Mission Impossible

The official seal of the Impossible Mission Force (IMF)

The Impossible Mission Force, or IMF for short, is an independent espionage agency commonly employed by the U.S. government. While the IMF is based in America, shown in the third film, several of its agents are from different countries around the world. Thus, the IMF is an multinational espionage agency.

The IMF was disbanded and branded as a rogue agency for six months due to its lack of a Secretary in charge, whose death was depicted and the attempts to stop Kurt Hendricks in Ghost Protocol.

In the aftermath of Solomon Lane's arrest, the IMF was reinstated under former CIA director, Alan Hunley, who had become the new Secretary.

It is currently unknown who the current Director of the IMF is.


Specialty and Methods[]

Situations that are too politically sensitive or too potentially politically embarrassing, too dangerous for politicians to be trusted and to confront, too absurd or too sensitive for the CIA, or too complex for the FBI are handled by this top-secret organization. The IMF is a specialized group of expert spy agents who remain hidden from the public eye. If the IMF's existence was ever publicly revealed, the United States would be expelled from the United Nations and banned as a "pariah state."

For this reason, the IMF trains its field operatives very rigorously in the ways of stealth, deception, persuasion and the art of "invisibility." On the other hand, the most successful mission teams usually employ methods drawn from the criminal element of grand-scale confidence games which they can play on specific mission targets. These IMF agents are well-educated, multi-talented and highly trained in a variety of areas including demolition tactics, long-range surveillance, computers and even assassination. As one of the best-funded espionage organizations in the world, the IMF can possess multiple millions of dollars worth in specialized gadgetry and weapons.

Personnel and Equipment[]

Most, but not all, of the IMF agents are on top of the line, and some have been disciplined or expelled from the agency for their unacceptable behavior during missions. The spies expelled from the IMF are the most dangerous individuals to the agency, as they could easily expose secrets about the organization to any number of foreign and rogue governments. Worst of all, as skilled as they are in playing grand-scale confidence games, they could easily entrap the most reliable operatives in such games and thereby compromise them.

With continued success since the 1940s, the IMF bears the brunt of today's international attacks, now focused on concealed entry and espionage. The missions keep growing harder and harder - but so do the agents.

The IMF normally operates primarily by executing confidence tricks on its mission targets, sometimes with the aid of high-tech gadgets. The agents are able to deceive their targets into cooperating with them without detecting a set-up until the mission is accomplished; by that time, the IMF personnel have already vanished from the scene.

Plausible Deniability[]

Trevor Hanaway's identification card after the disavowal of the IMF.

In a worst-case scenario during undercover missions in which its presence becomes known, the IMF can become a subject to disavowal under order from the President's fail-safe initiative, "Ghost Protocol". With this initiative in place, the IMF is completely shut down, and any or all agents in the field are hereby unable to access any specific safe houses, receiving support, using satellites or sending extraction to their specific location.

See in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Ethan Hunt and his team used the disavowal of the IMF to exercise more restraint in their actions in stopping a nuclear extremist, Kurt Hendricks, than would normally be possible during an official mission given by the mission commanders or by their top agents.


Below is a list of IMF agents next to them will be their status fallowing the mission.

  • Caught: The agent was captured by the enemy and tortured but the mission still succeeded.
  • Defected: The agent switched sides and is now working for the enemy. IMF has listed them as Disavowed.
  • Disavowed: The agent did not complete the mission resulting in them being caught or killed and had an encounter with the Secretary and was disavowed. Agents who were reinstated will be noted.
  • Injured: The agent was injured in the line of duty and requires medical attention.
  • KIA: The agent was killed and they either completed the mission or was disavowed.

Select IMF Agents in TV series[]

Daniel David "Dan" Briggs's mission team ("The Director's Own")[]

James "Jim" Phelps's first mission team ("The Director's Own")[]

Thomas Copperfield's primary mission team[]

James "Jim" Phelps's 1980s mission team[]

  • Casey Randall (KIA as of The Fortune)
  • Grant Collier
  • Max Hart
  • Nicholas Black
  • Shannon Reed

Select IMF agents in the film series[]

Jim Phelps's 1996 mission team[]

Ethan Hunt's 1996 mission team[]

Ethan Hunt's 2000 mission team[]

Ethan Hunt's 2006 mission team[]

Jane Carter's 2011 mission team[]

Ethan Hunt's 2011 mission team[]

  • Benji Dunn (first part caught and disavowed second part reinstated)
  • Jane Carter (first part caught and disavowed second part injured)
  • William Brandt (first part disavowed twice second part injured and disavowed removed from field work)

Ethan Hunt's 2015 mission team[]

  • Benji Dunn (first part disavowed later injured and caught)
  • Luther Stickell (first part disavowed later reinstated)
  • William Brandt (first part disavowed later reinstated)
  • Ilsa Faust (Disavowed from MI6 later reinstated joined IMF)

Ethan Hunt's 2017 mission team[]

  • Benji Dunn (Caught and injured final half)
  • Luther Stickell (Injured in the first half of the mission later caught. Reinstated to finish the mission)
  • Ilsa Faust (Injured and caught final half)
  • August Walker (Formerly and revealed to be a mole known as John Lark. Defected later KIA)
  • Alan Hunley (Temporarily and KIA)