HomeLibraryFact SheetsDisplay

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

Social Media

Facebook Twitter
AFWERX is a new Air Force program that connects airmen with up-and-coming innovators that are breaking new ground in the world of technology. Last week, our own Beale Airmen got to meet with some of those innovators.
The PBS Show “Breakthrough” will be airing an episode featuring our very own PSPTS crew on April 24th, have you seen the trailer?
Starting April 18, all dental appointments will be seen at the temporary facility while the dental clinic undergoes renovations. Parking will be available behind the clinic at the rear area of the staff parking to allow for entry directly into the temporary facility. Hours and contact information are in the graphic below.
"Inspire, Engage and Recruit!" Brig. Gen. Jeannie M. Leavitt is the Commander, Air Force Recruiting Service, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas has an amazing outlook on where the Air Force is going and how to get there.
Our Recce Chief has his own leadership page that will help provide enlisted Airmen and families a stronger connection and understanding of how Senior Leader decisions affect the Recce family! #RecceChief
Oh no the app has gone rogue! 😱 If you have the app and are noticing the relentless bombardment of notifications about the ENDEX of our recent exercise, we want you to know we are aware. We won’t be able to get it fixed tonight, so in the mean time we suggest turning off your notifications. Once we get this rebel app under control, we will let you know so you can turn your notifications back on. #sorry
“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air... Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace Where never lark or even eagle flew -- And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.” —John Gillespie Magee, Jr; ‘High Flight’ Rest easy, sir.
To better integrate cyber effects, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations, electronic warfare operations and information operations the Air Combat Command is merging two Numbered Air Forces.
Recce 1 has signed up for the Air Force Sergeants Association. Here is a quick video explaining why you may want to as well. 9th RW Commander
Reece Town Family, If you’re looking to test your fitness and have fun, come out and partcipate in the Reece Town Fitness Challenge, May 3rd from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For details on how to participate or get involved in another capacity, see the attached flyer for further details. #GetFit #RecceFitness 9th RW Commander
Will grew up bowling, it’s a part of him and so is the military. Guess that’s one way to be one of California’s best Bowling Center Managers! #award #bowling
Before we roll into the middle of the week, how about some motivation Recce Town? CMSAF Wright talks about creating an environment of motivation and inspiration
Looks like we now know what happens when Recce 1 admits he does finger guns to annoy his spouse. Thank you Mrs. Clark for sharing such an inspirational photo this #AprilFools
#HumbleBrag Today's the day Recce Town can officially say we aided NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration in executing a spacewalk. In 2016, NASA Astronaut Christina Hammock Koch, who is conducting the Expedition 59 Spacewalk today, spent a portion of her Space Flight Readiness Training at Beale. Since we're experts in the field of high altitude we were the obvious choice for helping her prepare for space. Koch relied on the members of 9th Physiological Support Squadron to educate and train her on how body will react at high altitudes, and it would appear our training didn't disappoint. In all seriousness, thanks for allowing Recce Town to be a part of this journey. Best of luck Christina! #NASA #Expedition59 #WomensHistoryMonth #Recce Coverage began at 3:30 a.m. PDT, but the spacewalk will begin shortly and will last for over six hours. To check in on the coverage, go to the NASA Live feed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21X5lGlDOfg&feature=youtu.be 9th RW Commander United States Air Force Airman Magazine
Recce Town had the honor and privilege to host Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright, while he discussed resiliency, self care and leadership with Airmen at Beale Air Force Base.
CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright spent some time with us at Recce Town the last two days. He toured the base meeting with Airmen and held an all call with more than 800 people present. To see some of what he had to say: https://bit.ly/2Yh0QMn Air Combat Command 25th Air Force United States Air Force
We welcomed CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright to Recce Town today and we are excited to show him what we do at Beale. Stay tuned for more coverage. Air Combat Command
The 9th Medical Group recently executed a restructure of its Family Health Clinic to create two units of focused care: active-duty beneficiaries and all other beneficiaries. This restructure comes as part of the greater Air Force’s move to ensure the readiness of all active-duty Airmen through medical organizational culture changes that focus on continuous medical readiness, sustaining delivery of high-quality care, and new deployment requirements. To read more: https://bit.ly/2W25mfA
The 9th Medical Group Airmen must be ready to deploy and operate in an expeditionary environment at a moments notice. In order to do so they must train and prepare to be the best Recce medics possible.
25th Air Force has announced their selections for their annual award winners, and TSgt Cheney and SMSgt Laidlaw from our Recce Family have won in their categories. They will now go on to compete at Air Combat Command. Best of luck Recce Warriors!