> our title:

First French Crews Complete Reaper Training

> original title:

Diplomas for First French Class to Complete Reaper Training

(Source: French air force; issued Nov. 29, 2013)

(Issued in French only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)

On Nov. 26, General Antoine Creux, deputy commander of the French air force, traveled to Holloman Air force Base, in Arizona, to preside over the graduation ceremony for the first French class to qualify to operate the Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle.

Having completed a complex and demanding training cycle over 17 weeks, the first three crews belonging to the 1/33 “Belfort” Drone Squadron are now operational, and will deploy in support of ongoing operations as soon as the Reaper drones are delivered.

The imminent introduction of the Reaper to the French air force fleet is a concrete sign of its continuing modernization and the reinforcement of its operational capabilities, which are the two main axis of its “United to Cope” long-term project.