AIR FORCE OFFICE OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations has been the Air Force’s major investigative service since Aug.1, 1948. The agency reports to the Inspector General, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.
OSI provides professional investigative service to commanders of all Air Force activities. Its primary responsibilities are criminal investigations and counterintelligence services.
The command focuses on five priorities:
Identify, exploit and neutralize criminal, terrorist and intelligence threats to the U.S. Air Force, Department of Defense and U.S. Government.
The World’s Best Investigative Agency in the World’s Best Air and Space Force.
Eyes of the Eagle
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations provides professional investigative service to commanders of all Air Force activities. AFOSI identifies, investigates and neutralizes criminal, terrorist, and espionage threats to Air Force and Department of Defense personnel and resources.
Personnel and Resources
AFOSI has 3,002 active-duty, Reserve and civilian personnel. Of this number, 2,094 are federally credentialled special agents, who are drawn from all segments of the total force. There are 311 active-duty officers, 1,253 active-duty enlisted, 785 civilians and 419 reservists.
In addition to the command’s headquarters AFOSI has eight field investigations regions. Seven of the Regions are aligned with Air Force major commands: Region 1 with Air Force Materiel Command, Region 2 with Air Combat Command, Region 3 with Air Mobility Command, Region 4 with Air Education and Training Command, Region 5 with U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Region 6 with Pacific Air Forces, and Region 8 with Air Force Space Command.
While the regions serve the investigative needs of those aligned major commands, all AFOSI units and personnel remain independent of those commands, and their chains of command flow directly to AFOSI headquarters. Such organizational independence ensures unbiased investigations.
The single region not aligned with a major command is Region 7, the mission of which is to provide counterintelligence and security-program management for special-access programs under the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.
At the regional level are subordinate units called field investigations squadrons, detachments and operating locations. In sum, AFOSI owns more than 160 units worldwide.
Threat detection. AFOSI manages offensive and defensive activities to detect, counter and destroy the effectiveness of hostile intelligence services and terrorist groups that target the Air Force. These efforts include investigating the crimes of espionage, terrorism, technology transfer and computer infiltration. This mission aspect also includes providing personal protection to senior Air Force leaders and other officials, as well as supervising an extensive antiterrorism program in geographic areas of heightened terrorist activity.
Criminal Investigations. The vast majority of AFOSI’s investigative activities pertain to felony crimes including murder, robbery, rape, assault, major burglaries, drug use and trafficking, sex offenses, arson, compromise of Air Force test materials, black market activities, and other criminal activities.
Economic crime investigations. A significant amount of AFOSI investigative resources are assigned to fraud (or economic crime) investigations. These include violations of the public trust involving Air Force contracting matters, appropriated and nonappropriated funds activities, computer systems, pay and allowance matters, environmental matters, acquiring and disposing of Air Force property, and major administrative irregularities. AFOSI uses fraud surveys to determine the existence, location and extent of fraud in Air Force operations or programs. It also provides briefings to base and command-level resource managers to help identify and prevent fraud involving Air Force or DOD resources.
Information Operations. The Air Force is now countering a global security threat to our information systems. Our role in support of Information Operations recognizes future threats to the Air Force, and our response to these threats, will occur in cyberspace. AFOSI’s support to Information Operations comes in many facets. AFOSI’s computer crime investigators provide rapid worldwide response to intrusions into Air Force systems.
Technology Protection. The desires of potential adversaries to acquire or mimic the technological advances of the U.S. Air Force have heightened the need to protect critical Air Force technologies and collateral data. The AFOSI Research and Technology Protection Program provides focused, comprehensive counterintelligence and core mission investigative services to safeguard Air Force technologies, programs, critical program information, personnel and facilities.
Specialized Services. AFOSI has numerous specialists who are invaluable in the successful resolution of investigations. They include technical specialists, polygraphers, behavioral scientists, computer experts and forensic advisers.
Defense Cyber Crime Center. AFOSI is the DOD executive agent for both the Defense Computer Forensics Laboratory and the Defense Computer Investigations Training Program, which together comprise the Defense Cyber Crime Center. The forensics laboratory provides counterintelligence, criminal, and fraud computer-evidence processing, analysis, and diagnosis to DOD investigations. The investigations training program provides training in computer investigations and computer forensics to DOD investigators and examiners.
Antiterrorism teams. Created out of a need to meet the increasing challenges presented by worldwide terrorism, AFOSI antiterrorism teams are maintained around the globe. These highly trained and specialized AFOSI unit stands ready on a moment’s notice to deploy globally to provide antiterrorism, counterintelligence information collections and investigative services to Air Force personnel and units.
Training and Physical Requirements. All new AFOSI special agent recruits — whether officer, enlisted or civilian — receive their entry-level training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga. The training requires that each recruit meet physical requirements that are located on the FLETC web site at www.fletc.gov. The candidates attend a mandatory, 11-week Criminal Investigator Training Program with other federal law enforcement trainees. That course is followed by six weeks of AFOSI agency-specific coursework. Both courses offer new agents training in firearms and other weapons, defensive tactics, forensics, surveillance and surveillance detection, antiterrorism techniques, crime scene processing, interrogations and interviews, court testimony, and military and federal law. Upon graduation, new AFOSI special agents spend a one-year probationary period in the field. Upon successful completion, some agents receive specialized training in economic crime, antiterrorism service, counterintelligence, computer crimes and other sophisticated criminal investigative capabilities. Others attend 12 weeks of technical training to acquire electronic, photographic and other skills required to perform technical surveillance countermeasures. Experienced agents selected for polygraph duties attend a 14-week DOD course.
Each recruit is expected to participate in each of the following exercises: flexibility, bench press, 1.5 mile run/walk and agility run. All students are tested to determine their fitness level, and each test is age and gender normed. AFOSI special agents are expected to remain physical fit throughout their employment and are allowed five hours of duty time to participate in physical fitness activities.
AFOSI was founded Aug. 1, 1948, at the suggestion of Congress to consolidate investigative activities in the U.S. Air Force. Secretary of the Air Force W. Stuart Symington created AFOSI and patterned it after the FBI. He appointed Special Agent Joseph Carroll, an assistant to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, as the first AFOSI commander and charged him with providing independent, unbiased and centrally directed investigations of criminal activity in the Air Force.