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11th Reconnaissance Squadron
11th Reconnaissance Squadron
11th Reconnaissance Squadron Emblem
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Service history
Active February 5, 1942-
Role Aerial reconnaissance
Battles World War II
MQ-1 Predator

MQ-1 Predator (97-3034) armed with AGM-114 Hellfire missile

The US Air Force 11th Reconnaissance Squadron (11 RS) flies MQ-1 Predator UAV's and is currently stationed at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada. The 11th oversees the training of pilots and sensor operators assigned to the MQ-1.


The 11th Reconnaissance Squadron is the U.S. Air Force's first and premiere MQ-1B Predator formal training unit that conducts 5 basic and advanced training courses: Initial Qualification (IQT), Instructor Upgrade Training (IUT), Foreign Officer Course (FOC), Senior Officer Course (SOC), and Launch & Recovery Course (LR).


World War IIEdit

Activated in early 1942, initially operated in the southeastern United States under Third Air Force flying antisubmarine patrols along the Gulf Coast after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Reassigned to Fourth Air Force in Southern California during early 1942, flying reconnaissance, mapping, artillery adjustment, bombing, dive-bombing, and strafing missions to support Army ground units in training at the Desert Training Center or on maneuvers; trained personnel in aerial reconnaissance, medium bombardment, and fighter techniques.

With the closure of the DTC in late 1943, returned to Third Air Force becoming a reconnaissance training unit for Army forces at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Fort Polk, Louisiana, Fort Hood, Texas and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After the war assigned to Shaw Field, South Carolina, but was not equipped or manned – unit inactivated March 1946.

Cold WarEdit

Reactivated at Langley Field, Virginia in 1947 and equipped with RB-26's and RF-80's as a photo-reconnaissance squadron. Reassigned to Twelfth Air Force and moved to March AFB, California. Budget constraints, though, resulted in the unit's inactivation in March 1949.

Operated as part of Far East Air Forces after the Korean War, engaging in photographic and weather reconnaissance missions over South Korea as well as the Japanese Home Islands and the adjacent waters along the Korean peninsula and Chinese/Soviet Pacific coasts, 1953-1960.

Vietnam warEdit

Activated as an RF-4C Phantom II reconnaissance squadron in 1966 under Tactical Air Command. Deployed to Thailand shortly after formation, flying tactical reconnaissance missions primarily over North Vietnam and selected locations in Laos and Cambodia. The squadron provided much of the aerial photographic intelligence obtained during the Vietnam War, especially that from North Vietnam. In the fall of 1970 the wing was phased down as part of the overall American withdrawal from the Vietnam War, returned to Shaw AFB, SC where the unit was inactivated in early 1971.

Reactivated at Davis-Monthan AFB later in 1971 as an AQM-34 Firebee unmanned tactical reconnaissance drone squadron. Performed photographic reconnaissance to support tactical air and surface forces with tactical drones manufactured by Ryan Aeronautical. Used AQM-34L/M/V drones, DC-130 launch vehicles, and CH-3 recovery helicopters. The group conducted follow-on testing and evaluation of the AQM-34V model drone and the initial operational testing and evaluation and developmental testing and evaluation of the DC-130H "mother ship." Inactivated in 1979 due to budget restrictions; drone operations moved to Eglin AFB, Florida.

Modern eraEdit

Provided real-time intelligence support to 11 Support Wing, 1992-1994. In 1996, became the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) squadron in the USAF. Provided deployable, long-endurance, aerial reconnaissance and surveillance while flying the Predator UAV, 1996-2002. Conducted flying training, 2003-.

Reactivated on July 29, 1995, at Nellis Air Force Base under command of the 57th Operations Group, 57th Wing.


  • Constituted as 11th Observation Squadron (Medium) on 5 Feb 1942
Activated on 2 Mar 1942
Re-designated as: 11th Observation Squadron on 4 Jul 1942
Re-designated as: 11th Reconnaissance Squadron (Fighter) on 2 Apr 1943
Re-designated as: 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 11 Aug 1943
Re-designated as: 11th Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photographic, on 25 Jan 1946
Inactivated on 31 Mar 1946
  • Activated on 19 May 1947
Re-designated as 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photographic, on 14 Jun 1948
Inactivated on 28 Mar 1949
  • Re-designated as 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 12 Aug 1953
Activated on 18 Sep 1953
Re-designated as 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Electronics and Weather, on 25 Nov 1953
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 8 Mar 1960
  • Re-designated as 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Photo-Jet, and activated, on 3 Nov 1965
Organized on 1 Apr 1966
Re-designated as: 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 1 Oct 1966
Inactivated on 24 Jan 1971
  • Re-designated as 11th Tactical Drone Squadron on 18 May 1971
Activated on 1 Jul 1971
Inactivated on 1 Apr 1979
  • Re-designated as 11th Tactical Intelligence Squadron on 26 Jun 1991
Activated on 15 Jul 1991
  • Re-designated as 11th Air Intelligence Squadron on 27 Jan 1992
Inactivated on 1 Jul 1994
  • Re-designated as 11th Reconnaissance Squadron on 1 Jul 1995
Activated on 29 Jul 1995.


Attached to 69th Reconnaissance Group, Nov 1945-26 Feb 1946
Attached to 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, 1 Jun-30 Nov 1954 and 1 Jul-30 Sep 1957


Deployed to Camp Laguna, AZ, 27 Jun-Jul 1943
Deployed to Bowling Green Airport, KY, 9 Dec 1943-24 Mar 1944



PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

External linksEdit

  • Las Vegas Review-Journal

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