60 Years of Excellence, Marshalling a Superb Future
By Brig. Gen. Dana A. Simmons, Air Force Office of Special Investigations commander
/ Published November 08, 2007
ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. --
These are very exciting times for our Air Force and for OSI! We, as a command, are forging new ground every day and significantly expanding our warfighting capabilities.
We're on the cutting-edge of cyber warfare, battlefield counter-intelligence and anti-terrorism tactics. The world and the Air Force are changing and so are we.
OSI's mission is to identify, exploit and neutralize criminal, terrorist and intelligence threats to the Air Force, Department of Defense and our nation's government. With roughly 2700 personnel worldwide, we are able to protect Air Force personnel and resources from terrorists, ensure our technology is the best, our Airmen and their families are protected from crime, and that white-collar thieves don't defraud the Air Force and further drain our precious resources.
OSI is and has been an integral part of our Nation's defense for 60 years. That in itself is a remarkable accomplishment. Over those 60 years, we've seen our organization grow in numbers, mission and importance to the Air Force and Department of Defense. I believe Lt. Gen. Gary L. North, commander, 9th Air Force and U.S. Central Command Air Force, emphasized this recently when he stated that ''Pound for pound...OSI agents are my most lethal weapon system." That phrase alone speaks volumes to who we are, what we do and what we bring to the fight!
While many Department of Defense agencies have just begun or are in the middle of transforming and adapting to new threats, OSI actually began to transform its mission and resources in the early 1990's.
During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, we revalidated the need for wartime readiness and criminal investigative support for force protection and actively began building on our dual responsibility as a warfighting organization and as a federal investigative agency. The command was designated as a Field Operating Agency in February 1991. Perhaps, one of the biggest changes within OSI's organization came in 1992, when our geographically-assigned district offices were reorganized into Field Investigative Regions, Air Force wing equivalents, which support each of the USAF major commands. On September 4, 2001, OSI's motto, ''Eyes of the Eagle," was officially approved by the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
As a result of the 11 September attacks in 2001, we activated the OSI Crisis Action Team and launched significant operations worldwide to ferret out terrorism-related activities. Winning the Global War on Terror presents many challenges. While some countries strongly support our efforts, others are somewhat less enthusiastic, neutral or even hostile. In direct support of DoD and the Air Force mission, AFOSI's ''Airmen on the ground" take the fight to the enemy every day, no matter where they are.
As OSI celebrates our 60th Anniversary, we are preparing to cross a significant threshold - a transition period that will shape the Air Force, OSI and our nation's security for generations to come. We will achieve this goal by focusing on our main priorities which are carefully blended to support the Air Force's priorities - to develop and retrain a force capable of meeting Air Force needs; to detect and provide early warning of worldwide threats to the Air Force; to identify and resolve crime that threatens Air Force readiness or good order and discipline; to combat threats to information systems and technologies and to detect and defeat fraud impacting Air Force acquisitions programs. The Air Force and OSI are prepared to face the challenges of today and the uncertainties of tomorrow. And we're always looking for highly motivated hard-charging officers, enlisted and civilian personnel to become special agents or to fill critical support roles.
In these challenging and dynamic times, I couldn't be more proud of the men and women of OSI and the fantastic work they're doing every day. I'm truly fortunate to serve in the company of magnificent people.