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Posted 3/4/2014 Printable Fact Sheet
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To provide senior DoD and joint leaders with a directed imagery capability in support of strategic, operational, and planning requirements during wartime operations, worldwide crises, contingencies, joint exercises, and humanitarian operations.

The 1st Combat Camera Squadron is a tenant unit at Joint Base Charleston. It is the largest of three active duty Combat Camera units in the Air Force. These squadrons are aligned under the Air Force Public Affairs Agency (AFPAA), a Field Operating Agency of the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Combat Camera (COMCAM) acquires still and motion imagery in support of classified and unclassified air, sea, and ground military operations. 1st CTCS imagery is a fundamental tool of commanders and decision-makers throughout the Department of Defense. Its imagery provides a visual record for use in operational analysis, training, public information, and as a permanent historical record. It is a timely, accurate information resource, providing a "you-are-there" perspective, and is essential battlefield information in support of strategic, operational, and tactical mission objectives. Combat Camera Airmen are an integral part of Joint exercises, contingency operations, humanitarian relief efforts, and disasters of every kind. The squadron consists of technical experts in Public Affairs career fields: Photojournalism, Broadcasting and dedicated support professionals. 1st CTCS imagery is also archived for historical purposes and can be recalled through the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center (DIMOC) at the Pentagon and at Riverside, Calif. COMCAM does not include imagery specifically acquired by Intelligence activities. Access to this imagery can be found at

Combat photography began during the Civil War when President Lincoln commissioned Matthew Brady to document the war. The first Air Force Combat Camera unit was activated in the Air Force Reserve on Aug. 10, 1948, in Long Beach, Calif. The unit was returned to inactive status on June 27, 1949. Once again re-designated and activated, the 1st Combat Camera unit stood up on Sept. 2, 1950, at Bolling Air Force Base, Md. The unit was subsequently moved to Alexandria, Va., in January 1951 and re-designated the 1st Photographic Squadron on April 16, 1951. The unit was again deactivated on June 8, 1954.

Modern day Combat Camera Airmen trace their roots to the activation of the Aerospace Audiovisual Service (AAVS) in January 1966. One of their first missions was to manage all photographic functions, except reconnaissance, in Southeast Asia, especially during the Vietnam War. "Project Combat Pix" began October 1966, expanding the AAVS mission to include all base photo labs, combat documentation and armament recording photography. AAVS Headquarters was relocated to Norton Air Force Base, Calif., in July 1968. By the late 1980's, AAVS adopted the unofficial name "Combat Camera."

Following the stand down of AAVS on April, 1, 1992, the 1361st Audiovisual Squadron was deactivated and re-designated the 1st Combat Camera Squadron under the Air Combat Camera Service (AirCCS). In 1994, AirCCS was deactivated leaving the 1st Combat Camera Squadron as the sole active duty Combat Camera squadron aligned under the 621st Air Mobility Operations Group. In 2005, the 21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force was activated and the 1st CTCS was realigned under it. On Oct. 1, 2007, the Visual Information career fields, along with Combat Camera, were merged with the Public Affairs career fields under the single umbrella of the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs. The following year, on Oct. 1, 2008, the four Combat Camera squadrons were aligned under the Air Force Public Affairs Agency (AFPAA)

Whenever, wherever there is a worldwide crisis, a contingency operation, an exercise, or a wartime operation, the highly skilled professional men and women of 1st Combat Camera Squadron are acquiring the imagery necessary to support the mission. By its motto "Global Reach...Global Images," it is your eyes to the world. Missions in recent years include involvement with Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Unified Assistance, Pakistan Earthquake Relief, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and documentation of the evacuation of American citizens from Lebanon.

-Operations: (843) 963-3483
-Combat Photography: (843) 963-4395
-Combat Broadcasting: (843) 963-3541

(Current as of March 4, 2014)

102 East Hill Blvd
Joint Base Charleston, S.C. 29404
(843) 963-1110 DSN: 673-1110

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