(Contributed by: Dick Mondro - 5th Detachment AFOSI)
AFOSI Detachment 509 was assigned to Wurtsmith AFB and reported to AFOSI HQ,
Bolling AFB, DC. It has been the Air Force's major investigative service since
August 1, 1948.
The primary responsibilities of the Air Force Office of Special
Investigations are criminal investigative and counterintelligence services. The
organization seeks to identify, investigate and neutralize espionage, terrorism,
fraud and other major criminal activities that may threaten Air Force and
Department of Defense resources. AFOSI provides professional investigative
service to commanders of all Air Force activities.
Personnel and Resources
AFOSI has about 2,000 personnel, of whom two-thirds are special agents.
Eighty-eight percent of the special agents are military and 12 percent are
civilian. AFOSI consists of seven regional offices, seven overseas squadrons and
more than 160 detachments using a worldwide network of agents at all major Air
Force installations and a variety of special operating locations.
Counterintelligence - The counterintelligence mission primarily is to
counter the threat to Air Force security posed by hostile intelligence services
and terrorist groups and to identify and assess the threat for Air Force
commanders. 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 for espionage. This includes investigating the
crimes of espionage, terrorism, technology transfer, computer infiltration and
other specialized counterintelligence operations.
The counterintelligence mission also includes providing personal protection
to senior Air Force and other officials as well as supervising an extensive
anti-terrorism program in geographic areas of heightened terrorist activity.
Criminal Investigations - The vast majority of AFOSI's investigative
activities involve general felony crimes. These crimes include robbery, rape,
assault, major burglaries, drug trafficking and other criminal activities. The
most complex of these crimes require investigators to use their specialized
expertise and advanced techniques learned from initial training and on-the-job
Economic Crime Investigations - A significant amount of AFOSI
investigative resources are assigned to economic crime or fraud 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
Specialized Services - OSI has numerous specialists who are invaluable
in the successful resolution of investigations. They include technical
specialists, polygraphers, behavioral scientists, computer experts and forensic
advisers. These investigators provide assistance when a specialized technique
may move the investigation closer to a suitable conclusion.
Training - To do its investigative mission, the Air Force Office of
Special Investigations recruits, selects and trains its own agents. Officer,
enlisted and civilian candidates attend a mandatory, 10 1/2 week basic Special
Investigator Course at the U.S. Air Force Special Investigations Academy,
The basic investigator course includes instruction in law, investigative
theory, report writing, forensics, interview techniques and other subjects
designed to prepare special agents for the challenges of investigative duty.
Upon graduation, new OSI special agents spend a one-year probationary period in
the field. Upon successful completion, the agents may return to Washington,
D.C., for further specialized training in economic crime, anti-terrorism
service, counterintelligence and other sophisticated criminal investigative
Selected special agents attend 10 weeks of technical training to acquire
electronic, photographic and other skills required to perform technical
surveillance investigations. Experienced agents selected for polygraph duties
attend a 14-week DOD course.