Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A unit worthy of respect

As anyone who reads this blog can tell, I'm helping organize a reunion for the 497th Reconnaissance Technical Group for early summer, 2007. The 497th is an interesting unit - it was formed in 1952, and lasted until 1992. The majority of its functions were carried out in a small, walled compound in the village of Wiesbaden-Schierstein, and only a few locals knew it existed. Yet what happened within that compound had worldwide consequences. The 497th provided photographic/imagery support for all of US European Command. Most of its work was classified. There were a half-dozen satellite units and an equal number of 'associated' units that worked with the 497th, but which were not officially connected to the group in any way.

The Group provided intelligence information about Warsaw Pact forces and intentions, and helped support NATO operations in response to the 1956 Hungarian revolution, the 1969 Czechoslovakian invasion, terrorism (including the 1972 Munich Olympic debacle), several Arab/Israeli conflicts, the 1980 Iranian US hostage rescue, and humanitarian and disaster-relief missions from the northernmost tip of Norway to sub-Saharan Africa, and eastward to the Afghan/Pakistan border with Iran. That's a big chunk of land, and a big mission, but the 497th consistently contributed, and frequently exceeded expectations in all areas. It's a unit to be proud of, and one in which I have great pride in having served with.


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