News Search

363 ISRG holds change of command, welcomes Col. Breanne Howe

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. AJ Hyatt
  • 363d Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing
The 363d Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group welcomed a new commander during their change of command ceremony, July 14, 2022, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.
U.S. Air Force Col. Breanne Howe assumed command of the 363d ISR Group from U.S. Air Force Col. Nishawn Smagh. Col. Eric Mack, 363d ISR Wing commander, presided over the ceremony.
“Leaders, distinguished visitors, fellow commanders, chiefs, and most importantly, Airmen, family and friends of the 363rd ISR Group - good morning and thank you all for coming out today,” said Mack. “We are honored that you’re here as we bid farewell to Col. Nishawn Smagh, welcome Col. Breanne Howe, and observe a change of command for this impressive Group.”
Howe joins the group after previously working as the Director of Intelligence for the United States Special Operations Command Korea (SOCKOR), U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, Republic of Korea (RoK).
“I would argue that there has never been a more challenging time to lead in the Air Force than now, and there are few Groups in the AF that have been called upon to accomplish more in the last two years than the 363d,” said Mack. “Despite the drag and friction COVID-19 has had on our Airmen and our mission for the last two years, the list of accomplishments by the 363d under Colonel Smagh’s adroit leadership is extraordinary and extensive.”
Before the passing of the 363 ISRG guidon, Smagh was presented the Legion of Merit.
During Smagh’s tenure, he led, amid a pandemic, 1,400 Airmen across 21 total force targeting units responsible for generating more than 21,000 all-domain targeting solutions including 1,357 long-range, precision engagement options for 18 operation plans and 22 flexible response options.
“Two years ago when I took command, I stated to the Airmen of the 363 ISRG and the AFTE (Air Force Targeting Enterprise) that this is exactly where I wanted to be … serving you as the commander of the incredible team … and it has been an absolute pleasure serving with all of you,” said Smagh. “I am so thankful for our Airmen. The energy you bring to our squadrons is contagious. I hope that you feel a deep sense of pride in serving our Air Force and nation in a time of great uncertainty. And when the next war happens, because there will always be a next war, you will be our competitive advantage over our enemy.”
Smagh also led the development and implementation of the Wing’s new regionally aligned holistic targeting model by skillfully reorganizing 573 billets and transforming Air Force Targeting Enterprise operations. According to the decoration, these efforts delivered a 300 percent increase in kinetic and non-kinetic target analysis capacity for 11 air operation centers and the United States Space Force.
“Shawn you were challenged with restructuring the 363d ISR Group, and making it ready for the strategic challenges of great power competition,” said Mack. “You have crushed that challenge, and leave this organization today poised to tackle the demands of the future.  I greatly appreciate your leadership and the effort you made to improve the lives of your Airmen and to posture this Group for future challenges.  Without a doubt, you have left the Group stronger than it has ever been before.”
Smagh will be moving on to become the Director of ISR for Air Forces Central.
“As we transition the guidon and salute farewell to one exceptional leader, we welcome another, and I can’t think of a person more qualified to lead the Group into the future than—Colonel Breanne Howe,” Mack said. “To say that she is qualified is an understatement. Her assuming command of the 363 ISRG is absolutely befitting, because there is almost no one in the Air Force with a comparable targeting background and credentials, and given her pedigree some might say she was destined to lead the mighty 363 ISRG.”
Following the passing of the guidon, Howe received her first salute as commander of the 363 ISRG from Lt. Col. Kareen Hart, 363 ISRG deputy commander.
“I couldn’t be walking into a more successful organization, such a well-run team,” said Howe. “And that is the hard work you’ve [Colonel Smagh] done over the two years and I’m profoundly grateful for that.”
Now that Howe has joined the 363 ISRG, her career path has come full circle.
“Targeting was a path I didn’t realize I was going to set on when I left maintenance,” Howe said. “I wanted to leave planes and bombs … and what did I get … more planes and bombs. Let’s get to work! Let’s do this!”
Activated on Feb. 17, 2015, at Langley Air Force Base (now Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.), the 363 ISRG assumed the targeting and geospatial intelligence missions of the inactivated Air Force Targeting Center. Today, the 363d ISRG is lauded across the Department of Defense for its targeting and geospatial products, services, expertise, and advocacy for the Air Force and joint warfighter worldwide.