HomeNewsArticle Display

Airmen on the hunt: RPA crews test skills during competition

An MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper taxi to the runway in preparation for take-off June 13, 2014, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev.. The aircraft are flown under the 432nd Wing, which trains pilots, sensor operators, and other remotely piloted aircraft crewmembers, and conducts combat surveillance and attack operations worldwide. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen)

An MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper taxi to the runway in preparation for take-off June 13, 2014, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev.. The aircraft are flown under the 432nd Wing, which trains pilots, sensor operators, and other remotely piloted aircraft crewmembers, and conducts combat surveillance and attack operations worldwide. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen)

Staff Sgt. Trung Dinh, left, and Senior Airman Devin Milburn attach a GBU-12 Paveway laser guided bomb onto an MQ-9 Reaper during a load crew competition June 30, 2014, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. The competition consists of two three-man teams from different aircraft maintenance units competing against each other in order to build skills and promote camaraderie. Dinh is a 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew chief and Milburn is a 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron support technician.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen)

Staff Sgt. Trung Dinh, left, and Senior Airman Devin Milburn attach a GBU-12 Paveway laser guided bomb onto an MQ-9 Reaper during a load crew competition June 30, 2014, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. The competition consists of two three-man teams from different aircraft maintenance units competing against each other in order to build skills and promote camaraderie. Dinh is a 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew chief and Milburn is a 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron support technician. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen)

Staff Sgt. William aims a laser onto a target during the third annual 432nd Wing’s Wing Hunt competition June 30, 2014, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. Multiple remotely piloted aircraft squadrons participate in the competition to train and demonstrate their skills. William is a MQ-9 Reaper sensor operator from the 138th Attack Squadron, Syracuse, N.Y. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shad Eidson)

Staff Sgt. William aims a laser onto a target during the third annual 432nd Wing’s Wing Hunt competition June 30, 2014, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. Multiple remotely piloted aircraft squadrons participate in the competition to train and demonstrate their skills. William is a MQ-9 Reaper sensor operator from the 138th Attack Squadron, Syracuse, N.Y. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shad Eidson)

CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- Airmen from 17 different squadrons participated in the third annual 432nd Wing Hunt here, June 27- July 2.

The remotely piloted aircraft crews, which fall under the 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing, were tested on their tactical skills in both the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper, using real-world scenarios during the competition.

During the annual event, RPA crews train for a mission set that is rarely practiced or executed, while also integrating and practicing fundamental tactics with other squadrons from around the 432nd AEW.

"Wing Hunt is essentially a realistic training scenario for the crews to know what to expect in the future," said Capt. Marcus, the 432nd Operations Support Squadron MQ-9 branch chief. "We took realistic training and added a competition, so the crews can earn bragging rights for their units."

The RPA crews were handpicked by their squadron leaders as the best of the best to compete in both MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper employments. These crews consisted of pilots, sensor operators and intelligence Airmen, some of whom flew their mission from their home state via remote split operations.

"Out of the 17 AEW squadrons that participated in this year's Wing Hunt, seven of those units were based outside of the local area and had crews travel to Creech (AFB) to participate," said Capt. William, the 432nd Wing weapons and tactics assistant flight commander.

The skills of each crew were tested on every facet of the mission, to include: mission planning; briefing; flying; execution and precision of AGM-114 Hellfire missile and GBU-12 Paveway laser guided bomb strikes in a given time; and the debrief processes. These tests included obtaining all necessary information; learning about potential threats and identifying how big those threats were; preparing ways to mitigate said threats; executing the mission; and debriefing the crews post-flight.

"This year we tried to make it as realistic as possible so the crews can go back to their squadrons and teach others what they need to know to be prepared for what they might encounter in the future," Marcus said.

Wing Hunt provided an opportunity for geographically separated units to test their skills as well as learn and apply training that can be passed on to those at their home base.

"The event was beneficial for both me and my pilot because it got us involved with other units, coordinating, developing plans and accomplishing more complex tasks with single objectives," said Staff Sgt. William, a sensor operator from the 138th Attack Squadron, in Syracuse, New York. "The training we received is invaluable to the success and progress of our missions in the future."

The annual event put the skills of the RPA crews to the test, but also provided useful training for future operations and promoted camaraderie between all participating units.

"Overall the event was a success," Marcus said. "It demonstrates our capabilities and teaches the Airmen how to properly employ in future environments."

Engage

Facebook Twitter
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…
RT @DeptofDefense: Flying side by side gets the mission done. @usairforce and @RoyalAirForce participated in exercise Point Blank with @NAT
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Getting to see a chaplain in a remote location is a #blessing. Archbishop of U.S. Military Services Timothy Broglio recently…
RT @AFWERX: Did you catch @EdwardsAFB’s first-ever @TEDx event? There’s no doubt their theme, “Laying the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Innovat…
RT @DeptofDefense: Press ▶️ to get motivated by watching this video of exercise #MobilityGuardian19, Air Mobility Command's largest full-sp…