Air Forces Northern incident awareness and assessment playbook


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            The United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) is the combatant command that is responsible for security and defense. They conduct Defense of the Civil authorities through providing capabilities to the DOD, Department of Defense from their land, air and sea components in support of the leading federal policies geared towards responding to any homeland security threat.

            Among the capabilities that the DOD brings to their operations is the ISR and IAA. There is no difference between these two terms only that the term IAA has just been coined by the USNORTHCOM to denote the application of ISR when it is applied domestically to support the homeland security. The ISR operation mainly consist of flying both manned and unmanned platforms which are set to revolve over the battle field top provide a clear picture of the situation underneath. During the wartime, this picture could include the location of roads and deposition of the enemy and also the information that may be required so as to target the enemy. ISR provides a clear picture of situational awareness that could not only be used strategically to gain the full picture but also tactically to gather intelligence information that are useful in engaging individual targets. The situation awareness that is provided by the IAA/ ISR becomes a significant force multiplier which the commanders have been known to highly rely on.

            There are many obstacles to realizing full potential for the ISR in homeland security. Currently there is statutory, doctrine, ethical and policy obstacles that exist to prevent ISR from reaching their full capacity for the homeland security provision.

            Improved doctrines will see the department of Defense improve their ability to deliver IAA capabilities to the local, tribal, state and also the federal entities. The consumers all over the country and also the whole world will benefit from improved IAA capabilities.

            The most significant ethical issues come secondarily where IAA capabilities are employed domestically. This is because it is known that all the American citizens enjoy freedoms of privacy, expression and they expect this to be fundamental and be respected in the best way possible. The American citizens highly value their freedoms and hence loath ideas that seem to threaten their constitutional protection.

            In publicizing the use and purpose of IAA, I think there is a big ethical consideration in it because the citizens will get to know the function of IAA and how they function. They will not think that their freedoms are being infringed on but know that this is a military operation and that is how they are and should be carried hence in so doing, there will be no blame game between the government and the citizens.


USAF. (2007). Air Force doctrine document 2-9; Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations. Washington, D.C.: United States Air Force.

Air Forces Northern. (2010). Air Forces Northern incident awareness and assessment playbook. Tyndall AFB, FL: USAF.

USNORTHCOM Public Affairs. (2008, September 18). Hurricane response. Retrieved from United States Northern Command:

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