11th Reconnaissance Squadron [11th RS]
The 11th Reconnaissance Squadron's primary mission is to provide theater commanders in chiefs (CINCs) with deployable, long-endurance, near-real-time aerial reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition flying the RQ-1A Predator.
Operating with medium and high altitude multi-sensor platforms, they locate, identify, and report battlefield conditions to warfighters.
The 11th Reconnaissance Squadron is the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) squadron in the United States Air Force.
The 11th RS received its first two Predator UAVs in November 1996, with the squadron scheduled to eventually receive 45 of the vehicles; each of which costs less than $3 million.
The 11th Reconnaissance Squadron was originally constituted as the 11th Observation Squadron (Medium) on 5 February 1942. It activated on 2 March 1942 at Wheeler-Sack Field, NY, under Air Force Combat Command. The squadron was tasked with conducting maneuvers and demonstrations for the training of ground forces. It was reassigned to Army Air Forces, on 9 March 1942 and to the 74th Observation (later, 74th Reconnaissance; 74th Tactical Reconnaissance) Group, on 21 March 1942, before being redesignated as the 11th Observation Squadron on 4 July 1942. It was later redesignated as the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron (Fighter) on 2 April 1943 and the 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 11 August 1943.
Reassigned to XIX Tactical Air Command, on 7 November 1945 (attached to 69th Reconnaissance Group, Nov 1945-26 Feb 1946), the squadron was redesignated as the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photographic, on 25 January 1946. It was reassigned to First Air Force, on 27 February 1946; to Tactical Air Command, on 21 March 1946; and to 67th Reconnaissance Group, on 28 March 1946 before being inactivated at Shaw Field, SC, on 31 March 1946. Aircraft operated by the squadron included the O-52, L-4 and P-43 during the period of 1942-1943; the P-39 (1943); P-40 (1943-1944); the B-25/F-10 (1944-1945); the L-5 (1944-1945); the P-51/F-6 (1945- 1946); and the A-26 (1945-1946).
The squadron reactivated on 19 May 1947 at Langley Field, VA, assigned to the 67th Reconnaissance (later, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance) Group and operating the FA(later, RB)-26. It was redesignated as the 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photographic, on 14 June 1948. It inactivated on 28 March 1949 at March Field, CA.
Redesignated as the 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 12 August 1953, it reactivated on 18 September 1953 at Kimpo AB, South Korea. Assigned to the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group (though attached to the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, from 1 June-30 November 1954 and 1 July-30 September 1957), it was tasked with conducting photographic and weather reconnaissance over the western Pacific. The squadron was redesignated as the 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Electronics and Weather, on 25 November 1953. It relocated to Itami AB, Japan on 7 December 1954, and to Yokota AB, Japan, on 15 July 1957. Reassigned to the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, on 1 October 1957, it was discontinued, and inactivated, on 8 March 1960. Aircraft operated by the squadron were the RB/WB-26 (1953-1957); the SC-47 (1957); the RB/WB-66 (1957-1960); and the T-33 (1957-1960).
Redesignated 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Photo-Jet, the 11th reactivated on 3 November 1965 under Tactical Air Command. It organized on 1 April 1966 under the 67th Tactical Wing at Mountain Home AFB, ID. The 11th was redesignated as the 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 1 October 1966. On 25 October 1966, it was reassigned to the 432d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, relocating in the process to Udorn RTAFB, Thailand. The unit saw combat in Southeast Asia, from 25 October 1966-24 October 1970, flying the RF-4 from 1967 to 1970. Reassigned to Tactical Air Command on 10 November 1970, the 11th inactivated on 24 January 1971 at Shaw AFB.
Redesignated as the 11th Tactical Drone Squadron on 18 May 1971, it reactivated on 1 July 1971 at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, assigned to the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing. It was reassigned to the 432d Tactical Drone Group, on 1 July 1976 and inactivated on 1 April 1979. During that time, the squadron was tasked with launched and controlling drones (1971-1975), and testing drones (1974-1975) while using the DC/RC-130 (1971-1979); AQM-34 (1971-1979); CH-3 (1972-1979); and the BGM-34 (1974-1975).
It was redesignated as the 11th Tactical Intelligence Squadron on 26 June 1991 and reactivated on 15 July 1991 at Elmendorf AFB, AK, assigned to Eleventh AIr Force. It was redesignated as the 11th Air Intelligence Squadron on 27 January 1992 upon its reassignment to the 11th Operations Group. It inactivated on 1 July 1994.
The squadron was redesignated as the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron on 1 July 1995 and activated on 29 July 1995, at Nellis AFB, NV, as a unit subordinate to the 57th Operations Group.
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