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188th Wing Airman travels to Japan as part of nine-person team

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jennifer Gerhardt

The Bilateral Intelligence Analysis Cell (BIAC) has quietly etched its place in history as the first-ever bilateral intelligence operation between the United States and Japan’s armed forces at Yokota Air Base, Japan, in September.

Operating for less than one year, the BIAC continues to grow and evolve, serving as a vital conduit for exchanging information and enabling timely and accurate data sharing while offering analytical expertise and collaboration between the partner nations.

Comprising of approximately 30 members from the United States and Japan, the BIAC has four separate teams which run continuous operations. Each with a dynamic composition to adapt to evolving needs. Among those dedicated members is TSgt. Logan Barbee, from the 123rd Intelligence Squadron at the 188th Wing in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Barbee serves as an intelligence mission supervisor for his nine-person team, overseeing his team and ensuring the quality of all intelligence products before distribution.

“My job has several interesting facets,” said Barbee. “I’m writing foundational doctrine, training materials, mission standards and more which are pivotal in helping establish the new unit.”

Within the BIAC team, two pivotal roles hold sway: the intelligence mission supervisor (IMS) and the mission operation commander (MOC). The IMS, typically an enlisted position, plays an essential role in overseeing the entire team and quality check all the intelligence products prior to dissemination. In contrast, the MOC, usually an officer’s position, has the final say in all mission-related matters.

In a unique twist, Barbee wears both hats, serving as both the IMS and MOC, a testament to the adaptability and versatility of the BIAC team members. The dual role provides Barbee with a unique leadership experience as he contributes to shaping an entirely new unit while forging fresh relationships and developing innovative methods of cooperation with Japanese partners.

Barbee feels the BIAC plays a pivotal role in building strong relationships and improving the integration of allied forces within joint operations. The trust and cooperation fostered through the collaborative effort are instrumental in addressing global security challenges effectively.

“We’re building strong working bonds and are better able to integrate in joint operations with allied forces. Being able to effectively partner with them is great,” emphasized Barbee. “Though we are teaching them a lot, they are showing us new things every day too.”

Despite his relatively short time in Japan, Barbee has already gained invaluable experience in understanding the cooperation between the U.S. forces and their partners. Expressing his intentions, Barbee stated, “I plan to share these insights with my colleagues at the Distributed Ground Station-Arkansas.”