99th Reconnaissance Squadron U-2 Model
Fly with the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron in this hand crafted U-2 Model. Each piece is carved from wood and hand painted to provide a piece you’ll love. 18 inches
The 99th Reconnaissance Squadron (99 RS) is a squadron of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the 9th Operations Group, Air Combat Command, stationed at Beale Air Force Base, California. The squadron is equipped with the Lockheed U-2 Dragon Lady reconnaissance aircraft.
The 99 RS is one of the oldest units in the United States Air Force, first being organized as the 99th Aero Squadron on 21 August 1917 at Kelly Field, Texas. The squadron deployed to France and fought on the Western Front during World War I as a Corps observation squadron.
During World War II the unit served both in the Panama Canal Zone as an anti-submarine unit and in the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) as part of Twentieth Air Force as a B-29 Superfortress bomber squadron. During the Cold War was part of Strategic Air Command equipped with B-47 Stratojet medium bombers, and later with the SR-71 Blackbird strategic reconnaissance aircraft.
In November 1972, the 99th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron was re-activated at U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand. The squadron was equipped a combination of U-2s, DC-130’s and CH-3s flying classified missions over Southeast Asia until 30 June 1976. When the U-2 joined the SR-71 under the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB, the 99th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron returned to Beale.
The U-2, although slower than the SR-71, cost much less to operate and provided more “on-station” time. As intelligence collection increased throughout the 1980s, 99th U-2 pilots manned detachments at sites around the world. With the SR-71’s retirement in 1990, the U-2 assumed responsibility for all of America’s manned high-altitude reconnaissance.
During Operation Desert Shield, 99th Squadron pilots immediately deployed to Saudi Arabia and flew their first missions of 19 August 1990, just 17 days after Iraq invaded Kuwait. Throughout Desert Shield/Storm, squadron pilots provided vital reconnaissance that kept coalition commanders informed on the positions and movement of Iraqi troops. This information made air attacks more effective and helped reduce casualties in the ground war.
Operational missions include extensive reconnaissance efforts during Operations Urgent Fury, Just Cause, Desert Shield, Desert Storm and operation Iraqi Freedom as well as humanitarian efforts covering wildfire and earthquake damage in California and Midwestern United States floods. 99 RS personnel are currently temporarily assigned to four overseas detachments.