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Hawaii Guard Imagery Analyst Named PACAF Award Winner

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Roann Gatdula,
  • 154th Wing Public Affairs - Hawaii Air National Guard

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - A Hawaii Air National Guard Airman won a Pacific Air Force-level award Sept. 22 for his exceptional contributions to the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance community.

Senior Airman Cory Haines, an imagery analyst from the 613th Air Operations Center, was selected as the PACAF level winner for the 2023 Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Awards Program (AFISRAP) - Outstanding Airman of the Year in the Air Reserve Component Junior Enlisted category.

The annual program recognizes outstanding leadership and performance among military members, civilians, organizations, instructors and contributors in the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance domain within the Air Force.

Haines was chosen over a broad pool of candidates stationed in Japan, the Republic of Korea and Alaska and will now compete at the Air Force level against Airmen in the other major commands.

Imagery analysts like Haines play a crucial role in supporting military operations, intelligence gathering, and mission planning. Haines processes, disseminates and exploits imagery and geospatial data, enabling U.S. forces to interpret and gather information on what an opponent can see in a given battlespace.

“I get to see actual images and or videos and it kind of gives me a first look at everything that the enemy is trying or wanting to do,” said Haines. “I can build my assessments off of that and take that to the higher rep, and, hopefully, this is what we can do to help counter anything.”

The 613th Air Operations Center supports operations throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, focusing on integrating air, space, cyber and information operations to meet campaign objectives established by the commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

For six months, he took on additional responsibilities typically reserved for well-seasoned NCOs, helping bridge the gap of two vacant E-6 positions. During this time, he exploited over 3,600 images and 1,100 targets to track over 4,000 adversary assets.

“Haines is a hard-working individual who is always trying to find different ways to improve himself as an Airman and is always trying to find different ways to improve his workplace and work environment,” said Tech Sgt. Hadrian Natale, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Imagery Support Element. “As a junior intelligence analyst with only a couple years of intelligence experience under his belt, he has shown us that he is willing to learn and apply his knowledge and exceed our expectations, which, as his NCOIC, makes me proud.”

This willingness to learn and proficiency in applying those skills helped him stand out as one of two imagery analysts selected to support nine dynamic targeting exercises. He quickly integrated information from national and regional intelligence sources to locate, pinpoint and monitor the movements of 12 time-sensitive targets. Haines accomplished this task 20 minutes faster than the established timeline.

This efficiency helped cement the integration of a new and advanced intel source, which was implemented theater-wide in ISR, and command and control tactics.

Haines’s experiences and motivation to lead by example are traits he hopes can inspire his other team.

“I want to be the best at my job that I can be and help others along the way,” he said. “Whether that’s in their job or in their everyday life, I look forward to just being the best that I can be so one day I can pass my skills on and be that mentor type to somebody.”