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1 Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing Detachment making an impact in the Middle East

Intelligence Analysts from 1 Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Wing have been deployed continually to Cyprus for the last ten years in support of operations in the Middle East.

Target still

Based at RAF Akrotiri, 1 ISR Wing Detachment known as ‘Aki Det’, is currently made up of 5 RAF personnel and a Royal Marine who are responsible for analysing and declassifying imagery captured during a series of air strikes against Houthi infrastructure in Yemen.

Serviceperson looking at computer screen

The imagery specialists first assess footage and images to confirm targeting objectives were met, before removing classified information so that analysed images can be published. 

“Timeliness, but more important, accuracy, is fundamental in completing these tasks, which enable essential further assessment.”

Sergeant Montague
1 ISR Wing Detachment Commander

The key role of the Detachment is to provide an accurate understanding of the operational environment through a procedure known as ‘PED’: Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination. This process is undertaken using footage that can come from a variety of sources, including the pods that are mounted on RAF Typhoon jets during sorties.

Two serivcepeople from the back, one pointing at a screen

The Detachment use this imagery to conduct Phase 1 Battle Damage Assessment (BDA), which assesses the extent of physical damage following strikes on targets in order to determine whether the operational intent of the strikes has been met. The imagery is then also used for training and other intelligence tasks received from both UK Armed Forces and coalition partners. 

“It’s been a privilege to command a team who have shown how efficiently and skilfully they can work, especially under pressure. This initial assessment is a vital part of the process in confirming mission success, and seeing the impact our work has had for both the UK and our allies is fantastic.”

Sergeant Montague

1 ISR Wing Detachment currently serve as part of 903 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) and routinely provide intelligence on the Middle Eastern battlespace that enables informed decision-making at Commander level.

“The ISR team are one of 903 EAW’s five vital Force Elements. Their work is integral to the precise and effective planning, execution and analysis of operations and has been crucial in delivering success time and time again. They never fail to deliver.”

Wing Commander Jakubowski
903 EAW Commanding Officer