Afghan Special Mission Wing Mi-17 helicopters sit on the flight line in Kabul. The SMW hosted a conference with senior intelligence officials from the defense and interior ministries, as well as National Directorate of Security (NDS) organizations.
By: Erickson Barnes, Resolute Support Public Affairs
KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghanistan’s
only dedicated special operations aviation unit hosted a conference here with
senior intelligence officials from the defense and interior ministries, as well
as National Directorate of Security (NDS) organizations attending March 6-7.
The Afghan-led joint service
and inter-agency event was held at the Special Mission Wing’s headquarters to
further coordinate a "whole of government” approach for the intelligence
community, with a focus on Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)
processes and procedures.
"The Special Mission Wing is
the tip of the spear for tactical and operational intelligence, surveillance
and reconnaissance,” said Col. Ziyarmal, deputy commander of the SMW. "Our
mission is to provide essential operational reach … for the Afghan Special
Security Forces, delivering these ground forces during day or under the cover
of darkness to remote and difficult locations.
"The SMW also provides
real-time targeting data to the Afghan Air Force A-29 pilots for their close
air attack missions, improving first pass lethality,” he said.
Achievements made by the SMW’s Intelligence Information Center
(IIC), which is comprised of 16 intelligence officers and noncommissioned
officers, laid the foundation for the conference.
"The mission of the IIC is
three-fold,” said an Afghan colonel whose identity must be protected for
security purposes. "Firstly, we have to provide over watch for helicopter and
ground assaults through maximizing the capabilities and processes of our
resources, such as our PC-12 fixed wing aircraft. Secondly, we efficiently provide
intelligence preparation of the battlespace, which gives strike forces updated situational
awareness for their mission briefings. Finally, the IIC offers the Afghan Air
Force ISR support to mitigate civilian casualties while positively identifying
Conference speakers stressed
the importance of synchronization among directorate intelligence functions and
discussed future efforts across a variety of topics, ranging from air support
request procedures to positive target identification. Attendees also had the
opportunity to openly communicate and clarify priorities and expectations for
further development of relationships within their community.
Ziyarmal said the community’s
"shared vision” is to identify, locate and destroy those who threaten
Afghanistan’s sovereignty, and to provide security and prosperity for the
This is the first ISR
conference hosted by SMW, but officials plan to hold the conference semi-annually
and adjust the focus to address the most important topics within the
The two-day event
culminated in a ceremony celebrating the one-year anniversary of the IIC.