HomeNewsArticle Display

First MQ-9 squadron looks good for 100

The 42nd Attack Squadron reach it's centennial anniversary June 13, 2017. It's lineage can be traced back to World War I where it was a training unit before being re-designated in the mid-1930's as a bombardment squadron. During World War II, the 42nd flew bomber aircraft such as the B-18 Bolo, B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator in six aerial campaigns during World War II over the Pacific theater including the Battle of Midway. In 1963, the unit inactivated and briefly returned in 1989 as an air refueling squadron, but soon inactivated again in 1990. In 2006, the 42nd became the first MQ-9 Reaper squadron and continues today providing dominant persistent attack and reconnaissance to the combatant commanders 24/7/365. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

The 42nd Attack Squadron celebrates its centennial anniversary June 13, 2017. Its lineage can be traced back to World War I where it was a training unit before being redesignated in the mid-1930s as a bombardment squadron. During World War II, the 42nd flew bomber aircraft such as the B-18 Bolo, B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator in six aerial campaigns during World War II over the Pacific theater including the Battle of Midway. In 1963, the unit inactivated and briefly returned in 1989 as an air refueling squadron, but soon inactivated again in 1990. In 2006, the 42nd became the first MQ-9 Reaper squadron and continues today providing dominant persistent attack and reconnaissance to the combatant commanders 24/7 year-round. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christian Clausen)

CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- From training to operational--bombers to remotely piloted aircraft, the Panthers of the 42nd Attack Squadron have been a key part of United States airpower for the past 100 years.

On June 13, 2017, the squadron celebrates its centennial anniversary with a lineage as the 42nd Aero Squadron, part of the U.S. Signal Corps. Back then, the unit trained aviators during World War I and continued until the mid-1930’s when it was redesignated as the 42nd Bombardment Squadron and placed under the operational control of Reserve personnel.

With the onset of World War II, the 42nd Bombardment Squadron was reactivated in 1940 as a regular Army unit at Hickam Field, Hawaii, where it suffered 31 casualties and lost all, but two of its aircraft during the attack on Oahu the following year. The unit flew bomber aircraft such as the B-18 Bolo, B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator in six aerial campaigns during World War II over the Pacific theater including the Battle of Midway.

After WWII the unit continued its bomber mission with the B-29 Superfortress, B-36 Peacemaker and B-52 Stratofortress until it was inactivated in 1963. The 42nd briefly returned in 1989 as the 42nd Strategic Squadron providing air refueling with the KC-135 Stratotanker, but soon inactivated again in 1990.

In November of 2006, the 42nd was called upon as the 42nd Attack Squadron to serve as the first MQ-9 Reaper unit at Creech Air Force Base.

“When the unit stood up, it was the only MQ-9 Reaper squadron in the world,” said Lt. Col. Ronnie, the 42nd ATKS commander. “At the time, it was responsible for training aircrew members while also delivering combat effects.”

The new mission harkened back to the squadron’s legacy of training young aviators before transferring into an attack role leading cutting-edge remotely piloted aircraft technology.

“I think that tie-in is interesting because in the past, the 42nd executed various missions with significant impact in the Pacific theater by island hopping,” he said. “Now with the MQ-9 we accomplish major operations in multiple areas of responsibilities. We aim to carry the legacy and bring determination with grit and impact.”

The 42nd ATKS has played a major role in operations in the Middle East such as Iraq, Syria and Libya by providing persistent attack and reconnaissance.

“Without a doubt the origin of the current U.S. Air Force MQ-9 construct started here with the 42nd,” Ronnie said. “Now we see the similarities across the wing and air expeditionary wing, which have been taken to other units and improved upon.”

He also explained with upcoming changes on the horizon, the 42nd ATKS will embrace them and continue forward as they have done over the past few years by continuing to push the envelope of MQ-9 weapons advancement, such as the use of new Hellfire variants, and more recently, joint direct attack munitions.

“I can’t say or speak highly enough of what the men and women of the 42nd ATKS do (24/7 year-round),” he said. “They are 160 of America’s finest…taking the fight to the enemy and doing a phenomenal job executing the mission. Whether it’s our pilots, sensor operators, intelligence or any other career field, they are simply amazing and I think previous members of the 42nd would be proud.”

Engage

Twitter
Tactical Air Control Party Airmen assigned to @INGuardsman participate in close air support training. TACPs provide… https://t.co/BcyiAmfFmV
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @140Wg became the first ANG unit to successfully execute an agile combat employment exercise while at @Buckley_AFB. T…
Twitter
“I’m a dental tech who became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force...be dreamers – dream big.” - @CSMAF_Officialhttps://t.co/AKSjyQNq4s
Twitter
A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 317th Airlift Wing flies during a Joint Forcible Entry exercise at Dyess… https://t.co/t3VXu0ZYWj
Twitter
Pentagon staff applaud @cmsaf_official as he exits the Pentagon for the last time as Chief Master Sgt. of the Air… https://t.co/c9RXsc3lAO
Twitter
Join us for the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA on Aug 14 at 9:30AM E… https://t.co/GfPIHkx0zn
Twitter
An @EdwardsAFB B-52H Stratofortress completed a captive-carry flight test of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Respon… https://t.co/HxxgE2In8C
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Just arrived to @NellisAFB to see RED FLAG, the #USAF Weapons School, and more. Because it has the best #Airmen and trai…
Twitter
“It’s no overstatement to say that brilliant ideas combined with trailblazing Airmen makes today’s Air Force the mo… https://t.co/qsDWN2Den5
Twitter
An F-22 Raptor aircraft assigned to the 3rd Wing approaches for landing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson during R… https://t.co/EMKHnjC6p0
Twitter
A C-130H from the 302nd Airlift Wing, equipped with the Modular Airborne Firefighting System, flies over fires near… https://t.co/9BPVXNFual
Twitter
Roam Robotics developed a lightweight & inexpensive knee exoskeleton for applications in the health, military & rec… https://t.co/7klpyEaYG1
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: |RESOLUTE PARTNERSHIPS| On Aug. 6, 2020, U.S. Air Forces Central Command and @AirMobilityCmd units were called to action to p…
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Lewis-McChord flies over the Seattle skyline after completing a training exe… https://t.co/4IodNs1bId
Twitter
#DYK The T-33A Shooting Star at Moody AFB's air park was developed from the single-seat F-80 fighter by lengthening… https://t.co/XXY3pAHDzu
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III returns to @TeamCharleston after evacuating to Ellsworth AFB. Ellsworth has a support agree… https://t.co/vtHhp1ETVC
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD in 1949, the DOD was formed, unifying the military under the secretary of defense. Our thanks to everyone who serve…
Twitter
Starting off the week with some air power! . An F-22 Raptor assigned to the 3rd Wing takes off from Joint Base Elme… https://t.co/cjvCe6fSOk
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: “We need out-of-the-box thinkers to succeed in our mission of developing the base of the future,” said Brig. Gen. Patrice Mel…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,266,333
Follow Us