Defense

November 29, 2017
 

AF selects Tyndall AFB as preferred location for new Remotely Piloted Aircraft unit

The Air Force has selected Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., as the preferred location for hosting a new MQ-9 Reaper Wing with 24 remotely piloted aircraft.

Vandenberg AFB, Calif., is considered a reasonable alternative.

The wing will be composed of an operations group with mission control elements as well as a launch and recovery capability, and a maintenance group.

“We selected Tyndall Air Force Base because it was the best location to meet the unique requirements of the MQ-9 Reaper,” Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson said.

That includes fewer aircraft competing for air space, nearby training ranges, great weather and lower up-front costs, Wilson added.

This selection will also meet the goals of Air Combat Command’s Culture and Process Improvement Plan which identified the need for additional basing locations to help diversify assignment opportunities for personnel within the MQ-9 enterprise, provide increased opportunities for leadership from within the community, and provide flexibility to enhance integration with other warfighter organizations and capabilities.

“Remotely Piloted Aircraft and the intelligence capabilities supporting them remain vital to our national security and the security of our allies,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. “Equally important is the increasing use of RPAs in defense of the homeland and response to humanitarian disaster as we have seen recently with hurricanes and wildfires. Co-locating this wing with [U.S. Northern Command’s] Air Operations Center and 1st Air Force will bring increased capability to support Gen. Lori Robinson in addition to increasing lethality and giving our other combatant commanders the best trained operators possible.”

The Air Force previously announced Shaw AFB, S.C., as the preferred alternative for an operations group with mission control elements. The operations group will have no aircraft assigned.

Tyndall AFB remains the preferred alternative for this basing action. The final basing decision will be made by the Secretary of the Air Force only after the environmental analysis is complete.

Based on current projections, Airmen are expected to begin arriving at the new location as early as 2020. The first aircraft are expected to arrive in 2022.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Zade Vadnais

Newest F-22 demo pilot certifies at Shaw AFB

Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Zade Vadnais Maj. Paul Lopez, F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team pilot, shakes hands with an F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team crew chief before taking off for his certification flight at Shaw Air Fo...
 
 

SecAF, CSAF direct review of all Air Force programs

Air Force senior leaders have directed a Zero-Based Review of all Air Force programs, budget accounts and associated manpower authorizations in preparation for assembling the Fiscal Year 2020 Program Objective Memorandum and Future Years Defense Plan. The review will examine whether the right services are being provided the right way across the Air Force. “We...
 
 

Acquisitions chief details DOD efforts to speed, reform acquisition processes

The Defense Department is charging ahead in using new authorities to streamline, speed up and reform the acquisition system to ensure warfighters get what they need when they need it, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official told the Senate Armed Services Committee Dec. 7, 2017. Ellen M. Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics,...