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.


 
 

 

First enlisted Airmen awarded Weapons School graduate patches

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — History was made June 27, when five graduates of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School’s Joint Terminal Attack Controller Weapons Instructor Course became the first enlisted Airmen in the school’s 66-year mission to be awarded the Weapons School’s graduate patch. These graduates will now be recognized as subject matter...
 
 

Staying safe during flash flood season

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — July is here with high temperatures and a high chance of flash flooding. The months with the highest probability for thunderstorms are July through September. Las Vegas’ annual rainfall is approximately 4.13 inches, and while this may not seem like a lot of rain, the elevation of Las Vegas...
 
 

Conquer fear, live your dream

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — Are you living the dream? Do you wake up with energy each morning or do you need an energy drink to get you going? If you constantly hit the snooze button on your alarm, wake with no energy and low self-esteem, need lots of coffee, soda or energy drinks...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz

Weapons School honors newest graduates

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz Gen. Lori Robinson, Pacific Air Forces commander, delivers the keynote speech during the U.S. Air Force Weapons School Class 15-A graduation ceremony in Las Vegas, Nev., Ju...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay

Hunters save lives through RPA Human Performance Team

U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay Considering the demands facing the remotely piloted aircraft enterprise, Team Creech has formed their own human performance team to meet the needs of those suppo...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Employment Assistance Program aids military members’ transition

Courtesy photo Members of the Nellis community attend a job fair as part of the Airman and Family Readiness Center’s Employment Assistance Program at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., April 23. The Employment Assistance Program he...
 




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>