Going Expeditionary

Air Combat Command officials in May designated the 432nd Wing, USAF’s sole unmanned aerial vehicle wing, as an air expeditionary unit. This means that the wing, which is headquartered at Creech AFB, Nev., and flies MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper UAVs, will now have dual reporting responsibilities to 9th Air Force/Air Forces Central at Shaw AFB, S.C., and 12th AF/Air Forces Southern at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. The change is necessary because the unit “had grown beyond the appropriate scope” of its original mandate since its stand-up in May 2007, Air Force officials said. Indeed, the wing has been balancing its rapidly burgeoning training responsibilities with its around-the-clock support—at surge levels—of overhead surveillance and attack capability to commanders in Afghanistan and Iraq. The expeditionary wing structure will allow the unit to support these activities better, said Col. Chris Chambliss, the wing’s commander. (Creech report by Capt. Ed Ekpoudom)