U-2 Dragon Lady Returns to Beale Skies

  • Published
  • 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

Team Beale resumed normal flying operations today after launching two U-2 Dragon Lady's following an incident that took place near the Sutter Buttes earlier this week.

The two aircraft, which launched at 9:01 a.m., were flown by the 1st Reconnaissance and 99th Reconnaissance squadrons. The purpose of launching the aircraft at that time was to signify the unity of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing and the 1st RS, which was the unit Lt. Col. Steve "Shooter" Eadie was assigned to.

"We took a pause from flying the U-2 locally over the last 72 hours in response to Tuesday's incident," said Col. A.J. Werner, 9th Operations Group commander. "While we did not halt U-2 missions globally over that period, we need to take care of our family here at Beale AFB."

Due to the incident, Beale put a hold on local flying operations during the week to respond to the crash. The incident took place during a routine training mission shortly after takeoff on Tuesday.

Four T-38 Talons launched after the U-2s to form a four-ship formation. The T-38s flew in formation to honor the deceased pilot.

"This morning, we safely put the Dragon Lady back in the air over Northern California," said Col. Werner. "I have the utmost confidence in our pilots, maintainers, support personnel and aircraft. Today's return to operations provides a powerful statement, and I am immensely proud to be part of this wing and community."

Beale will continue its mission of training U-2 pilots and providing high-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to the United States.