|544th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Decorations||Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" Device|
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
|544th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group emblem[note 1]|
|544th Intelligence Group emblem[note 2]|
The 544th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group was a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Force Space Command Fourteenth Air Force. It was last stationed at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. It was inactivated in the summer of 2020 as part of the establishment of an independent US Space Force.
A space-based intelligence organization, the 544th was a team of approximately 500 Air Force members who deliver global, space-related information to national agencies and warfighting commands; provide policy guidance and functional assistance to assigned organizations; and develop mission-based facilities, communications and manpower requirements to improve quality of life.
The 544th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group was initially activated as the 544th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron on 16 November 1950 at Bolling Air Force Base. Initial personnel came from the 4203rd Photographic Technical Squadron. The 544th moved to Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska in April 1952, although a small unit (Detachment 1) continued operation at Bolling. On 11 July 1958, the unit was redesignated the 544th Reconnaissance Technical Group. The 544th provided photo interpretation during the Cuban Missile Crisis (October 1962) for the National Command Authority.
The next designation was as the 544th Aerospace Reconnaissance Technical Wing when it was redesignated on 1 January 1963. It was assigned directly to Strategic Air Command. In Vietnam, the Boeing RC-135C reconnaissance aircraft, equipped with the ASD-1 reconnaissance system, a number of programmable SIGINT receivers, created much of the 544th Wing's work, an activity known as 'Finder'. In 1979 the 544th was designated as a Major Command Special Activity and on 15 October 1979, was redesignated the 544th Strategic Intelligence Wing. The 544th was redesignated the 544th Intelligence Wing on 1 September 1991, still at Offutt, and then inactivated on 1 June 1992.
On 7 September 1993, Colonel Eric Larson became the commander of the newly reactivated 544th Intelligence Group at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, part of Air Force Intelligence Command. Colonel Maurizio Calabrese assumed command of the 544th on 27 June 2018. In 2000, the 544th received one of its many Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. The award did not extend to the detachments' host commands such as the Naval Security Group Activities Sabana Seca and Sugar Grove. Their support in terms of infrastructure, technical equipment and facilities, allowed the detachments to accomplish their mission. The group also provided support to Detachment 45 of the Air Force Technical Applications Center.
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