Intelligence: Think Like the Enemy


November27, 2006: The U.S. Air Force has a unique and effective way to getting intelligence information, about potential enemies, to it's pilots and support personnel. The air force has a unit (the 57th Adversary Tactics Group, or "57th TAG") that specializes in creating very realistic training exercises. The 57th has nearly 600 personnel, including many intelligence specialists. These include active duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel. The eight squadrons in the group each specialize on developing realistic enemy threats for different situations. Two squadrons develop threats F-16 and F-15 fighters are likely to encounter. Another squadron creates realistic Internet based threats. There are two squadrons that deal with space based threats (attacking, and defending, satellites). Another squadron deals with enemy ground based anti-aircraft systems. A new squadron is dealing with Information War (problems with the mass media). There is also an intelligence squadron, and one that organizes training exercises.

The 57th TAG personnel are in great demand as advisors for combat units, as the group has a collection of intel personnel who are not only knowledgeable about enemy (actual or potential) capabilities, but spend much of their time figuring out how these capabilities might be most effectively used against U.S. forces. In this respect, the 57th TAG sometimes come up with better tactics for the use of enemy equipment than the enemy have. So much of the details are kept secret.


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