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Beale Celebrates 100 Years of Air Unit

A celebration at Beale Air Force Base this week. They are commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the oldest flying unit in the United States military. The First Reconnaissance Squadron was started in 1913 flying biplanes over Texas, and a short time later was doing missions in Mexico looking for Pancho Villa…

Listen to Col. Phil Stewart

That’s base commander Colonel Phil Stewart. The First Reconnaissance Squadron changed locations many times over the years, but found its way to Beale in 1966 as home of the S-R 71 mission, and now the U-2. U-2s and other aircraft are on display at the base for invited guests to celebrate the centennial. U-2 pilot Colonel Matt Smith routinely flies at altitudes of 70-thousand feet…

Listen to Col. Matt Smith

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The program at Beale was also supposed to feature static displays, aircraft from other bases, and guest speakers, but those events were canceled due to budget cuts known as the sequester. The unveiling of the centennial plaque will take place at the base this (Friday) afternoon.

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Photos (from top to bottom): A guest trying out the U-2 flight simulator, the cockpit of an actual U-2, A Global Hawk being towed out to the flight line.

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