January 01, 1997

The SR-71 Blackbird strategic reconnaissance aircraft is brought out of retirement, as the Air Force announces that two aircraft and crews are mission ready. Mothballed in 1990, the Blackbird was revived in 1994, but was never made operational. In December 1996, Congress appropriated $39 million to get the aircraft back in action, and the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB, Calif., began flying training sorties.