and disseminates ISR information obtained from onboard sensors during missions in progress.

Tech School

66 Days

Lackland AFB

Goodfellow AFB


Intelligence Studies and Technology

Duty Badge

Enlisted Aircrew Badge








Total: 495

For Entry Into This Specialty


General: 72


40 lbs

  • No record or history of temporomandibular joint pain or disorder.
  • Must maintain eligibility to deploy and mobilize worldwide.
  • Specialty requires routine access to Top Secret material or similar environment.

Duties and Responsibilities

Process intelligence information in an airborne environment. Operates assigned intelligence systems and mission equipment. Uses operator workstations, graphical displays, recording devices and related equipment. Fields and operates sophisticated computerized radio receiver suites on various strategic and tactical ISR platforms. Conducts environmental surveys of radio frequency spectrum. Annotates electromagnetic events, measures parameters and compares results to previously catalogued signals to determine likely emitter source. Operates direction finding equipment. Analyzes structure and content of machine-based communications. Digitally archives key events for follow-on processing. Extracts essential elements of information for reportable significance. Disseminates threat warning information to affected entities via established channels. Maintains logs to document mission results. Prepares in-flight and post-mission reports.

Provide ISR information. Compares sensor data with in-flight ISR data and database files. Participates in mission planning and provides pre-mission inputs to maximize mission success. Uses coordinate reference systems. Coordinates mission profile requirements. Records special interest mission information. Understands status of mission aircraft, assigned target sets and air tasking order information.

Provides threat warning and actionable intelligence to customers as required. Achieves and maintains situational awareness of impending/ongoing air, ground and maritime combat operations. Employs intelligence information systems to satisfy air, ground, and maritime force intelligence and threat warning requirements. Provides threat warning information to aircrews and other agencies. Coordinates with airborne, ground, and maritime agencies to distribute and relay operational threat and identification data. Transmits identification and other mission information. Knowledgeable of U.S. and allied operations such as interception, interdiction, Close Air Support (CAS), Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Combat Air Patrol (CAP), reconnaissance, Offensive or Defensive Counter Air (OCA/DCA), Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), and Special Operations Forces (SOF).

Manage mission activities. Manages standardization, qualification, reports, records, and other requirements. Ensures accuracy, completeness, format, and compliance with current directives and mission system performance engineering preventive maintenance programs, and aircrew procedures.

Perform aircrew duties. Demonstrates and maintains proficiency in emergency equipment use and procedures, and egress. Performs pre-flight, through-flight, and post-flight inspections. Operates aircraft systems and equipment, such as electrical, interphone, door, and exits. Performs preventive maintenance on mission equipment. Ensures equipment and resources are externally clean, functional, and free from safety hazard. Reports malfunctions and observations. Supervises loading and off-loading of classified material and personal aircrew gear. Applies restraint devices, such as straps and nets, to prevent shifting during flight. Ensures access to escape exits.

Plan and organize mission conduct. Determines mission priorities. Adheres to Communication Security (COMSEC) procedures. Resolves operational and technical problems. Ensures crew complement and qualifications, equipment status, and operating efficiency are adequate to meet mission objectives.

Specialty Qualifications

Knowledge. Knowledge is mandatory of: aircraft emergency equipment and procedures; ISR operations and related Cryptologic support to national agencies, service Cryptologic elements and theater elements; joint service relationships and operations concepts; radio frequency theory; radio communications networks, operations, and techniques; collection and processing procedures; signals and traffic analysis techniques; tasking strategies; reporting concepts, formats and procedures; mission planning and management; basic computer and electronic equipment operations; and methods for handling, distributing and safeguarding information.

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