Performed long-range strategic reconnaissance, Jul. 1949-Oct. 1955, with some limited reconnaissance to Sept. 1958. Fully integrated with 9th Strategic Reconnaissance (later, 9th Bombardment) Wing, 12 November 1949 - 10 February 1951; maintained a manned headquarters, but had no operational control over assigned units, and from 1 February 1950 to 10 February 1951 shared a commander in common with the 9th Wing.
Conducted strategic reconnaissance with assigned components, May 1949- Mar 1950, and with components of 5th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Nov 1949-Feb 1951. Performed strategic reconnaissance in Southeast Asia beginning in 1968; provided photographic intelligence for the Son Tay prison camp raid in North Vietnam, Nov 1970. Conducted humanitarian and scientific missions for Department of Defense and other government agencies when requested. Added U-2 & U-2R aircraft in 1976 and specialized KC-135Q tankers in 1983 to become the only USAF wing so equipped. Participated in USAF operations worldwide, including Grenada, Oct-Nov 1983, and Libya, Apr 1986. Following the 1990 retirement of SR-71 aircraft, U-2 aircraft flew intelligence-gathering missions, Aug 1990- Mar 1991, in Southwest Asia, particularly during the Gulf War buildup and subsequent combat operations. Emblem approved 1 July 1952.
Activated in England on 1 October. 1982. Flew tactical and strategic surveillance missions in Western Europe until inactivated in 1991. Received the P. T. Cullen for providing “the greatest contribution to the intelligence gathering efforts of SAC” in 1989 and 1990. Many of the wing's assets and personnel supported operations in Southwest Asia by ferrying aircraft and equipment from Alconbury, England, to Taif, Saudi Arabia.
Activated in May 1952, but unmanned until Jan. 1953. Maintained proficiency in strategic reconnaissance, Jan. 1953-Apr. 1958, and in aerial refueling, May 1952-Apr. 1955 and Aug. 1956-Apr. 1958. Not operational 15 April.-1 July. 1958.
Performed global strategic reconnaissance, 1954-1955, with bombardment as a secondary mission, 1954-1955. Trained primarily as a bombardment wing from 1955, but retained a reconnaissance capability to Sept. 1956.
Provided precise Shoran and Hiran mapping and photographic reconnaissance, 1948-1949. Performed strategic reconnaissance, charting photography, precise electronic geodetic mapping, and electronic reconnaissance, 1950-1954. When mapping and charting functions transferred on I May 1954, wing assumed mission of global strategic reconnaissance, including electronic reconnaissance, weather reconnaissance (to Jun. 1963), and photographic reconnaissance (to May 1964). Deployed at Ben Guerir Air Base, French Morocco, May-Aug. 1955. Responsible for an Atlas missile complex, Aug. 1964-Mar. 1965. Became responsible for SAC's airborne command post and post-attack command and control operations, Aug. 1966. In addition, flew SAC logistic support missions after Sept. 1971. Conducted K/E/RC-135 pilot training as required. Became responsible for the National Emergency Airborne Command Post E-4 aircraft fleet in 1975. Began Airborne Launch Control operations in 1978 using EC-135Cs as flying launch/control platforms for Minuteman, and later, Peacekeeper strategic missile systems. Awarded the P. T. Cullen award five times since 1971 for its contributions to photo and signal intelligence collection. Operated from bases in the U.S., Mediterranean, Europe, and the Pacific. Provided reconnaissance for contingencies in Grenada, 1983; Libya, 1986; and Southwest Asia, 1990-1991. Ended nearly twenty-five years of continuous Airborne Command Post operations in 1990, assumed a modified alert posture, and continued worldwide reconnaissance.
Received initial cadre of 16 people from 44th Bombardment Wing in Oct. 1951. Began operational training as a reconnaissance wing using borrowed B-29s in Oct. 1951.
Deployed at Lockbourne AFB, Ohio, 24 January-19 October. 1955, while permanent base underwent construction. Few wing components manned until move to Little Rock AFB, AR. Flew strategic reconnaissance to meet SAC's global commitments, Oct. 1955-1962, but on a reduced scale after Feb. 1958. Assumed an air refueling mission in 1955. Deployed at Sidi Slimane AB, Morocco, 26 October.-17 December. 1956. From Jun. 1958 to Sept. 1961, provided B/RB-47 combat crew training for other SAC units, while continuing RB-47 and KC-97 operations. The refueling squadron transferred in Aug. 1961 and the final RB-47 class graduated in Oct. 1961.
Activated in Jan. 1955 to perform strategic reconnaissance and test a technique for launching small RBF-84 aircraft from GRB-36 bombers, to extend the range of photographic reconnaissance and fighter escort. Tests ended in 1956, but wing continued strategic reconnaissance until inactivated in 1957.
Activated on paper on 16 June. 1952, but not operational until it absorbed the residual resources of the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing in Oct. 1952. Conducted global strategic reconnaissance, Mar. 1953-1955, gradually shifting to a bombardment-training mission beginning in 1954. Added refueling to its global mission in 1958. Inactivated on 30 June. 1971.
Established as the 72d Strategic Wing (P) in late 1972 at Anderson AFB, Guam. The 72 SW(P) flew 8,010 sorties over Cambodia and flew the last sorties of the Southeast Asian conflict on 15 August 1973.
Flew strategic reconnaissance missions, September 1953-May 1958, and Air refueling missions, February 1956-June 1960. Served as RB-47 combat crew training wing, May 1958-June 1960. Deployed at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, May 5, 1955 – August 31, 1955.
Performed global strategic reconnaissance, 1948-1957, with emphasis on aerial photography and mapping, 1948-1950; added aerial refueling mission, 1950-1957. Wing headquarters integrated with headquarters of 301st Bombardment Wing, 1 April 1950-9 February 1951, although each wing continued tactical operations independently. Tactical components occasionally detached for periods up to three months for duty with other USAF establishments. More frequently, wing maintained operational detachments comprised of aircraft and crews drawn from several n components to provide reconnaissance support in overseas areas. Such detachments were maintained in England, 19 January 1951-20 March 1952, 18 March 1952 – 11 May 1952, 21 October 1952 – 12 December 1952 and 8 April 1954 – 9 May 1954; in Japan, 23 March 1951-30 C reconnaissance, photographic, and navigation competition and the P. T. Cullen Award in 1955 and 1956. From Aug to Nov 1956 most of the wing deployed overseas in detachments not under operational control of the small establishment remaining in the United States. Inactivated in Nov 1957.
99th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing “Sight with Might”
C reconnaissance, photographic, and navigation competition and the P. T. Cullen Award in 1955 and 1956. From Aug to Nov 1956 most of the wing deployed overseas in detachments not under operational control of the small establishment remaining in the United States. Inactivated in Nov 1957.
The 99th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing in Jan 1953, replaced the 111th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Fairchild AFB, WA. It performed worldwide photographic, electronic, and visual day and night strategic reconnaissance as its primary mission until late 1954, and until Sep 1956 as a secondary mission. From Jan 1955 to Feb 1956, the wing participated in Project FICON, in which one squadron's GRB-36D bombers were modified to carry RF-84K reconnaissance fighters on long-range flights. Strategic bombing became the Wing's primary mission in late 1954.
The wing moved without personnel or equipment to Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, in Jun 1966 and absorbed resources of the 4080th Strategic Wing. During the next ten years, it performed global strategic reconnaissance with U-2 and drone aircraft, Jun 1966-1976, using one overseas-based squadron (99th SRS), and deployed operating locations as needed, 1972-1976, earning the P.T. Cullen Award as the reconnaissance unit that contributed most to the photo and signal intelligence efforts of SAC, 1972. The wing transferred drone operations and associated DC-130 launchers and CH-3 recoveries to TAC in mid-1976, and transferred U-2 resources to 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB, CA, Jul-Sep 1976. Not operational, 11 August 1976 – 29 September 1976, while phasing down at Davis-Monthan AFB, it moved without personnel or equipment to Beale AFB on 30 September 1976 and absorbed resources of the 17th Bombardment Wing, Heavy.
The 311th was SAC's first major reconnaissance organization. Its components were scattered around the world and moved several times. It was initially moved to MacDill Field on April 17 1946, but a month later it was transferred to Andrews AFB. On July 20 1948 it moved to Topeka AFB Kansas and a month later to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana. The 311th was inactivated on November 1 1949. The 311th had five squadrons: 1st, 12th, 16th, 91st, and 46th/72nd recon squadrons.
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