Candidate Bases Identified for RPA Squadron

Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.; JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; and Shaw AFB, S.C., are the candidate locations to host an active duty MQ-1/MQ-9 remote split operations squadron, announced Air Force officials Thursday. These bases are in the running to accept a single MQ-1/MQ-9 RSO unit consisting of 280 personnel and associated equipment, they said. The Air Force will not assign any MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft to the winning base. Rather, it will house a MQ-1/MQ-9 ground control station, from which airmen, using remote communications links made possible by satellite connectivity, will operate Predators and Reapers that fly over places like Afghanistan. Air Force officials expect to announce the preferred location in December. “These candidate bases will be analyzed to determine which location will best host this mission,” said Kathleen Ferguson, USAF’s deputy assistant secretary for installations. (SAF/PA report by Ann Stefanek)