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13th Reconnaissance Squadron

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Country  United States
Garrison/HQ  Beale Air Force Base
13th Reconnaissance Squadron
Active  1942–1945; 1947–1949; 1952–1953; 1987–2000; 2005–present
Branch  United States Air Force
Type  Reconnaissance and Surveillance
Part of  Air Force Reserve Command

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.

World War II

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.

Unmanned reconnaissance

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.


  • 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


    13th Reconnaissance Squadron Wikipedia

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