The 23rd Bomb Squadron is a United States Air Force unit, assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing. It is stationed at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. The mission of the squadron is to fly the Boeing B-52H Stratofortress strategic bomber. The squadron stands ready to deploy and fly its B-52Hs to enforce national security policy by being ready to deliver overwhelming nuclear or conventional firepower to destroy targets, worldwide, at any time.
The squadron is one of the oldest in the United States Air Force, dating to 16 June 1917, when it was organized at Kelly Field, Texas. It deployed to England as part of the American Expeditionary Forces, being engaged as an aircraft repair squadron during World War I. The squadron saw combat during World War II, and became part of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) during the Cold War.
|23rd Bomb Squadron
|Active||1917–1919; 1921–1947; 1947–present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Global Strike Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Minot Air Force Base|
|Engagements||World War I|
Southwest Pacific Theater
|Decorations||Distinguished Unit Citation|
Navy Presidential Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Originally organized at Camp Kelly, Texas on 16 June 1917 as the 18th Aero Squadron but redesignated the 23rd Aero Squadron six days later. Arriving in late July, 1918, in Britain, it started training before going to France, where it arrived on Armistice day. It was stationed at the Air Service Replacement Concentration Barracks St. Maixent Replacement Barracks until c. 29 January, 1919, then moved to Saint-Nazaire, from where it sailed back to US on 20 February. The squadron arrived at the port of embarkation in March and was demobilized there.
The 23rd Bombardment Squadron was born in 1921 and in April 1924 was consolidated with the World War I 23rd Aero Squadron. It spent the decades of the 1920s and 1930s stationed in Hawaii. There, the squadron flew a number of bomber types, most notably the Keystone bomber series and later the Douglas B-18 Bolo. It was during the squadron’s stay in Hawaii that the event signified by the squadron emblem took place. On 27 December 1935, the Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawaii erupted, threatening the city of Hilo. Six Keystones of the 23rd used precision bombing tactics to drop twenty 600-pound bombs in the path of the volcano’s lava flow, thus saving the city of Hilo by diverting the lava away from the city.
Part of the 5th Bombardment Group, the 23rd fought its way across the Southwest Pacific during World War II. The 23rd initially flew Boeing B-17E Flying Fortresses into combat, replacing those with Consolidated B-24 Liberators by early 1943. Long-range over-water missions were the squadron’s forte, and in April 1944 the squadron won its first of two Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC)s for flying the longest over-water bombing mission ever flown to date, some 1,300 miles each way, to bomb the Japanese base at Woleai Island. After winning a second DUC for another long range strike against oil refineries on Borneo on 30 September 1944, the 23rd found itself in the Philippines at the close of the war.
After a brief period in the Far East after the war, the 23rd Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron relocated to Travis Air Force Base, Calif ornia, in 1949. There, the squadron flew global strategic reconnaissance missions with Boeing RB-29 Superfortresses from 1949–51, Convair RB-36F Peacemakers from 1951–53, and RB-36Hs from 1953-55. On 1 October 1955, the squadron was again redesignated the 23rd Bombardment Squadron and reverted to training for long range nuclear strike missions with the same RB-36Hs. On 13 February 1959, the 23rd entered the jet age when it received its first Boeing B-52G Stratofortress and also entered the missile age, as the B-52Gs were equipped with the AGM-28 Hound Dog standoff missile and the ADM-20 Quail decoy missile. The squadron flew the B-52G from Travis until July 1968.
On 25 July 1968, the 23rd moved, without personnel or equipment, to Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, where it absorbed the personnel, equipment, and B-52H bombers of the inactivating 720th Bombardment Squadron. The 23rd has been combat ready in B-52Hs since that time, continuously adding improvements in avionics, weapons, and tactics to its arsenal. In 1973, the squadron was the first unit to receive the AGM-69 SRAM (Short Range Attack Missile). In 1980, the 23rd gained the offensive avionics system, and led Strategic Air Command’s venture into modern conventional war fighting as the lead unit for the Strategic Projection Force, in support of the U.S. Rapid Deployment Force. During the 1980s, the squadron pioneered night vision goggle tactics. The 23rd added the AGM-86B Air Launched Cruise Missile in 1989 and the AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile in 1994.
23rd Reconnaissance Squadron may refer to:
The 23rd Bomb Squadron, designated the 23d Reconnaissance Squadron, Long Range (Photographic) from October 1947 to June 1949.
The 413th Flight Test Squadron, constituted as the 23d Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) in January 1942 but redesignated the 413th Bombardment Squadron before being activated in July 1942.
The 23rd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (Fighter), designated the 23rd Reconnaissance Squadron (Fighter) from April 1943 to August 1943.Keystone B-6
The Keystone B-6 was a biplane bomber developed by the Keystone Aircraft company for the United States Army Air Corps.Minot Air Force Base
Minot Air Force Base (IATA: MIB, ICAO: KMIB, FAA LID: MIB) is a U.S. Air Force installation in Ward County, North Dakota, 13 miles (20 km) north of the city of Minot via U.S. 83. In the 2010 census, the base was counted as a CDP with a total population of 5,521, down from 7,599 in 2000. Minot AFB is the home of two major wings: the 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing, both of the Global Strike Command (AFGSC).Timothy Ray
Timothy Michael Ray is a United States Air Force general who currently serves as the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command. He concurrently serves as the commander of Air Forces Strategic- Air, U.S. Strategic Command. His two previous assignments were as the Deputy Commander, United States European Command, and as the Commander, Third Air Force. He previously served as the Director of Global Power Programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
Strategic Air Command (SAC)
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