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 5th Reconnaissance Squadron
'Blackcats' to celebrate 90 years of service

Posted 5/3/2007   Updated 5/3/2007 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Rojek
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

5/3/2007 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 5th Reconnaissance Squadron celebrates its 90th anniversary with a dining-in at the Blackcat Compound on Friday at 6 p.m. 

Col. Stephen P. Sheehy, 9th Maintenance Group commander, is attending the dinner as the special guest speaker. Other special guests include Chief Master Sgt. Michael Baca, 9th Operations Group superintendent, and Master Sgt. Marlin Hill, 9th Operational Support Squadron first sergeant. 

"The 5th RS 'Blackcats' are proud of the 90-year heritage of the '5th Squadrons,' from the 5th Aero Squadron of 1917 to the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron of today," said Lt. Col. Lars Hoffman, 5th Reconnaissance Squadron commander. 

The squadron celebrated another anniversary last fall, having flown the U-2 reconnaissance mission out of Osan for 30 years. Also, their unit patch traces back 45 years, said Colonel Hoffman, it was created by Taiwanese U-2 pilots who flew some of the most dangerous reconnaissance missions in the 52-year history of the U-2 program. 

"It's an honor to know that we are a part of a squadron that has had an impact on every war since World War I," said Master Sgt. Sean Carr, 5th RS. "We have a unique mission at Osan, which requires 24 hour operations, and all 5th RS Airmen are proud to know that every job they accomplish has significant impact on world relations." 

Not only is the dining-in a celebration of the 5th RS' history, but also of the Air Force's 60 years as a branch of service. While looking back at this heritage, the colonel took a moment to consider the years ahead. 

"We look forward to a bright future for our Air Force and for the 5th," said Colonel Hoffman. "Whether flying a U-2 or some unmanned reconnaissance vehicle, the thirst for intelligence will always need to be satisfied. I expect Airmen of the 5th to be serving with distinction 90 years from now, as they did in 1917 and as they continue to do today."

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