SR-71 Theaters of Operation
Detachments and Operating Locations
The SR-71 Reconnaissance aircraft operated world wide from various
locations around the globe. This listing and time frames are not complete
but gives the viewer an idea as to the extent the Blackbirds could and
did relocate and function as an operational unit. In most cases, the listing
does not include bases that the SR-71 may have landed at with mechanical
problems. If an underlined link is indicated, it will take you to
a web page with data or photos of the Detachment or Location. If you have
any additional information, corrections or photos of any of the operations
listed below, an email to me would be appreciated.
Leland Haynes, Webmaster, SR-71 Blackbirds
Groom (Dry) Lake, Nevada, (Special Activities Squadron),
AKA: "Watertown Strip"; "Area 51"; "The Area";"The Ranch";
"Paradise Ranch"; "Dreamland"
(deployed only operational to Det 1, Kadena AB, Okinawa),
established 1961/62. CIA operated. Unit was deactivated in June 1968,
with A-12's. CIA Operation at Det 1 was called "Black Shield".
A12 Oxcart Kadena AB CIA Operations (1967).
Edwards AFB, North Base, California, USAF Flight Test Center (AFFTC),
(Air Technical Training Group), also known as
"Special Projects Branch".
established mid-1969, (belonged to ARDC), CIA operated,
Edwards AFB, North Base, California, (Test Squadron),
designated January 16, 1970, (ex SR-71/YF-12 Test Force,
established June 1965) with YF-12 and SR-71.
Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan
OL-8, OL-ROL-8 (U-2, SR-71), also known as:
OL-RK, (OLRK), then OL-KA, (OLKA), later to Det 1
and a link to
20 Images of SR-71 "Tail Artwork"
Edwards AFB, California
September 1, 1995 saw the reactivation of two SR-71A-model jets and one B-model
pilot trainer aircraft as Beale's Detachment 2 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The planes were
operated by Air Combat Command.
RAF Mildenhall, UK
99th SRS, 9th SRW, established 3/31/1979,
U-2 and SR-71A.
From 1980-1991 only SR-71's flew out of Mildenhall.
Detachment 4, RAF Mildenhall UK Webpage with "Operation El Dorado Canyon"
and a link to:
20 Images of Det 4 Photos
Eielson AFB, Alaska
Sporadic Operational missions were performed in 1979/80 out of Eielson AFB. Additionally, cold weather performance characteristics were accomplished. In January of 1983 Patrick AFB, Florida became Det 5 (U-2) with 14 enlisted and 4 officers.
Air Force Plant 42, Lockheed Plant 10,
(ex Site II), 2762th Logistics Squadron, AFLC, U-2 and SR-71,
(before 12/31/1970, operations were part of AFSC),
reorganized in August 1977 to Det 6.
Norton AFB, California
Palmdale, California, Air Force Plant 42, Lockheed Plant 10,
(ex Site II), 2762th Logistics Squadron, AFLC, (ex Det 51),
U-2 and SR-71
I have one photo of Det 6 on the ramp at Norton..Here
Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT)
SR-71 Operations were conducted for a short time in 1978/79 at Diego Garcia.
Link below contains 34 photos of this operation:
SR-71 Diego Garcia Operations
Griffiss AFB, Rome, New York.
Operations was set up for flights during the Yom Kipper War but moved to OL-SB due to adverse weather conditions at Griffiss AFB.
OL-KB (Griffiss AFB) Web page with Operation "Black Knight" in 1973
during the Yom Kippur War
Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina
SR-71, (used for operational
non-stop reconnaissance flights over Egypt, Israel, and Syria during
the Yom Kipper War 1973/74), Operation "Giant Reach"
OL-SB started on 11 October 1973 and the first mission was flown on 13 October, 1973.
(Griffiss) and OL-SB (Seymour-Johnson) information and photos are on the same page. Click here
Bodo AB, Norway
Bodo was an emergency recovery base for the SR-71. There were only two SR-71's land at Bodo for maintenance problems. The following link gives a narration of the first recovery operation at Bodo by Crew Chief Clarence "Skip" Hosler in August, 1981. There is also a photo and news article archive link.
Bodo, Norway SR-71 Operations Web page
Bodo Photo and News Articles page
Warner-Robins AFB, Georgia
SYPO - Senior Year Programs Office
Beale AFB, California
Home of the SR-71
4200th SRW, established January 1, 1965,
with SR-71 and T-38, redesignated 9th SRW, established June 25, 1966,
combining all operational SR-71 and U-2 in March/April 1976.
All SR-71's retired on March 06, 1990 after flying 3,551 missions over a span of 22 years with no losses. .
Redesignated 9th Wing in 1990 when SAC became
a part of ACC with U-2 and T-38's.
Redesignated 9th RW on 10/1992), with U-2 and T-38.
4200th Information Page
AFB SR-71 Page (Under Construction)
Air Force Plant 42, (Logistics Squadron),
(belongs to AFLC), U-2 and SR-71
Beale AFB, California
formed 01 January 1965
(Test Wing), with B-52H and D-21B Drones,
with the 4200th TS Beale AFB, California, (Test Squadron), with B-52H and D-21B and 4200th A/SS, Beale AFB, California, (Air/Support Squadron),
with B-52H and D-21B, maybe redesignated to 4200th TS
The D-21B and Project “Senior Bowl” “A” Flight and the 4200th Support Squadron
and on Page Two:
D-21B Drone Image Archive
Credit is given to Andreas Gehrs-Pahl for compiling a large portion of the foregoing information from various sources. Additional data is provided by the author "SR-71 Blackbirds" and the Auburn Files.
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|First Created: April 15, 1996 - Last Revised: March 29, 2004|
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