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June 28, 2017

BREAKING: New Block 5 MQ-9 debuts in combat

On 23 June, 2017, the latest version of the MQ-9 Reaper, the Block 5 variant, was successfully flown in combat in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. The aircrew flew a sortie of over 16 hours with a full payload of weapons including GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. During the mission, the crew employed one GBU-38 and two Hellfires while providing hours of armed reconnaissance for supported ground forces.

June 14, 2017

Frankenphone 2.0: MQ-9 communication innovation

In 2015, a former member of the 42nd Attack Squadron saw a need to improve communications from MQ-9 Reaper aircrew to ground forces, thus, Frankenphone was created. He pieced-together the invention with scrap phone parts and headsets which aimed to improve communications clarity until a long term solution was procured. While the device underwent many iterations of upgrades, it still needed additional work.

June 13, 2017

First MQ-9 Squadron looks good for 100

From training to operational -- bombers to remotely piloted aircraft, the Panthers of the 42nd Attack Squadron have been a key part of United States airpower for the past 100 years. On June 13, the squadron celebrates its Centennial anniversary with a lineage as the 42nd Aero Squadron, part of the U.S. Signal Corps. Back then, the unit trained aviators during World War I and continued until the mid-1930’s when it was re-designated as the 42nd Bombardment Squadron and placed under the operational control of Reserve personnel.

June 9, 2017

Cleared hot: When predators and reapers engage

Following the mission brief and pre-flight checks, an aircrew consisting of an officer pilot in command and a career enlisted aviator sensor operator observe a target in an area of responsibility overseas from a cockpit in the United States and waits for the green light from a joint terminal attack controller on the ground. Anticipation heightens as the JTAC confirms the target and gives the aircrew the clearance to attack. The aircrew then reviews checklists before engaging, adrenaline begins to seep in and the whirring from electronic components in the cockpit recedes from awareness. Their concentration sharpens and as the pilot squeezes the trigger, and a laser guided AGM-114 Hellfire missile is released. The sensor operator hones in on the objective at hand by keeping the laser designator crosshairs precisely over the target and guiding the missile. The countdown begins until impact...10, 9, 8…

May 31, 2017

Total Force wingmen enable MQ-1, MQ-9 mission

In the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper community, active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Airmen incorporate as a total force integration to provide 60 combat lines or 60 aircraft in the air, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This team of aircrew, maintenance and other career fields ensure mission success by enabling persistent strike and reconnaissance capabilities to eliminate enemies and keep ground and coalition forces safe.

May 25, 2017

Key spouse gives back

Behind every good Airman is a great support system. Meredith, a key spouse of the 17th Attack Squadron, not only cares for her husband, an MQ-9 Reaper pilot, but also works for spouses married to military members across Creech and Nellis Air Force Bases. She serves as an In Gear Career Nevada chapter lead and Las Vegas community volunteer, while balancing her day job as a policy director for an education policy non-profit organization in the Nevada school district, all of which earned her recognition in 2016.

May 25, 2017

MQ-1 Predator showcased at American Patriot Festival

Veterans and their families admire the MQ-1 Predator during the American Patriot Festival May 20, 2017, in Las Vegas. The American Patriot Festival brought veterans and their families together to enjoy military displays, performances and a car show. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

May 24, 2017

All in a night’s work: MQ-9s maximize airpower downrange

As many Americans sleep soundly in their beds, Airmen in attack squadrons across the 432nd Wing flying the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper from cockpits in the continental U.S. are having decisive effects in the fight against violent extremism. In combat operations, last week, one MQ-9 squadron, in particular, stood above the rest when aircrews employed 13 Hellfire missiles and 500-pound bombs during one eight-hour overnight shift. These employments occurred in two different combat arenas separated by thousands of miles, while the aircrew piloting the aircraft sat, just feet away from one another, in separate cockpits in the squadron.

May 24, 2017

2017 National Police Week

A 799th Security forces team pushes a Humvee at the Warrior Fitness Challenge in support of Police Week May 15, 2016, Creech Air Force Base, Nev. National Police Week takes place annually to honor the service and sacrifice of civilian and military law enforcement members. (U.S. Air Force photo Airman 1st Class Adarius Petty)

May 12, 2017

Airmen share lives at first Creech Storytellers

Emotions ran high as four Airmen shared their personal stories of overcoming adversity with Airmen from around the base during the first Storytellers event here, May 10, 2017. More than 200 Creech personnel packed the auditorium to connect with the storytellers and learn experience in their individual narrative in dealing with challenges in their lives.