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Tag: MQ-1 Predator

Jan. 6, 2020

432nd WG/432nd AEW brings Reaper airpower into the new decade

In early 2009, a recently reactivated combat unit, now named the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing, achieved the mark of 500,000 hours of combat, for a relatively new form of airpower, known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). 

Aug. 8, 2019

Tiger Airmen celebrate Maintenance Support Section Grand Opening

432nd Maintenance Group Airmen celebrated the opening of a revitalized Tiger Aircraft Maintenance Unit support section, July 29, 2019.

Aug. 30, 2018

Phantom of Takur Ghar: The Predator above Roberts Ridge

A once quiet landscape turned battlefield, the clash of gunfire and shouts ripped through the Shahi-Kot Valley in the early hours of March 4, 2002. As part of an early war effort that targeted al Qaeda and Taliban forces in Afghanistan, the Battle of Roberts Ridge is still known as one of the deadliest engagements during Operation Anaconda. Above the Takur Ghar mountain top, an MQ-1 Predator aircrew became an unforeseen, close air support asset for a desperate joint special operations team in their time of need.

March 2, 2018

Sun setting the MQ-1 Predator: Combat RPAs bring the future faster

As the official retirement of the MQ-1 Predator approaches, many people reflect on the new and innovative capabilities it provided on the battlefield over its tenure. Its shift from an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to a multi-role platform, further shaped the outlook of senior leaders and combatant commanders alike. The MQ-1 revolutionized the Air Force’s use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft in dynamic situations, inevitably paving the way for an all MQ-9 Reaper force.

Feb. 14, 2018

Sun setting the MQ-1 Predator: A history of innovation

The MQ-1 Predator is a Remotely Piloted Aircraft flown by aircrew assigned to the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Creech and units around the world. It has contributed to the U.S. warfighting efforts in unprecedented ways and is scheduled to sunset on March 9, 2018 as the Air Force transitions to an all MQ-9 Reaper force. With the introduction of aerial warfare, countries all over the world raced to the skies to gain tactical advantage over their adversaries. Devices such as balloons were used in early conflict for reconnaissance and, while the thought of such technology seems primitive today, that same pursuit of aerial superiority ultimately inspired the MQ-1.

Dec. 4, 2017

Raqqah liberated: Combat RPAs in the fight

U.S. forces, coalition partners and Syrian Democratic Forces liberated Raqqah, Syria from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s control in early October. ISIS used the city as its capital for terrorist operations since January 2014. Combat remotely piloted aircraft such as the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper were heavily integrated during combat operations to liberate the city. RPA aircrews tirelessly flew more than 44,000 hours and employed approximately 20 percent of the coalition strike effort.

July 31, 2017

Skyfest 2017 showcases MQ-1 Predator

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Fourteen Airmen from the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing showcased the MQ-1 Predator model at the Skyfest air show July 29-30, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington.

May 9, 2017

MQ-1 squadron celebrates 100 years

The 15th Attack Squadron patch depicting a pigeon clutching a telescope, harkens to the squadron’s long history of reconnaissance missions. On May 9, 2017, the 15th ATKS celebrated their 100-year anniversary and reflected on the unit’s extensive and honorable heritage, which coincidentally, includes their use of airpower in nearly every major conflict of the 20th Century. This heritage is carried on in today’s fight with remotely piloted aircraft MQ-1 Predators.

Dec. 15, 2016

The evolution of the combat RPA

In the 1980s, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency added modern day technology to the decades old idea of using remotely piloted aircraft for reconnaissance purposes. Little did DARPA or the Air Force know how impactful this development would be. As a result the Air Force immediately purchased a long endurance remotely piloted aircraft called the GNAT 750 resulting in the creation, production and development of the RQ-1 Predator of the early 1990s. By 1996, operators were flying intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions over the Balkans providing an eye in the sky during a period of unrest.

Dec. 9, 2016

Centennial squadron reactivates at Creech

It’s not every day that a timeworn piece of history is taken off the shelf, dusted off and given new meaning in today’s military. On December 2, 2016, Creech Air Force Base leadership reactivated the 489th Attack Squadron and brought new purpose to a unit older than the Air Force itself.