> our title:

Reaper Squadrons Sign Armistice at Holloman AFB

> original title:

Reaper Squadron Armistice at Holloman AFB

(Source: US Air Force; issued Oct 07, 2014)

HOLLOMAN AFB, N.M. --- Holloman Air Force Base is home to the two primary Flight Training Units for MQ-9 Reaper pilots and sensor operators. With Remotely Piloted Aircraft on the forefront of our conflicts abroad, ensuring morale and the success of their training mission is more critical now than ever.

To bolster camaraderie and further training consistency among their students, the 9th and 29th Attack Squadrons collaborated through a series of friendly challenges, ultimately culminating in the signing of an armistice to signify the unity of their mission.

"We wanted to ensure that the two squadrons were as aligned as possible," explained Lt. Col. Steven Beattie, 29th Attack Squadron commander. "So I met with the commander of the 9th to come up with a way to maintain our own separate personalities and character while still boosting morale and camaraderie."

In order to accomplish their goal of synchronizing training across the two units, the commanders established their own unique and creative methods.

"We wanted to get some morale going between the two squadrons because our training can be such a grind," said Lt. Col. Juan Torres 9th Attack Squadron commander. "So we set up spirit missions to encourage some friendly competition between the squadrons. Part of it was also reinforcing our heritage and pride."

"The spirit missions were really a way for us to throw some fuel on the fire leading up to the armistice," said Beattie, "which we had scheduled for Sept. 29th to represent the numbers of each squadron."

Encouraging a healthy rivalry not only served to make the squadrons more motivated, but it also increased morale.

"The armistice had an overwhelmingly positive effect on our squadrons," said Beattie, "and I feel that it really strengthened some of the ties between us."

Although both squadrons have their own separate legacies to maintain and uphold, their differences do not preclude them from working together toward the same mission.

"We are hoping to establish an annual tradition," said Torres, "so that we can continue to rekindle the bond we've formed and remember above all else what we're here to accomplish."