Two Air Force Reserve intelligence squadrons activated at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., last week. The 63rd Intelligence Squadron, which reports to the 480th ISR Wing and the 497th ISR Group, activated during a Dec. 6 ceremony at Langley-Eustis. The squadron is responsible for operating the distributed ground station-one, allowing it to exploit near real-time data from the U-2, RQ-4 Global Hawk, MC-12 Liberty, MQ-9 Reaper, and the MQ-1 Predator, according to a Dec. 10 release. Lt. Col. Brian Mueller assumed command of the 42nd IS during an activation and assumption of command ceremony also at Langley-Eustis the following day, according to a Dec. 11 release. The 42nd IS supports current operations and contingency planning by “providing targeting, focused products” to the 36th Intelligence Squadron and the Air Force Targeting Center at Langley-Eustis, states the release. The 42nd IS traces its lineage to the 42nd Photo Lab, which was activated in September 1945 at Smokey Hill Army Airfield, Kan., as part of the 456th Bombardment Group’s conversion plan for the invasion of Japan. The lab was inactivated once the invasion was cancelled and has since been redesignated as the 42nd IS, according to the release.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.