Press Releases

Congressmen Bacon and Garamendi Launch Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Caucus

Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02) and Congressman John Garamendi (CA-03) held a breakfast today officially introducing the bipartisan Congressional Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Caucus.

“I am excited to co-chair this caucus with Congressman Garamendi,” said Rep. Bacon. “Airborne ISR plays an important role in our national security and I look forward to bringing together ISR experts from DoD and industry. Having this insight will provide Congressman Garamendi and I the opportunity to better shape the NDAA to ensure we have the best ISR capabilities tailored for current and future threats. As the former Commander of the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, I saw first-hand how ISR provided our nation with an unmatched advantage on the battlefield.”

“It is an honor to co-chair the Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Caucus with my colleague, retired Air Force Brigadier General Congressman Bacon,” said Rep. Garamendi. “As the Representative for Beale Air Force Base, I’m well aware just how vital the ISR mission is—not just to the Air Force, but to all our joint operations throughout the world. This caucus will help ensure that our defense bills give intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions the support they need today and well into the future.”

Original members of the caucus include: 

Madeleine Bordallo (Guam)
Chris Collins (NY-27)
Paul Cook (CA-08)
Neal Dunn (FL-02)
Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01)
Vicky Hartzler (MO-04)
Denny Heck (WA-10)
Steve Knight (CA-25)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27)
Jacky Rosen (NV-03)
John Rutherford (FL-04)
Austin Scott (GA-08)
Michael Turner (OH-10)

At this morning’s breakfast, attendees heard about the state of the joint ISR force from Lieutenant General John N.T. “Jack” Shanahan of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and one of our nation’s most senior ISR military leaders.  He discussed the importance of the caucus and ways to make ISR more effective. 

The military’s ability to have accurate and timely information readily available for our nation’s leaders is critical as we address the multi-dimensional threats posed by both state and non-state actors in today’s international environment. The Airborne ISR enterprise directly contributes to the security of the nation through 24/7 operations across the globe, providing almost instantaneous information through a network of joint military personnel, aircraft, and communication systems.

The objectives of the Congressional Airborne ISR Caucus are to:

  • Raise awareness of the critical role that Airborne ISR plays in protecting our nation.
  • Establish a forum for exchange among members who are committed to promoting Airborne ISR.
  • Provide information on ISR enterprise challenges and opportunities related to manned aircraft, remotely-piloted aircraft, on-board sensors, distributed mission control and intelligence ground stations, aircrew, analysts, networks, and cyber defenses.
  • Ensure member access to the most accurate and up-to-date information on developments in the Airborne ISR Community through engagements with senior leaders in the joint ISR community and defense industry.

The Airborne ISR caucus will hold quarterly breakfasts with industry and military leaders, and caucus members and staff. The next breakfast is expected in March 2018.