RPA Teams Test Hunting Skills Over Nevada Range
RPA Teams Test Hunting
Skills Over Nevada Range
Air Expeditionary Wing
Las Vegas, Nevada -- (ACC)
-- July 4, 2013 -- Remotely Piloted Aircraft pilots, sensor operators and
intelligence Airmen worked together to fly simulated missions over the Nevada
Test and Training Range testing their skills with live bomb drops.
Predator aircrew member searches for a training target on the nevada test and
Training Range June 27, during the 432nd Wing Hunt, a remotely piloted aircraft
competition, which took place June 23-28. nearly a dozen teams from acttive duty,
reserve and Air National Guard RPA squadrons competed against eachh other by
develioping mission plans, evaluating threats and executing combatr missions
effectively during the competition.
U.S. Air Force photo
The 432nd Wing hosted the second
RPA weapons competition June 23-28. The 432nd Wing Hunt, formerly known as Gun
Smoke, consisted of 18 teams from 14 squadrons - 10 MQ-9 Reaper teams and the
rest with the MQ-1 Predator. Each team was comprised of a pilot, sensor operator,
and intelligence Airman, who worked together to formulate a mission plan,
evaluate threats, and develop a strategy to execute the mission effectively.
U.S. Air Force photo
"It was a total force integration effort with local, geographically separated
units and Air Force Reserve units," said Capt. Marcus from the 432nd Operations
Support Squadron. "Due to the fiscal constraints, we limited the competition to
only aircrews that could do Remote Split Operations from the local area, saving
thousands of dollars."
This type of training and friendly competition affords the teams and each
individual a scenario they could encounter down range.
"Training on the Nellis Test and Training Range allows RPA crews who typically
fly in Afghanistan to practice against different threats and mission sets,"
Marcus said. "The 432nd Wing Hunt prepares crews for this fight, as well as the
To further the realism and intense competition live GBU-12s, a 500lb
laser-guided bomb, were dropped by the MQ-9 in the southern ranges.
A munitions Airman tightens bolts on a
GBU-12 during a bomb build June 19, 2013, in preparation for the 432nd Wing Hunt
competition. The bombs were used to further the realism and intensity of the
competition, as they were used for live munitions loading on the MQ-9 Reaper.
The competition takes place June 23-28 between multiple remotely piloted
aircraft squadrons, offering an opportunity for training and demonstration of
skill. During the competition, RPA squadron teams were required to formulate a
mission plan, evaluate a threat and develop a strategy to execute the mission
U.S. Air Force photo illustration by
Senior Airman A.K.
"For most of these crews, it was the first time they dropped a live GBU-12,"
Marcus said. "It's important to give the crews an opportunity to test their
skills, and practice tactics before having to go into the next combat
The 432nd Wing Hunt also provides an opportunity for the RPA members to build
camaraderie while challenging the squadrons in a realistic and tactical
"Oftentimes, the RPA community fights to train, whereas most military units
train to fight," Marcus said. "This competition promotes esprit de corps with a
challenging scenario meant to test crew's knowledge, mission planning, and
execution to be the best."
The winners are as follows:
MQ-1B Top Squadron -15th
MQ-1B Top Pilot - 867th RS
MQ-1B Top Sensor Operator - 867th RS
MQ-1B Top Intelligence - 15th RS
MQ-9 Top Squadron - 22nd RS
MQ-9 Top Pilot - 29th Attack Squadron
MQ-9 Top Sensor Operator - 22nd RS
MQ-9 Top Intelligence - 22nd RS
Best Aircraft Launch Crew - 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron "Tiger" Aircraft
Best GCS Launch Crew - Lynx Systems Maintenance Unit
Best Weapons Load Crew - 432nd AMXS "Reaper" AMU
Best Overall Maintenance Unit - 432nd Aircraft Communication Maintenance
Creech Air Force