9th OG Celebrates 100 Years

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Hailey Toledo
  • 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

The 9th Reconnaissance Wing’s operations group celebrated their 100th year of providing supreme airpower at Beale Air Force Base on August 25.

The anniversary event kicked off with a spirited video showcasing iconic 9th OG aircraft such as the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-29 Superfortress, the C-73 transport plane, the SR-71 Blackbird, the MC-12 Liberty, the RQ-4 Global Hawk, and the U-2 Dragon Lady. These aircraft and 9th OG Airmen have executed missions all across the globe, ready to deliver in defense of our nation.

“It’s clear that at the core of every success was our airmen standing strong, resilient, and determined,” said Col. Jason Bialon, 9th Operations Group commander.

The Airmen of the 9th OG sum up to 800, including nearly 200 civilians and contractors living in the local counties of Yuba, Marysville, Sutter, and Wheatland. The career fields making up the group span from aircraft maintainers to pilots, psychological support specialists to intelligence analysts, cyber warriors to airfield operators. The group is a reflection of the rich diversity of Airmen that fight around the globe to advance Air Force strategic objectives, coming to the aide of our nation and allies at a moment’s notice.

“One hundred years is a pretty long stretch of time; it’s good to look back and see where you’ve come from,” said Capt. Zachary Petzold, 427th Reconnaissance Squadron member. “It’s nice to have a community that can kind of rally around it and celebrate all the accomplishments that they’ve had.”

Bialon spoke to the gazing crowd in an open hangar on the Beale flight line, capturing the group’s rich history of operations from striking Japan in 1945, flying high-altitude daylight missions against industrial targets, to U.S. military operations in Afghanistan in late 2001 and Iraq in early 2003 with the RQ-4 Global Hawk. Since the 9th OG’s activation at Beale in 1991, the group has conducted high-altitude manned aerial reconnaissance and surveillance missions.

“As in the past, the 9th OG remains a vital part of our national defense structure,” said Bialon. “Today, our 11 units span the globe equipped with approximately 800 professional Recce Airmen and continue to provide national and theater command authorities with timely, high-quality, and reliable reconnaissance anytime, anywhere we are needed.”

The development of the Common Mission Control Center supports the next generation of operators to fight in an increasingly interconnected combat environment. The U-2 Dragon Lady, Beale’s famous high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, continues to fly missions around the world and around the clock. The 9th OG continues to progress and meet the needs of the Air Force and nation with superior character and mission success.

“Regardless of our 9th OG capabilities, again, our Airmen are the key,” said Bialon. “It’s not really about the U-2, it’s about the human weapon inside of it and those that support it. Thus, we will empower, educate and develop our Airmen in pursuance of daily excellence in our profession… Semper Paratus.”