RPA Unit Hits Major Milestone

The 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, which has been operating the Air Force’s remotely piloted aircraft in Afghanistan from Kandahar Airfield since 2005, eclipsed 250,000 total flight hours at the end of May. Members of the unit fly MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers that provide armed overwatch of the Afghan battlefield. Col. Morgan Curry, 62nd ERS commander, said the squadron’s operational tempo has increased tremendously in the past year. In fact, “48 percent” of its total flight hours accrued in the past 12 months, he said. The unit consists of airmen deployed from Creech AFB, Nev., and Cannon AFB, N.M., plus members of the Britain‘s RAF. The unit’s airmen control the Predators and Reapers during launch and recovery, but pass operational control to crews back in the US or Britain for the main portion of the flights. (Kandahar report by TSgt. Renni Thornton)