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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 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 3, 2017

First combat MQ-1, MQ-9 wing celebrates 10 years at Creech

The 432nd Wing celebrated their 10th anniversary at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., as a combat remotely piloted aircraft wing May 1, 2017. In attendance was Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, Col. Case Cunningham, 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander and 400 Airmen of the wing. “Thanks for what you do,” Holmes said. “What you’ve done with this aircraft, the 3 million flight hours since 2000 with 3,000 strikes in 2016 and 10 years at this base is what we’re going to celebrate.”

May 3, 2017

COMACC visits MQ-1, MQ-9 Airmen

Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, visited the men and women of the 432nd Wing for the first time May 1-2, 2017, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. During his visit, Holmes received a first-hand look at MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper, remotely piloted aircraft operations and the mission of 432nd WG/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing. He also spoke to the Airmen who support the mission 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

April 3, 2017

MQ-1, MQ-9 aircrews help liberate Manbij

In 2016 MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper aircrews assisted coalition partners in the reclamation of Manbij, Syria, from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria forces. Pilots and sensor operators assigned to squadrons across the 432nd Wing and the 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing provided the close air support and reconnaissance needed for coalition partners to drive ISIS fighters out of the city.

March 22, 2017

MQ-9s participate in Red Flag 17-2

Remotely piloted MQ-9 Reaper aircrews from the 89th Attack Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, alongside the 432nd Operations Support Squadron and 42nd ATKS at Creech Air Force Base participated in Red Flag 17-2 from Feb. 27 through March 10, 2017, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. The MQ-9s integrated with fourth generation platforms, such as F-15 Eagles and F-16 Falcons, from various U.S. and allied forces in realistic combat training scenarios designed to test and challenge each and every aircrew and their platform.

Feb. 23, 2017

AF prepares for all MQ-9 force

For the past 21 years the Air Force has flown the remotely piloted MQ-1 Predator in combat, and for the last 10, the MQ-9 Reaper. Combined with a skilled aircrew, these aircraft provide consistent support in daily engagements making an impact downrange. While the MQ-1 has provided many years of service, the time has come for the Air Force to fly the more capable MQ-9 exclusively, and retire the MQ-1 in early 2018 to keep up with the continuously evolving battlespace environment.

Jan. 12, 2017

AF selects Shaw AFB as the preferred location to host a new RPA unit

The Air Force has selected Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, as the preferred location to base a new MQ-9 Reaper group, including mission control elements.

Sept. 5, 2016

Creech reaps benefits from an all MQ-9 force

Maintainers assigned to the 432d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Tiger Aircraft Maintenance Unit launched their first-ever MQ-9 Reaper Aug. 25, 2016.