9th Physiological Support Squadron
Published February 22, 2016
The 9th Physiological Support Squadron (9 PSPTS) provides specialized support and training for U-2 aviators in support of worldwide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) combat missions.
The squadron supports more than 6,400 man-days per year in temporary duty at three Forward Operating Locations and two en-route recovery bases
The squadron also acts as the Western Regional Training Center for mission specific physiological and performance optimization training for DoD, NASA, high altitude parachutist, and support personnel.
Additionally, the squadron is responsible for full pressure suit (FPS) maintenance and support to 9 RW, DoD, and NASA as the sole USAF FPS Depot maintenance/supply center.
The 9th Physiological Support Squadron maintains a ready force of 105 active duty and civilian members representing seven career specialties. The squadron consists of six staff functions: Commander's Support, Operations, Aircrew Training, Logistics, Full Pressure Suit Education, and Quality Assurance.
The 9th Physiological Support Squadron originated on 11 Jun 1957 as the Physiological Support Division (PSD) when the US Air Force received the first 6 U-2s at the 4028th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Laughlin AFB, Texas. A second segment of PSD was begun at the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing on 25 Jun 1966 when the first operational SR-71s arrived at Beale AFB, California. A third element of PSD emerged in 1982 with the fielding of the TR-1A at the 17th Reconnaissance Wing, Royal Air Force Alconbury, United Kingdom. In July 1993, the disestablishment of Strategic Air Command (SAC) gave way to the composite medical group structure and PSD was re-designated as the 9th Physiological Support Squadron. The members of the squadron have operated at Forward Operating Locations around the world in support of the U-2/TR-1, SR-71, and other special high altitude projects.
The globe is framed by an eye-lid shape suggesting the global ISR mission, and both are centered in the diamond emblem, a carry-over shape from the original 'diamond patch' of PSD. The sword with the point to base is symbolic of sacrifice and mercy and alludes to the noncombatant role of the medical services, and it is entwined by a serpent, recalling the staff of Aesculapius and underscoring healing and the medical arts. The motto, 'Between Life and Death' captures the fragility of life in the upper reaches of the Stratosphere and the importance of providing systems that sustain the human at the edge of space. The circular black area represents the darkness of space.
The unit carries the following honors:
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award:
1972, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1990,1994, 1995, 1998, 2002 ,2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award: