Air Force

September 9, 2016

AF narrows locations considered for basing new RPA units

The Air Force has selected candidate bases for a potential new MQ-9 Reaper wing with units at up to two locations.

For the first location, the Air Force identified Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.; Moody AFB, Ga.; Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; Offutt AFB, Neb.; and Shaw AFB, S.C., as candidate bases to potentially host an operations group with mission control elements.

These locations currently have an active-duty flying wing or group that performs at least one core remotely piloted aircraft mission and/or is co-located with an active-duty distributed ground system. Once an installation is selected, MQ-9 crews will control the MQ-9 from that location, but no aircraft will be assigned to these units.

The Air Force also selected Eglin AFB, Fla.; Tyndall AFB, Fla.; Vandenberg AFB, Calif., and Shaw AFB as candidates for the second location, which would potentially host a full MQ-9 wing, to include both a launch and recovery element and a mission control element, as well as a maintenance group and operations support personnel. That location is expected to have up to 24 MQ-9 aircraft assigned.

The Air Force is pursuing 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 organizations and capabilities.

The desire for additional locations for an MQ-9 wing was identified during surveys of officers and enlisted Airmen in the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 enterprise as part of Air Combat Command’s Culture and Process Improvement Program.

“We are using the strategic basing process to determine the best locations for hosting additional locations for the MQ-9 mission,” said Jennifer L. Miller, the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations. “As we go through the basing process, we will use the information we collect to help us determine the affordability and potential locations for expanding the MQ-9 enterprise.”

ACC will now conduct site surveys at all eight locations. Site survey teams will assess each location against requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, infrastructure and manpower. They will also develop cost estimates to bed down the planned units.

Based on the results of these efforts, the Air Force plans to select the preferred alternatives as early as the winter of 2016. Final basing decisions will be made by the secretary of the Air Force after the requisite environmental analysis is complete.

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


Air Force photograph by Airman Frankie D. Moore

D-M’s new commander to reach new levels of excellence

Air Force photograph by Airman1st Class Giovanni Sims Lt. Gen. Mark D. Kelly, 12th Air Force commander, passes command of the 355th Fighter Wing to Col. Mike Drowley during a change of command ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Forc...
(U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor T. McBride)

Desert Lightning News Digital Edition – August 3, 2018

Desert Lightning News – Serving Davis Monthan AFB, Tucson AZ, and surrounding communities – August 3, 2018   Welcome to the Desert Lightning News Digital Edition! This month, we have the 2018 edition of “The Book...

U.S. Air Force awards Raytheon $96 million for MALD missile production

TUCSON, Ariz.—Raytheon has received a $96.1 million contract to produce 250 Miniature Air-Launched Decoys, or MALD® missiles. The U.S. Air Force award occurred just prior to Raytheon marking its 2,000th MALD system delivery,...