Defense

October 15, 2012

Predators, Reapers break flying record

Tags:
A1C Michael Shoemaker
Holloman AFB, N.M.

Maj. Dusty, 9th Attack Squadron MQ-9 Reaper pilot, and Tech. Sgt. Trevis, 49th Operations Group MQ-9 sensor operator (last names omitted due to operational security concerns) fly an MQ-9 Reaper from a ground control station on Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 3. The Reaper is a multi-functional aircraft that supports both reconnaissance and combat roles. Holloman trains all Air Force MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper pilots.

The 29th Attack Squadron, 9th Attack Squadron, and the 6th Reconnaissance Squadron set a non-combat record Oct. 2, by flying six MQ-9 Reapers and four MQ-1 Predators simultaneously during a training mission at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.

The 29th ATKS, 9th ATKS and the 6th RS recently increased their training capacity to 10 lines. A line consists of the aircraft, a ground control station and all maintenance and flight personnel required to keep an aircraft airborne. This capacity ensures they are capable of meeting U.S. Air Force remotely piloted aircraft aircrew training requirements. These three squadrons train all U.S. Air Force MQ-1 and MQ-9 aircrew members.

Col. Kenneth Johnson, 49th Operations Group commander, said, “In the last year alone, the work the operations and maintenance RPA teams accomplish every day has grown by two-thirds, from six to 10 lines.”

This is in accordance with Gen. (ret.) Norton Schwartz, former U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, who said that ultimately, he believes it is conceivable that the majority of aviators in the Air Force will be flying remotely piloted aircraft.

Capt. Andrew [last name withheld due to operational security concerns], an MQ-9 pilot at the 9th ATKS who participated in breaking the record said, “I’m just one person out of the dozens it takes to make this record possible. I share in the pride of my fellow squadron mates and maintenance folks who have done a lot of work to get us here. It’s also a testament and validation to the direction of the Air Force. The role of RPAs is only going to increase.”

The record-setting training flights were manned by 10 crews composed of instructors and students, both pilots and sensor operators. The typical flight time for an RPA is around eight hours, and multiple training missions are flown during that time.

Johnson said, “We finally have the physical capacity to accomplish our mission to increase programmed flight training and develop the best possible RPA crew members.”

Holloman AFB serves as the gateway to the RPA career field as the Air Force’s premier training base for RPA pilots and sensor operators.




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


 
 

 
Luke Lightning strikes at Nellis

F-35 program on right track, director says

Luke Lightning strikes at Nellis Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., taxis to the runway for a training exercise at Nell...
 
 
Army photograph

Army plans intelligence system to be lighter weight, easier to use

Army photograph During a media day, a soldier, with the Army’s intelligence community, demonstrates use of a portion of the Distributed Common Ground System – Army system on Fort Belvoir, Va., May 16, 2013. Future v...
 
 
Navy photograph

Closing the curtain on NAVAIR’s desert depot

An MV-22 gets ready for takeoff following repair at NAVAIR’s Forward Deployed Combat Repair facility in Afghanistan. The FDCR mission ended in June 2014, and was primarily led by NAVAIR reservists with artisans from Fleet...
 

 
navy-F35

F-35C conducts first detachment visit at NAS Lemoore

Navy photograph Sailors and members of the community had the opportunity to observe an F-35C Lightning II aircraft static display at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., April 14. The static display is part of a six-day visit by ...
 
 
Artists rendering courtesy SikorskyBoeing

Army aviation continues efforts for technology development

Artists rendering courtesy Bell Helicopter The tiltrotor V-280 Valor aircraft is Bell Helicopter’s vision of the future as it prepares for flight demonstrations for the Army in 2017. The Army recently extended technology ...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Air Force announces KC-46A candidate bases

Courtesy photograph The KC-46A Pegasus development program completed its first flight of Engineering, Manufacturing and Development aircraft #1 Dec. 28, 2014. Air Force officials announced April 14 that Tinker Air Force Base, O...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>