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306th IS activates

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Col. Michael Stevenson (left), 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group commander, unfurls the 306th Intelligence Squadron flag for its new commander Lt. Col. Robb Rigtrup, signifying the activation of the squadron here Oct. 5. The newly activated squadron is a partner unit at Beale and falls under the 361st ISRG at Hurlburt Field, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Schwab)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Col. Michael Stevenson (left), 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group commander, unfurls the 306th Intelligence Squadron flag for its new commander Lt. Col. Robb Rigtrup, signifying the activation of the squadron here Oct. 5. The newly activated squadron is a partner unit at Beale and falls under the 361st ISRG at Hurlburt Field, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Schwab)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Col. Michael Stevenson (left), 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group commander, admires the new squadron patch of the newly activated 306th Intelligence Squadron here, Oct. 5. Each part of the patch, which says “Justice From Above,” signifies a function of the squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Schwab)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Col. Michael Stevenson (left), 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group commander, admires the new squadron patch of the newly activated 306th Intelligence Squadron here, Oct. 5. Each part of the patch, which says “Justice From Above,” signifies a function of the squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Schwab)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 306th Intelligence Squadron became part of the active Air Force once again Oct. 5, under the command of Lt. Col. Robb Rigtrup, in a ceremony on the flight line here.

The squadron is a partner unit at Beale and falls under the 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The 361st ISRG is the premier provider of specialized ISR capabilities to the Air Force Special Operations Force community.

"Col. [Phil] Stewart and Col. [Douglas] Lee, the commander and vice commander of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, have worked to include this Air Force ISR agency squadron into their Air Combat Command wing, making us feel like we are truly part of their team," Rigtrup said. "The Airmen of the 306th have been equally awesome, focusing on the mission while working through the many issues of standing up a new organization."

More than 150 Airmen will train as tactical systems operators each year at the 306th IS and transition to the Project Liberty program featuring the MC-12W platform.

Rigtrup noted that airborne ISR operations is the newest career field in the intelligence functional area and the Airmen who fill these roles are some of the most heavily tasked.

"We will take the combat experience we have already and use new experience to build a strong pool of ISR Airmen," Rigtrup said.

The 306th Squadron originated as the 6306 Reconnaissance Technical Flight in 1953 and operated for nearly 50 years as a photo reconnaissance unit.