70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing: Wikis


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70th Intelligence Wing
70th Intelligence Wing.png
70th Intelligence Wing Insignia
Active September 1, 1941
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Intelligence
Part of Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency
Garrison/HQ Fort Meade
Motto Strength Through Unity
Decorations Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Colonel John D Stauffer

The 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing (70 ISRW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command Eighth Air Force. It is stationed at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

Known as "America's Cryptologic Wing", is the only USAF wing that supports the National Security Agency, Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, and the entire United States Air Force with Cryptologic Intelligence.

The wing has a long and distinguished history. Active for almost 70 years, the 70 ISRW predecessor World War II unit, the 70th Reconnaissance Group conducted observation, artillery adjustment, and fighter and bomber support training with United States Army ground forces. During the Cold War, the 70th was a component wing of Strategic Air Command's deterrent force as a strategic reconnaissance organization and heavy bombardment wing.



Provide multi-source, multi-service intelligence products for Department of Defense by gaining and exploiting information as a major component of the Air Force and DoD global intelligence mission.

Subordinate organizations


70th Mission Support Group

The 70th Mission Support Group at Fort Meade, Maryland

373d Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group

The 373d ISR Group at Misawa Air Base, Japan

543d Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group

The 543d ISR Group is located at the Medina Annex, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and is a unique group within the wing. Organized according to mission, rather than by geography, the 543 IG has two squadrons within the Continental United States which are part of Regional SIGINT Operations Centers. Providing command and control, personnel, communications, computer and logistics support for all Regional SIGINT Operations Centers conducting information operations, the 543 IG provides timely and accurate multi-regional SIGINT to warfighters and other intelligence users.

544th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group

The 544 ISRG is at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado was transferred from the 67th Information Operations Wing to the 70th ISR Wing on July 12, 2006.

691st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group

The 691st ISR Group is located at Menwith Hill Station, United Kingdom. [1]

707th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group

The 707th ISR Group at Fort Meade, Maryland



  • Established as 70th Observation Group on September 1, 1941.
Activated on September 13, 1941.
Redesignated: 70th Reconnaissance Group on April 2, 1943
Redesignated: 70th Tactical Reconnaissance Group on August 11, 1943
Disestablished on November 30, 1943.
  • Reestablished, and redesignated 70th Reconnaissance Group, on March 10, 1947.
Activated in the Reserve on April 26, 1947.
Inactivated on June 27, 1949.
  • Consolidated (January 31, 1984) with the 70th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, which was established on March 23, 1953.
  • Activated on January 24, 1955.
Redesignated: 70th Bombardment Wing, Medium on October 25, 1961.
Discontinued, and inactivated, on June 25, 1962.
  • Redesignated: 70th Bombardment Wing, Heavy, and activated, on November 15, 1962.
Organized on February 1, 1963.
Inactivated on December 31, 1969.
  • Redesignated: 70th Air Base Group on September 16, 1994.
Activated on October 1, 1994.
Inactivated on October 1, 1998.
  • Redesignated: 70th Intelligence Wing on July 17, 2000.
Activated on August 16, 2000.
Redesignated: 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing on January 1, 2009.


Attached to 801st Air Division, 24 Jan 1955-c. 19 Oct 1955
Attached to 5th Air Division, 26 Oct-17 Dec 1956



  • 6 Strategic Reconnaissance (later, 6 Bombardment): 24 Jun 1955-25 Jun 1962 (detached 1 May-c. Oct 1955); 1 Feb 1963-31 Dec 1969
  • 26 Tactical Reconnaissance: 2 Mar 1942-30 Nov 1943
  • 26 Photographic Reconnaissance (later, 26 Strategic Reconnaissance; 681 Bombardment): 1 Aug 1947-27 Jun 1949; 24 Jan 1955-25 Jun 1962
  • 57 Reconnaissance: 1Aug 1947-27 Jun 1949
  • 61 Reconnaissance (later, 61 Strategic Reconnaissance; 61 Bombardment): 26 Apr 1947-27 Jun 1949; 24 Jan 1955-25 Jun 1962 (detached 15 Jul-c. Oct 1955)
  • 70 Air Refueling: 1 Aug 1955-1 Aug 1961 (detached 27 Jan-16 Aug 1956; 24 Jun-c. 24 Sep 1957, 3 Sep 1958-12 Jan 1959, and 5 Oct 1960-11 Jan 1961)
  • 112 Liaison: 30 Apr-11 Aug 1943
  • 116 Observation (later, 116 Reconnaissance; 116 Tactical Reconnaissance): 13 Sep 1941-30 Nov 1943
  • 123 Observation (later, 123 Reconnaissance; 35 Photographic Reconnaissance): assigned 15 Sep 1941-10 Aug 1943, attached 11 Aug-31 Oct 1943
  • 902 Air Refueling: 1 Feb 1963-31 Dec 1969.




During World War II, the 70th Reconnaissance Group conducted observation, artillery adjustment, and fighter and bomber support training with Army ground forces from 1941–1943. It also flew antisubmarine patrols along the west coast from December 7, 1941 through September 1942.

The group was active in the reserve Fourth Air Force from, 1947–1949.

The 70th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing deployed at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, January 24 – October 19, 1955, while its permanent base underwent construction. Few wing components were manned until the move to Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. From there the wing flew strategic reconnaissance to meet the Strategic Air Command's (SAC) global commitments from, October 1955–1962, but on a reduced scale after February 1958. It also assumed an air refueling mission in 1955 and was deployed at Sidi Slimane Air Base, Morocco from, October 26 – December 17, 1956. From June 1958 to September 1961, the wing became a bombardment and reconnaissance organization, providing B/RB-47 combat crew training for other SAC units, while undertaking RB-47 and KC-97 operations. The refueling squadron transferred in August 1961 and the final RB-47 class graduated in October 1961. It converted to B-47s in late 1961 but inactivated prior to becoming combat ready.

The 70th Bombardment Wing replaced the 4123d Strategic Wing at Clinton-Sherman Air Force Base, Oklahoma, in February 1963, to conduct strategic bombardment training and air refueling until December 1969. For several months in 1968 and 1969, all wing aircraft, most of its aircrew and maintenance personnel, and some of its support people were loaned to other SAC units engaged in combat operations in the Far East and Southeast Asia.

The 70th Air Base Wing operated and maintained Brooks Air Force Base from October 1994 through September 1998. Since August 2000, the 70th Intelligence Wing has managed the Air Force portion of the Defense Department's cryptology mission, exploiting intelligence, integrating it into air and space operations, and assisting commanders and others with intelligence requirements.


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • 70th Intelligence Wing
  • 70th IW Home Page
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1984. ISBN 0-91279-912-9.
  • Rogers, Brian. United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, UK: Midland Publications, 2005. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.

External links


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