The 261st Combat Communications Squadron traces its beginnings to the 96th Signal Company, Service Group. Activated at Reno Army Air Base, Nevada on 1 January 1943. The unit moved shortly thereafter to the Army Air Base at Muroc, CA. Redesignated as the 1096th Signal Company, the unit moved to Great Falls Montana prior to being activated on 17 October 1943. The unit received battle credits during World War II for the New Guinea Campaign, the Southern Philippines Campaign and the Luzon Campaign. Additionally, the unit served in Machinato, Okinawa and Tachikawa Japan where it officially became the 611th Signal Light Company just prior to its inactivation on 25 March 1946. The 611th Signal Light Company was reorganized on 15 August 1948 at the National Guard Center, Alameda California and received federal recognition on 27 September 1948. At the time of recognition, the unit had two officers and ten enlisted members assigned. On 1 July 1952, the 611th Signal Light Company was redesignated the 261st Combat Communications Squadron, (Operations) and on 26 January 1953, became part of the California Air National Guard with its move to Hayward Air National Guard Base, California. On 1 July 1953, the 261st Combat Communications Squadron (Operations) was reassigned to the 146th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Van Nuys Air National Guard Base, California where it remained until its final move to Sepulveda Air National Guard Station on 1 August 1973. During the 34 years that the unit has been located at Sepulveda Air National Guard Station, members have participated in numerous Joint Forces Exercises and Operations. Personnel assigned to the 261st have served in Korea, Thailand, Japan and Hawaii as well as in Europe, Bosnia, and Southeast and Southwest Asia.