45th Reconnaissance Squadron Celebrates 30 Years of Service at Offutt

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Kyle Cope

For 30 years, the men and women of the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron conducted global reconnaissance and treaty verification missions at
Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

To commemorate the squadron’s 30 years of service at Offutt, Nebraska, State Senator Rita
Sanders, 45th District of Nebraska, introduced a resolution in the 2024 Nebraska State Senate
congratulating the squadron on their accomplishments. The Senate passed the resolution
unanimously and sent a delegation to Offutt Air Force Base to present the resolution to the
squadron on Mar. 22, 2024.

Furthermore, on June 17, 2024, Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen signed a proclamation declaring
the squadron’s thirtieth birthday, July 1, 2024, as Wildcat Day in the State of Nebraska; he urged
all citizens of Nebraska to take note of the day as such and expressed his gratitude on behalf of
the people of Nebraska.

“You are part of the most significant, most powerful Air Force base in the world,” said Pillen. “I
tell people all across Nebraska, about Offutt Air Force Base, how extraordinary people are here
and how everybody that is stationed at Offutt, falls in love with the people of Nebraska.
We are grateful for that, but mostly for all your extraordinary work to keep us safe and the recon
that takes place.”

The resolution and proclamation by the civic leaders of the state of Nebraska are a public
recognition of the collective effort between local government and the United States Air Force to
protect the homeland, its citizens and U.S. interests around the world.

Originally activated as the 423rd Night Fighter Squadron at Orlando Army Air Base, Florida in
1943, the squadron would be redesignated as the 155th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron
in the Summer of 1944 as it flew Douglas F-3 Havoc reconnaissance aircraft out of RAF
Chalgrove for night reconnaissance missions in the European Theater. The squadron served with
distinction, including flying reconnaissance support in the Battle of the Bulge.

After World War II, the squadron was redesignated as the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance
Squadron, Night Photographic, and assigned to the Air National Guard until 1949 when it was

The squadron was reactivated and deactivated several times to serve the United States
throughout both the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

On 1 July 1994, the squadron was designated as the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron and activated
at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

For 30 years, the men and women of the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron, known affectionately as
The Wildcats, have carried out their duty to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution against all
enemies through missions around the globe. Throughout those years, the squadron conducted
missions onboard the RC-135S COBRA BALL, RC-135U COMBAT SENT, WC-135 W/C/R