HomeLibraryFact SheetsDisplay

99th Reconnaissance Squadron

99th Reconnaissance Squadron patch. In accordance with Chapter 3 of AFI 84-105, commercial reproduction of this emblem is NOT permitted without the permission of the proponent organizational/unit commander.

99th Reconnaissance Squadron patch. In accordance with Chapter 3 of AFI 84-105, commercial reproduction of this emblem is NOT permitted without the permission of the proponent organizational/unit commander.


The 99th Reconnaissance Squadron (99 RS) mission is to employ High Altitude Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance to execute effective and sustained U-2 operations globally. 

The 99 RS is one of four reconnaissance squadrons assigned to the 9th Operations Group, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California. The 99 RS is responsible for providing critical intelligence for use by the highest levels of our government.


Conceived during World War I and baptized in the skies of Baron Von Richtofen (the Red Baron), the 99th has a long and colorful history. Following activation in 1917, the 99th rapidly moved to France to perform corps observation duties with the French 8th Army and the American V Army Corps. Following the war, the squadron returned to the United States and demobilized. Shortly thereafter, the 99th was reconstituted a corps observation squadron performing duties in the Northeastern United States.

In 1928, the 99th moved to Mitchell Field, N.Y., to perform observation duties and participate in aerial demonstrations and maneuvers. In 1940, the squadron moved to the Canal Zone, then on to Trinidad to fly antisubmarine patrols. The squadron moved to Florida in 1942 and started training cadres for bombardment units. In 1944, the 99th flew combat missions in the Western Pacific and carried food and medicine to POW camps. Redesignated a reconnaissance squadron in 1949, and based in California, the 99th flew B/RB-17s and, later, B/RB-29s. The 99th was redesignated a bombardment squadron in 1950, moved to Idaho in 1953, and received B-47s in 1954 making several deployments to England and Guam. In 1966, the 99th again became a reconnaissance squadron and moved to California conducting category I, II and III testing of SR-71 aircraft through 1967. Global Strategic Reconnaissance was flown until 1971 when the squadron inactivated. In November 1972, the 99th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron activated at U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand. The squadron relocated at Beale Air Force Base in 1976 and began flying U-2 missions.


Organized as 99th Aero Squadron on 21 August 1917. Redesignated: 99th Aero Squadron (Corps Observation) on 11 March 1918; 99th Aero Squadron on 24 May 1919. Demobilized: 9 June 1919. Reconstituted and organized as 99th Corps Observation Squadron on 2 July 1919. Redesignated: 99th Squadron (Observation) on 14 March 1921; 99th Observation Squadron on 25 Jan 1923. Inactivated on 31 Jul 1927. Activated on 9 Nov 1928. Re-designated: 99th Bombardment Squadron on 1 Mar 1935; 99th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 6 Dec 1939; 99th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 20 Nov 1940; 99th Bombardment Squadron, (Very Heavy) on 28 Mar 1944. Inactivated on 20 Oct 1948. Redesignated and Activated: 99th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (Photographic) on 1 May 1949. Redesignated: 99th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 1 Apr 1950; 99th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 2 Oct 1950; 99th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron on 25 Jun 1966. Inactivated: 1 Apr 1971.  Activated: 1 Nov 1972. Redesignated: 99th Reconnaissance Squadron on 1 Sep 1991-.


Post Headquarters, Kelly Field, 21 August 1917; Aviation Concentration Center, 3 November 1917; 2d Aviation Instruction Center, 12 December 1917; First Army Observation Group, 11 March 1918; Attached to 3d Artillery Observation School, c. 1 Apr-31 May 1918; V Corps Observation Group, 1 July 1918; Air Service Headquarters, AEF, 13 Dec 1918; 1st Air Depot, AEF, 19 February 1919; Advanced Section Services of Supply, 5 March 1919; Post Headquarters, Mitchell Field, 24 May 1919; Eastern Department, 25 May-9 Jun 1919; 2 July 1919; III Corps Area, 20 August 1920; District of Washington, c. Jan 1922; 8th Division, Air Service, 24 May 1923; Air Corps Training Center, Jun-31 Jul 1927; 9th Observation (later, 9th Bombardment) Group Attached 9 Nov 1928, Assigned 15 Feb 1929–20 Oct 1948; 9th Strategic Reconnaissance (later, 9th Bombardment) Group, 1 May 1949, Attached to 9th Bombardment Wing, 10 Feb 1951–15 Jun 1952; 9th Bombardment (later, 9th Strategic Aerospace; 9th Strategic Reconnaissance) Wing, 16 Jun 1952–1 Apr 1971; 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, 1 Nov 1972–30 Jun 1976, Attached to Air Division Provisional, 17th,   1 Nov 1972–1 Jan 1975; 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, 30 Jun 1976; 9th Operations Group, 1 Sep 1991-


Kelly Field, Texas, 21 Aug 1917; Aviation Concentration Center, Garden City, New York, 3-14 Nov 1917; Tours Aerodrome, France, 12 Dec 1917; Haussimont Aerodrome, France, 11 Mar 1918; Amanty Aerodrome, France, 31 May 1918; Luxeuil-les-Bains Aerodrome, France, 1 Jul 1918; Flight operated from Corcieux Aerodrome, 19-24 Jul 1918; Flight operated from Dogneville Aerodrome, 24 Jul-26 Aug 1918; Souilly Aerodrome, France, 7 Sep 1918; Foucaucourt Aerodrome, France, 20 Sep 1918; Parois Aerodrome, France, 4 Nov 1918; Belrain Aerodrome, France, 31 Nov 1918; Chaumont-sur-Aire Aerodrome, France, 13 Dec 1918; Chaumont Aerodrome, France, c. 25 Dec 1918; Flights operated from Prauthoy Aerodrome, Bourbonne-les-Bains Aerodrome, and Montigney-le-Roi Aerodrome, France, until c. 1 Feb 1919; Colombey-les-Belles Airdrome, France, 19 Feb 1919; Sadirac, France, 5 Mar-8 May 1919; Mitchel Field, New York, 24 May 1919; Hazelhurst Field, New York, 25 May-9 Jun 1919; Mitchel Field, New York, 2 Jul 1919; Camp Alfred Vail, New Jersey, Jul 1919; Bolling Field, DC, 17 Aug 1919; Kelly Field, Texas (1927); Mitchel Field, New York (1928–1940); Río Hato, Panama (1940–1941); Piarco Field, Trinidad (1941); Zandery Field, Surinam (1941–1942); Orlando Air Base, Florida (1942–1943); Montbrook Army Air Field, Florida (1943); Kissimmee Army Air Base, Florida (1943–1944); Brooksville Army Airfield, Florida (1944); Orlando Air Base, Florida (1944); Dalhart Army Air Field, Texas (1944); McCook Army Airfield, Nebraska (1944); North Field, Tinian (1944–1946); Clark Field, Luzon (1946–1947); Harmon Air Force Base, Guam (1947–1948); Travis Air Force Base, California (1949–1953: Detachment at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, c. 7 August – 17 September 1950; Detachment at: Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, 9 April – 19 June 1951; Detachment at: Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, 17 June – 22 September 1952); Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho (1953–1966:  Deployed: RAF Fairford, England, 23 May – 9 July 1955; Deployed: Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, c. 4 October 1957 – c. 12 January 1958); Beale Air Force Base, California (1966–1971); U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand (1972–1976); Beale Air Force Base, California (1976–)


Sopwith 1½ Strutter, 1918; Salmson 2A2, 1918-1919; DH-4 and SE-5 (1919–1927); O-1, O-11, O-25, OA-2, O-31, Y1O-35, O-38, O-39, Y1O-40, O-40, and O-43 (1928–1936); B-10 (1936–1938); OA-4 (1937); B-18 Bolo (1938–1942); OA-8 and P-12 (1939); P-40 Warhawk (1941–1942); B-25 Mitchell and B-26 Marauder (1943); B-17 Flying Fortress (1943–1944); B-29 Superfortress (1944–1946, 1946–1947, 1949–1954); B/RB-17 (1949–1950); RB-29 (1949–1950); B-47 Stratojet (1954–1966); SR-71 Blackbird (1966–1971); DC-130 (1972–1975); CH-3 Sea King (1972–1975); U-2 Dragon Lady (1972–present); T-38 Talon (1976–present); SR-71 (1994-1997)


Combat as corps observation unit with French Eighth Army and American V Army Corps, 22-23 Jun, Sep-Nov 1918; school squadron with V Army Corps Infantry Liaison School, Jul-Sep 1918, during which time one flight of unit, operating in Vosges region of Alsace and Lorraine, participated in combat with French XXXIII Corps and American 5 Division, Jul-Aug 1918. Antisubmarine patrols and reconnaissance of Vichy French fleet at Martinique, Dec 1941-Oct 1942. Trained cadres for bombardment units, Feb 1943-Feb 1944.  Combat in Western Pacific, Jan-Aug 1945.  Unmanned, Apr 1947-Oct 1948.  Global strategic reconnaissance, 1967-1971 and 1972-present, including Southeast Asia, Nov 1972-Jun 1973; Grenada, 1983; Panama, 1989; and Southwest Asia, 1990-1991.   Supported global war on terrorism; flew reconnaissance, humanitarian, search and rescue, and environmental missions, 2001-.


Service Streamers. None.

Campaign Streamers. World War I: Lorraine; Alsace; St Mihiel; Meuse-Argonne. World War II: Antisubmarine, American Theater; Air Offensive, Japan; Eastern Mandates; Western Pacific. Vietnam: Vietnam Ceasefire. Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait; Ceasefire.  Kosovo: Air Campaign.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Kawasaki, Japan, 15-16 Apr 1945; Japan, 13-28 May 1945.  Presidential Unit Citation: 31 Mar-31 Dec 1968.  Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with "V" Device: 1 Nov 1972-28 Jan 1973; [29 Jan]-30 Jun 1973.  Meritorious Unit Award: 1 Jun 2009-31 May 2011.  Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Jan 1957-31 Jan 1958; 1 Jul 1967-30 Jun 1968; 1 Jul 1970-1 Apr 1971; 1 Jul 1975-30 Jun 1976; 30 Jun 1976-30 Jun 1977; 1 Jul 1981-30 Jun 1982; 1 Jul 1983-30 Jun 1984; 1 Jul 1985-30 Jun 1986; 1 Jul 1986-30 Jun 1987; 1 Jul 1989-30 Jun 1990; 1 Sep 1991-30 Jun 1993; 1 Jul 1993-30 Jun 1994; 1 Jul 1994-30 Jun 1995; 1 Jun 1996-31 May 1998; 1 Jun 1998-31 May 2000; 1 Jun 2002-31 May 2004; 1 Jun 2005-31 May 2007; 1 Jun 2007-31 May 2009; 1 Jun 2011-31 May 2012.  Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: 1 Nov 1972-28 Jan 1973.

Social Media

Facebook Twitter
The 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group members attended a Defense Innovation Board as a way to foster modernization. The board featured leaders of companies such as Google and Instagram. To read more: https://bit.ly/2JlKVn2 Air Combat Command 25th Air Force
Recce Airmen train to stay proficient across multiple weapon systems to ensure they are fit for the fight at all times and ready for world-wide deployment.
They train, they defend, they pack a mean bite behind their bark and they are always ready! Come take a closer look at what the 9th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog handlers do!
2017 was the most active wildland fire season in California history. To make sure 2018 isn't a repeat, the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department has some tips to help keep you and your family safe. To see the tips: https://bit.ly/2ubMyyU
Happy Independence Day from Recce Town, USA!
The 9th Security Forces Squadron military working dog kennel recently completed a new training area. To read more: https://bit.ly/2NkuDyf Air Combat Command 25th Air Force United States Air Force
What you’ve been waiting for! Recce Town USA, lets take you in to the action!
Goood morning Recce Town USA! We are currently gearing up to go live to take you behind the scenes and into the action! Come join us as we get in the chase car and give you a first hand account of what if feels like to be a part of the action chasing a U-2 Dragon Lady landing!
To make sure an RQ-4 Global Hawk is good to go, Non-Destructive Inspection airmen from the 9th Maintenance Squadron must inspect the entire aircraft from wingtip to wingtip. One of the tools for a job like this is an automated scanning devices that speeds up this lengthy process. See it in action! Air Combat Command 25th Air Force United States Air Force
The band Cash Creek performed with lead singer Kaylee Star, a Yuba City native, for Beale's Recce Airmen Friday night. Here are photos of the event, along with a giveaway to some local veterans.
“I’ve been working here for five years so I pretty much manage all three of our locations on base, although I’m typically at the med clinic. I ended up becoming a barista because my mom bought this about six years ago while I was playing football at Sacramento City College. She needed some help so I ended up here. Interacting with people is my favorite part of the job. Every couple of years I develop relationships with new customers and I really like that part. Everyone I deal with puts their lives on the line and I appreciate it. Everyone is respectful and I haven’t really met a bad person. I never used to drink coffee before working here, but I love it now. I love my job. I wake up every day with a smile, which gets a lot bigger after I’ve had my coffee.” Ryan Lewis, Missy’s Mochas barista Hometown: Sacramento, California Everybody has a story...we dare you to tell yours. To see more: http://bit.ly/2pujE9s
Recce Town USA held a Fitness Challenge today to celebrate the reopening of the base track.
Here is just a sneak peak of the RQ-4 non-destructive inspection process. Stay tuned for a deeper dive into the highly technical maintenance these Airmen do. Air Combat Command 25th Air Force United States Air Force
It's just another day here at Recce Town, USA! United States Air Force Air Combat Command Airman Magazine Gen. David L. Goldfein CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright 9th RW Commander
Last week you had a chance to see the live ceremony of the Air Force Combat Operations Competition, now lets take a look into what these outstanding Airmen from around the Air Force came to do. The Ammo community here at Beale had the chance to put the best of the best against each other in this grueling competition. Here your chance to take a first look inside bomb building!
As a reminder, the 9 MDG are hosting Facebook Live events on 20 June 2018 from 12-1 pm and 4-5 pm to answer your burning questions about medical care.
#MissionMonday Aerospace and operational physiological technicians from the 9th Physiological Support Squadron maintain and conduct aircrew chamber training for Airmen, other DoD personnel, NASA and supporting agencies stationed on the West Coast of the United States and areas in the Pacific. The training provides the aircrew the ability to experience flight at different altitudes, while learning first hand of decompression sickness, also called the bends. This opportunity gives them a real-world familiarization on how to properly wear an oxygen mask and to control airflow. The technicians instruct and evaluate members doing simple tasks while experiencing low oxygen levels. It requires about 10 technicians to conduct training in the altitude chamber. Inside, they have multiple observers, a lecturer (instructor), recorder, chamber operator, lock operator, crew chief and aerospace physiological officer.
The 9th Munitions Squadron hosted the first-ever Air Force Combat Operations Competition this week. AFCOCOMP pitted some of the best ammo troops across the Air Force against each other in munitions building. To see more about this ground-breaking event: https://bit.ly/2HPDgwN Air Combat Command 25th Air Force United States Air Force Airman Magazine
The Ammo community celebrated its first ever Air Force Combat Operation Competition here at Beale. Seven teams from U.S. Air Force bases all over the world came to spend the past three days competing in grueling heat and simulated deployed environment. Through hard work and discipline the teams came together to show just what the best can do, but even with the best, there can only be one winner. Come join us here and see who won!
Good Day Sacramento came out this morning to check out the ongoing Air Force Combat Operations Competition.