An Air Force MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft suffered a “hard landing” in Niamey, Niger, following an unarmed reconnaissance and surveillance sortie in support of operations in West Africa on Monday, officials said. The impact “damaged the runway at Diori Hamani International Airport in Niamey” but caused no injury to military or civilian personnel, US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa spokesman Capt. William-Joseph Mojica told Air Force Magazine. The RPA was reportedly supporting French military operations against Islamist militants in neighboring Mali, according to a Reuters report. “The US government is working closely with the government of Niger to secure the scene and mitigate inconveniences caused by the incident,” Mojica added in an Oct. 21 statement. The service is currently investigating the incident and will provide further information pending the results, according to USAFE-AFAFRICA officials.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.