195th Wing collaborates with California partners at IAA Conference

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jeffrey Schultze
  • 195th Wing Public Affairs

When disasters and search and rescue events happen in California the speed of information can be the difference between life and death. Members from across the 195th Wing that work to collect and optimize that information attended the 2022 Incident Awareness and Assessment Review and Training conference at March Air Reserve Base, California, 15-18 February 2022 to collaborate with partner agencies to improve planning, collection, processing, analysis and dissemination. Whether analyzing or processing imagery or coordinating IAA as an entire collaborative mission, IAA represents a key California State mission for the 195th Wing and its subordinate units including the 222nd Intelligence Support Squadron and the 234th Intelligence Squadron. This conference seeks to bring together members from these units and partners agencies such as CAL FIRE, CAL OES and the California Military Department. “The collaboration was amazing, you have over ten different Air Force specialties such as communications, cyber, intel, weather, pilots as well as multiple Army specialties and numerous civilian agencies that are all trying to improve how we do things and fill the gaps that do exist,” said Major Megan Stromberg, 222nd ISS commander. “You take all these areas of expertise and they look at the problem differently, but everyone is there together trying to get where we are wanting to go in the future; that’s why I love going to this conference.” The imagery and information that is collected in state operations can vary in scale, scope and type requiring unity of effort. “I have seen it (IAA) used in smaller scale search and rescue situations and as broad as wildfire mapping. Those large scale disasters require everyone’s efforts to preserve life and property,” said Master Sgt. Jason Tyler, 234th IS, IAA coordinator. “This interoperability is what we are working towards all the time but these conferences and events are extremely helpful in achieving that aim.” The IAA conference is an annual event but this year brought a new focus to the table. “This was the first conference that focused on data interoperability between military and civilians and getting better at that sharing,” said Stromberg. “We are using our military training and experiences but adapting and growing our doctrine and processes in collaboration with our civilian partners where it makes sense in a domestic disaster situation.” Many of the wing members have attended before but for Tech Sgt. Alexandria MacFarlane, 234th IS, domestic operations team it was new. “This was my first year at the conference and it was a great to experience to meet with others that were attending for the first time. It allows us to get smart on all the IAA capabilities and start to become the next generation of IAA builders in California.”