13th Reconnaissance Squadron

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13th Reconnaissance Squadron
Air Force Reserve Command.png
13th Reconnaissance Squadron RQ-9 Global Hawk.jpg
13th Reconnaissance Squadron RQ-4 Global Hawk
Active1942–1945; 1947–1949; 1952–1953; 1987–2000; 2005–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
TypeReconnaissance and Surveillance
Part ofAir Force Reserve Command
Garrison/HQBeale Air Force Base
EngagementsEuropean Theater of Operations[1]
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
French Croix de Guerre with Palm[1]
13th Reconnaissance Squadron emblem (rendition approved 21 December 2011)[1]13th Reconnaissance Squadron - Emblem.png
13th Airlift Squadron emblem (approved 5 June 1995)[2]13th Reconnaissance Squadron.jpg
13th Military Airlift Squadron emblem (approved 13 October 1988)[2]13 Military Airlift Squadron emblem.png
Patch with 13th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron emblem (approved 6 March 1944)[1]13th Reconnaissance Squadron (World War II).png

The 13th Reconnaissance Squadron is part of the 926th Wing at Beale Air Force Base, California. It operates RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft conducting reconnaissance and surveillance missions.


The squadron provides theater commanders with near-real-time intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition data.[3]


World War II[edit]

The 13th flew combat in the European Theater of Operations from 28 March 1943 – 26 April 1945.


In 1952, it converted to a troop carrier mission and provided intra-theater airlift for high-ranking USAFE military and civilian officials and small mission-essential equipment from, 1987–1993. In 1987, it was renamed the 13th Military Airlift Squadron.

The squadron moved without personnel and equipment to McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, on 1 October 1993 and absorbed personnel and equipment of the 30th Airlift Squadron and was renamed the 13th Airlift Squadron. Equipped with C-141, the squadron took on a new worldwide airlift mission until its inactivation in 2000.[1]

Unmanned reconnaissance[edit]

Since 2005 the 13th has operated and maintained deployable, long-endurance RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft and ground control elements to fulfill training and operational requirements generated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in support of unified commanders and the Secretary of Defense. It currently trains all RQ-4B pilots and sensor operators.[3]


  • Constituted as the 13th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron on 9 June 1943
Activated on 20 June 1942
Redesignated 13th Photographic Squadron (Light) on 6 February 1943
Redesignated 13th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron on 13 November 1943
Inactivated on 1 December 1945
  • Redesignated 13th Reconnaissance Squadron, Photographic on 11 March 1947
Activated in the reserve on 6 July 1947
Inactivated on 27 June 1949
  • Redesignated 13th Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium on 26 May 1952
Activated in the reserve on 14 June 1952
Inactivated on 1 April 1953
  • Redesignated 13th Military Airlift Squadron on 14 July 1987
Activated on 1 October 1987
Redesignated 13 Airlift Squadron on 1 April 1992
Inactivated on 31 March 2000
  • Redesignated 13th Reconnaissance Squadron on 10 February 2005
Activated in the reserve on 12 March 2005[1]






Explanatory notes
  1. ^ Probably New York Port of Embarkation on arrival at Camp Kilmer.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Robertson, Patsy (18 October 2016). "Factsheet 13 Reconnaissance Squadron (AFRC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b Endicott, p. 433
  3. ^ a b No byline (1 September 2009). "Inside 940WG Library: Factsheet 13th Reconnaissance Squadron". 940th Wing Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 9 March 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2018.


External links[edit]