JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 23rd Intelligence Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland organized and executed a first-ever, unit-wide Publicly Available Information, or PAI, training session June 6.
The goal of the training was to educate 23rd IS Airmen with PAI best practices and highlight the capabilities that PAI brings to intelligence operations. The training was part of the squadron’s first-ever virtual unit training assembly.
Unit members Master Sgt. Leslie Lawrence and 1st Lt. Gwendolyn Leon-Guerrero created and hosted the training, which consisted of officers, enlisted, and all of the unit’s Air Force Specialty Codes, or AFSCs. The customized training adapted portions of the Air Combat Command PAI Executive and Fundamentals courses, while also including PAI tool demonstrations and vignettes.
Topics covered during the one hour and a 30-minute session included: Defining PAI and Open Source Intelligence, legal authorities, and various PAI tools that are available to intelligence analysts.
In October 2019, the 23rd IS hosted and organized the Air Force’s Quarterly PAI Working Group which included attendees from across the Air Force and Department of Defense. Since then, the unit has dedicated efforts to developing a future PAI Center of Excellence at Joint Base San Antonio.
The 23rd IS also continues to prioritize PAI and integrate Open Source Intelligence into its daily activities in support of assigned cyber missions.
“It’s very important that all analysts first understand all of the legal requirements expected of them, and that they receive this baseline training so that they can fully bring to bear the power of this resource,” said 1st Lt. Leon Guerrero.
“This was our first squadron-wide PAI event that we made available to all unit members over a drill weekend," said Master Sgt. Lawrence, the 23rd IS DOK flight chief and the squadron’s PAI lead. "Our next steps will be to offer the full PAI Fundamentals course and then move on to PAI tradecraft training.”
The 23rd IS PAI training comes at a time when the Air Force is increasingly integrating PAI into more of its operations and multi-intelligence fusion analysis. The 23rd IS continues to be at the forefront of that focus.
“It was exciting to see the PAI expertise that we are developing within our squadron," said Maj. Nicholas Herald, 23rd IS director of operations. "Master Sgt. Lawrence and 1st Lt. Guerrero put together a succinct training session that exposed a lot of our Airmen to PAI for the first time and got them excited about using PAI in the near future. PAI will increasingly become an indispensable part of our Squadron’s impact on our cyber mission.”
The 23rd IS delivers premiere cyber intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance expertise through Total Force Integration, driving the employment of offensive cyber capabilities in support of Combatant Command objectives and priorities.
The 23rd IS is a cyber intelligence squadron, conducting cyberspace ISR in support of the Cyber National Mission Forces. This includes cybersecurity integral to Department of Defense intelligence operations and is the foundation for a strong cyberspace defense. Cybersecurity involves applying a number of security standards and best practices across a very broad and varied network environment or environments.