DoD

May 31, 2013

Predator passes 20,000-hour mark in Afghanistan

Tags:
Capt. Brian Maguire
451st Air Expeditionary Wing

An MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft prepares for takeoff in support of operations in Southwest Asia. The Predator is a medium-altitude, long-endurance, remotely piloted aircraft that conducts armed reconnaissance against critical targets.

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — An MQ-1 Predator assigned at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, recently became the first Predator to pass 20,000 flying hours over Afghanistan, a feat equivalent to flying 15 hours every other day, for 2,667 days.

While the Predator remotely piloted aircraft program surpassed one million hours of total development, test, training and combat in August 2011, this is the first airframe to accumulate 20,000 flying hours individually.

“Reaching this milestone is significant, but what’s more special are the missions we enable every day,” said Lt. Col. Russ Garner, 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron commander. “

Maintainers are the key to enabling a single airframe to reach so many hours, Garner said. Maintenance keeps the aircraft flying, especially through the extreme weather in Afghanistan, he added.

“Without maintainers we couldn’t reach this milestone, let alone get in the air,” the squadron commander said. “This achievement is really a tribute to our maintainers.”

A team of military and civilian personnel maintain and repair the aircraft.

The mission of the 62nd ERS is to provide launch and recovery for RPA assigned to the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing at Kandahar.

“With only two percent of the RPA aircrew [in the career field deployed here], we’re enabling 98 percent of the mission,” Garner said. “During their deployment there are no days off for the crew, while they set an unbelievable operations tempo.”

The MQ-1 and MQ-9 Reaper are assigned to the squadron and conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and close-air support missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The aircraft are operated by Airmen with the 62nd ERS, U.S. crews located stateside and Royal Air Force crews in the United Kingdom.




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


 
 

 
DoD

GWOT Expeditionary Medal

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Airmen who earned the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for more than one of the five Department of Defense approved GWOT-EM operations may now wear a service star device on the medal and service ribbon for the second and...
 
 
DoD

Commissaries serve as Feds Feed Families collection sites

FORT LEE, Va. — Commissaries are serving as collection points for the Feds Feed Families campaign, which began June 1 and ends Aug. 31 at participating stateside military installations. During the campaign, participating installations help collect items most needed by food pantries and then donate them to area food banks. “This marks our sixth consecutive...
 
 
DoD
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ryan Conroy

‘New Horizons’ readies U.S. to deploy, conduct joint operations

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ryan Conroy Members of the 823rd RED HORSE Squadron board a C-17 Globemaster at Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 27 for New Horizons 2015 in Honduras. Air Force, Army and Marine Corps service m...
 

 
DoD
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Lena Wakayama

Obama nominates new chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Lena Wakayama Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford addresses Okinawa-based personnel during a town hall meeting March 25 at the Camp Foster Theater. May 5, President Barack...
 
 
DoD

Reaper deploys live weapons on maritime training target

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — On March 17 during a joint service training exercise over the Gulf of Mexico, an MQ-9 Reaper successfully hit a sea-going target with a Hellfire missile. This was the first time a remotely piloted aircraft hit a maritime target. “It was the first time we had put live weapons...
 
 
DoD
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

Raptor demo team soars into sky

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE Nev. — Just as they do at many airshows across the nation, the F-22 Raptor Demonstration and Heritage Team from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, showcased the capabilities of the F-22 in the skies ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>