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97th Intelligence Squadron [97th IS]

The mission of the 97th Intelligence Squadron is to provide mission-ready personnel and systems for worldwide airborne reconnaissance, and collecting and providing intelligence to warfighters and national leadership.

The 97th Aero Squadron was activated on 20 August 1917, Kelly Field, Texas and was an active participant in two World Wars until it was finally disbanded in 1943.

The 97th has, since its inception, been a multi-faceted unit. Through the war torn years of the first half of this century, we showed our mettle by demonstrating that ability. From repairing various aircraft for the war effort (a series of observation aircraft, P-39, P-40, P-43, A-20, DB-7, L-1, and L-4s), to anti-submarine warfare, to training and supporting ground forces on maneuvers, we continually demonstrated our ability to support warfighters. Our present mobility is no new thing for us either. In its early years, the unit was active in its mission at 13 separate locations in the United States, as well as spending 2 years in various locations in France during World War I.

The squadron began as an Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, eventually becoming the 97th Observation Squadron, 97th Observation Squadron (Medium), 97th Reconnaissance Squadron, 97th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (TRS), and now its current incarnation as the 97th Intelligence Squadron (IS). The 97 TRS was disbanded on 11 August 1943, and remained inactive for 50 years until 1 October 1993, when it was reactivated as the 97 IS at Offutt Air Force Base (AFB), Nebraska.

During this 50 years, the squadron remained active serving the needs of the Air Force. From 1963 to 1993, it served America numerically as the 6949th. The 49th started out as Detachment 1, 6940th Security Wing, under the United States Air Force Security Service (USAFSS) and was activated on 1 July 1963 at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. In 1964, Detachment 1 became the 6949th Security Squadron and was commanded by Major Doyle E. Larson. This set a precedent of firsts for Major Larson, for in 1979 he became the first Commander of the Electronic Security Command (ESC) as a general officer.

The 49th, however, remained a squadron until 1975, when it was deactivated and integrated into the 6944th Security Wing. The unit continued to be part of the 44th until 1979, when ESC was created. Reactivated as the 6949th Electronic Security Squadron (ESS) for less than a year, the unit was elevated to Group status in 1980. 6949 ESS made its final appearance in 1981, remaining the 49th until 1 October 1993. This date commemorates both the birthday of the 97th Intelligence Squadron (IS) and that of the Air Intelligence Agency (AIA).

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