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15th Reconnaissance Squadron [15th RS]

The 15th Reconnaissance Squadron is stationed at Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field, NV, and operates the unmanned aerial vehicle called Predator.

The 15th Reconnaissance Squadron's origins go back to May 9, 1917, when it was stood up as the 2nd Aviation School Squadron. The original mission of the squadron was part of the defense force for the New York city area, flying coastal patrols. From 1921-1927, the main focus of the squadron was flying training, including gunnery, observation, reconnaissance, photography, radio familiarization and similar missions.

During the early stages of World War II, the 15th supported the Field Artillery School in Oklahoma. On March 26, 1944, the unit deployed to England and began combat operations over France. Its first combat mission was photographic reconnaissance on an F-6. On June 6, 1944, the 15th received credit for the first aerial victory by a tactical reconnaissance pilot as well as the first victory of D-Day. The unit continued armed reconnaissance operations in the European theater until July 1945. After returning to the United States, the squadron provided visual and photographic reconnaissance and artillery adjustments for Army, Navy, and Air Forces until it was deactivated in April 1949.

The 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Photo-jet, was reactivated on February 5, 1951, in Japan and immediately deployed to Korea to provide visual and photographic reconnaissance. The unit flew F/RF80s and F/RF-85s during this period. In March 1954 the unit moved back to Japan and in August 1956, moved to Okinawa. The unit transitioned to RF-84s from 1956-1958 and then to the RF-101s, continuing its long history of photographic reconnaissance.

The unit became heavily involved in Southeast Asia in early 1965, though this only lasted until April 1, 1966. During the summer and fall of 1966, the squadron transitioned to the RF-4C, the aircraft that it was to operate for the next 25 years.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the squadron maintained aerial surveillance capabilities in support of American ground, naval and air forces in the Far East. The 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron was deactivated October 1, 1990. The unit was reactivated as the 15th Tactical Intelligence Squadron on February 20, 1991. On April 13, 1992, the unit was redesignated as the 15th Air Intelligence Squadron. On June 1, 1994, it was once more deactivated.

The unit was reactivated on August 1, 1997, as the 15th Reconnaissance Squadron and assigned to fly the Predator out of Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field, NV.



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