HomeNewsArticle Display

Holloman AFB flies toward future

Maj. Jay, MQ-9 pilot with the 6th Attack Squadron, pilots the squadron’s first Block 5 MQ-9 Reaper from inside a new Block 30 ground control station at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., July 10, 2017. Holloman started flying the new Block 5 and Block 30 technology to ease the transition that student pilots and sensor operators will experience when joining a combat unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Chase Cannon)

Maj. Jay, MQ-9 pilot with the 6th Attack Squadron, flies the squadron’s first Block 5 MQ-9 Reaper from inside a new Block 30 ground control station at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., July 10, 2017. Holloman began flying the new Block 5 and Block 30 technology to ease the transition that student pilots and sensor operators will experience when joining a combat unit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chase Cannon)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) --

The Air Force provides day and night support to troops all around the world, and Holloman Air Force Base’s remotely piloted aircraft training mission is at the forefront.

“We are making the transition from the Block 1 MQ-9 Reaper and Block 15 Ground Control Station to the Block 5 MQ-9 Reaper and the Block 30 GCS,” said Lt. Col. Alfred Rosales, the 6th Attack Squadron commander. “Quite frankly it is a step in the right direction toward the innovation piece that the RPA community has been founded on.”

Holloman AFB’s step forward with introducing an upgraded Block 5 and Block 30 to its training arsenal represents a constant strive for innovation. 

“We are at the cutting edge of technology when it comes to the MQ-9,” said Staff Sgt. Anthony, a 6th ATKS sensor operator. 

The introduction of the Block 5 and Block 30 technology onto the battlefield called for an update to the Air Force’s RPA training program. 

“The goal is to make the transition not so shocking when you go to a unit with these technologies,” said Rosales. “We do not want this transition to be a big jump  from a schoolhouse like this to the Combat Air Forces.” 

The previous Block 1 MQ-9 and Block 15 GCS have been replaced with greater software and camera capabilities by their newer counterparts. 

“The Block 5 is different on the sensor side because they now have high definition video,” said Maj. Jay, a 6th ATKS MQ-9 pilot. “On the pilot’s side, the aircraft now has a generator and alternator that charges the batteries in flight which we previously did not have.”

Along with a more advanced camera and electrical system, the Block 5 and Block 30 are accompanied with an advanced communications system and streamlined payload capabilities. 

“The Block 30 GCS has been made better for the crew, improving resource management and how we communicate with each other,” said Rosales. “We even upgraded the positions of where our radio antennas are, they are now on the wings as opposed to the fuselage.”

Improvements made for the Block 5 and Block 30 were influenced by the needs of military members.

“Those weren’t just requests from our RPA warfighters, but also the guys on the ground saying they would like to have stronger communication links with the radios,” said Rosales. “We went back to the drawing board and looked at the ways we could fix it.”

Technology enhances every day, and the Air Force has made part of its job to always improve. Providing new and better capabilities is inherent to that mission, making the upgrades to Holloman AFB’s MQ-9s paramount.

“The Air force is always getting better,” said Jay. “Its implementation and evolution in technology in the RPA community is just another step in that direction. It is all about providing value to our Airmen downrange and making the RPA enterprise more beneficial as a whole.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: #Readiness was on display by our @AFResearchLab teams during a live-virtual-constructive training simulation, enabling #Airmen
RT @AFWERX: We can't wait for 2020: The @USAirForce Advanced Manufacturing Olympics is slated for July 8-9 in Salt Lake City & will bring t…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “The Silver Flag training sites provide our Airmen with real-world scenarios to reinforce our Air Force Specialty Code sk…
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Watch a @usairforce KC-10A refuel, and be refueled during same mission in support of @CJTFOIR. #Togetherwdeliver #NKAWTG #…
RT @AETCommand: Transforming the way we learn with technology is one of our key priorities here in the First Command! Check out the photos…
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, @ChiefNGB visited the @PRNationalGuard at Muñiz Air National Guard Base to meet with senior leaders and discus…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: YOU are the most important reason for our mission success. Take care of each other & preserve the connections & commun…
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: A distinct privilege to help unveil the F-117 exhibit, establishing this remarkable aircraft in its rightful place in…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…
It was just a childhood dream but it crescendoed into this #Airman becoming the only woman in the #AirForce to both… https://t.co/vzGjPe7Vri
RT @USAFReserve: Loadmaster first Reservist to complete USAF Weapons School Advanced Instructor Course (Story by the @403rdWing) #ReserveRe
.@secafoffical will speak about America’s footprint in space going forward at 5:45 EST. Watch live at https://t.co/aSlw5ceGJj
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @EsperDoD delivers keynote remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum. #RNDF https://t.co/ZXhuaTOQTm
Today, we help Col. Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, combat veteran and American legend, celebrate 💯 sorties aroun… https://t.co/bcmcDr4IYW
December 7, 1941. #PearlHarbor and six other #military bases on the Hawaiian island of Oahu were attacked, beginnin… https://t.co/4GvB8yPpGV
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Take a look at @usairforce Airmen assigned to the @109thAW using their ski-equipped C-130s to deliver supplies to the Arct…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thank you to Gen CQ Brown & the @PACAF team for the outstanding work organizing one of largest gatherings of Pacific A…