ROYAL AIR FORCE WYTON, United Kingdom —
Leaders from the 655th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing (ISRW) visited the Royal Auxiliary Air Force (RAuxAF) Intelligence Reserves Wing at RAF Wyton and Joint Analysis Center at RAF Molesworth July 11-14 as part of an ongoing Military Reserve Exchange Program between the two wings.
With new leadership recently established at both units, commanders discussed their goals for the future of the exchange program, which was established in 2021, and the challenges both units are facing in resource-constrained environments. Leaders are working to optimize these exchanges, which occur roughly twice each year, and maximize shared learnings and interoperability. The team also met with RAuxAF personnel performing missions similar to those of the 655 ISRW to gain perspective on British Reservists’ duties and life out of uniform.
“The U.K. is one of our most important and closest allies in the intelligence community. Our deployed men and women work with them frequently, and these exchanges serve to contribute to and strengthen that relationship,” said Col. Philip Warlick, 655th ISRW commander. “We want to ensure our British Reserve counterparts get broader exposure to the breadth of our ISR missions and how our Citizen Airmen augment our active-duty units when they visit us here in Ohio and Virginia.”
Wing leaders also stopped at the U.S. European Command’s (EUCOM) Joint Analysis Center (JAC), an intelligence analysis and production center geographically separated from its combatant command headquarters that supports both U.S. and NATO to learn more about its operations. A visit to the U.S. Embassy in London and U.K. Parliament provided 655th ISRW leaders a U.K. perspective on world affairs, including the crisis in Ukraine. The exchange culminated in a visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo, the world’s largest military air show.
“These visits are incredibly important for mutual understanding of our organizations’ missions and contribute to better total force integration,” said Lt. Col. Joe Brown, Russian Integration Division chief and the U.S. Air Force senior service representative for the JAC. “As an outcome, [the JAC] has already identified areas where we can collaborate and tap into expertise of the 655, leveraging the expertise of their reservists to support our mission in EUCOM.”
“In today’s global defense environment, we don’t fight alone,” Warlick said. “Reserve members come from different backgrounds and lead different lives, regardless of country, and we look forward to continuing these exchanges to deepen cultural understanding and global ISR expertise of our Citizen Airmen.”
This is the third visit as part of the 655th ISRW and RAuxAF Military Reserve Exchange Program. In 2022, RAuxAF visited Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., followed by a visit by the ISRW to RAF Wyton/Waddington later that year. Initially, the program was intended to provide cultural exchange and improved communication between the units, but it ultimately allowed a platform for professional exchanges to reduce duplications of effort and learn best practices from each other.