A Texas Air National Guard wing last month reached 100,000 flying hours on the MQ-1B Predator. The 147th Reconnaissance Wing, stationed at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston, reached the milestone on Oct. 8, according to a wing release. The wing has been flying the Predator for seven years, after transitioning from F-16s in 2005 and beginning unmanned flights in July 2008. “To put 100,000 hours in context, that amount of time is equivalent to flying for 11.41 years non-stop, and we did it in just seven years,” 111th Reconnaissance Squadron Commander Lt. Col. David Peck said in the release.
As the U.S. continues to pursue a diplomatic resolution with Russia over its troop buildup on the Ukraine border, the Defense Department is looking into what capabilities it will need to reassure NATO allies if Russia does launch an invasion, its top spokesperson said Jan. 21.