Sittin’ in the Hottest Seat in Town

Airmen with the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron at Balad AB, Iraq, man the sensor seat in the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle ground station—controlling the infrared and electro optical sensors, the laser range designator, and laser target monitor. The Balad crews also launch the UAV, getting it to its correct altitude and verify the satellite link before turning control over to pilots in Nevada. Once an armed Predator launched its Hellfire missile, the Balad sensor operators guide the weapon via laser. (Read more here.)