The Defense Department has directed the Air Force to organize a Civil Aviation Intelligence Analysis Center to coordinate interagency monitoring of civil air traffic. Under the plan, USAF will “coordinate and synchronize DOD support for the civil aviation intelligence mission,” while “maintaining relationships with key civil aviation intelligence stakeholders,” according to a directive issued by Michael Vickers, DOD undersecretary for intelligence, July 29. Staffed by the 29th Intelligence Squadron currently at Fort Meade, Md., “or successor organization,” the instructions mandate a strategy review and development of requirements to begin monitoring civil aviation for potential security threats by Fiscal 2013. The center’s mission will be to detect, monitor, and analyze daily air traffic and to “warn of illicit activity or threat to the United States, its allies or interests involving civil aviation,” according to the missive.
Top experts and observers stressed the importance of air superiority in Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine during a Sept. 26 forum in Washington D.C.—and pushed hard for the U.S. to supply Ukraine with advanced weapons as quickly as possible.