HomeNewsArticle Display

RPA community launches 65th combat air patrol

Airman First Class Ryder Luzadder, left, and Staff Sgt. Jose Feliciano look over technical orders for a ground control station May 28, 2014, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev.  Ryder and Feliciano are communications technicians with the 432nd Aircraft Communications Maintenance Squadron.  The 432nd ACMS is responsible for providing 24/7, 365-day maintenance support to the communication infrastructure that supports the wing's global remotely piloted aircraft operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey)

Airman First Class Ryder Luzadder, left, and Staff Sgt. Jose Feliciano look over technical orders for a ground control station May 28, 2014, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. The 432nd Aircraft Communications Maintenance Squadron is responsible for providing 24/7, 365-day maintenance support to the communication infrastructure that supports the wing's global remotely piloted aircraft operations. Ryder and Feliciano are communications technicians with the 432nd ACMS.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey)

A sensor operator and pilot follow a vehicle with a remotely piloted aircraft in a flight training simulator May 28, 2014, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev.  The two-person crew was selected to fly the 65th air combat patrol, an initiative set by then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in Dec. 23, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey)

A sensor operator and pilot follow a vehicle with a remotely piloted aircraft in a flight training simulator May 28, 2014, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. The two-person crew was selected to fly the 65th air combat patrol, an initiative set by then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in Dec. 23, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey)

CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- The Remotely Piloted Aircraft enterprise reached new heights as the community pulled together to launch the 65th combat air patrol, or CAP, here on May 28.

Reaching 65 patrols by fiscal year 2013 was an initiative put in place by then former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Dec. 23, 2009.

The constant growth of patrols, from 33 in 2008 to 65 in 2014, is just one example of the untapped capabilities of the RPA platform and provides insight into where the future of the program can go.

"This feat illustrates the professionalism of our Airmen, and the hard work and dedication they have for the mission 24/7, 365 days a year, in order to ensure the safety of ground forces across the globe," said Col. James Cluff, the 432nd Wing and 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander.

Reaching this milestone means the RPA community has almost doubled the amount of assets available for intelligence gathering, while also safeguarding more deployed service members.

"This represents a series of extraordinary sacrifices by Airmen across the RPA enterprise," said Lt. Col. Cameron,  the former 42nd Attack Squadron commander. "A few short years ago, many thought this goal was unattainable."

Each CAP covers a specific area of operations, requiring multiple aircraft and up to 180 people, such as maintainers, communications experts, pilots, sensor operators, and intelligence Airmen, to operate successfully.

"I am able to provide constant vigilant support for the men and women (deployed overseas), said Capt. Andrew, an 18th Reconnaissance Squadron pilot. "We watch over them as they bed down for the night and make sure no threats are pushing them. It's a gratifying feeling."

The aircrew members who worked together to make the CAP possible were hand-picked by commanders from each unit that participated in the flight.

"I was honored to be selected for this goal-setting mission," said 1st Lt. Erick, a 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron pilot. "I think I speak for all 18X (Air Force Specialty Code prefix for RPA pilots) pilots when I say that we are ready and willing to take on the responsibility of moving the RPA community forward, and this launch exemplifies that sentiment.

"We couldn't have accomplished our goal without the tireless work of maintainers, communications personnel, and all the other Airmen involved in this sortie, especially our 42nd Attack Squadron brothers and sisters back home," Erick said.

Mission success on the communications side of the operation relies heavily on experienced, expertly trained personnel to ensure all systems are working correctly. That capability is provided by the 432nd Aircraft Communications Maintenance Squadron, which is responsible for maintaining the ground control stations, or GCS, from which pilots and sensor operators fly RPA missions.

Airman 1st Class Ryder Luzadder, 432nd ACMS communications technician, was one of the Airmen who ensured the GCS was prepared and ready to fly the 65th patrol.

"If we don't do our job exactly, it could mean that the mission is canceled, or in a worst case scenario an aircraft could crash," Luzadder said. "It takes about one year of on-the-job training to be able to do any task that we are presented with. There are always new things that pop up all the time that you just don't expect. We're unique from other communications Airmen because we see the missions that are flying worldwide every day. We play a direct role in the effort to save lives."

Meeting the initiative was no easy task and was made possible by a whole-team effort across the board.

"This is a culmination of an Air Force-wide effort to achieve (former) Secretary of Defense (Robert M.) Gates' initiative of 65 combat air patrols," said Col. James Chittenden, 432nd Wing and 432nd AEW vice commander. "We are incredibly proud of the Airmen of the 432nd AEW and their critical service to our nation's security."

Engage

Twitter
A new simulator at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, is expected to provide substantial cost savings to the squa… https://t.co/t4oYd9EkBC
Twitter
“We want to make sure our culture is inclusive, enabling all Airmen & Guardians to serve their country & contribute… https://t.co/2XzBFWGhCX
Twitter
RT @NORADCommand: For more than 60 years, #NORAD has evolved to meet the threats to our nations. Moving forward, NORAD will focus on enhanc…
Twitter
RT @97AMW: One of our very own members traveled to New York to help administer COVID-19 vaccines! SrA Taylor Riner, 97th MDG family practic…
Twitter
RT @AFResearchLab: Our teams are always aiming to lead, discover, develop and deliver new game changing #quantumtech #AFResearchLab #Quant
Twitter
The new policy will go into effect beginning with the major, lieutenant colonel and colonel Space Force promotion b… https://t.co/76PQrG202I
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Giving our #Airmen the ability to opt out of promotion consideration allows for greater flexibility in career management,…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: - To complete a broadening assignment - To complete advanced education - To complete another assignment of significant va…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: #Airmen, today, officers holding the rank of captain, major or lieutenant colonel are eligible to apply for exclusion fro…
Twitter
RT @NORADCommand: #NORAD added maritime warning to its mission set in 2006 to facilitate a shared awareness of the activities in maritime a…
Twitter
When TSgt Goad’s wife sought treatment for PTSD, he assumed broader shoulders as a husband and a father, grew into… https://t.co/3ViThx6mp5
Twitter
Through iHub, users can submit and collaborate their innovation ideas with action officers, view the status and sta… https://t.co/lxJLqSCNBH
Twitter
“The team did an outstanding job effecting this event both in planning and execution,” said Lt. Col. Matt Guasco. “… https://t.co/ZfEJrSAnae
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting SecAF Roth visited @RobinsAFB_GA to see how the base supports warfighters around the world. From aircraft depot m…
Twitter
"We have to make sure we are task organized at home station and capable of projecting our forces forward if the fla… https://t.co/9Wrmrtdnj0
Twitter
On this day 72 years, ago Soviet forces lifted the blockade, which shut off food, coal and medicine to two million… https://t.co/sxLSAJ5q6e
Twitter
Ellison Onizuka, an Air Force test pilot who later became an astronaut, flew aboard 1985's Space Shuttle Discovery’… https://t.co/xE5xcPsSKF
Twitter
RT @grandslamwing: #ICYMI Members from the 816th EAS and 379th ELRS certified training on the ABFDS, which allows the mission to continue f…
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
1,347,853
Follow Us