Recce Rag 2012 1st Quarter

“Welcome” to the 2012 newest version of the “Old Recce Rag Newsletter” We hope to start having quarterly issues posted on our web page and sent to our memberships email addresses. We will need some help with articles provided by the members throughout the year.  For now, I will start the with some updated articles of interest

Notes from the President,
Greetings and Happy New Year! Ben asked that we provide a few words for the Recce Rag, and I pondered what words I might possibly come up with that would be appropriate for our newsletter. There were six that came to mind as I thought back and revisited my time at my first duty station: Duty our Privilege – Service our Objective.
To this day, I carry that with me in both my personal and professional life. I’m certain many of you, if not all, do as well. I was always proud to serve our country, and equally proud to serve with and for the men and women of the 548th. I always found those words to be a true and sound bellwether for guiding my efforts, regardless of whether they were in a military or civilian capacity.
Looking forward to this summer, I am certain that we will have a great turnout for this year’s reunion! Bill has done another banner job at laying the ground work to give us an opportunity to not only visit with one another, but to also revisit our old stomping grounds! I think it’s safe to say that Bill has been and will always be one of the finest examples of our beloved motto. Mahalo Nui Loa Bill!
Whether your memories of the unit were the friendships made, the camaraderie that was second to none, the events that we participated in or the beauty of the islands themselves, I hope to see all of you this summer and enjoy a smile and a laugh borne from a memory of some of the best times of our lives, and one of the best units in the Air Force!        Dan

Dan Kolcun
Jan 1986–Dec1989

Notes from the VP,

I would like to echo Dan’s sentiments regarding the outstanding folks we worked with at the 548th and the fantastic job they did day in and day out.  As time passes fewer and fewer people remember what things were like during Viet Nam and the Cold War or know of the many contributions Recce members made to maintain the security of our country.  This in no way diminishes what was accomplished; we were all simply doing our jobs to the best of our ability. I will always treasure the time I spent at the 548th during my two tours there and will never forget the dedicated men and women I worked with.  Looking forward to the reunion, some of us aren’t retired yet so hopefully I can make it, regardless, take care all,      Joe

Dan Kolcun
Jan 1986–Dec1989

Upcoming Events:

**548th Reunion Hawaii 2012**

548th Association Update and Reunion Information

     IMPORTANT:   If you read nothing else, please READ THIS Paragraph.  I must get a fairly accurate count of those attending the reunion in Hawaii, June 28-30.  If you said YES, MAYBE, or NO (List at end of this) and have changed your plans or the number attending is not correct, please send me an email.  If you are not on the list and plan to attend or might attend, let me know, along with the number.  (Note:  Some of our Hawaii people are not yet on the list!!)  P.S. If you plan on golfing, please send me the number of people in your golf party.
     A BIG Mahalo to all of you who contributed so generously to the plaque fund, especially BG (Ret) Jim Grant, whose generosity put us over the top ($2,103 plaque donations).  So far we have had 46 members pay their dues, for those of you who have not yet paid, and are not in an economic squeeze, we are still accepting dues payments ($10) and additional donations to the Association Fund, make your check out to the 548 RTG Assoc and mail it to 548 RTG Assoc, PO Box 7549, Kapolei HI 96707; you can also pay using Paypal (personal gift) to [email protected].  If you do not pay, you will remain a member of the Association, times are tough.

     I will be ordering the plaque soon.  I had one member make a suggestion for a change in the wording to being more solely the 548th RTG, but from the comments I received, most like having it represent all of the units in our lineage, so I will leave it more or less as is.  I did take the “th” off the units, thanks Mary, turned the P-38 around so everyone is flying to the center, and took the sensor pods off the wings of the U-2 (TR-1).  Attached is the semi-final draft for any last comments. 

Reunion Information
     Thursday night we will have a reception at the Hale Koa, I am not happy with the arrangements, but it is the best I could do.  To get a hospitality room and bar, you have to have food served, which is pricey, it will cost $20 each for basically heavy pupus and pay as you go bar.  The room is limited to 64 people, I doubt if we will have that many, if I went with the bigger room (100+), we would have to buy a minimum of 100 meals, even if only 30 people attend, so I went with the smaller room, there to, we still pay for at least 25 meals; Also, we can not bring in our own drinks or food, this is Waikiki and not Dayton, so we have to live with it.
     Colonel Kollien, Commander of the 613th Air and Space Operations Center who now occupies Hangar 3, has graciously allowed us into the building on Friday at 1300 for a tour, so our schedule (draft below) for Friday and Saturday works around that event.  Prior to the tour of Hangar 3, we will meet at the Atterbury Circle Memorial (base flag pole) to dedicate the 548th plaque, and walk over to Hangar 3 from there.
     I also got my second career workplace, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, to give us a briefing on the JPAC mission and tour of the identification lab on Friday at 0900, a very interesting operation.  (JPAC is located next to the old chapel at Fort Kam, on the way out to Hickam Harbor)
     Friday afternoon, we will have our business meeting at Foster Point, near Hickam Harbor, followed by a cookout and social with cheap food (burger, dogs, plus other selections), beer and sodas (No bottles allowed).  If I have anyone who wants to give a presentation similar to what we did in Dayton, let me know.  Also, I would like someone to make a Power Point slide show to run during the event, if anyone is good at that, let me know and I will send you disks with all of the photos from the website.
     Due to the Hangar 3 tour on Friday, I tentatively scheduled golf for Saturday.  Do we have any golfers on the island that can set up the golf?  I never figured out how to cook that little white ball after I shot it, so I know nothing about golf.  If no one comes forward in the next few days, I will try and muddle through it.

     Lt Col. (Ret) Steve Alber will also host a tour (cost TBD) of the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, where he volunteers.  It is located on Ford Island, which now has a bridge connecting it to the mainland, and is close to the USS Missouri.  I scheduled this for Saturday, but it could also be an option for Friday morning for those who do not, or can’t take the JPAC tour, let me know your thoughts.

     I will also try and get a pavilion at Bellows for Saturday, for those who would like to come over and enjoy the sun and sand, and eat and drink the leftovers from Friday night.   As a retiree, I have to wait until 60 days out to make a reservation, so it is iffy at best for the pavilion.   Hopefully, the Security Police at Bellows will accept a list of our members for access, otherwise, for those without DOD ID’s, I will have to come to the gate and sign you in.  I have the details for getting you access to Hickam (BTW, it is now officially called Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam), so that should not be a problem.

     Saturday night is our banquet at the Hickam Officers Club Lanai, if we don’t have 100 attending, they may move us into the main club.  I went with the buffet, like our old Christmas parties (when you could call them Christmas parties), menu is attached.  The price of the buffet is $25.95, but I am charging $4.00 extra to cover meals for the Air Force Band and Honor Guard troops, plus any incidental expenses (for kids rates, see schedule below).
     I have asked Col Patrick Flood, the Commander of the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group, at Beale AFB to be our guest speaker at the banquet, still waiting for an answer; hopefully he can fit us into his schedule.
     Also working on locating the 6 PTS painting that hung in the stairway of the 548th, and foyer of the 67th, it was last seen on display at JICPAC, but may not be on display there any longer.  Hopefully, we can get it and present it to Col Flood at the banquet for display at the 548 ISRG, where it belongs.     If anyone has any suggestions on the events, schedule, or other possible activities, PLEASE let me know.  Also, for those of you who attended the Dayton reunion, I am bringing my grandson Josh over from Idaho, where he is going to college, to help out again.


When:  June 28-30, 2012
Where:  Hale Koa Hotel, Hawaii
I received the below information from the Hale Koa on July 21, 2011 with additional details on reserving rooms from our block of 45 for the reunion:

Thank you for considering Hale Koa Hotel and mahalo for your patience .  We are happy to confirm the following accommodations for your group:  548 Reconnaissance Technical Group Assn.
Arrival:  Thursday, June 28, 2012
Departure:  Sunday, July 1, 2012
Number of Rooms:  45
Leisure Rates:
E1 to E5: $114.00 (single/double)
E6 to E9, O1 to O3, 100% DAV, WIDOWS:  $140.00 (single/double)
O4 to O10 , DOD CIV (Active/Retired):  $147.00 (single/double)

Group booking requirements are as follows:
1.  March 28, 2012 – A status review of the numbers of rooms holding.
2.  April 28, 2012 – Final rooming list indicating names, number of persons in each room, children’s ages (if applicable), military rank, branch of service, mailing address & email address. A one nights deposit will be required to guarantee reservations.  A group reservation request form is attached (below) for your convenience.
3.  May 28, 2012 – Cancellation Policy:  Reservations must be canceled 30 days prior to arrival date to avoid a late cancel charge of one night’s. 
4.  Early Departure: After Check-in, if the departure date changes, a one night’s room charge will be incurred.
5.  Check in time: After 3:00 pm
6.  Check out time: 12 Noon
Your attendees may complete the reservation request form and e-mail it to [email protected] or contact us direct to confirm reservations.  They must provide the group name: 548 Reconnaissance Technical Group Assn, to be included in your room block.  Our phone contact numbers are; Toll free (from Conus) 1-800-367-6027, Commercial 1-808-955-0555, during the hours of 0700-1600 hours, daily except on Sundays and Federal holidays for assistance.   Please refrain from booking on-line to avoid duplications.

                  *** Check the website and your emails for all of the details***

PLAGUE, and Dues
 The New Year is here and it is time to collect dues from our members.  As decided at our Dayton Reunion, the dues are $10 a year.  If for some reason you are unable to pay your dues, you will remain on our roster of members and still be considered a member.

I also solicit your support for a 548thRTG/RTS/6th PTS plaque at the Atterbury Circle Memorial at Hickam.  We will dedicate the plaque during our reunion in June.  The cost of the plaque is $2,000, with 250 members, I am asking each of you to consider contributing at least $10 toward the plaque, any extra money collected will go into the 548th fund.  The following are Col Larry Benson’s comments on the plaque: 
Please send your dues payment ($10) and, is you wish to donate, your plaque donation ($10 or more) to our snail mail address:
548th RTG Assoc
PO Box 75549
Kapolei HI 96707
Or you can make your payment by PAYPAL to our account [email protected].
I will assume the first $10 of any payment is for dues, unless otherwise stated.

We also need artists and silver tongue individuals to come up with the design and wording for the plaque, below are the guidelines and examples of plaques already on the memorial.  Please email us your design and/or wording.  I will put the designs out to the members at the end of January for a vote.      Bill

& Treasurer:
Bill Forsyth
Jul 1972- Jul 1981
Jun 1983-July 1991

*** Check the website and your emails for all of the details***

In the NEWS:
Former 548 RTG Commander

Col (Ret) Duane Evert Vandenberg, 81, of Hot Springs, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011, at National Park Medical Center.

Following graduation, he was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. During his career, he was stationed in Texas, Georgia, Alabama, California, Japan, Missouri, Arkansas, Hawaii, Virginia, Germany and Florida. He retired as a senior colonel after 31 years of service. In the course of his career, he served in the Vietnam War as a navigator on RF-4C reconnaissance aircraft. He was awarded one of his two Distinguished Flying Crosses during a sortie, when his aircraft was hit by a surface-to-air missile, piercing a wing and destroying flight controls. Despite the damage to the aircraft, he was able to complete the mission and return the crew safely to base. Later in his career, he served as Chief of Air Force Intelligence at Central Command at MacDill AFB, Florida.

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

Air Force Col. Kevin B. Wooton has been nominated to the rank of brigadier general.  Colonel Kevin B. Wooton is the Commander, 67th Network Warfare Wing (NWW), Lackland AFB, Texas. The 67 NWW is the USAF’s cyberspace force and newest combat wing. The 67 NWW’s mission is to operate, manage, and defend global Air Force networks. The Wing also trains and readies Airmen to execute computer network exploitation and attack. Additionally, the 67 NWW performs electronic systems security assessments for the Air Force and Joint community. The 67 NWW is the implementation element for the Air Force Network Operations Command and provides network warfare capabilities to Air Force, joint task force, and combatant commanders. Prior to assuming command of the 67 NWW, Colonel Wooton served as the Military Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence), Portfolio, Programs, and Resources (PP&R) in the Office of Secretary of Defense.

Commissioned through Officer Training School in 1987, Colonel Wooton has served in a variety of assignments to include intelligence officer positions at squadron, group and joint level, as well as at MAJCOM staffs, Air Staff, and with the National Security Council. He also commanded the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group (AFISRA), Beale Air Force Base, California, the 17th Training Group (AETC), Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, and the 25th Intelligence Squadron (AFISRA), Hurlburt Field, Florida.

January 1988-July 1991, Imagery Analyst/Briefer; Chief, Soviet Far East Analysis Branch; and Deputy Chief, Exploitation Division; with duty as Tactical Reconnaissance Collection Manager and Mission Planner, USCENTAF, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 548th Reconnaissance Technical Group, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
July 2007-Aug 2009, Commander, 548th ISR Group, Beale Air Force Base, California.


Declassified US Spy Satellites from Cold War Land in Ohio.
By Tariq Malik, Managing Editor | – 3 hrs ago
A trio of once-secret U.S. spy satellites built to look down on the Soviet Union were unveiled in Ohio on Thursday (Jan. 26) in a rare public display by the United States Air Force.
The vintage reconnaissance satellites joined the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, and will eventually be installed in a new wing for space relics and other aircraft. The satellites — called KH-7 Gambit 1, the KH-8 Gambit 3 and the KH-9 Hexagon — were officially declassified in September by the National Reconnaissance Office and released for public viewing.

“Last year the NRO celebrated its 50th anniversary, and we announced the declassification of two NRO systems, Gambit and Hexagon, which were America’s eyes in space and the most sophisticated satellites of their time,” NRO director Air Force Gen. (Ret.) Bruce Carlson said in a statement. “These systems were critical for monitoring key targets in the USSR and around the globe and provided much-needed cartographic information to the DOD to produce accurate, large-scale maps.”
The Gambit and Hexagon satellites followed the NRO’s iconic Corona spy satellite program, which was declassified in 1995.

History of the Squadron Patch,
1 Dec 1955, 548 RTS to Present  2012, 548 ISRG



Ben Oakes
Dec1985- Dec 1989

Send any articles and information for our next newsletter, we need volunteers for the “Life at and After the 548th”