The Air Force Office of
Special Investigations is a field operating agency with
headquarters at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. It has been
the Air Force's felony-level investigative service since
August 1, 1948. The agency reports to the Inspector
General, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.
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. The command focuses on four priorities:
- Detect and provide early warning of worldwide
threats to the Air Force;
- Identify and resolve crime impacting Air Force
readiness or good order and discipline;
- Combat threats to Air Force information systems
and technologies; and
- Defeat and deter fraud in the acquisition of Air
Force prioritized weapons systems.
Personnel and Resources
AFOSI has 2,533 active-duty, Reserve and civilian
personnel. Of this number, approximately 1,935 are
federally credentialled special agents, who are drawn
from all segments of the total force. There are 363
active-duty officers, 791 active-duty enlisted, 402
civilians and 379 are 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
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
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
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.