The 548th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group has a proud history dating back to the Second World War. The unit was originally constituted on 20 November 1943, as the 6th Photographic Technical Squadron (PTS) and was activated on 1 December of that year at Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma. In early 1945, the unit deployed to the Pacific Theater. The 6th PTS moved forward with the Allied Campaign against Japan, and provided support from various sites to include Guadalcanal and the Philippines. After World War II, the unit remained in Japan, at Yokota Army Air Base and Showa Air Station through 1960. During this time, the unit was redesignated the 548th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron (RTS) on 7 January 1950. The 548th RTS was inactivated in March of 1960. The unit was reactivated as the 548th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron (RTS) on 8 October 1965. It was organized at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, in support of the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF). The unit was reorganized as the 548th Reconnaissance Technical Group on 1 Oct 1967. The unit continued their mission in support of PACAF until 3 Dec 1991 when the group was inactivated. On 1 August, 1992, the 548th Reconnaissance Technical Group was redesignated the 548th Air Intelligence Group. The 548th Air Intelligence Group was activated at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, on 27 August 1992. The group was inactivated on 1 October 1994. On 23 October 2003, the 548th Air Intelligence Group was redesignated the 548th Intelligence Group. The 548th Intelligence Group was activated on 1 December 2003 as a part of the newly activated 480th Intelligence Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. The 548th Intelligence Group was renamed to the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group on 1 January 2009.
"To deliver combat power from the air with intelligence that assures Allies and wins wars."
To operate and maintain a $1B AN/GSQ-272 Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) weapon system, providing combatant commanders with processing, exploitation, and dissemination (PED) of actionable intelligence data collected by U-2, MQ-1, MQ-9, RQ-4, and MC-12W aircraft and other platforms as required.
Warrior Airmen and ISR airpower leaders...experts in regionally focused, globally networked, multi-platform and multi-disciplinary intelligence operations.
Personnel and Resources
The Group consists of more than 1,200 members, including officer, enlisted, activated guard/reserve, civilians, and contractors and spanning more than 40 Air Force Specialties responsible for the operations and maintenance of more than $2 billion dollars worth of equipment.
The 548th is organized into two sections, Operations and Support. The Operational side includes the 13th and 9th Intelligence Squadrons who are responsible for the production and exploitation of the tangible intelligence. The 48th Intelligence Squadron provides maintenance and sustainment of in-garrison & deployed segments of the AF DCGS weapon system. The 548 ISR GP recently stood up Detachment 1 at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.
There are also three California Air National Guard units and one USAF Reserve unit that are operationally aligned with the 548 ISR GP: the 222nd Intelligence Support Squadron, 222nd Operations Support Squadron, the 234th Intelligence Squadron and the 50th Intelligence Squadron (USAF Reserves).
9th Intelligence Squadron
The 9th Intelligence Squadron, is the only DoD unit providing production, exploitation and dissemination (PED) supporting U-2 Optical Bar Camera (OBC) operations. The 9th traces its origins from the 9th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron (RTS) which was active from 1949 to 1991. During this period, the 9th RTS programmed the flight track and cameras on board the SR-71. The RTS also processed the film and analyzed the imagery from the Blackbird. In 1991 it was redesignated as the 9th Intelligence Support Squadron (ISS). In 2003, the 9th ISS became the 9th IS and was realigned under the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group.
Today 9th IS is a combat support unit that operates a 22-van, Deployable Shelterized System-Film (DSS-F) and a film digitization, processing, exploitation, and dissemination system for broad area, synoptic, high-resolution imagery collected by U-2 OBC as part of AF Distributed Common Ground System. The 9th IS deploys to meet COCOM contingency and crisis response requirements.
13th Intelligence Squadron
The 13th Intelligence Squadron "Dark Knights", traces its history back to WWII when it was activated as the 13th Photographic Technical Unit. The squadron operates Distributed Ground System-Two (DGS-2) and is responsible for command and control as well as near-real time exploitation and analysis of signals and imagery derived data across six combatant commands from U-2, MC-12W, Global Hawk, Predator, Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as other theater, national, and commercial systems. The "Dark Knights" provide 24/7 reachback support to forward deployed units, providing all-source, fused, and actionable combat intelligence to theater, joint/combined force and component commanders. The 13th has been awarded the Central Europe Campaign streamer, the Vietnam Defense, Air, and Air Offensive streamers, 3 National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citations, and 4 Air Force Outstanding Unit awards, one with the valor device.
48th Intelligence Squadron
The unit is rooted in the now deactivated 6911th Electronic Security Squadron, Hahn Air Base, Germany. When Hahn closed in 1991, specialized pieces of intelligence equipment moved to Beale AFB under the Air Intelligence Agency (AIA). In April 1993, the unit became Detachment 10, 67th Intelligence Group and the equipment designated as the Interim Deployable Ground Station (IDGS). On 1 November 1994, the detachment was activated as AIA's 48 IS with the replacement system; the Deployable Ground Station-2 (DGS-2). DGS-2 was declared operational in July 1995 and the squadron was realigned under Air Combat Command in February 2001. The 48 IS is subordinate to the 548th ISR Group, Beale AFB CA and the 480th ISR Wing, Langley AFB VA.
The 48th Intelligence Squadron supports all in-garrison and deployed logistics functions for the DGS-2 exploitation arm of the U-2, Global Hawk, MC-12W Predator UAV vehicles and national assets. The unit serves as the integrating force for the ground station, coordinating major intelligence operations, communications, and maintenance. The 48 IS also ensures DGS-2 readiness for worldwide contingency deployments and represents DGS-2 at national, joint and departmental forums that plan and program airborne reconnaissance operations.
Det 1 was activated in August 2010 as the Imagery Support Element to the 612 AOC and AFSOUTH at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. Det 1 provides embedded, AFISRA-manned imagery expertise to the CFACC. It operates DGS Remote Site - Two (DGS RS-2) with reachback and at times forward deployed support to four different COCOMS. Det 1 provides highly flexible and tailored imagery support from multiple sources including Global Hawk, U-2, and other USSOUTHCOM airborne assets.