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1st Reconnaissance Squadron

The 1st 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 1st 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 1st Reconnaissance Squadron is responsible for training all High-Altitude Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance aircrew for the U-2S Dragon Lady and the RQ-4 Global Hawk.  Aircrew members consist of pilots and mission planners for the U-2S, and pilots and sensor operators for the RQ-4.  Training for all U-2S pilots includes additional qualification in the T-38A Talon, the companion trainer to the U-2S. 

The squadron flies over 5,400 U-2S/T-38A training hours and 2,400 RQ-4 combat support hours annually.  Guided by the 9th Reconnaissance Wing motto “One team – One fight”, the rigorous flying training programs produce 24 U-2S pilots, 48 RQ-4 pilots, and 36 RQ-4 sensor operators annually.  The squadron's outstanding record reflects the dedication and professionalism of the elite group of instructors, enlisted, and civilian members of the squadron.

Pilots and sensor operators who complete the approximately three month RQ-4 training syllabus become experts in high-altitude Remotely Piloted Aircraft operations and are assigned to the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base, or the 348th  Reconnaissance Squadron at Grand Forks Air Force Base.  Pilots interested in flying the U-2S apply to the program voluntarily.  They undergo an intensive two-week interview process in which their flying ability, judgment, and professionalism are evaluated over three flights in the TU-2S two-seat trainer.  The applicants who successfully pass the interview process are assigned to the 1 RS where they begin training in the T-38A.  Once they are qualified in the T-38A, pilots will complete the initial and high-altitude mission qualification in the U-2S and are assigned to the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base.


Over 100 active duty airmen, civilians, and contractors are assigned to the 1 RS.  The unit operates the world’s only 5 TU-2S models in existence, and 11 T-38As.  The 1 RS is aligned under the 9th Operations Group, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California.



The 1 RS is the United States military’s oldest flying unit, first established on 5 March 1913. The squadron has maintained an unbroken heritage from its founding to the present day.  Originally organized in anticipation of a potential breach in security along the border between the U.S. and Mexico, General Pershing directed the 1st Aero Squadron to become the first tactical aviation unit to participate in American military action.  During WWI, the 1st Aero Squadron participated in the four campaigns symbolized by crosses on the 9th Reconnaissance Wing patch.  The 13 crosses on the squadron patch symbolize the 13 “kills” the 1st Aero Squadron won against German aircraft.  While fighting in WWII, the then designated 1st Bombardment Squadron conducted low level incendiary attacks over Japan while flying B-29s, devastating a 15 square mile area of Tokyo.  During the Vietnam War, the 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron operated the SR-71 Blackbird.  Flying over 2,000 mph at approximately 80,000 feet, the Blackbird gathered photographic and electronic intelligence products of the Southeast Asian nations involved in the Vietnam conflict. Throughout its history, the 1 RS has flown 47 different airframes while being stationed at 52 locations throughout the world, including 4 stints at sea.


The unit carries the following honors:


Campaign Streamers

Mexico 1916–1917


World War I:






St Mihiel



World War II:


American Theater

Air Offensive, Japan

Eastern Mandates

Western Pacific



Presidential Unit Citation: Vietnam and North Korea – 31 Mar – 31 Dec 1968

Distinguished Unit Citation: Kawasaki, Japan – 15 April – 16 April 1945

                                         Shimonoseki Straits, Japan – 13 May – 28 May 1945


Meritorious Unit Award

1 June 2009 – 31 May 2011


Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

1 July 1967 – 30 June 1968

1 July 1970 – 30 June 1971

1 July 1971 – 30 June 1972

1 July 1973 – 30 June 1974 (with Combat “V” device)

1 July 1975 – 30 June 1977

1 July 1981 – 30 June 1982

1 July 1983 – 30 June 1984

1 July 1985 – 30 June 1986

1 July 1986 – 30 June 1987

1 July 1989 – 30 June 1990

1 September 1991 – 30 June 1993

1 July 1993 – 30 June 1994

1 July 1994 – 30 June 1995

1 June 1996 – 30 May 1998

1 June 1998 – 31 May 2000

1 June 2002 – 31 May 2004

1 June 2005 – 31 May 2007

1 June 2007 – 31 May 2009

1 June 2009 – 31 May 2010

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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