Another Predator Flight Milestone

The US military’s fleet of MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft surpassed 600,000 flight hours on Sept. 4 during the flight of an Air Force MQ-1 in Southwest Asia that was operated by airmen of the 15th Reconnaissance Squadron at Creech AFB, Nev. The Predator fleet, which is in tremendously high demand in Afghanistan and Iraq, needed only seven months to amass another 100,000 flight hours after eclipsing the half-million mark back in February. Fielded in 1995, it took 12 years for the fleet to surpass 250,000 flight hours in June 2007, but only another 20 months to reach the half-million threshold. The Air Force is currently operating at least 36 continual combat air patrols of MQ-1s in Southwest Asia that provide armed overwatch to ground troops and feed them with invaluable live, streaming video. (Creech release)