CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nevada --
Maintainers assigned to the 432d Aircraft Maintenance
Squadron, Tiger Aircraft Maintenance Unit launched their first-ever MQ-9 Reaper
Aug. 25, 2016.
Tiger AMU is the last active duty squadron maintaining the
MQ-1 Predator and has started transitioning to the MQ-9 Reaper to meet current
and future warfighter requirements.
“Today, Tiger AMU launched an MQ-9 out of the unit for the
first-time ever, “said Lt. Col. Mackenzie, 432nd AMXS commander.
“It’s very exciting for us, as we look to the sunset of the MQ-1 and move
towards the future [with the transition to only MQ-9s].”
The launch signifies an enhancement to the Air Force’s
mission capabilities and also marks an important milestone in Creech’s history.
Tiger AMU has maintained the MQ-1 Predator since the early
2000s when it was first weaponized to provide armed reconnaissance.
“The MQ-9 is the latest and greatest. We will continue to invest in it because of
the greater capabilities that it brings to the fight,” said Mackenzie.
The demand for the MQ-9’s increased payload and enhanced
capabilities was made apparent in recent years as mission sets adapted to meet
combatant commanders’ objectives.
The transition has pleased leadership, aircrew and
maintainers. “I’m excited to transition
away from the MQ-1 because it’s more of a dinosaur compared to the MQ-9,” said
Staff Sgt. Eric, MQ-9 dedicated crew chief with the 432d AMXS. “On an MQ-9 the
payload is bigger, it’s easier to work on, and it’s more reliable and
No matter how the mission evolves, the men and women of the
432d AMXS agree that what they do makes a difference for our deployed service
“When I returned from downrange, the one thing that I’ve
heard is sometimes the warfighters on the ground sleep better knowing that they
have an MQ-9 overhead,” said Chief Master Sgt. Aaron, 432d AMXS superintendent.
“Having that MQ-9 overhead brings peace of mind to our brothers and sisters in
arms. We can see them and we have their back.”
Units at Creech serve as the backbone and warfighting core
of the United States Air Force as they bring the fight to America’s enemies
24/7/365 by providing dominant persistent attack and reconnaissance for our
nation and coalition partners.