18th Intelligence Squadron

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18th Intelligence Squadron
18th Intelligence Squadron emblem
Active 1993-Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Intelligence
Role Space Control Intelligence
Size Squadron
Part of 544th ISRG/70th ISRW
Garrison/HQ Wright-Patterson AFB
Motto Space Dominance
Lt. Col. Mark Peters

The 18th Intelligence Squadron (18 IS) is a space control intelligence organization of the United States Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

The squadron provides, through space systems expertise, tailored intelligence to the planning, development, and execution of space control operations. The 18 IS consists of a headquarters element at Wright-Patterson AFB and two geographically separated detachments: Detachment 2, Osan AB, Korea; and Detachment 4, RAF Feltwell, United Kingdom.[1]

The 18 IS is a subordinate unit to the 544th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, subordinate to 25th Air Force (25 AF), a Numbered Air Force subordinate to Air Combat Command (ACC). Through fixed and mobile sites, 18 IS provides scientific and technical collection to the NSA (National Security Agency), 25 AF, AFMC (Air Force Materiel Command), and 21st Space Wing, Passive Space Surveillance (21 SW/PASS) mission. Where available, also provides limited analysis to the entities.[2]


The 18th Intelligence Squadron was originally activated as the 5th Photographic Laboratory Section on 20 Oct 1943 at Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma. It was redesignated as the 5th Photographic Technical Unit on 30 Nov 1944 at Esler Field, Louisiana and as the 18th Photographic Technical Unit on 29 Jan 1945 at Key Field, Mississippi. It was inactivated on 27 Dec 1945 at Bad Kissengen, Germany. In these early years, the unit served in the United States, France, and Germany. On 16 Oct 1984, the unit was redesignated the 18th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron after it was consolidated with the 68th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron, which had been activated on 10 Oct 1951 and inactivated on 10 Dec 1951 at Lockbourne AFB, Ohio. The unit was redesignated the 18th Intelligence Squadron on 3 Sep 1993 and activated on 7 Sep 1993 at Falcon AFB, Colorado.

Det 1, 18 IS was activated at Holloman AFB, New Mexico in June 1995, and later moved to Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio during the summer of 2000. Det 1 was the Air Intelligence Agency's only transportable system conducting Radio Frequency phenomenology studies. Det 1 was inactivated on 8 June 2010 and merged with the 18th Intelligence Squadron, which itself moved from Vandenberg AFB, California, to its current location of Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, in July 2010. Assigned personnel provide data in support of Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency, National Air and Space Intelligence Center, and United States Strategic Command missions as well as information critical to the National Security Agency and other national-level organizations.

Major command


Previous designations

  • 18th Intelligence Squadron (1993–Present)
  • Det 5, 693d Intelligence Wing ()
  • Det 5, HQ Continental Electronic Security Division ()
  • Det 3, Space Electronic Security Division ()
  • 18th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron (16 Oct 1984-???)
  • 68th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron (10 Oct 1951-10 Dec 1951)
  • 18th Photographic Technical Unit (29 Jan 1945-27 Dec 1945)
  • 5th Photographic Technical Unit (30 Nov 1944-29 Jan 1945)
  • 5th Photographic Laboratory Section (20 Oct 1943-30 Nov 1944)

Subordinate units

Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio[3] (31 Aug 2000 - 8 June 2010)

Griffiss AFB, New York (7 Sep 1993 - 31 Aug 2000)


Photo gallery


  1. Richelson, Jeffrey. The United States Intelligence Community, 3rd edition
  2. Air Intelligence Agency Mission Directive 1520 - 18th Intelligence Squadron
  3. AIA Spokesman November 2004
  4. AIA Spokesman March 2004
  5. AIA Spokesman June 2005
  6. AIA Spokesman August 1997
  7. Naval Security Group Station History

External links