> our title:

First US Air Force Squadron Retires Its Predator Drones

> original title:

Fighting 49ers Say Farewell to Predator

(Source: Air Combat Command; issued Feb 27, 2017)

HOLLOMAN AFB, N.M. --- Holloman Air Force Base retired its MQ-1 mission Feb. 27 during a ceremony.

“Today we close the chapter of the MQ-1 Predator here at Holloman,” said James G. Clark, the Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Modernization and Infrastructure; Deputy Chief of Staff for ISR, Headquarters United States Air Force. “The MQ-1 was a revolution. It changed the way of aviation. Risk taking leadership and innovators saw the vision of the MQ-1 and made this airframe a success.”

Originally called the RQ-1 Predator System and later re-named the MQ-1 Predator in 2002 after the addition of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, the remotely piloted aircraft system is an armed, multi-mission, long-endurance aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset.

“The MQ-1 has almost four million flying hours with 92 percent of those hours being combat hours,” Clark said. “What you (RPA aircrew) do matters.”

Holloman AFB’s 6th Attack Squadron has graduated 752 pilots and 544 sensor operators on this airframe. The RPA mission at Holloman will now transition solely to the MQ-9 Reaper.

“When I took command of the 6th Attack Squadron, I was told to double the outcome of pilots and sensor operators, with half the manning to do so,” said Lt. Col. Geoff Fukumoto, 6th ATKS commander. “We graduated every MQ-1 Predator class early. Take this time to reflect on the part you play in history. Thank you to the community and Airman for the superb work, job well done.”

A static MQ-1 Predator will be on display in Heritage Park.