A12 Oxcart Detachment
Kadena AB, Okinawa
The A12 Blackbirds, flown by CIA pilots were the first to operate out of Kadena AB, Okinawa in 1967. The unit was deployed from the 1129th SAS (Special Activities Squadron) out of Groom Lake "Area 51", Nevada. They were also known as "The Road Runners".
The 1129th SAS was a joint USAF/CIA Operation

A12's at Groom Lake, Nevada

Mel Vojvodich

The CIA On Okinawa-1967

On 17 May 1967, the first Blackbird support components were airlifted to the island. The mission was called "Black Shield"and was formally sanctioned by President Johnson.  The first A12 Article #131 arrived at Kadena on May 22 after a 6 hour, 6 minute flight from Groom Lake, Nevada. A second A12 Article #127 arrived on May 24th and the third aircraft, Article #129 arrived on May 27th after a delay due to INS problems at Wake Island. The Oxcart Detachment unit, with 260 personnel and under the command of Colonel Hugh Slater was declared operationally ready on 29 May 1967. The Black Shield team received authorization for its first Operational Mission the following day.

932 on the field at Wake Island, May 26, 1967

Declassified A12 Imagery of the USS Pueblo in Wonson Harbor

Photos and story is here at this URL: http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/imint/pueblo-imagery-1.htm

A12 Oxcart Combat Pilots

Recipients of the CIA Intelligence Star for Valor

Mel Vojvodich, Dennis Sullivan, Jack Layton, Frank Murray, Ken Collins

and Jack Weeks (posthumously)

A12 at Groom Lake, Nevada


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USAF SR-71 Kadena Operations

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