548th History

Duty our Privilege
Service our Objective

      The 548th Reconnaissance Units have a proud history dating back to the Second World War and its heritage continues today with the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group (ISRG), Beale AFB, California.

     The unit was originally constituted on 20 November 1943, as the 6th Photographic Technical Squadron (PTS) and was activated on 1 December of that year at Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma, under the auspices of III Reconnaissance Command, United States Army Air Corp. In early 1945, the unit deployed to the Pacific Theater. The 6th PTS moved forward with the Allied Campaign against Japan, and provided support from sites on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Morotai Island, and Leyte and Luzon in the Philippines. After World War II, the unit remained in Japan, at Yokota Army Air Base and Showa Air Station.

Pacific Theater Photo Lab, 1944

     The unit was re-designated the 548th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron (RTS) on 7 January 1950.  At the out break of the Korean War in June 1950, the 548th was stationed at Yokota Air Base (AB), Japan, with detachments at Clark AB, Republic of the Phillippines and Kadena AB, Okinawa, United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands.  The squadron provided reconnaissance support to the United Nations Command during the entire war.   The 548th RTS was inactivated in March of 1960.

548th RTS Commander standing in doorway of quonset hut next to Building 206, Yokota AB Japan, 1951 (Photo by James Landrum, photographer), and Bldg 206 when 67th RTS occupied

     The unit was reactivated as the 548th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron (RTS) on 8 October 1965 in support of the Pacific Air Force at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.  The 548 RTS manpower and equipment came from Detachment One 67th RTS, which was deactivated on the same day at Hickam.   Det One 67 RTS had been located in two old quonset huts located in the Hawaii Air National Guard area.  After it’s activation, the 548 RTS moved into building 206 (The same building number as the 548 RTS, and later the 67 RTS, at Yokota and the AFSC of PI’s), an old 2-story corrugated aluminum former nose dock warehouse, the length of a football field, at the far side of Honolulu International Airport on Keehi Lagoon, with a great view of Honolulu, Waikiki, Punchbowl and Diamond Head.  The unit was reorganized as the 548th Reconnaissance Technical Group on 1 October 1967 and on 4 May 1968 officially moved to Hangar Three, across from the PACAF Headquarters. 

548th RTS/RTG, Building 206, Honolulu International Airport, Photo 1964

     In the spring of 1971, the 67th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan, was deactivated due to a reduction in forces in Japan.  The mission of the 67 RTS, which at this time was largely the processing and exploitation of Giant Scale SR-71 missions flown from Okinawa, Japan, Church Door U-2 missions flown by the Republic of China, and target material production, was transfered to the 548th, along with many of the 67th RTS personnel.

                        548th RTG, Hangar 3, Hickam AFB, 1978

     The inside of hangar 3 held a two-story facility, with much of the space later certified for TOP SECRET Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI).  On the first floor was the Photo Lab, Precision Photo Maintenance, Library, Logistics/Supply, Cartographics (In the early days) and other work spaces.  The second floor housed the Command Section, Chem Mix, Work Order Control, and the Briefing Room, outside the secure facility, and within the “Green Door” was located Imagery Exploitation, Data Management, Research and Analysis, Target Materials, and the SCI Library and office.

     The primary imagery missions processed and exploited by the 548th were Giant Scale (SR-71) missions flown in Southeast Asia (SEA) and along the Korean DMZ, Olympic Meet/Game (U-2) missions flown in SEA, Buffalo Hunter (Firebee Drone) flown in SEA, Bench Box (RF-4C) flown along the Korean DMZ, and National Strategic Reconnaissance Systems (KH-8 and KH-9 Declassified satellite systems and later still classified systems) over the Pacific Command Area.  The members of the organization also deployed to Osan AB, Republic of Korea, to support the Senior Gaze (U-2) program, which flew electro-optical missions along the Korean DMZ.

SR-71 Blackbird

U-2 Dragon Lady

          The unit continued their mission in support of PACAF until 3 July 1991 when the group was inactivated with the establishment of the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific (JICPAC), which consolidated the missions of the 548 RTG, Intelligence Center Pacific (IPAC), Camp H.M. Smith, and the Fleet Intelligence Center Pacific (FICPAC), Pearl Harbor.

     On 1 August, 1992, the 548th Reconnaissance Technical Group was redesignated the 548th Air Intelligence Group. The 548th Air Intelligence Group was activated at Langley AFB, Virginia, on 27 August 1992. The group was inactivated on 1 October 1994.

     On 23 October 2003, the 548th Air Intelligence Group was re-designated the 548th Intelligence Group. The 548th Intelligence Group was activated on 1 December 2003 at Beale AFB, California, as a part of the newly activated 480th Intelligence Wing, Langley AFB, Virginia.  On 1 January 2009, it was renamed the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group (ISRG), under the 480th ISRW at Langley AFB.

     The 548 ISRG operates $1-billion Distributed Ground Station-2 and Deployable Shelterized System-Film components of the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System. This includes exploitation and dissemination of near-real-time U-2, Global Hawk and Predator imagery and signals data to provide actionable, fused all-source intelligence to theater, joint/combined force and component commanders. 

                                          Global Hawk

     The unit supports six unified command operations plans.  The 548 ISRG is comprised of the 9th Intelligence Squadron, the 13th Intelligence Squadron, and the 48th Intelligence Squadron, all at Beale AFB, in addition to the 152nd Intelligence Squadron, Nevada Air National Guard, Reno, Nevada.  (Much of this history information is courtesty of The Official Web Site of Beale AFB).  The 548 ISRG unit patch retains the 548th heraldry.

The above audio recording is the late Col (ret) Bryon Lee Schatzley, the second Commander of the 548 RTG, speaking at the 2018 dedication of the 548th/67th Bench at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force during the reunion in Dayton Ohio.  He discusses the design of the unit logo and the early years of the 548th and his career. (Audio courtesy of Dave Belote)

Col Schatzley at the 2010 reunion

  The 548th Reconnaissance units honors include a campaign streamer from World War II in the Pacific, service streamer from Korea, 15 Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards (AFOUA) and two Air Force Meritorious Service awards (MUA).

World War II Pacific

Korean War

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award


27 June 1950 to 10 April 1951

11 April 1951 to 28 November 1954

14 October 1954 to 20 June 1956


23 January 1968 to 25 March 1968

1 July 1968 to 30 June 1970

30 March 1972 to 15 August 1972

1 February 1974 to 31 May 1975

1 July 1978 to 30 June 1980

1 June 1986 to 31 May 1988

1 April 1989 to 31 March 1991   

Detachment One 548 RTG, Osan AB, Korea AFOUA
10 January 1979 to 30 June 1980

548th Air Intelligence Group AFOUA
1 January 1993 to 30 September 1994

548th Intelligence Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group AFOUA
1 June 2007 to 31 May 2009
1 Jun 2009 to 31 May 2011
1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013
1 June 2017 to 31 May 2018

Detachment One 548 ISRG AFOUA
15 July 2010 to 31 May 2011
1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013

Air Force Meritorious Unit Award

548th Intelligence Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group MUA

1 June 2014 to 31 May 2015
1 June 2015 to 31 May 2016
1 June 2016 to 31 May 2017
1 June 2019 to 31 May 2020
1 June 2020 to 31 May 2021

548th Intelligence Group MUA
1 June 2004 to 31 May 2006
1 June 2006 to 21 May 2007


6th Photographic Technical Squadron
1Lt Alvin A. Munn 1 Dec 1943
Maj Cook Bausman, Jr. 5 Dec 1943–Unknown
Cpt Clark R. Purcell Unknown–10 Feb 1944
Maj James G. Kalec 10 Feb 1944–1945
Unknown 1945–1950

548th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron 
Maj George H. Fisher, 9 Feb 1950
Maj Francis J. Beck 8 Mar 1950
Maj George H. Fisher 1950
Maj Marvin R. William Feb 1952
Maj Charles H. Duke May 1952
Maj Ross J. Foster 1 Jul 1953
LTC James G. Ernest 19 Mar 1956
LTC Robert H. Spencer 15 Jul 1957
LTC Philip P. Fisher 4 Nov 1957
Maj Richard K. Anderson 24 May 1958–1958
LTC Samuel A. Caster 1958–1960

548th Reconnaissance Technical Group
Col Storm C. Rhode 1 Oct 1967
Col Byron L. Schatzley 15 Jan 1969
Col Clark E. Davidson 15 Jun 1970
Col Paul A. Fitzgerald 1 Feb 1972
Col Walter C. Stevens, Jr. Jul 1973
Col Duane E. Vandenberg 10 Jun 1974
Col Dan T. Waddle 1 Jun 1975
Col Kenneth B. Orr 1 Jul 1976
Col Barre E. Smuck 22 Aug 1978
Col Ronald H. Markarian 19 Jul 1979
Col John R. McIntyre, Jr. 6 Aug 1980
LTC James F. Grant 22 Jul 1983
Col Larry L. Benson 13 Sep 1985
LTC Herbert J. Boasso, Jr.
Jul 1988 – 3 Jul 1991

548th Air Intelligence Group
Col Jerry A Wright 27 Aug 1992
Col Richard Annas 21 Dec 1993 – 1 Oct 1994
Col YuLin G. Bingle 1 Dec 2003
Col Teresa L. Fitzpatrick 7 Jun 2005,
Col Kevin B. Wooton 11 Jul 2007

548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group
Col Kevin B. Wooton 1 Jan 2009
Col Jenny A. McGee 5 Aug 2009
Col Patrick M. Flood 24 Jun 2011
Col. Jacob J. Holmgren Jun 2015
Col. Scott Nahrgang 26 Jun 2017
Col. Andrew Souza 10 Jun 2019
Col Shawn Ayers Jun 2021