Iowa Reapers Building a Home

The Army issued a $7.9 million contract to build an MQ-9 Reaper mission control, intelligence, and targeting facility for the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Wing in Des Moines, according to a July 9 Pentagon contract announcement. The 33,000 square foot center will support the unit’s transition from F-16s to the RPA mission and will house 419 combined personnel, according to budget documents. “The installation is configured to support fighter aircraft and requires significant renovation work to convert the installation to the security and operational support needed for the new RPA and targeting missions,” states the ANG Fiscal 2015 budget estimate. The new center will be constructed entirely within an existing structure, incorporating secure communications and datalinks, secured information facilities, and an uninterruptable power supply, according to a project summary. The wing lost its F-16s in 2013 and began flying an RC-26 Condor ISR aircraft last year as a gap-filler mission until its full-up conversion to RPAs, reported the Iowa Statesman. (Government solicitation.)