Basing Criteria Issued for MQ-1/9 Ground Stations

The Air Force released the basing criteria for the ground stations that it intends to establish at three installations to control MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft. These bases will be the final locations where the Air Force plans to bed down an active duty unit to operate these RPA under the concept called remote split operations. Officials will consider mission and training requirements, facilities and infrastructure, support capacity, environmental impacts, and costs as they prepare the list of candidate bases to host the stations, states a release. The list is expected out this fall. “These criteria will help to ensure that all aspects for basing of this important training are considered,” said Kathleen Ferguson, USAF’s deputy assistant secretary for installations. Under RSO, airmen control RPA in a combat theater, except for takeoff and landing, from their stateside-based control stations via satellite communications links.