|26th Space Aggressor Squadron|
26th Space Aggressor Squadron heraldry
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Garrison/HQ||Schriever AFB, Colorado|
|Motto||RESISTERE FUTILE EST - "Resistance is Futile"|
|Lt Col Robert J. Rysavy II|
The 26th Space Aggressor Squadron (26 SAS) is a unit of the United States Air Force located at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. It is part of the 926th Group and is the Reserve Associate of the 527th Space Aggressor Squadron.
The mission of the 26th Space Aggressor Squadron is to replicate enemy threats to space-based and space-enabled systems during tests and training exercises. By using Global Positioning System and satellite communications jamming techniques, it provides Air Force, joint and coalition military personnel with an understanding of how to recognize, mitigate, counter and defeat these threats.
The 26 SAS serves to know, teach and replicate a wide array of terrestrial and space threats to the U.S. military's space enablers. The squadron trains the modern warfighter to operate in an environment where critical systems like GPS and SATCOM are interfered with or denied—preparing them for the current and future fights, and guaranteeing U.S. battlefield dominance well into the 21st century.
The squadron was organized as the 1st Reserve Aero Squadron on 26 May 1917, the first squadron of what would become the United States Air Force Reserve in 1948. Elements of the squadron date to November 1915 when it was organized as part of the New York National Guard as the Aviation Detachment, First Battalion Signal Corps, New York National Guard, and shortly thereafter as the 1st Aero Company.
The 1st Aero Company was provisionally recognized by the federal government on 22 June 1916 and brought to U.S. service on 13 July 1916, with the objective of sending personnel and equipment to the 1st Aero Squadron in Mexico with the Punitive expedition under General John J. Pershing. After being federalized, the company began training 22 July at the new Mineola Signal Corps Aviation School under two Regular Army instructors assigned by the Signal Corps. The Army eventually trained 25 pilots but the 1st Aero Company was mustered out on 2 November 1916 without ever leaving Long Island, and was disbanded 23 May 1917.
In the meantime the National Defense Act of 1916, passed 3 June, authorized an aviation section in the Signal Reserve Corps of 296 officers and 2,000 enlisted men as part of the Army's Aviation Section. At Fort Jay, New York, attorney Phillip A. Carroll established the Governors Island Training Corps, a privately funded program to train civilians to pass the Reserve Military Aviator flying test and receive commissions in the Signal Officers Reserve Corps. The instructional program was under the guidance of the Army's Eastern Department, commanded by Major Gen. Leonard Wood, and trained seven civilians who were commissioned as Reserve aviators.
After the United States entry into World War I, the unit-less New York guardsmen and the new Reserve aviators were organized into a new unit at Mineola by Major Raynal Bolling and now-Captain Carroll. Federalized in June 1917, the 1st Reserve Aero Squadron trained during the summer of 1917 and sailed for Europe aboard the RMS Baltic on 23 August with eight other aero squadrons. It arrived at its duty station of Issoudun, France, on 21 September, and after receiving further training in French schools, assembled, serviced, and repaired aircraft. The 1st R.A.S. was redesignated as the 26th Aero Squadron on 1 October 1917 as part of a reorganization of the Air Service of the AEF. The 26th Aero Squadron remained in France until May 1919 when the unit returned to the United States and was demobilized.
The squadron was reformed and reactivated as the 26 Squadron (Attack) on 30 August 1921; being assigned to the 3rd Attack Group at Kelly Field, Texas. Assigned various World War I era biplanes and experimental American aircraft of the 1920s, the squadron patrolled the Mexican Border, delivered airmail and performed other missions as assigned throughout the 1920s. Deployed to the Hawaii Territory in 1930, the squadron was equipped with A-3 Curtiss Falcons, which were used as fighter-bombers in the 1930s as part of the defense of the islands. Newer Douglas B-18 Bolos were assigned in late 1939, and the unit was redesignated as the 26th Bombardment Squadron. The B-18s were relegated to second-line patrol duty over the approaches to Oahu in 1941 when B-17E Flying Fortresses arrived in Hawaii.
During the Pearl Harbor Attack, many of the squadrons aircraft were damaged at Hickam Field, and the survivors were reformed at Wheeler Field, where they were retained as part of the defense force of the territory under the new Seventh Air Force. The squadron deployed B-17s to Midway Island in late May 1942 to strengthen the island's defenses, however they were withdrawn prior to the Japanese attack on the airfield. They returned to Midway and attempted to raid the attacking Japanese naval forces with little success, and returned to Wheeler Field after the battle ended on 8 June.
The squadron deployed to the South Pacific and came under the new Thirteenth Air Force. Operating from the New Hebrides, the B-17s attacked enemy targets in the Solomon Islands during late 1942 as well as targets in New Guinea and other enemy controlled areas in the South Pacific AOR. The B-17s were flown to Australia from New Guinea in early 1943 and squadron personnel returned to Hawaii for re-equipping and replacement personnel. Was re-equipped with very long range B-24 Liberators optimized for long-range missions in the Pacific. Operated in the Central Pacific AOR, flying very long-range heavy bombing missions over the Gilbert and Marshall Islands; moving west to Guam in the Northern Mariana Islands in October 1944. Carried out very long range bombing attacks on Okinawa in early 1945, eventually being stationed on Okinawa after the Japanese Capitulation in August 1945. Ferried former prisoners of war to Manila, Sep 1945. Squadron was demobilized on Okinawa after the war, the aircraft being sent to the Philippines for reclamation. Was carried on the books as an administrative, paper B-29 Very Heavy Bomb squadron by Far East Air Force until inactivation in late 1948, never being equipped or manned.
Reactivated under Strategic Air Command in December 1948 at Carswell AFB, Texas; received the new B-36B Peacemaker intercontinental strategic bomber. Upgraded to the jet-assisted B-36D in 1950, then the B-36J-III Featherweight in 1954; Trained in heavy bombardment operations and participated in many SAC exercises and deployments. In 1958 was reassigned to Altus AFB, Oklahoma and re-equipped with new B-52E Stratofortresses and continued operations as well as standing nuclear alert. Remained at Altus on alert status until B-52Es were phased out of SAC service and consigned to storage in 1968. Afterward the squadron was inactivated.
Reactivated under Pacific Air Forces at Clark AB, Philippines in 1973 with a training mission to provide dissimilar air combat training (DACT) to PACAF fighter squadrons using Soviet-style fighter tactics. Was carried in non-operational status until the end of August 1975, by which time the 405th Fighter Wing had been replaced by the 3rd TFW at Clark. Even then, it did not start training activities until January 1976, using a number of T-38 Talon DACT aircraft made surplus by the arrival of the F-5E Tiger IIs at Nellis AFB, Nevada. Eventually, the squadron also received the F-5E, with some of the planes coming from stocks destined for the South Vietnamese Air Force but never delivered and an embargoed Ethiopian Air Force order. By that time it had been redesignated Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, and secondly as a Tactical Fighter Training and Aggressor Squadron. Eventually, it became the 26th Aggressor Squadron. The aggressor F-5Es were painted in a variety of colorful camouflage schemes designed to mimic those in use by Warsaw Pact aircraft. Two-digit Soviet-style nose codes were applied to most aggressor aircraft, and these coincided with the last two digits of the serial number. When there was duplication, three digits were used. Squadron was among the first to apply the star and bar in toned-down or stencil form.
By the late 1980s, the aircraft were becoming worn out after years of high-performance fighter training, with some aircraft being grounded for structural failures. In addition, the F-5E no longer could provide the training as a new generation of Soviet aircraft were becoming operational. The 26th AS at Clark was scheduled to dispose of its F-5Es in favor of F-16C/D Falcons and transfer to Kadena AB, Okinawa, in October 1988. The unite was minimally manned at Kadena while the squadron awaited new aircraft, flying a few borrowed aircraft from the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing. However, in 1990, the decision was made to terminate the entire USAF aggressor program. The 26th AS was disbanded on 21 February 1990 before it could receive its new F-16s.
Reactivated under Air Force Space Command in 2003 as a Space Aggressor Squadron as part of the 310th Space Group at Schriever AFB, Colorado. In 2007 the unit was reassigned to the 926th Group at Nellis and was transferred to the Air Combat Command. However, the 26th remained at Schriever AFB, despite the reorganization as a geographically separated unit.
- Organized as 1st Reserve Aero Squadron on 26 May 1917
- Redesignated 26th Aero Squadron on 1 October 1917
- Demobilized on 7 June 1919
- Reconstituted, and consolidated (8 April 1924), with unit authorized as 26th Squadron (Attack) on 30 August 1921.
- Organized on 15 September 1921
- Redesignated 26th Attack Squadron on 25 January 1923
- Inactivated on 27 June 1924
- Activated on 1 September 1930
- Redesignated: 26th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 6 December 1939
- Redesignated: 26th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 11 December 1940
- Redesignated: 26th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy in 1944
- Redesignated: 26th Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy on 30 April 1946
- Inactivated on 20 October 1948
- Redesignated 26th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, and activated, on 1 December 1948
- Discontinued, and inactivated, on 2 July 1968
- Redesignated 26th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 24 September 1973
- Activated on 30 September 1973
- Redesignated: 26th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron on 31 August 1975
- Redesignated: 26th Tactical Fighter Training Aggressor Squadron on 30 November 1977
- Redesignated: 26th Aggressor Squadron on 22 April 1983
- Inactivated on 21 February 1990
- Redesignated 26th Space Aggressor Squadron on 21 February 2003
- Activated in the Reserve on 1 October 2003.
- Eastern Department, 26 May 1917
- Third Aviation Instruction Center, c. Sep 1917
- Unkn, Apr-7 June 1919
- 3rd Attack Group, 15 September 1921 – 27 June 1924
- 5th Composite (later, 5 Bombardment) Group, 1 September 1930
- Attached to 18th Pursuit Group, 1 September 1930-
- 18th Wing, 12 October 1938
- Remained attached to 18th Pursuit Group to c. 10 December 1939
- 11th Bombardment Group, 1 February 1940 – 20 October 1948; 1 December 1948
- Attached to 11th Bombardment Wing, 16 February 1951 – 15 June 1952
- 11th Bombardment (later, 11th Strategic Aerospace) Wing, 16 June 1952 – 2 July 1968
- 405th Fighter Wing, 30 September 1973
- 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, 16 September 1974
- 18th Tactical Fighter Wing, 1 October 1988 – 21 February 1990
- 310th Space Group, 1 October 2003 – present
World War I Theater of Operations.
World War II: Central Pacific; Air Offensive, Japan; Papua; Guadalcanal; Northern Solomons; Eastern Mandates; Western Pacific; Ryukyus; China Offensive; Air Combat, Asiatic-Pacific Theater.
Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers
- South Pacific, 31 July-30 November 1942
- Navy Presidential Unit Citation
- Pacific Theater, 7 August-9 December 1942
- 6 August 1954 – 15 July 1957
- 27 October 1958 – 16 September 1960
- 1 May 1980 – 30 April 1982
- 22 March-1 April 1986
- 1 June 1987 – 31 May 1989
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
- Rogers, B. (2006). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. ISBN 1-85780-197-0
- World Airpower Journal. (1992). US Air Force Air Power Directory. Aerospace Publishing: London, UK. ISBN 1-880588-01-3
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