55th Communications Group
The 55th Communications Group provides worldwide communications support that is critical to national security and war-fighting capabilities. This group supports the 55th Wing and Team Offutt’s 93 tenant units, including, U.S. Strategic Command and the Air Force Weather Agency. The group is comprised of more than 400 military and over 200 civilian employees. The group currently consists of two squadrons: the 55th Communications Squadron and the 55th Strategic Communications Squadron.
The 55th Communications Group traces its history back to 1946 with the creation of the Strategic Air Command at Andrews AFB, Md. Originally named the 30th Communications Squadron, the unit moved with the Strategic Air Command to Offutt AFB in 1948 and became the 1st Aerospace Communications Group. In 1993 the unit was redesignated as the 55th Communications Group following Air Force reorganization. Since it’s inception as the 30th Communications Squadron, the organization has been awarded 13 Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards and one Meritorious Unit Award.
55th Maintenance Group
The 55th Maintenance Group’s 1,200 personnel who are proud to be combat enablers, maintaining 27 combat ready C-135s and four Airborne Command and Control E-4B aircraft. The group executes an annual budget of $20 million and a 15,000-hour flying program to respond to Joint Chief of Staff-directed taskings providing critical reconnaissance worldwide, develop maintenance plans to support Airborne Command Post and National Airborne Operations Center missions, and support five geographically separated units.
55th Maintenance Operations Squadron
The 55th Maintenance Operations Squadron maintains combat readiness on 31 high demand/low density aircraft, consisting of four E-4Bs and 27 C-135 derivative aircraft, by directing maintenance scheduling and analysis programs. The unit manages all base mission capable assets while maintaining the Maintenance Operations Center. Unit members manage deployment readiness and maintenance training, including formal, ancillary and on-the-job training for the maintenance group’s 1,200 airmen. The unit also provides manpower, engine and facilities management, as well as computer network systems support.
55th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
The 55th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron is the only U.S. Air Force squadron maintaining 31 RC-135S/U/V/W Rivet Joint/Cobra Ball/Combat Sent, OC-135B Open Skies, WC-135W Constant Phoenix and E-4B National Airborne Operations Center aircraft, valued at more than $8 billion. The unit executes an annual budget of $11.6 million and generates 2,500 sorties a year, providing the world’s premier intelligence and command and control capabilities. It includes 640 military and 109 contract maintainers in 19 Air Force Specialty Codes.
55th Maintenance Squadron
The 55th Maintenance Squadron ensures combat-ready reconnaissance and command and control aircraft for Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed taskings. Unit members accomplish periodic inspection/repair for structural, pneudraulic, electro-environmental, fuels and avionic systems. They provide intermediate and depot-level engine maintenance for eight locations worldwide and maintain aerospace ground equipment and munitions, manage fuels distribution, and support transient aircraft. The unit’s 384 military and civilian members execute an annual budget of $7.8 million.
55th Medical Group
The 55th Medical Group operates the Ehrling Bergquist Clinic, located near the Capehart military family housing area on 25th Street and Capehart Road. The clinic provides complete medical services for eligible beneficiaries enrolled in TRICARE Prime. All other categories of beneficiaries may be seen on a space-available basis.
55th Mission Support Group
The mission of the 55th Mission Support Group is to provide vital support for Offutt AFB through engineering, security, mission support, services, supply, transportation, contracting & deployment readiness programs to over 40,000 active duty, dependent and retiree personnel and to more than 90 associated units, including U.S. Strategic Command, Air Force Weather Agency, the National Airborne Operations Center and presidential-tasked global reconnaissance missions.
55th Operations Group
With more than 3,000 Airmen, 13 squadrons and three detachments, the 55thOperations Group is the largest and most diverse operations group in the Air Force, flying all variants of the RC-135, OC-135, WC-135 and E-4B aircraft.
The group operates these aircraft around the clock in every geographic command in support of the 55th’s global reconnaissance, contingency operations, treaty verification, National Command Authority support, and command and control responsibilities.
The group also supports the Federal Emergency Management Agency during times of natural disaster. Permanent overseas operating locations include RAF Mildenhall, England; Souda Bay Naval Support Activity, Crete; Kadena AB, Japan. The 55th OG also operates regularly from five temporary locations.
1st Airborne Command Control Squadron
In conjunction with U.S. Strategic Command’s National Airborne Operations Center, the 1st Airborne Command Control Squadron provides the National Command Authority with a survivable command center from which they may make accurate decisions and transmit timely directions to United States military forces during all conditions of peace and war.
The 1st ACCS traces its roots to the U.S. Army’s Company A, 2nd Balloon Squadron, established in 1917 at Fort Omaha, Neb., later to be consolidated with the Air Corps’ 1st Ferrying Squadron. The squadron at that time performed observation duties over Southern California and France in World War I. During World War II, the 1st Ferrying Squadron flew aircraft from the factory to units overseas until it inactivated in April 1944.
The 1st reactivated on July 1, 1969, and flew specially modified EC-135 aircraft in support of the National Emergency Airborne Command Post, supporting the president of the United States.
In 1973, the 1st converted to modified Boeing 747s, called E-4As, and in 1984 the unit completed the switch to the E-4B aircraft – currently in use today. On July 29, 1994, the National Emergency Airborne Command Post changed its name to the National Airborne Operations Center.
Today, the 1st continues to proudly support the president and the National Military Command System.
38th Reconnaissance Squadron
The 38th represents electronic combat at its finest; providing officer flight crews for the RC-135W/V Rivet Joint, the Air Force’s premier platform for providing real-time electronic intelligence to support the on-scene battlefield commanders.
The 38th formed in 1941 at Arlington, Ore., where training began prior to duty with the 55th for missions over Europe during World War II. The 38th flew the P-38 Lightning and the P-51 Mustang. On March 4, 1944, they earned the nickname of the “Berlin Buzz Boys” for being the first American unit to fly over and strafe Berlin. Later the unit became better known as the “Hellcats” for their enormous success in inflicting damage to German rail and air facilities, not to mention numerous dogfight victories.
Today, the Rivet Joint deploys worldwide, conducting contingency operations and reconnaissance missions in the face of potential hostilities. The unique intelligence collected by the Rivet Joint is vital to our national policy makers throughout the full spectrum of conflict.
343rd Reconnaissance Squadron
The 343rd Reconnaissance Squadron represents electronic combat at its finest. It provides officer flight crews for the RC-135W/V Rivet Joint, the Air Force’s premier platform providing real-time electronic intelligence to support on-scene battlefield commanders.
The Rivet Joint deploys worldwide, conducting contingency operations and reconnaissance missions in the face of potential hostilities. The unique intelligence collected by the Rivet Joint is vital to our national policy makers throughout the full spectrum of conflict.
From its beginnings on Feb. 1, 1943, the 343rd has served at the front edge of worldwide events. Originally a fighter squadron, the members of the 343rd flew escort and strafing missions in P-51 Mustangs and P-38 Lightning fighters, providing escort for the bombers of the 8th Air Force over Germany and other European nations during World War II.
In 1947, the 343rd turned in their guns for receivers, becoming a Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, and assuming electronic warfare as their future mission.
As part of Strategic Air Command, the 343rd flew the RB-29, RB-50, RB-47 and RC-135 to probe Soviet air defenses.
The 343rd has also been involved in the liberation of Grenada and Panama, the 1986 Libyan raids, the Persian Gulf War, Operations Northern and Southern Watch, the Bosnia conflict, Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and the on-going Global War on Terrorism.
45th Reconnaissance Squadron
Throughout its history, the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron has been one of the most colorful units in the Air Force, with a battle record composed of the great campaigns of three wars, and a peacetime record of vital contributions to world-wide reconnaissance, treaty monitoring and pilot proficiency training.
Organized on Aug. 17, 1943, at Orlando Air Base, Florida, as the 423rd Night Fighter Squadron, the 423rd was redesignated the 155th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron on June 22, 1944, and on Dec. 3, 1945, the 155th was redesignated the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photographic.
On July 1, 1994, the squadron was activated at Offutt as the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron, providing data for the National Command Authority, theater commanders and international treaty members. It is the most mission-diverse squadron in Air Combat Command. Squadron personnel fly world-wide reconnaissance and treaty missions on demand, often on extremely short notice.
338th Combat Training Squadron
The 338th Combat Training Squadron prepares crew members for 10 other squadrons to execute worldwide reconnaissance, treaty verification and command and control missions directed by the President, Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, theater commanders and national intelligence agencies.
The 338th CTS dates back to the 338th Fighter Squadron of the 55th Fighter Group in World War II. From bases in England, the 338th Fighter Squadron flew P-38s and P-51s over Europe, escorting bombers as well as bombing and strafing enemy airfields, railroads and military installations.
The 338th Fighter Squadron became the 338th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron after World War II, providing electronic and photographic intelligence to the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing during the Cold War era. Projects included aerial surveillance of the Atlantic Ocean during the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The 338th was inactivated on Christmas day 1967 when Offutt accepted the RC-135 aircraft.
In September 1999, the 338th Combat Training Squadron was activated and charged with performing the initial, difference, requalification and upgrade training for the largest and most diverse operations group in the Air Force.
55th Operations Support Squadron
Formed on Sept. 1, 1991, the 55th Operations Support Squadron consists of more than 200 people providing a wide spectrum of support to the 55th Operations Group commander and 14 flying squadrons spanning the Pacific, European, Asian and Continental United States theaters of operation.
The squadron provides training and preparations support to deploy aircraft, aircrews and staff to prosecute worldwide contingency operations and Joint Chiefs of Staff-tasked operational reconnaissance missions.
The squadron has one of the most diverse missions on base, serving as the focal point for consolidation of all aspects of operations and staff functions within the 55th Operations Group.
These functions include: validation of all Air Combat Command and U.S. Strategic Command personnel airlift requirements; scheduling and documentation of all ground and flight training, pre-deployment training and aircraft performance analysis functions for the 55th Wing; intelligence support to the wing staff, individual squadrons and support to contingency and JCS-tasked reconnaissance operations; current and forecast weather information to home station and deploying aircraft missions; airfield management, air traffic control and tower operations and combat crew communications support; life support, water and field survival, and life support equipment training; aircraft and aircrew combat tactics development; development of future RC-135 fleet requirements; and alert force management and support.
97th Intelligence Squadron
The 97th Intelligence Squadron is the largest flying squadron in ACC and provides communications, and command, control and communications countermeasures support to U.S. and allied forces. The unit conducts defensive studies of U.S. communications while developing and applying techniques and materials designed to ensure communications are secure and protected from hostile countermeasures.
The 97th advises commanders concerning procedures and techniques that could be used to counter enemy command and control communications, and performs direction finding and range estimations in support of search and rescue operations.
The 97th began on Aug. 20, 1917, at Kelly Field, Texas, as the 97th Aero Squadron. Demobilized in 1919, it reactivated in 1936 as the 97th Observation Squadron, later becoming the 97th Reconnaissance Squadron (Fighter). The 97th served in the United States and France in various capacities, from aircraft maintenance and repair to antisubmarine patrolling.
It was named the 97th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on Aug. 11, 1943, until it disbanded a year later. The squadron went through several transitions before becoming the 97th Intelligence Squadron on Oct. 1, 1993.
25th Intelligence Squadron (Hurlburt Field, Florida)
The 25th Intelligence Squadron, located at Hurlburt Field, Florida, is a selectively-manned and uniquely tasked unit, chartered to provide specialized intelligence capability across the spectrum of conflict. As Air Combat Command’s only dedicated Special Mission Unit, 25th IS personnel are qualified to operate as aircrew on board every combat aircraft within the Air Force Special Operations Command inventory.
By integrating all-source intelligence and electronic combat capability for special operations forces, the 25th IS has made Air Force Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency and ACC resources integral to SOF mission planning, rehearsal and execution—truly highlighting AFSOC’s motto: “One Team, One Fight.”
The squadron’s capability is known as SILENT SHIELD, and the squadron presents this capability through small, deployed teams. The “public face” of those teams are Direct Support Operators, flying on all AFSOC platforms from three geographically-separated locations, providing real-time threat warning and enhanced situational awareness to AFSOC aircrews and joint special operations forces.
Additional team members include the mission commander, usually a company grade intelligence officer, leading the team of DSOs as well as enlisted intelligence analysts, equipment maintainers and deployable communicators. The 25th IS is traditionally referred to as “the Air Force’s first Information Warfare Squadron,” since from its origin and periodically through its history it has provided the information warfare capability to gain, exploit, defend and attack to AFSOC missions worldwide.
169th Intelligence Squadron (Utah Air National Guard Base)
The 169th Intelligence Squadron, located at the Utah Air National Guard Base, Salt Lake City, Utah, provides tactical airborne command, control and countermeasures support to U.S. and Allied forces. Unit aircrews ensure American military communications are secure and protected from hostile countermeasures.
The 169th’s highly trained individuals go through extensive and challenging training schools in this one-of-a-kind Air National Guard unit. Members fly C-130 Senior Scout missions in support of global operations.
82nd Reconnaissance Squadron (Kadena AB, Japan)
The 82nd Reconnaissance Squadron flies RC-135 and WC-135 operational reconnaissance missions throughout the Pacific theater. They provide combat ready staff and maintenance personnel to support multinational reconnaissance and contingency operations in the face of political instability and potential terrorist threats. The 82nd provides direct threat warning to combatant commanders and collects, analyzes and reports intelligence vital to national foreign policy decision makers.
The 82nd Reconnaissance Squadron had its beginnings prior to the start of World War II. Originally constituted as the 82nd Observation Squadron on June 1, 1937, the 82nd flew fighters, photographic and armed reconnaissance missions in the A-20, B-25, P-39 and P-40. Active throughout the Pacific theater, the unit saw action in New Guinea, the New Britain Islands and the Shouten island group. Re-equipped with the P-51 Mustang, the 82nd continued to support landing operations in Borneo and the Philippines.
In August 1945, pilots from the 82nd flew pre- and post-strike reconnaissance missions over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. After a brief period of inactivation, the 82nd Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron reactivated in 1954 and flew the RF-61 and RF-84.
The unit entered the Cold War in 1967 at Yokota AB, Japan. The squadron moved in January 1968 to Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan. From the latter part of 1967, reconnaissance sorties were flown by RC-135s in support of the Vietnam conflict. The 82nd routinely flew other Strategic Air Command reconnaissance missions as well, performing peripheral reconnaissance missions over the Yellow Sea, East China Sea and Gulf of Tonkin.
During the 1980s, Kadena became a forward operating base for RC-135 operations with the 376th Strategic Wing managing the operations, intelligence and maintenance functions. RC-135 aircraft and crews were deployed to Kadena from the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Offutt. The 82nd Reconnaissance Squadron reactivated Oct. 2, 1991, as a stand-alone unit at Kadena and operated first under the Strategic Air Command and currently under Air Combat Command.
95th Reconnaissance Squadron (RAF Mildenhall, England)
With its RC-135 aircraft, the 95th has produced intelligence data vital to every combat and combat support operation in the theater to include Operations Provide Comfort, Provide Promise, Northern Watch, Southern Watch and Allied Force. The 95th Reconnaissance Squadron executes missions for national and theater commanders by providing critical intelligence data in the war against terrorism in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. The men and women of the 95th are poised to respond to missions worldwide and the squadron remains one of the most decorated units in the Air Force.
The 95th Reconnaissance Squadron, stationed at RAF Mildenhall, England, traces it roots back to Aug. 20, 1917, as the 95th Aero Squadron. Activated during World War I, the unit served briefly at Kelly Field, Texas, before moving to France where it flew a combination of Nieuport 28 and Spad XIII biplanes on combat pursuit missions with French and American armies.
Active and inactive throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the unit was redesignated as the 95th Bombardment Squadron in 1939 and during World War II, the 95th flew combat in the European and Mediterranean theaters using a combination of B-25 and B-26 bombers. During the Korean War, the 95th flew combat from bases in Korea and Japan and was equipped with B-26 Invaders. The unit flew night intruder missions against Communist troops throughout the war and transitioned to B-66s before inactivating in 1958.
Reactivated in 1982 as the 95th Reconnaissance Squadron at RAF Alconbury, England, the unit flew the U-2 on politically sensitive missions throughout the years. The 95th flew combat operations in Iraq in 1991 before being inactivated once again in 1993.
This squadron reactivated once again in 1994, replacing the existing 922nd Reconnaissance Squadron, and was assigned to the 55th Wing to operate the RC-135 aircraft throughout Europe.
Detachment 1, 95th Reconnaissance Squadron (Souda Bay, Greece)
Detachment 1, 95th Reconnaissance Squadron, conducts reconnaissance and air refueling operations throughout the Mediterranean, Middle East and African theaters in one of the most strategically critical missions flown today.
The squadron ensures that sensitive missions are completed within the treaty limits imposed between the United States and Hellenic governments. As such, Det. 1 is the focal point for flight operations in the Southern European Command region.
As part of the 95th Reconnaissance Squadron at RAF Mildenhall, England, Det. 1 is organized under a “deployed concept” operation. An expeditionary squadron is stood up when 95th staff, maintenance and logistics support personnel flow in to augment the cadre of permanent party personnel actually stationed at Souda Bay, Greece.
Recently, Det. 1 supported the initial flow and force bed down for over 735 U.S. Air Force personnel and 14 electronic combat and combat support aircraft tasked with conducting combat operations supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Det. 1, 95th Reconnaissance Squadron has distinguished itself as the point of the spear for the 55th Wing’s Mediterranean commitments.
390th Intelligence Squadron (Kadena AB, Japan)
The 6990th Security Squadron was activated at Kadena AB, Japan, on July 15, 1967, by Maj. Gen. (then Lt. Col.) Doyle E. Larson. At that time, it was part of the 6992nd Security Wing based at Clark AB, Republic of the Philippines, with operational control vested in the Pacific Security Region, which eventually became the Pacific Electronic Security Division. The unit’s first mission was to provide RC-135 direct support to Combat Apple operations in Southeast Asia. In September 1971, the unit was redesignated the 6990th Security Group to cope with its expanding cryptologic role in the Vietnam War.
In July 1975, with the combat support missions ending and its responsibilities significantly reduced, the unit was again designated a squadron. When the U.S. Air Force Security Service became the Electronic Security Command in August 1979, the 6990th was renamed the 6990th Electronic Security Squadron. The reorganization expanded the command’s and unit’s operational mission to include the use of electronic warfare capabilities for both offensive and defensive combat operations in support of Air Force command, control and countermeasures.
During this period, the unit became the workhorse for the command’s airborne operations. This increased responsibility once again elevated the unit to group status on May 1, 1980. On April 1, 1990, after restructuring the unit’s taskings, the 6990th was again designated a squadron.
On Oct. 1, 1993, the 6990th Electronic Security Squadron was redesignated the 390th Intelligence Squadron. Almost a year later, the squadron was assigned the additional mission of providing direct support operations to Air Force Special Operations Command aircrews assigned to the 353rd Special Operations Group. In February 2001, the Air Intelligence Agency and its subordinate units were realigned under 8th Air Force and Air Combat Command.
On Oct. 1, 2002, the unit was realigned under the 55th Wing. Currently the unit has 245 personnel assigned and is tasked to support the U.S. Pacific Command and Global War on Terror requirements, as well as U.S. Central Command GWOT requirements.
488th Intelligence Squadron
The 488th operates the RC-135 Rivet Joint and is responsible for a variety of missions supporting tactical forces, regional commanders and national priorities around the globe.
The “Bats” of the 488th Intelligence Squadron trace their airborne reconnaissance lineage back over 50 years to two security squadron detachments–one in Japan and the other in the United Kingdom.
The Japan-based unit was formed in 1955 and activated as Detachment 1, 6924th Radio Squadron, Mobile, at Yokota AB. The unit conducted reconnaissance missions against the former Soviet Union and North Korea in modified bomber aircraft known as RB-50s.
This is also when the unit’s bat symbol originated, a term used by front-enders of the RB-50 to describe the dark, cave-like existence of the airmen in the back of the aircraft. The seven rays of sun on the unit’s patch represent the seven Bats who died in a crash during the unit’s first RB-50 mission from Japan. The unit was re-designated Operating Location 1, 6988th Security Flight in 1958; it subsequently became the 6988th Radio Squadron (Mobile), and was deactivated in 1972.
The United Kingdom heritage of the 488th began with the 6954th Security Squadron, originally designated Detachment 1 of the 6985th SS at RAF Upper Heyford in 1967. The unit moved to RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom, in 1970, where it resides today. In 1980, the unit was redesignated as the 6988th Electronic Security Squadron to honor the historic, Japan-based reconnaissance unit. In 1993, the squadron was redesignated the 488th IS. In 2002, the 488th was realigned to the 67th Information Operations Wing under the 55th Wing at Offutt AFB.
763rd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron (Southwest Asia)
The 763rd is a fully integrated unit of the 379th Expeditionary Operations Group and the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing. Flying the RC-135 Rivet Joint and stationed in Southwest Asia, the 763rd provides Central Command and Central Air Force tactical intelligence for contingency operations. It provides direct real-time reconnaissance information and electronic combat support to combat forces in U.S. Central Command. Currently, the 763rd conducts daily operations in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, ultimately contributing to the ongoing Global War on Terrorism.
170th Group, Nebraska Air National Guard
Activated on June 26, 2007, the 170th Group administratively organizes Nebraska ANG members assigned to Offutt under the Offutt AFB Future Total Force Initiative. The 170th evolved from Detachment 1, Headquarters Nebraska ANG established in June 2002. Under this initiative, highly qualified ANG instructor aircrew integrate into the 338th Combat Training Squadron to provide initial qualification, re-qualification and upgrade training to active duty and ANG aircrew members.
Within the 170th Group, these instructors are part of the Nebraska ANG’s 238th Combat Training Squadron. Likewise, experienced ANG personnel integrate into various sections within the 55th Operations Support Squadron to increase their capability to support the global operations of the 55th Wing. These functional areas include requirements, weapons and tactics, intelligence, base operations, weather, and aviation resource management. Within the 170th Group, ANG members are part of the NE ANG’s 170th Operations Support Squadron. Overall, the 170th Group consists of 80 authorized personnel, to include 35 full-time and 45 traditional, or part-time, ANG members.
55th ECG (Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.)
The 55th Electronic Combat Group, located at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., provides combat ready EC-130H Compass Call aircraft, aircrews and maintainers to combatant commanders. The squadron also plans and executes information operations, including electronic attack, in support of theater campaign plans.
755th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
The 755th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron provides war-fighting commanders with combat ready EC-130H Compass Call aircraft to execute information warfare operations. The unit plans and executes all equipment maintenance actions for 14 EC-130H and one TC-130H aircraft — including launch, recovery, scheduled inspections, servicing and component replacement. Additionally, the 755th AMXS conducts maintenance training, aircrew debriefing and supply functions.
43rd Electronic Combat Squadron
The 43rd ECS provides war-fighting commanders with combat ready EC-130H Compass Call aircraft and aircrews trained to execute combat information warfare operations. The squadron conducts operations to degrade the transfer of information essential to enemy weapon systems and battlefield resource command and control. The squadron also performs mission qualification training for EC-130H flight crews, mission crews, maintenance and support personnel.
41st Electronic Combat Squadron
The 41st ECS provides war-fighting commanders with combat ready EC-130H Compass Call aircraft and aircrews trained to execute an electronic attack and information warfare strategy. The squadron conducts operations designed to degrade the transfer of information essential to command and control of enemy weapons systems and other resources. To ensure the unit’s ability to carry out its wartime mission, the 41st ECS also conducts mission qualification training for EC-130H flight crews, mission crews, maintenance and support personnel.