Grand Forks AFB celebrates 348th Julian Day

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ra'isa Christie
  • 319th Reconnaissance Wing

The 50 state flags that line the road to the main gate of Grand Forks AFB were temporarily substituted with 348th Reconnaissance Squadron flags in observation of the 348th Julian Day, Dec. 14, 2023.

Members from the 348th RS started celebrating the day early by distributing candy canes to traffic entering the base and later visiting various units across the 319th Reconnaissance Wing to show appreciation for the year-round operational support they provide.

“Together, we not only uphold the legacy of the 348th RS, but also fortify the bonds that make our community and nation stronger,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Garrick Christian, 348th RS senior enlisted leader and RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 40 enlisted pilot. “This day gives us an opportunity to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the members of the 319th Reconnaissance Wing and the local community for their continual support and collaboration.”

The 348th RS was assigned to the 319th Operations Group as an RQ-4 Global Hawk Squadron on Sept. 19, 2011. Today, the pilots and sensor operators assigned to the 348th RS remotely pilot the Global Hawk Block 40 across the world, providing critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance through Moving Target Indication and Synthetic Aperture Radar.

The aircrew members of the 348th RS also deploy on rotation to conduct launch and recovery operations at the 319th OG’s geographically separated units the 7th Reconnaissance Squadron at Sigonella Naval Air Station, Italy and the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron that operates between Anderson Air Base, Guam and Yokota Air Base, Japan, depending on the season. All of the aircrew members, excluding the commanders and senior enlisted leaders, at the GSUs are deployed from Grand Forks AFB. These aircrew members support additional deployment taskings across the globe, depending on Combatant Commander mission requirements.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cory Turner, the commander of the 348th RS, says that it is important that our community understands that the squadron functions 365 days a year, 24-hours a day with the help of community efforts.

“We want to remind everyone that we are flying at every corner of the world, providing reconnaissance to our nation’s decision makers,” Turner said. “In order to do so, all squadrons are vital in supporting our pilots in the 348th RS who operate the aircraft. We are incredibly appreciative, and this is our way of giving back to the community.”

According to Turner, members of the squadron will impressively continue to defend the nation during holiday seasons, a time when work burnout is a popular topic in many workplaces.  

“348th Julian Day is a day that symbolizes our unwavering commitment to national defense and the exceptional bravery and dedication of our squadron members,” Christian said. “This day is a poignant reflection of our squadron's rich history in aerial reconnaissance and intelligence, and a testament to the steadfast valor of everyone who has served in our ranks.”