HomeAbout UsFact SheetsDisplay

363rd ISR Wing

363d ISR Wing Shield

The shield of the 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, headquartered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. It is a subordinate unit of the 25th Air Force at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Mission
The 363rd ISR Wing, headquartered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, is the only wing of its kind across the Air Force. The wing conducts lethal, resilient and ready operations across four key mission areas: analysis of air, space and cyber operations; full-spectrum targeting; special operations ISR; and ISR testing, tactics development and advanced training. The wing's dynamically adaptive, problem-centric and audaciously innovative approach provides lethal capabilities and unmatched value for our nation.

Organization
The wing is comprised of three groups, and various global locations.

361st ISR Group; Hurlburt Field, Florida
Operating Location A
Operating Location B, Fort Bragg, North Carolina 
Operating Location D, Will Rodgers ANG Base, Oklahoma
Operating Location E, Greenville City, Texas
Operating Location F, Denver City, Colorado
19th Intelligence Squadron, Pope AFB, North Carolina 
25th Intelligence Squadron
43rd Intelligence Squadron, Cannon AFB, New Mexico
306th Intelligence Squadron, Will Rodgers ANG Base

363rd ISR Group; Joint Base-Langley-Eustis
17th Intelligence Squadron
20th Intelligence Squadron, Offutt AFB, Nebraska 
36th Intelligence Squadron
363rd Intelligence Support Squadron

365th ISR Group; Nellis AFB, Nevada  
15th Intelligence Squadron, Langley AFB, Virginia
51st Intelligence Squadron, Shaw AFB, South Carolina
57th Intelligence Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
526th Intelligence Squadron
547th Intelligence Squadron

History
The 363rd Reconnaissance Wing activated Aug. 15, 1947; the first Air Force wing at Langley Field, Virginia. Responsible for day and night photographic, visual, and tactical electronic reconnaissance, the wing’s squadrons maintained and flew RF-80 and RB-26 aircraft.  

In 1948, the wing’s designation changed to emphasize its tactical focus. The Korean War brought an additional mission to the wing: from September 1950 through early April 1951, the wing provided replacement crews to B‑26 squadrons flying combat operations over Korea. On April 2, 1951, the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing transferred to Shaw AFB, South Carolina, where the wing would remain for more than 40 years.

From the mid-1950s through the mid-1970s, the wing served as the Air Force’s source for combat ready RF-101, RB/EB/WB-66, and RF-4 reconnaissance crews. In 1957, wing pilots flew their RF-101s into the records books setting three speed records in Operation Sun Run. Additionally, the wing deployed its own aircraft, aircrews, and intelligence Airmen for reconnaissance operations worldwide, most notably during the Cuban Missile Crisis (for which President John F. Kennedy personally presented the wing with an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award), the Dominican Republic Crisis, the war in Southeast Asia, and in the wake of North Korea’s seizure of the USS Pueblo.  The wing ceased its electronic reconnaissance and electronic warfare missions in 1974, but remained focused on tactical reconnaissance.

In 1982, the 363d, now a Tactical Fighter Wing, added the F-16 to its arsenal. With its venerable RF-4 and newly fielded F-16, the wing became the only wing in Tactical Air Command with a dual fighter-reconnaissance role. In 1989, the wing transitioned to a fighter mission when it transferred its last RF‑4 aircraft to other units.

From August 1990 to March 1991, the wing deployed most of its Airmen and aircraft to Southwest Asia to participate in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. One of the wing’s pilots who saw his first combat action on Day 1 of Desert Storm was our current Chief of Staff, General David L. Goldfein.  Following the end of Desert Storm, the wing continued to deploy its units to Southwest Asia on a rotational basis. During one such deployment in December 1992, one of the wing’s squadron commanders, Lt. Col. (later General) Gary L. North, downed an Iraqi MiG-25 over the southern no-fly zone.  This aerial victory constituted the first by a U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot, the first U.S. Air Force F‑16 beyond-visual-range kill, and the first kill achieved with an AIM-120 AMRAAM.

On Jan. 1, 1994, as part of the Air Force’s post-Cold War draw down and reorganization, the Air Force inactivated the 363rd Fighter Wing and transferred the 20th Fighter Wing to Shaw AFB to serve as the host unit for the base.

The wing remained inactive until 1998 when it was re-designated and activated as the 363rd Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Kharj (later Prince Sultan Air Base), Saudi Arabia. The 363rd was among the first of several wings to be converted from permanent to provisional status and activated in an effort to perpetuate and add to the heritage of historic Air Force organizations. Replacing the inactivated 4404th Wing (Provisional) that had relocated from King Abdul Aziz Air Base after the Khobar Towers bombing, the 363rd conducted combat operations for Operations Southern Watch and Enduring Freedom. The 363rd inactivated in August 2003 when the Air Force withdrew its major operating units from Saudi Arabia.

In 2007, the 363rd activated again in Southwest Asia, this time as the 363rd Flying Training Group based at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. Assuming the mission formerly performed by the Gulf Air Warfare Center, the 363rd Flying Training Group built partnerships, tactical capabilities, and improved interoperability to facilitate integrated air operations and missile defense. The Flying Training Group inactivated in August 2011.

Almost 70 years after its first activation, the 363rd returned to Langley. On Feb. 17, 2015, as part of a major transformation of its intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance forces, the Air Force activated the 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.