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“Born in Battle,” 390th Intelligence Squadron hosts 40th Birthday Dining Out

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 390th Intelligence Squadron will host its 40th anniversary dining out here Aug. 24 to celebrate the unit's illustrious heritage.

The dining out commemorates the 390th IS heritage which began as the 6990th Security Squadron, U.S. Air Force Security Service (USAFSS). The squadron was activated by Maj. Gen. (then Lt. Col.) Doyle E. Larson July 15, 1967. The unit's mission, along with its sister squadron the 82nd Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, was to conduct airborne reconnaissance and direct intelligence support operations aboard the RC-135M, an older version of today's RC-135V/W Rivet Joint, on the Combat Apple missions.

"This dining out will be different than most unit events of this type - after all, how many of us, over the course of our Air Force careers, are able to say that we were present for a unit's 40 Year Anniversary, not to mention the anniversary of a Vietnam-era unit," said Lt. Col. Kevin M. Coyne, 390th IS commander.

"Born in battle over the skies of North Vietnam, our heritage is proud and our current challenges are many, but the men and women of the 'Fightin' 90th' are shouldering their responsibilities and leading this unit into the future in accomplishing the Rivet Joint missions," said Colonel Coyne.

The guest speaker for the event will be retired Chief Master Sgt. Joseph J. Federation, former chief of airborne reconnaissance operations, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington D.C.

Chief Federation is a highly decorated combat veteran who logged more than 10,000 flying hours on the RC-135 and numerous special operations aircraft. During his career he participated in operations Southern Watch, Uphold Democracy, Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Currently, he is a consultant for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, Pentagon, Washington D.C.

The 6990th Security Squadron's customers once included tactical commanders and all friendly aircraft operating over the skies of North Vietnam and other U.S. agencies. Additionally, members of the 6990th conducted similar direct support operations flying aboard C-130 aircraft from the unit's detachment at Cam Ranh Bay, Republic of South Vietnam. In September 1971, the unit was redesignated the 6990th Security Group, USAFSS, and moved to Kadena AB to cope with its expanding cryptologic role in the Pacific theater as well as the addition of communication security responsibilities.

In July 1975, the USAFSS was redesignated as Electronic Security Command and in August 1979 the 6990th Security Group was renamed the 6990th Electronic Security Squadron. The reorganization expanded the command's and the unit's operational missions to include the use of electronic warfare capabilities for both offensive and defensive combat operations in support of Air Force command, control and countermeasures. This increased responsibility once again elevated the unit to group status in May 1980. The unit was again designated a squadron April 1, 1990, due to the restructuring of the unit's tasking. The 6990th ESS was redesignated the 390th IS Oct. 1. 1993.

Today, members of the 390 IS conduct airborne reconnaissance operations aboard RC-135V/W Rivet Joint aircraft, providing tailored intelligence information to tactical-, theater- and national-level customers in near-real-time.

For more information on the dining out, call commercial 011-81-634-9195 or DSN 315-634-9195.