U-2 Dragon Lady Returns to Beale Skies


Team Beale resumed normal flight operations after launching two U-2 Dragon Ladies here, Sept. 23.

The 1st Reconnaissance Squadron halted local flight operations earlier in the week to investigate a U-2 crash that took place near the Sutter Buttes, Sept. 20.

The two aircraft launched were flown by the 1RS and 99th Reconnaissance Squadron. They took flight at 9:01am to signify the unity of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing and the 1st RS.

Lt. Col. Steve S. Eadie was assigned to the 1st RS when his aircraft crashed during a routine training mission shortly after takeoff on Tuesday.

"We took a pause from flying the U-2 locally over the last 72 hours in response to Tuesday's incident," said Col. A.J. Werner, 9th Operations Group commander. "While we did not halt U-2 missions globally over that period, we [needed] to take care of our family here at Beale AFB."

Four T-38 Talons launched after the U-2s to form a four-ship formation. The T-38s flew in formation to honor the deceased pilot.

"This morning, we safely put the Dragon Lady back in the air over Northern California," said Col. Werner. "I have the utmost confidence in our pilots, maintainers, support personnel and aircraft. Today's return to operations provides a powerful statement, and I am immensely proud to be part of this wing and community."

The 9th Reconnaissance Wing will continue its mission of training U-2 pilots and providing high-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to the United States.