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12th Reconnaissance Squadron

12th Reconnaissance Squadron patch

12th Reconnaissance Squadron patch


Expertly train, deploy and employ Airmen and assets to deliver globally integrated ISR in support of warfighter needs and national objectives.


The 12th Reconnaissance Squadron originated in World War I as the 12th Aero Squadron and earned accolades from General Bill Mitchell as “the war’s “best American Air Service observation squadron.” The squadron has since proved itself in every major conflict since that time including the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The WWI Aero Squadron helped artillery commanders zero-in on targets, aided friendly infantry units, surveilled and photographed enemy positions, and dropped propaganda leaflets. The squadron earned seven campaign streamers including Aisne-Marne, Champagne-Marne, Meuse-Argonne, and St. Mihiel, the four campaigns represented as black iron crosses on the 9th Reconnaissance Wing emblem.

During the inter-war period prior to World War II, the squadron re-designated as the 12th Observation Squadron and later joined the 67th Observation Group in 1942 for deployment to Europe. The squadron again re-designated in 1943 as the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron (fighter) and helped photograph French coastline in preparation for the Operation OVERLORD (D-Day) assault. The squadron used the Merton Oblique camera and shared a Presidential Unit Citation with the 67th group for the task. In 1944, the squadron was re-assigned to the 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Group and supported allied campaigns in Northern France and Germany. By the end of the conflict, squadron pilots had flown 2,732 missions, destroyed 26 enemy aircraft, and lost nine planes to enemy action prior to the squadron’s inactivation in 1946.

During the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, the newly designated 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron flew photography and visual sighting missions. In its nearly five years in Vietnam, the 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron flew over 26,000 combat sorties for over 53,000 hours-more than it had flown in World War II and the Korean War combined. During this time, in 1966, the squadron began flying McDonnell RF-4C “Phantoms,” its primary aircraft for the next 26 years through inactivation in 1992 following Operation DESERT STORM.

The current squadron activated in 2001 at Beale AFB, California as the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron, this time as the parent squadron for the RQ-4 “Global Hawk.”  The Global Hawk is a high-altitude, remotely piloted aerial reconnaissance vehicle capable of flight for up to 32 hours.  This long endurance can provide a warfighter with continuous, high resolution, near-real-time imagery. The 12th flew aerial reconnaissance for Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM and continues to fly overseas contingency operations as well as humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions supporting combatant commanders worldwide.

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Yesterday members of Beale came together for a speed networking event as part of Women's Equality Day. The focus of the event was to foster small group conversations on a variety of topics, such as the inclusion of men and women across the armed forces, progress that has been made, and how we can improve in the future. 25th Air Force 9th RW Commander Gen Mike Holmes
If you need to talk to someone or elevate an issue, please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to us, 9th RW Commander, 9th RW Command Chief, or even our leadership at ACC. We may not always have the answer or be able to directly help, but we can find the people or organizations that will make sure you have what you need to be your best self. Service before self does not mean service instead of self. When you are at your best, we are all better for it. When you can’t get there yourself, we will be here to help carry the load.
#PortDawgs are a pivotal part of how Recce Town makes our mission happen.
Beale sheet metal Airmen have been restoring a vertical stabilizer to serve as a memorial to Lt. Col. Ira Eadie. Eadie passed away after a U-2 crash September 20, 2016. The vertical stabilizer was salvaged from the crash and after being refurbished it will be put on display in his honor. The official unveiling date and time has yet to be determined. 9th RW Commander
Staying mobile is key in today’s Air Force, good thing Recce Town has an exceptional Individual Deployment Readiness Center team keeping the mission going.
An amazing turnout in an amazing effort to help veterans. The Yuba Sutter Stand Down is still going on, stop by if you get a chance. Do you know all the benefits that veterans can receive?
Another #MissionMonday to kick off your week! The 9th Medical Group's Dental Flight works tirelessly to keep Recce Town's teeth sparkling clean. Clean teeth keep Airmen across the base healthy and fit to fight.
Beale Airmen have been members of the local community for a long time. Being part of the Yuba Sutter Stand Down really is veterans helping veterans both retired and active. The event will be held August 21-23 at the Cotton Rosser Pavilion in Marysville’s Riverfront Park. For more information visit: http://www.yubasutterveteransstanddown.org/
In response to the CSAF-directed Resilience Tactical Pause, Airmen from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing Staff Agency, alongside the Community Support Coordinator took time engaging each other to grow connections to one another, and to help prevent interpersonal and self-directed violence. In all the Air Force is taking a day to actively seek feedback on resiliency. If there is any feedback that you would like to submit regarding issues or information in your work environment, please send it to usaf.resilience@mail.mil #RTP #ResilienceTacticalPause
When brand new U-2 crew chiefs come to Beale they don't start with the 9th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. Instead they begin learning how to work on the U-2 at the 372nd Training Squadron Det. 21. The detachment then molds them into the great Recce crew chiefs you see everyday. To read more: https://bit.ly/31LB5Vp Air Education and Training Command
Sad to see a Col. Werner and family leave Recce Town. Good luck on your next adventures. Warm welcome to Col. Heather Fox, the new 9th Operations Group commander, and her family to Team Beale. ECHO VICTOR!
#ICYMI we recently passed the U-2s 64th anniversary of its first flight. Still going strong! Follow the link below to get more info on the Dragon Lady’s first flight... 👇👇👇 Lockheed Martin 9th RW Commander 9th RW Command Chief https://www.businessinsider.com/anniversary-of-u2-spy-plane-accident-first-flight-in-1955-2019-8
Can you hear me now?
The Airman and Family Readiness Center partnered with Operation Homefront to host this year's back to school brigade. The event helps offset the cost of school supplies for military families by providing them with learning essentials.
The Dragon Lady's roar can be heard far and wide. Thanks to the propulsion shop. The U-2 engine maintenance they do goes a long way in keeping Recce Town flying. To read more: https://bit.ly/2MhgV0Q
Since its beginning, Recce Town has been sending it. What have you done to #SendIt for the mission? #U2dragonlady