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July 5, 2013

RPA teams test skills during 432nd Wing Hunt

An MQ-9 Reaper aircrew member searches for a training target on the Nevada Test and Training Range June 27 during the 432nd Wing Hunt, a remotely piloted aircraft competition, which took place June 23-28. This is the second year for the competition which helps the RPA community build camaraderie through realistic tactical environments with teams from active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard RPA squadrons.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The 432nd Wing hosted the second Remotely Piloted Aircraft weapons competition June 23-28.

The 432nd Wing Hunt, formerly known as Gun Smoke, consisted of 18 teams from 14 squadrons, 10 MQ-9 Reaper teams and the rest with the MQ-1 Predator.

Each team was comprised of a pilot, sensor operator and intelligence Airman, who worked together to formulate a mission plan, evaluate threats and develop a strategy to execute the mission effectively.

“It was a total force integration effort with local, geographically separated units and Air Force Reserve units,” said Capt. Marcus from the 432nd Operations Support Squadron. “Due to the fiscal constraints, we limited the competition to only aircrews that could do Remote Split Operations from the local area, saving thousands of dollars.”

This type of training and friendly competition affords the teams and each individual a scenario they could encounter down range.

“Training on the Nellis Test and Training Range allows RPA crews who typically fly in Afghanistan to practice against different threats and mission sets,” Marcus said. “The 432nd Wing Hunt prepares crews for this fight, as well as the next one.”

To further the realism and intense competition live GBU-12s, a 500-pound laser-guided bomb, were dropped by the MQ-9 in the southern ranges.

A communication specialist from the 432nd Aircraft Communication Maintenance Squadron runs a system check on a ground control station before a mission June 27 in support of the 432nd Wing Hunt, a remotely piloted aircraft competition which took place from June 23-28. This year marks the second RPA competition in southern Nevada where nearly a dozen squadrons competed against one another to determine the best team to execute the mission.

“For most of these crews, it was the first time they dropped a live GBU-12,” Marcus said. “It’s important to give the crews an opportunity to test their skills, and practice tactics before having to go into the next combat environment.”

The 432nd Wing Hunt also provides an opportunity for the RPA members to build camaraderie while challenging the squadrons in a realistic and tactical environment.

“Often times, the RPA community fights to train, whereas most military units train to fight,” Marcus said. “This competition promotes esprit de corps with a challenging scenario meant to test crew’s knowledge, mission planning and execution to be the best.”

The winners are as follows:

MQ-1B Top Squadron -15th Reconnaissance Squadron

MQ-1B Top Pilot – 867th RS

MQ-1B Top Sensor Operator – 867th RS

MQ-1B Top Intelligence – 15th RS

MQ-9 Top Squadron – 22nd RS

MQ-9 Top Pilot – 29th Attack Squadron

MQ-9 Top Sensor Operator – 22nd RS

MQ-9 Top Intelligence – 22nd RS

Best Aircraft Launch Crew – 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

“Tiger” Aircraft Maintenance Unit

Best GCS Launch Crew – Lynx Systems Maintenance Unit

Best Weapons Load Crew – 432nd AMXS “Reaper” AMU

Best Overall Maintenance Unit – 432nd Aircraft Communication Maintenance Squadron

 

Communication specialists from the 432nd Aircraft Communication Maintenance Squadron complete system checks on a ground control station before a mission June 27 in support of the 432nd Wing Hunt, a remotely piloted aircraft competition which took place June 23-28. Nearly a dozen teams from active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard RPA squadrons competed against each other during the competition by developing mission plans, evaluating threats and executing combat missions effectively during the competition.

 

An Airman, right, gives inspection directions during a GBU-12 bomb build in compliance with the training operations required for the assembly June 19. Each bomb is constructed through a series of instructions and inspections from the beginning to end, ensuring each one is built in uniform with all others. The GBU-12s built were used as live munitions in the 432nd Wing Hunt, a competition between multiple remotely piloted aircraft squadrons, which takes place June 23-28. The competition takes place offers an opportunity for training and demonstration of skill level.

 

A munitions Airman tightens bolts on a GBU-12 during a bomb build June 19 in preparation for the 432nd Wing Hunt competition. The bombs were used to further the realism and intensity of the competition, as they were used for live munitions loading on the MQ-9. The competition takes place June 23-28 between multiple remotely piloted aircraft squadrons, offering an opportunity for training and demonstration of skill. During the competition, RPA squadron teams were required to formulate a mission plan, evaluate a threat and develop a strategy to execute the mission effectively.

 
 
 
 




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