The last Active Duty MQ-1 Predator maintainers are transitioning to the MQ-9 Reaper. The 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Creech AFB, Nev., which has maintained Predators since the early 2000s, launched their first Reaper on Aug. 25, according to a 432nd Wing release. A 432nd crew chief said he’s excited for the transition because the Reaper’s “payload is bigger, it’s easier to work on, and it’s more reliable and resilient,” according to the release. The service ordered 30 more of the more powerful Reapers in August and plans to retire the Predator by 2018. (See also: Reapers and the RPA Resurgence from the August 2016 issue of Air Force Magazine.)
The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness revised the Defense Department’s COVID-19 guidelines. The new rules clarify what’s meant by being “up to date” on vaccinations and when personnel must wear masks in vehicles, among other changes.