HomeNewsArticle Display

Intelligence driving operations at Talisman Saber 2017

A U.S. Air Force 1st Special Operations Squadron intelligence officer briefs U.S. and Australian partners on the intelligence picture as aircrew and special tactics personnel prepare to execute the warfighting scenario of Talisman Saber 2017, July 10, 2017, at Rockhampton, Australia. Working with the Australian Army’s 6th Aviation and 2nd Commando Regiments, 37th Squadron Royal Australian Air Force, 40th Squadron Royal New Zealand Air Force, U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron-85 and U.S. Marine Corps 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion provided the 353rd Special Operations Group the opportunity for increased partnership building capacity and interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Tait)

A U.S. Air Force 1st Special Operations Squadron intelligence officer briefs U.S. and Australian partners on the intelligence picture as aircrew and special tactics personnel prepare to execute the warfighting scenario of Talisman Saber 2017, July 10, 2017, at Rockhampton, Australia. Working with the Australian Army’s 6th Aviation and 2nd Commando Regiments, 37th Squadron Royal Australian Air Force, 40th Squadron Royal New Zealand Air Force, U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron-85 and U.S. Marine Corps 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion provided the 353rd Special Operations Group the opportunity for increased partnership building capacity and interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Tait)

A U.S. Air Force 320th Special Tactics Squadron combat controller and pararescueman ask their intelligence analysist questions about the warfighting scenario in preparation for special operations missions to be conducted during Talisman Saber 2017, July 9, 2017, at Rockhampton, Australia. Talisman Saber 2017 is a biennial military training exercise from 23 June to 25 July throughout various locations in Australia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Tait)

A U.S. Air Force 320th Special Tactics Squadron combat controller and pararescueman ask their intelligence analysist questions about the warfighting scenario in preparation for special operations missions to be conducted during Talisman Saber 2017, July 9, 2017, at Rockhampton, Australia. Talisman Saber 2017 is a biennial military training exercise from 23 June to 25 July throughout various locations in Australia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Tait)

A U.S Air Force 353rd Special Operations Support Squadron survival, evasion, resistance and escape (SERE) instructor listens to the intelligence briefing provided by the 353rd Special Operations Group intelligence team July 9, 2017, at Rockhampton, Australia. With more than 33,000 U.S. and Australian personnel participating in Talisman Saber, there is a significant intelligence presence here than in other international exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Tait)

A U.S Air Force 353rd Special Operations Support Squadron survival, evasion, resistance and escape (SERE) instructor listens to the intelligence briefing provided by the 353rd Special Operations Group intelligence team July 9, 2017, at Rockhampton, Australia. With more than 33,000 U.S. and Australian personnel participating in Talisman Saber, there is a significant intelligence presence here than in other international exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Tait)

A U.S. Air Force 17th Special Operations Squadron intelligence analyst provides the intel picture of the warfighting scenario to aircrew prior to air operations July 9, 2017, at Rockhampton, Australia. Talisman Saber 2017 provides the relevant training necessary to maintain regional security, peace and stability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Tait)

A U.S. Air Force 17th Special Operations Squadron intelligence analyst provides the intel picture of the warfighting scenario to aircrew prior to air operations July 9, 2017, at Rockhampton, Australia. Talisman Saber 2017 provides the relevant training necessary to maintain regional security, peace and stability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Tait)

U.S. Air Force 17th Special Operations Squadron aircrew listen to the intelligence briefing provided by the 353rd Special Operations Group intelligence team July 9, 2017, at Rockhampton, Australia. The uniquely complex and challenging multinational environment provides realistic warfighting training for the special operations forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Tait)

U.S. Air Force 17th Special Operations Squadron aircrew listen to the intelligence briefing provided by the 353rd Special Operations Group intelligence team July 9, 2017, at Rockhampton, Australia. The uniquely complex and challenging multinational environment provides realistic warfighting training for the special operations forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Tait)

A U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron-85 intelligence analyst points out locations on a map of Central Queensland in Australia to a U.S. Air Force 1st Special Operations Squadron intelligence officer, as the analysts build the intelligence picture for the warfighting scenario of Talisman Saber 2017, July 10, 2017 at Rockhampton, Australia. Aside from service components working with the Australian military, the exercise also provided an opportunity for U.S. forces to integrate intelligence systems and share tactics, trainings and procedures with other U.S. services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Tait)

A U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron-85 intelligence analyst points out locations on a map of Central Queensland in Australia to a U.S. Air Force 1st Special Operations Squadron intelligence officer, as the analysts build the intelligence picture for the warfighting scenario of Talisman Saber 2017, July 10, 2017 at Rockhampton, Australia. Aside from service components working with the Australian military, the exercise also provided an opportunity for U.S. forces to integrate intelligence systems and share tactics, trainings and procedures with other U.S. services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Tait)

U.S. Air Force 353rd Special Operations Group intelligence analysts posture to receive questions by aircrew and special tactics personnel July 9, 2017, at Rockhampton, Australia. Though hidden behind the scenes, the intelligence analysts of the 353rd SOG and their Australian counterparts paint the big picture of the warfighting scenario for Talisman Saber 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Tait)

U.S. Air Force 353rd Special Operations Group intelligence analysts posture to receive questions by aircrew and special tactics personnel July 9, 2017, at Rockhampton, Australia. Though hidden behind the scenes, the intelligence analysts of the 353rd SOG and their Australian counterparts paint the big picture of the warfighting scenario for Talisman Saber 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Tait)

ROCKHAMPTON, Australia --

Though hidden behind the scenes, the intelligence analysts of the 353rd Special Operations Group and their Australian counterparts paint the big picture of the warfighting scenario for Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial military training exercise from 23 June to 25 July throughout various locations in Australia.

“We are working with our Australian counterparts to do an intelligence based exercise, where operations are driven by the intelligence picture we provide,” said U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Justin Smith, 320th Special Tactics Squadron noncommissioned-officer-in-charge of special tactics intelligence. “We are usually in the background behind closed doors so people often don’t realize the impact we have.”

Talisman Saber 2017 provides the relevant training necessary to maintain regional security, peace and stability.

“This is one of the key Australian-led exercises that we participate in,” said U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Bryce Jarvis, 1st Special Operations Squadron chief of intelligence. “The scenario development helps hone our skills by being able to produce products and tailor actionable intel for our aircrew and special tactics executing missions in a warfighting environment.”

With more than 33,000 U.S. and Australian personnel participating in Talisman Saber, there is a significant intelligence presence here than in other international exercises.

“Including our partners, we have a total of 40 intel bodies supporting this exercise due to the sheer size of participation and moving pieces,” said Jarvis. “Whether it’s from the air component across the different branches of service to include U.S. Air Force, Navy and Army to all the Australian Defence Force units participating. This is just a larger exercise, so there is far more intelligence associated with that.”

The uniquely complex and challenging multinational environment provides realistic warfighting training for the special operations forces.

“The critical thinking aspects of our job are being tested in a way that we don’t always get to execute in other exercises,” said Jarvis. “For instance, how do we defeat a complex weapon system? We don’t always look at that, so getting back into a warfighting capacity is always good.”

The 353rd SOG will work with the Australian Army’s 6th Aviation and 2nd Commando Regiments, 37th Squadron Royal Australian Air Force, 40th Squadron Royal New Zealand Air Force, U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron-85 (HSC-85) and U.S. Marine Corps 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion during Talisman Saber 2017. This military cooperation allows for increased partnership building capacity and interoperability.

 “The ability of all of us to get together and partner with each other ensures we are all operating on the same page,” said Jarvis. “It’s been great to see the differences in how we work, whether that’s different briefing styles or products. All of that comes together in the end to fuse and encourage that interoperability we are striving for in this scenario.”

Aside from service components working with the Australian military, the exercise also provides an opportunity for U.S. forces to integrate intelligence systems and share tactics, trainings and procedures with other U.S. services.

“HSC-85 brings to the fight a unique and highly tactical rotary wing platform, with tactical intelligence requirements that other service elements may not have been exposed to,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Sean Johnson, HSC-85 tactical intelligence officer. “The sharing of intelligence resources, best practices and product development will greatly enhance future integration as U.S. and coalition forces assist the Combatant Commanders in the shaping of the operational environment.”

The U.S.-Australian alliance remains a model in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

“It’s been phenomenal working with our Australian partners and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Smith. “These guys are great and their capability far surpasses my expectations. I’d like to learn more from them as time goes on and hopefully we can provide the same training base they are providing as well.”  

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.