The National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, on Monday opened a new exhibit on the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft in its modern flight gallery. “We are proud to be the only place in the world with a permanent public display of a Reaper,” said retired Maj. Gen. Charles Metcalf, museum director, at the dedication ceremony. He said the exhibit will give visitors “the chance to get up close” to the armed reconnaissance platform, which is supporting the counterinsurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Reaper on display is one of the two pre-production YMQ-9 air vehicles that the Air Force ordered in 2003 from manufacturer General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. On 2005, it became the first Reaper to fly in Afghanistan, accumulating 254 combat sorties. It will be on display near the museum’s RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft. (Dayton report by Sarah Swan)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.